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John Kiffmeyer
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John Kiffmeyer

Software Engineer. Computer graphics and multitouch wizard. Dual BS in CS/CompE from The U of K. Former overachiever at Lexmark.

Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Member since November 24, 2010
Quote
I love helping people. One of the ways I can do this is find hard problems and solve them. In an age where skillful application and invention of tech can have such great impact on daily life, I see it as my mission to do just that. Quote_down
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I am a(n):

Entrepreneur

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I want to invent something cool.

My favorite startups:

Twilio, SimpleGeo, BankSimple, Mint, Turntable, Spotify

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

It's an emotional roller coaster, and I have no idea where I'll be six months out, but that's half the fun!

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?

Of the startups I've been close to (not necessarily been in) it's been pivoting too soon/too much. Moving fast and honing in on PMF is good, but not being dedicated enough to one idea to see it through to the point of judging it as "let's do this," or, "let's pivot" means you end up jumping from crappy idea to crappy idea, never getting anything of substance done.

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

1) It's hard.
2) It requires me, as an engineer, to approach problems differently. Optimizing a solution to a problem is slow and labor-intensive, but it's what most engineers do in industry. Tweaking the problem you're solving, however, is easy but can yield great gains as far as how close you come to a fit with a market.
3) Co-founders have to be friends first. By that, I mean, you all care about each other more than you do about the company. I've had the pleasure of this being the case, but I've seen the reverse and it's not the way to go.

Full bio

Software Engineer. Computer graphics and multitouch wizard. Dual BS in CS/CompE from The U of K. Former overachiever at Lexmark.