Editor’s note: As part of WRALTechWire’s new Insider interview series, we will be asking entrepeneurs a series of questions designed to help our readers learn more about the people building successful businesses. Today’s Q&A is with Justin Miller, founder of deja mi and WedPics in Raleigh. What does he like to read? What drove him to be an entrepreneur? What’s the best thing about the Triangle as a place to launch a company? What’s the worst?
GETTING TO KNOW JUSTIN MILLER
- Age: 33
- Date, place of birth: 10.28.80 Greensboro NC
- Education: Bachelor in Graphic Design
- Family: 8-year-old Stella (boxer/bulldog) and 10-year-old Tank (Boston Terrier)
The startup facts:
- Company Name: deja mi INC
- Located: Raleigh, NC
- When founded: Dec 2010
- How many employees: 13
What were you doing immediately before this company? Art Director at IBM
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur? Because I became complacent in my previous job and while it was an amazing gig it wasn’t enough for me – ultimately I want to be able to control my destination during my short time here and build the products that occupy my brain space 🙂
Are entrepreneurs born or taught? Born. You can’t teach someone to take that leap.
How many ideas did you explore before settling on your current company? Dozens and dozens
Last terrible idea you had before starting this company? Seeing how much fried food I could down at the NC State Fair
What you do when you’re not working? That question must be a joke. I’m an entrepreneur. My brain never shuts off.
What was the last book you read? The Big Idea
What was the best book you read? Honestly, The Big Idea – while the book is simply a collaboration of stories of entrepreneurs there were some really valid statements that I could directly apply to my life at the time and why I ultimately made the jump from a stable corporate job into the unknown land of entrepreneurship.
What do you read daily? My never ending email 🙂
What’s the most important thing for entrepreneurs to know? NEVER fall so in love with your idea that you won’t let it fail. Fail fast. Move on. Also, know that every idea has most likely been thought of already and is probably in the works… it’s no longer a matter of thinking of something first. It’s executing better and faster. The second mouse gets the cheese (thank you Iron Man 3).
What’s the most important thing for prospective entrepreneurs to know? Same as above.
What is the worst thing about being an entrepreneur? Never turning your brain off and never being off the radar.
What is the biggest challenge facing entrepreneurs today? How you can execute an idea better and faster than anyone else – and how to stand out in a sea of ideas/apps/etc.
What’s the best thing about the Triangle as place to start and grow a business? Quality of talent, life, and the cost of business operations.
On the other hand, what’s the worst thing about the Triangle as place to start and grow a business? Funding and larger scale networking.