John Fearon is a lifelong serial entrepreneur. His 35 years have taken him from selling sweets as a child, to global digital marketing, to founding Dropmysite.com. This website, email and database backup startup is one of the fastest growing cloud companies today. His earlier professional years were spent in internet marketing and e-commerce, providing consulting and services in the travel and entertainment sectors, including for Hilton Hotels UK, HSBC Offshore Oman and Asiarooms.com Thailand.
John Fearon is also involved in a growing number of exciting startups (10 and counting) under his holding company Gilcrux Holdings. Spread across many industries, the only similarities between these startups are that they are game changing and go after grand ideas.
John is interested in supporting passionate entrepreneurs in their quest to improve the world. He aims to find interesting ways to disrupt established fields and do it bigger, faster and better and he talks to the Asian Entrepreneur in this week’s interview about his insights over enterprise development.
How would you define Dropmysite?
Dropmysite is a company that provides secure and elegant way to backup your emails like Dropmyemail, website and databases like Dropmysite and mobile content like Dropmymobile.
Where did the idea for Dropmysite come from?
I started Dropmysite Pte Ltd in September 2011 with the aim to backup the Intenet. Dropmysite Pte Ltd is my 2nd digital/cloud start-up in two years, his first was EatAds, an outdoor advertising platform.
The inspiration for the backup business arose from the aftermath of a business disaster. At EatAds, an unexpected server crash wiped out vital data from the website. This detrimental situation put me in an awkward position of having to face the music from unhappy clients, where many walked away.
However, I turned this adversity into an opportunity. I realized that server crashes are common occurrences and yet there were no adequate preventive measures or solutions. Seeing the potential market for this, my team created an easy website backup service, Dropmysite. Webmasters everywhere now have an unprecedented tool to backup websites and databases to prevent data loss.
When things started to take off for Dropmysite, I received inspiration to expand on the backup business. Realizing the immensity of the email market, my team created a straightforward email backup service, Dropmyemail. Now all across the world, users of email have a simple and elegant email backup solution in the cloud.
Tell us about business management post startup?
After the initial burst we have settled into finding a long term viable business model. Our focus has been on B2B and reseller relationships. We have also built really good products and an excellent team.
So what was challenging starting up?
When you start out I found that a bit of naivety is a good thing. If you knew how hard this really was you probably would not want to start. In terms of overcoming the challenges the best way to do this is ask for advice and follow a routine.
What kind of role did market reaction play in the beginning?
Early adopters give you feedback and ideas. You also make mistakes and need to be humble about things. I think you need to have a clear vision for the long term goal and be flexible in how you get there.
What is your strategy against competition?
There is always competition but I find that your best solution is to delight your customers, focus on your strengths and don’t spend to much time worrying about things that you cannot control.
Could you share with us some insights about this industry?
In terms of the industry I would say that there are huge opportunities to service the Asian markets which in many respects are less developed than the US and European markets. Language and marketing support in Asia can make all the difference.
Do you think you lead the industry and do you think there are specific things that need to be done to be relevant here?
We are currently a leader in our industry in terms of creating a new way to service our customers as well as providing enough innovation to remain ahead of the more mature competitors so we don’t have the problem of staying relevant at the moment.
Is there anything specific that you attribute to the success of Dropmysite’s development?
I think being slightly naive is a good thing and has allowed us to push the boundaries. If we did not have that element we probably would never have gotten out of the starting blocks and as a result I am happy with the way things happened.
What are your thoughts on startups in Asia?
Startups in Asia struggle to push the truly innovative ideas due to lack of funding for blue sky projects. I think that the time will come in the future that successful Internet entrepreneurs in Asia will allow this to change and a larger ecosystem will develop. I would like to be part of this process in the future.
What is your thoughts on choosing a career?
You spend roughly a third of your life working, if you are not happy about going to work reconsider your career.
Why did you decide to take the path of an entrepreneur as a career path?
I realized that this was the only way I could truly achieve my dreams.
Any words of advice for entrepreneurs out there?
Its never as good or as bad as you think it is. Getting people around you that share your goals, compliment strengths and support you in your weaknesses. Don’t forget to have fun.
Connect with John Fearon and Dropmysite today: