Dave Lukas Chats with Justin Hartzman
143: The Making of a Serial Entrepreneur with Justin Hartzman
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Justin Hartzman. Justin’s storied history as a entrepreneur is well known. He is the founder of WeSellYourSite.com, the first online broker for e-commerce websites. He created the first digital skin company for myspace that allowed people to customize their pages. Before all of that, he and one his friends and now longtime business partners created a humor website called RudeJoke.com as teenagers that pulled in $15-20k per month.
Justin is now the CEO of Needls, the first ever Roboagency, a full automated platform that creates, targets, and optimizes digital ads on both Facebook and Instagram.
Justin’s done more in business than most people would ever dream of, so I had to have him on to discuss some of his legendary exploits and to get his best wisdom and success secrets to help you in your life and business…
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Justin comes from a family of entrepreneurs. At 8 years old, he started working at one of his families retail businesses. He really enjoyed the thrill of making a sale and standing out. In high school, the internet came about and he started to get into it. The possibilities were endless. He first got started online in gaming and then started RudeJoke.com with a few buddies. They were featured in magazines like Maxim and others and were coined the “entertainment site of the year.” And he was only 13-14 years old!
Within a few weeks, they started getting millions of users per day. This started them looking at all the unique ways they could market. They even paid a guy at Yahoo! $75/mo to list them at #1 in their categories. He started making 10’s of thousands of dollars.
He then went off to college and when he came out, he realized that his family business of real estate and development wasn’t for him, so he got back online. He knew the founder of MySpace, but the guy didn’t like him and disallowed him from being on the site. Justin kept asking and pestering him until he was allowed back on. When he went to MySpace, he saw pages that had no content, so they had the idea to become the guys to create the content for pages and started the business. They found a hack with Yahoo! That paid them $10+ a click. Within 3 weeks, they were getting a million users a day. 3 months later, Justin sold the business. They then took that money and bought their competitors who weren’t using their Yahoo!, but using Google and only getting about a $1 a click. They put their Yahoo! strategy on it for 9 mos, made their money back plus more and then sold that business.
In selling 2 businesses in 9 mos, they saw a gap in the market to sell internet businesses. They then decided to become the first internet broker. They created www.WeSellYourSite.com which became the #1 brokerage site for boutique deals. They then sold that business.
Now, they have started Needls to help make marketing on Facebook and Instagram for efficient and profitable.
After all that you’ve done, what has surprised you most about entrepreneurship and what have you learned from it?
Any low points?
How important is timing and how do you look at a business from a timing standing to know when to jump in?
At the 22 min mark, Justin takes us through journey of Needls and how they went from $0-$2 million in your first year…
What should we know about the current state of Facebook and Instagram advertising?
Does Facebook and Instagram work well for certain types of business? What type of businesses work well in this environment?
Talk to us about being the Accelerator with Needls. What are some of the things you learned there that can help entrepreneurs?
Secrets to creating solid, long-lasting business partners?
What lessons have you learned about exiting a business?
Where do you see the most opportunity for entrepreneurs in the next 3-5 years?
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