We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Curiosity. I think the single most important thing an entrepreneur can retain in their life is a spirit of curiosity. This generally leads to much more meaningful conversations, deeper connections and less ego driven choices. If we are always seeking more information, better process, broader views we will (more than likely) spend more time listening and empathizing with others. This also helps when trying to solve a problem with technology. You cannot solve a problem without understanding it and how it affects those that are dealing with it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We started Everypage to solve a very real problem. One that was prevalent long before COVID hit. But, one that is far more vital now that the world has fundamentally changed. We built Everypage to connect our children to those they love and miss the most through connected story time. By utilizing existing tech (eBooks) and adding a layer of interactivity on top of it, we are able to have kids favorite readers record their own audio from where ever they are in the world. That audio will sync with readers favorite books so they can enjoy story time with their favorite people when ever they want. I was sitting in a cafe in Dubai after a couple years of traveling the world. Mexico, Singapore, Sri Lanka, London, Thailand and nearly every state in the US and truly missing reading my little ones stories before bed time. I started to sketch out an idea of how everything would work. From the UI and account management to the way the business would run. But it wasn’t until I ran into a friend Scott Bair at a Coffee shop in Santa Barbara, California after speaking with some potential investors. The investors were stoked, but needed to see something that actually exists. Not just on paper. Scott is a brilliant UI/UX designer as well as a new Father. I shared the idea, where I was with the project and what I needed to bring it into existence. We added Gavin Smiley as our CTO shortly after. Gavin builds things. And he builds them well. Over the last year he has taken everything I dreamed about and made it something we can actually download and hold. At least in beta form. It is not easy. It wasn’t a year ago. It won’t be a year from now. We are constantly looking at priorities and weighing personal goals with professional goals, trying to find a happy balance while refusing to sacrifice the initial vision I scribbled down while sitting in that little coffee shop in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My days always start with Huckleberry Coffee. Always. No question. I’ve loved them since they were a tiny little roaster next to Crema in RiNO. I love the folks behind the shop and I love the coffee dearly. After coffee, I’d suggest a hearty brunch at Denver Biscuit Co. It’s heavy, but amazing. We’d have to walk it all off, so heading over to Wash Park for a couple laps around the pond would be next. Rent a couple bikes, a pedal boat, something active. Head over to the bigger park for a couple rounds of Frisbee or volleyball. Get the blood flowing. Sushi at Izakaya Den for dinner. Trust the chef, he won’t steer you wrong. Pre-Covid? We’d catch a show at the High Dive. One of my favorite stages to see a show. Take the next day up to the mountains, Estes park for some shopping and a hike. I always see tons of wildlife up there. Gotta tackle at least a couple 14er’s. I love all the free days at the museums, i’d make sure we visited as many as possible. Burgers at Park Burger, Kaos Pizza, Great Divide brewery, Stranahans, ice cream at Little Man, so much more coffee from Huckleberry. And burritos at Illegal Petes. Can we have two weeks?
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Topher Grant. He is the CEO/Founder of a boutique marketing agency that i’ve done some work for in the past. He is a brilliant strategist and thoughtful leader. He taught me the importance of fostering communities of growth, not just in business but in our personal lives. If we have a growth mindset, we will always be looking for ways to grow, to expand, to broaden our reach or understanding. This is incredibly important when starting a business. It’s not just “revenue” we also need to focus on the growth of our people. Topher is exceptional and instilling a desire to grow and to help others grow.