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Ariel McNichol
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2 followers
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6 companies followed
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Ariel McNichol

A software designer since 1994, I founded SmartSpark.me. I began as a designer for companies like Apple, Scientific Learning, Lucas Arts before co-founding multiple start-ups such as mego.com and lolliswap.com

Website: http://www.arielmcnichol.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/arielm/
Twitter: htttp://twitter.com/ari
Others: www.smartspark.me
Los Angeles, CA
Member since August 13, 2015
Quote
A Jedi-believing multitasking workaholic. A designer. A do'er. A technophile entrepreneur who makes it happen. Quote_down
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I am a(n):

Entrepreneur

Companies I've founded or co-founded:
Achievements (products built, personal awards won):

Ariel McNichol
I founded & built mEgo.com, an avatar-based portable profile used by millions before Facebook's dominance & market crash of '08. We raised over $5mil, brought-on adidas & the NBA.
I ran creative for PCCW Interactive based out of London, UK, where I was able to build a cross-platform portal that brought content and applications into diverse markets on 4 continents.
I single-handedly create, test and iterate prototypes, for clients like AOL, Disney (THQ wireless), and multiple start-ups.

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to change the world.

My favorite startups:

http://www.shinetext.com/, headspace.com,

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

The relentless drive to get a product to a level of mass success is both incredibly invigorating and frustrating. When I'm working on a concept that I believe will be widely successful and helpful, I can work all the time and not run out of energy -seeing each small milestone come to pass feels rewarding. Yet, at the same time, this drive can cause great anguish when development gets delayed, contracts are signed too slowly, etc.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

We know we have to make sure we keep bringing in customers at multiple stages to make sure we're answering a market problem - but entrepreneurs must realize that answering a market need is not enough. You have to make a great user-experience....because every market need eventually spawns new companies, so your product must be easier, faster, funner, more addicting, more beautiful product and/or better marketed in order to thrive.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

First, as a 'nice woman,' I've learned that even if it feel funny, I must exude extreme confidence. It has taken me years and multiple real-world examples to realize that my ideas are usually 'right' and better than other people's and that I owe it to products I'm working on to make sure it's known. I have worked for wildly successful people who got to their status not from talent or wit, but because they were so incredibly confident that people felt at ease to follow them.

Second, seemingly crazy ideas are the best - and they'll take the longest to get off the ground. When your idea is genuinely new you may not get a lot of early support, but you will be more determined than with a mere 'improvement' product to get it out there and prove that it's needed and wanted.

Third, it takes 3x as long to get things done as you think they will. I hate to write this because I deeply wish it were not true.

Full bio

I began as a designer creating product for comanies like Apple, Scientific Learning and Disney. Then I took my skills as a hand-on developer/designer to create mEgo.com, an avatar-based portable profile loved by millions of people around the world. mEgo raised over $5mil, brought in sponsors like adidas, NBA, etc.  Then, I co-founded multiple other tech companies, helped startups fix their UX issues, all while studying behavioral psychology...which led me to create SmartSpark.me.