Andrew Johnson makes us relax at Startup Grind
Despite the summer sun shining Startup Grind managed to lure us indoors for its fireside chat on the 21st of June. This time it was mindfulness and behavioural change coach Andrew Johnson who took centre stage. His success story highlights why digitizing your business and adapting to new technological developments is important for all businesses.
Andrew is not new to adapting to new information and technological developments. He laughs and tells us of his early short-lived careers, from banking to renting sunbeds, and why they did not work out. Finally, in 1995 he finally found his calling as he began to study at The London College of Clinical Hypnosis.
Since then he has helped people cope with stress, break bad habits, and live better, more fulfilling lives. He was quick to take advantage of the opportunity that the AppStore entailed, and it really paid off. Today his apps have been downloaded over 11,5 million times and have opened new doors for him.
The fireside chat
Andrew tells us how his first foray into combining technology and business was selling beanie babies online. By being attentive and curious he found a specialized message board, which resulted in a profitable international business while the craze lasted.
This positive experience led him to take his therapy from one-on-one sessions to the recorded format. At first cassettes were replaced by CDs, which in turn eventually were replaced by mp3s. Andrew had already been recording a range of audio files by the time the AppStore was launched and he knew an opportunity when he saw one.
Finding someone with the software development skills required proved a hassle, but in the end it was his CDs that came to the rescue. Michael Sneider, a client who had been using his CD for years, got in touch out of the blue. He offered his development expertise as he believed in the content that Andrew produced and thought that it would do well as an app. “I waited about 10 or 20 seconds, and then I replied,” he laughs.
The pair still work together, a decade later. While Michael handles the coding and licencing, Andrew focuses on producing content and handling the social media. Neither of them does any marketing. 10 years’ worth of content in the AppStore has ensured that the product speaks for itself and word of mouth recommendations has provided them with all the marketing that they need.
Andrew still does some relaxation classes and corporate work with his therapy. However, digitizing the business has allowed him to reach a far greater audience than a traditional approach would have allowed.
What elements of your success can people learn from?
Early bird gets the worm
“Getting in early is huge,” Andrew tells us. If he had done the same thing now, ten years down the line, he is certain that it wouldn’t do as well as it has. These days there are millions of apps in the AppStore, but when they started there were 26 000.
Adaptation to the market is important
You need to keep your eyes and ears open and see which way the wind blows. If technology is changing you have to change with it.
How you speak
Does the accent help? With an international spanning business that relies on your voice, your accent is going to play a part in your success. As far as Andrew is concerned he thinks that for some it does, and for some it does not. For most people a south side of Glasgow accent is probably a bonus.
Missed the event?
About Startup Grind
Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. With monthly events all over the world, it aims to feature fireside chats with successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors. They share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Their values of; making friends, not contacts; giving, not taking; and helping others before helping yourself, speak to us as an organisation. We are pleased to be part of the Startup Grind community.
The next Startup Grind event
Startup Grind Edinburgh is going to take the summer off to relax and recharge. The next event in Edinburgh will take place September 27th 2018, this time featuring Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and Sydney Chasin. The duo have dedicated themselves to improve our diets and our perception of food. Tickets to the event as well as more information is available via Startup Grind Edinburgh’s website.
September is still far away, but never fear. If you want more Startup Grind content to keep you company during the summer you can always revisit our previous articles.