I recently had a chat with Chris Bull, founder of Selective Media, the company he founded back in 2008 at just 19 years old. Selective Media is the leading location based media company, offering on-line, Wi-Fi, VOD and pre-roll advertising opportunities.
Can you give you some background information about yourself, were you the entrepreneurial type growing up?
I always struggled with academic work at school and quickly realised that the only way forward for me was going to be to start working! My entrepreneurial flair definitely comes from my father who has always started and run his own businesses.
Tell me how the idea for Selective Media came about?
I was involved with an online adnetwork before founding Selective Media and I identified an opportunity to move away from the behavioural targeting route yet deliver the same level of targeting by using location based advertising. Jamie and I then created the concept of Selective over a dinner one night in London! 24 hours later we had a company formed and were approaching agencies and Wi-Fi providers.
What were you doing before you started the company?
Working with the most fantastic group of people to build what became one of the leading online adnetworks in the UK and Australia.
What is Selective Media and what problem are you trying to solve with it?
Selective Media is a location based media specialist. We use users location to determine their habits/trends and deliver relevant content via Wi-Fi networks.
Talk me through the first few months of running the business? What would you say was the hardest part of starting the business?
The hardest part of starting Selective was breaking into the ad agencies at the start of the worst recession on record. Luckily though, as we had a unique product it did not take us long to gain a solid reputation within all the major agency groups.
How were you able to fund the business?
Jamie and I funded the business personally.
Would you say the initial idea for the company, or that your business model has changed since starting the business?
Unlike most new companies, we are doing exactly what we set out to do. Admittedly though we have evolved significantly since 2008 and introduced new technology to better the performance of our campaigns.
Is the business profitable?
What has been some of the most valuable things that you’ve learnt so far on your journey as an entrepreneur?
Building a business through a recession has been a steep learning curve but a great one at the same time.
What’s been your most memorable moment so far on your entrepreneurial journey?
There have been many and I’m not sure if one moment sticks out in particular. All startups are a memorable journey and you never stop learning!
What pieces of advices could you give to aspiring entrepreneurs out there?
There are many people out there who have good ideas/concepts. The winners in life are those who can create the ideas and execute. Running your own business is a stressful ordeal but in terms of personal satisfaction…. Nothing compares to it!
What can we be expecting from you and Selective Media in 2012?
There are big developments with Selective in 2012…. One of which will be announced later this month regarding a large contract win. We are also releasing new technology across a number of the leading Wi-Fi providers here in the UK and North America.