John Boxall designed and built Mobify’s core platform, which brands such as Starbucks and Lululemon have used to optimize their websites for mobile communications. The device-friendly platform has enabled more than $150 million in e-commerce revenues to date. A cheerleader for Vancouver’s startup scene, Boxall mentors budding technologists at SFU and BCIT, and has helped organize several successful web design and web performance meet-up groups.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs looking to start a business with a co-founder?
Running a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint, and when you’re choosing your co-founders you have to find someone who you’re willing to go the distance with. The early days are going to be hard; the later days are going to be hard too, but you don’t want anything adding to those challenges. You want to make sure that everybody is really involved in what they’re doing and clear as to what your goals are as a company, whether you’re aligned around an exit or looking to build a lasting a business. When those crucial decision times come, you can refer back to that conversation.
How do you keep your relationship with your co-founder stable and productive?
It really hasn’t been that much of a challenge for us: Igor [Faletski] and myself had been friends for about five years by the time we decided to start the company, and more or less we’ve managed to remain friends since. One part of that is providing feedback to each other, letting each other know when there are areas for opportunity, when we’re not addressing the most pressing challenges head on.
You shifted your company’s focus after your first big sale, to TransLink. How did you come to make that decision?
We were working with TransLink so that they could put links to mobile optimized websites inside those messages, and when we were doing that we found that really there was a bigger opportunity around building out those mobile websites. –Jacob Parry
Meet John Boxall at our 30 Under 30 event on April 30, 2014. Get your tickets here.
BCBusiness 30 Under 30
Our 30 Under 30 celebrates B.C.'s young guns who excel in their respective industries, give back to their community and planet and who will lead business in this province for years to come. Each year, winners of our 30 Under 30 will be featured in the April issue of BCBusiness and on BCBusiness.ca, with one exceptionally amazing young world-changer gracing that issue's cover.
Chief Technology Officer
Company: Mobify Research and Development Inc.
“Running a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint, and when you’re choosing your co-founders you have to find someone who you’re willing to go the distance with.”