Today's Entrepreneur: John Ramey

David McGee · May 16, 2011 · Short URL:

No. 1 Mistake: Not accepting death

John RameyEntrepreneurs often choose the path of innovation, without realizing the kind of lifestyle that comes with it.
They will often live unstable lives. But as they courageously take risks, they'll make several mistakes which become valuable lessons for the rest of us.

They have their ups and downs. But at the end of the day, these creative daredevils are the ones who are changing the world.

Within our community you will find a number of talented innovators.

This year, we created new profiles for our Vator members to share their story. So if you are a first-time, serial, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.

Today's entrepreneur is John Ramey, founder and CEO of isocket, and self-described "disruptor" who likes to "throw stones at thrones." According to his VEQ (Vator's entrepreneur self-assessment test), he's a thought leader and is good at product management and sales management.

He's working on his third business, and loves the ride of being an entrepreneur, and the learning that comes with it. 

John is no newcomer to the entrepreneur scene.  His first Web product launched with the money from his 12th birthday.  His father pushed him to pitch a business plan before the "funding" was granted.  That venture was, and according to John, the site would be called a "foodie social network."

John's favorite thing about working at isocket is pursuing the vision he has for the ad industry.  At the beginning, ad industry folks balked. But after the major predictions and moves isocket made were vindicated in the market, they're now considered thought leaders in the giant space of online ads. Ramey says, "It makes everything else worth it, knowing you're on to something and are uniquely positioned to make it happen."

I am an:


Name companies you've founded or co-founded:

isocket, Maven Ventures, Lythargic,

Why are you an entrepreneur?

Self actualization. Jump into the deep end and see if you drown.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Not accepting their death. You will fail, royally and repeatedly. Get used to it, acknowledge it, account for it, move on. Like a soldier who accepts he's going to die in battle - it often frees them to be a better solider (and thus more likely to live)

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

Frustrating: the "system" is designed to encourage doing what everyone else is doing ("it subsidizes mediocrity") yet the whole point is to do something fundamentally different. So even within this land of innovation, you're still fighting an uphill battle.

Rewarding: for certain people, its the best way to live a full meaningful life. I believe it's a pure form of expression and challenge.

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

1. Be stubborn. Others will tell you no and you're wrong every day.

2. Have fun and only get involved with what you enjoy. Otherwise the roller coaster will kill you.

3. The people you bring in / depend on will make or break you. And most people are not up to par. Choose wisely.

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Today's Entrepreneur" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

isocket helps advertising sellers make their inventory easier to find, purchase and execute on our open, 0% commission platform. The process of buying and selling most advertisements, even digital forms like web banners, is still a very manual process. We make it suck less!


John Ramey

Joined Vator on