Hercules Networks is a manufacturer and distributor of Automated Charging Machines, public charging stations that rapidly charge a variety of devices. Our mission is to set a new trend in digital media advertising - to make the ACM as widespread as the ATM.
Let me explain this better, Paul king's company is responsible for manufacturing machines that makes it possible for you to charge your mobile phones in public..Cool right?
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Paul, Thanks for taking some of your time to be with us here on YHP , How are you doing today?
Every day is a blessing, I'm doing great.
Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I am 25, graduated from Carnegie Mellon summa cum laude. Started a real estate agency when I was 22 with the help of an investor and grew it to 38 agents. Started Hercules Networks at 23 with the help of an investor. I am an avid sports fan, and big believer in positive energy.
Where did your organization’s funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
The first investor in Hercules was Michael Gold - who is executive chairman of the company today. We then together raised another round of capital from 3 private angel investors. I met Michael through a mutual friend. Michael is a real estate developer in Miami, though he is now fully devoted to Hercules. I met one of the angels when he walked by my office, and said "What is that machine"? I told him it's a machine that charges cell phones and plays commercials and he said "this is the coolest idea I've ever heard of". He then brought in his 2 friends to invest with him.
Can you tell us what you do in your company?
Whatever is the most important at the time. My job function changes constantly. We are a small company with 12 employees, and we sell our products and services internationally, so everyone has a lot to do all the time. I focus on what is most important to the organization and analyze this at the beginning of every week, then devote my time and energy to that.
Describe/outline your typical day?
Wake up at 7, gym, then office by 8:30. 30 minutes of responding to emails, sending emails. Group meeting at 9, discuss strategy for the day. 10-12:30, focus on what I have decided is most important. 12:30 lunch. 1:00 - walk around and see how everyone is doing on their tasks. Then get back to my focus. Around 5pm I take a break. From 5:30-6:30 everyone has left and I have some time to think abstractly about the business.
Is your company profitable or what is your profit for last year?
We started in April 2008. Our first full year is 2009, and it looks like we are on track for $400,000 in revenue in 2009. We expect to be profitable in 2010, with 1.5 Million in revenue.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
We manufacture in China, and their quality control doesn't really exist. They try to make everything as cheaply as possible, and this has led to lots of problems for us. I have been to China 3 times, and we changed manufacturers twice until we finally found a company that was willing to meet our quality control standards.
I make mistakes all the time, but I never make the same mistake twice.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I am very happy and blessed.
What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?
It is open and free, where everyone has the ability to express their opinions and ideas. At the same time, everyone knows they have to perform and perform well. Everyone is also incentivized by company performance, so if the company makes more money, so do they.
How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
We have focused more on PR than marketing, or I should say PR as our marketing. It is powerful because it is an unbiased perspective of your business. We have done some pay per lead deals, and are about to set up an adwords marketing plan.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Raising our second round of capital - it proved that we were moving in the right direction.
How important has good employees been to your success?
The idea is nothing without execution, and execution comes from a good team. So, they are everything to our success.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs trying to start their business?
Start it. You will learn on the way, and it will make you a better and smarter person. Remember that every rejection is feedback that you can learn from and improve your business, your pitch, whatever it is that people may not be buying into.
What is the best advice you’ve ever being given?
Michael Gold told me that there are two types of people, the idea people, and the people that execute those ideas. He said that I am an idea person, and we need to find people that execute and we will build something special.
Thanks for your time Paul
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