Kerry Morrison is the CEO of Endloop Mobile, a mobile app development shop in Toronto. He has worked for some of the biggest brands and some of the best agencies on this planet. He’s led teams building projects as large as $12 million dollars and in his best year led sales of more than $20 million dollars.
His passion is for technology and using it to make everything we do better, faster and easier.
We sat down to talk to him about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Why did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
Funny, I was just talking about this with someone. I don’t know if you decide to be an entrepreneur or you’re simply born this way, because who would ever choose to do this to themselves if they had a choice? I’d suggest that you are either wired for the entrepreneur life or you’re not and while anyone can be entrepreneurial, that is not the same thing as starting something from scratch.
I would say that I was always very entrepreneurial, not fitting well into regular work structures or behaving well as a cog in the machine, but for first part of my working life it never occurred to me that I could just start a business…now I can’t imagine any other kind of scenario.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company. Coles notes version of your journey to now.
I’ve had a fairly traditional career, most of my background has been working with digital agencies, media companies and consulting groups. I set out on my own 7 or so years ago, until my current role as ceo of a mobile development shop called Endloop, where we build applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and the mobile web. We work for a mix of major brands and startups, are about 15 people in size and are having a blast making great thing.
In the fall I founded another product company called Norm that is in the social profiling and analytics space and we couldn’t be happier about the direction that company is taking as well.
What are the 3 things you wish someone had told you when you started?
You will work harder than you ever thought possible, harder…and harder still.
Tell us about your first big win moment.
As someone who is hyper competitive, I’m always looking for wins. Early on it was getting to work on the best projects, as my career progressed it was winning newer, bigger accounts. These days I’ll take bringing aboard someone we’ve been wanting to work with, or a client coming to us with a challenge no one is sure is even solveable and we knock it out of the park.
Tell us about your biggest early failure and what you learned from it.
I was fired from my first agency job in Vancouver, a job I at the time couldn’t imagine ever not having, and I did not see the firing coming. Looking back they made the absolute right call, and I’ll never again assume that I’m not replaceable.
What is your proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
With our new company, Norm, someone who I respect very much told me awhile back that they were mildly frustrated with me for having this idea before they did. Nothing better than the respect of those you admire.
My favourite accomplishment to date though is the teaching, mentoring and leading of others and their successes. As of last year, members of my teams have gone on to generate more than $3.5 Billion dollars of revenue for their respective organizations.
What is the #1 thing you think young entrepreneurs don’t know about running a businesses finances?
Oh god. Where to start? I talk to so many people who have or want to start businesses and far too often they seem to have this misconception that money will simply appear, that if you build it they will come and that raising money once means they’ve won the war. Every entrepreneur should take a course, or read everything they can around basic money management and then every single day find ways to save, stay thrifty and minimize burn.
What is the worst advice you ever got?
Be quiet and behave.
What are 3 tools that you can’t run your business without?
My phone(s), how did we ever exist before superphones ( currently an iPhone 5 and a Moto X ). Basecamp keeps us sane in the office, the folks at Scalability keep our company running ( payroll / bookkeeping / billing / advice ) and Gmail with numerous addons ( Rapportive, Boomerang, Hangouts ) helps me manage the torrent of communication two business generate. The number one tool, Twitter, the single most transformative platform in the 20yrs I’ve been working.
What advice would you give a young entrepreneur who is just starting out?
Think long and hard before you take this leap, your health will suffer, your friends/family/loved ones will not understand most of what you do, you’ll forever be exhausted and say goodbye to evenings and weekends.
If that doesn’t scare you… Best. Job. Ever.