Member Spotlight: BernieSezSeptember 5, 2014 11:01 AM
BernieSez is a way to cut down on the "transactional costs" of finding and dealing with lawyers to handle your traffic or criminal case. Users describe their case ONCE or just upload a picture, and the lawyers start the bidding! Users look at what the lawyers have to say and then compare the prices- all done on an iPhone, Droid, or the web. When the preferred price is offered, the user clicks to pay! Learn more about the BernieSez team below:
2. What is the biggest challenge to starting a business? Biggest challenge: the execution of an idea. An idea is worthless by itself. It's the execution of the idea that is valuable. And it's really hard to do right.
The biggest reward? Biggest reward: freedom. The freedom to be creative and experiment using your talents and ideas, as opposed to doing something that someone is telling you to do.
3. What do you enjoy most about what you do? I enjoy the creative side of the software business...the part where you start with a blank sheet, draft up what a screen could look like, what the flow would do, and then build the database schema that can make that happen.
4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Advice that I read about: "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." - Jim Valvano
5. Favorite movie quote? "We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams." - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
6. In what event would you win an Olympic gold medal? None. I'm not that dedicated and focused on any one thing. To me, that would be really really boring, repetitive, and monotonous. I'd rather stick needles under my toenails than do the same thing over and over and over for years and years just to improve a fraction of a percent.
7. What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year (personal or professional)? Professionally, I would like to see our BernieSez concept pick up steam around the US and become cash-flow positive. We are a ways from that currently.
8. Here at the HQ, one of our Core Values is to “Empower Others.” What do you do on a day-to-day basis to live out that value? What I love most about HQ is the eagerness for everyone here to exchange information and ideas freely, as opposed to hoarding an idea for oneself, as if its a scarce resource. I'm a big believer in empowering others through exchange of information and ideas. I think that Liz Tracy and the HQ gang have done a spectacular job in this regard, and I hope to help in any way that I may.
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1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? Plasticman stretch capability for sure (get my kid's kites down from the Charlie Brown tree with no tears!)
2. What is the biggest challenge to starting a business? The biggest reward? Man. Tuffy. There're so many. I'd say crossing that second desert, you know, after the app is built and after the adrenaline of novelty wears off and after you just hear crickets for a while. It's always slow and it always means agonizing reappraisals. It means thinking back to the beginning and comparing what you THOUGHT your idea would do to what the tangible product really does. A year or more later, is the world still the same? Is the market still the same? Did you bet the right way? The greatest reward has got to be when you see users actually USE what you've built and tell you that it really solved the problems you foresaw. That's satisfying.
3. What do you enjoy most about what you do? I practiced law for 20 years. It was satisfying but it was satisfying on a very finite one-to-one basis. Building our app, which is a scalable attorney traffic-ticket bidding marketplace, means helping folks on a very very broad scale. That is cool, and humbling.
4. If you could travel to any point in time, where would you go and why? I bet there are some pretty profound answers to this (hang out with some historical figure, Einstein whatever....) but I confess my guilty indulgence: So Cal in the early 70's. Drag racing. Surfing. The war. Banana bikes? It really seems like the time when our society "lost its virginity" so to speak. Arguably there were other such occasions but for me that place and time is a pretty significant crossroads.
5. What TV sitcom family would you be a part of? Man. One? Get Smart? Yeah. Love Mel Brooks and Buck Henry. Tossup with Gilligan. Gilligan was really an economic allegory. Not many folks get it.
6. Here at the HQ, one of our Core Values is to “Empower Others.” What do you do on a day-to-day basis to live out that value? You know, a lot of the world's economy is built on an often-times strained trade in information; folks who have access to select or unique information can sell their information/services to those who do not, and usually at a premium price (e.g., your auto mechanic or your HVAC repair guy, your doctor, your lawyer). I'm sorry to say I see this abused all too frequently. However, I have found that where there is a willingness to actually spend some time to explain to a client (and I believe this to be universal) a little of the theory BEHIND what it is that makes the information so valuable (like a mechanic explaining to a car owner how a fuel injection system works and why injectors need to be cleaned periodically, e.g.) the client then understands his transaction a bit better and feels like he can participate in the transaction in a more meaningful sense. In some cases this means "losing" a paying client, but in ALL cases it means empowering them to make a decision based on genuine knowledge and not a fear that results from the privation of that knowledge. Call it Kharma or "goodwill", this always results in net gain.