Many entrepreneurs know that the thin line between success and failure can often come down to the simple art art of just asking the right questions. The right questions highlight unmet consumer demand, which in turn can unlock solutions that open the doors to a successful business. Joshua Schwartz (SCS’13), chief executive officer, Pubvendo and Venture Lab member, capitalized on this opportunity to investigate gaps in the market.
Schwartz was seven years deep in the book publishing industry when he started to have conversations with top executives at many of the country’s top publishing firms. Approaching the executives with an open mind, Schwartz noticed a common theme when he asked the publishers what their biggest problem was and how he could solve it. In every conversation, they expressed a need for him to help their authors promote their books on social media. Not only did Schwartz take that feedback to heart, but he has built his business on that core fundamental need and has continued to do so with every iteration of his company.
“When you hear that feedback so many times, you start wondering why it is in such demand,” said Schwartz. “We rely a lot on market feedback. I actually think it is the reason we’ve made it so far.”
To date, Schwartz has taken the feedback he received and turned Pubvendo into a digital campaign agency for hundreds of authors across the United States. With a million unique authors releasing books every year in the U.S., Schwartz knows that Pubvendo still has a lot of the market left to capture.
While he has big plans for expansion, right now he is looking forward to being back in the Venture Lab where he has the opportunity to collaborate with fellow founders and work with experienced entrepreneurship coaches. When reflecting on his entrepreneurial experience, Schwartz is not shy of noting the loneliness that has come with starting his own business.
“It’s just a lot of navigating darkness,” said Schwartz. “A lot of entrepreneurs will talk about how isolating that first year will feel and so I just did it. I just got through it.”
After four years of running Pubvendo, Schwartz is excited about what the future holds for his company. He was also happy to share advice for future entrepreneurs looking to find their niche based on his own experiences and success to date.
“Whatever idea you have or whatever space you are attracted to, ask the people in that space what they need,” said Schwartz. “To anyone who is considering starting a business: just ask questions.”
To learn more about Pubvendo, find their website here.