FanPack is a subscription site that allows you to receive unique gift from your favorite entertainers, while supporting charitable causes around the world.
Today we meet former Pro Golfer David Horne and now founder of FanPack, a subscription site that allows you to receive unique gift packs from your favorite entertainers, while supporting charitable causes around the world.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is FanPack all about?
FanPack is a subscription site that sends fans unique gift packages from their favorite artists, athletes and entertainers while supporting charitable causes. It’s like a premium fan club where fans get a special peek into the lives and tastes of their favorite icons. Ultimately FanPack is about the fan life and the loyalty and community that comes with it. Also, we wanted to create a platform that makes it easy for influencers to connect with their fans in a personal way and support charities and causes they’re fans of.
The subscription runs like a magazine and packages are sent out quarterly. Part of the intrigue is that the fans don’t know what will be in their packages. They just know it’s tangible and hand-picked and from their contributor. It’s fun for the contributors to share some of their favorite things with their fans.
Everybody wins. Fans get cool stuff, contributors interact with their fans and charities benefit on every subscription.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
After college I played professional golf for a few years, well, until I ran out of sponsorships and talent. I can’t remember which came first; probably ran out of talent first? Once my dreams of wearing Green Jackets and competing in Ryder Cups had died, I turned to marketing. After being in-house for several companies, I went out on my own in 2008. For the last couple of years I’ve been a principal in a modern marketing firm called Magnetic Ideas.
In 2010, I was grabbing a meal with my best friend from college. We started reminiscing about our college days and how we were (still) huge fans of certain brands, bands, athletes and cultural icons. I thought wouldn’t it be cool if a site existed that connected fans with their favorite celebrities and icons? Of course, timing was bad since my wife and I were expecting our first child, so I put it on the shelf.
Last fall I brought the idea back up with a few friends. They all encouraged me to build it. Around Thanksgiving of last year, I sketched out the initial model, gathered some friends and went to work. In March 2014, we launched.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
We’re working on a bunch of things right now. We’re consistently adding new contributors and making improvements to the website. The major project we’re working on right now is fulfilling our first shipments. We work with each contributor to select the items for their FanPack issues. It’s been fun seeing how much thought the contributors put into their packages to make sure it’ll be stuff their fans love.
The other big thing we’re working on is themed FanPacks for fans of certain sports, lifestyles, cities, etc. For example, if you’re a fan of golf, there will be a FanPack that’s all about the golfing lifestyle. For these, we’ll have guest curators who will help us put these together.
Outside of these, we’re just improving the product for our customers and making it more sharable.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
We’re just getting started, so right now our focus is on learning and racking up little wins and successes. Down the road we’d like to see FanPack making a huge contribution to causes doing good, while creating the best platform for fans and their favorite artists, athletes and entertainers to interact.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
1. Getting bogged down in the details. You can waste a lot of time focusing on things that don’t matter. And a lot of decisions are neither good nor bad, they’re just decisions. Once you make a call, it’s your actions that will determine if it was good or bad.
2. Not launching sooner.As soon as your product or application is to a point where it does what it’s supposed to do, and there’s nothing that will deter customers from getting on board, launch. The launch is the beginning. Get to the start as soon as you can (without compromising the core itch you’re scratching).
3. Taking too much advice. I’m a huge believer in mentors and getting feedback from people you respect. However, there is a point where advice can give you diminishing returns. Trust your gut. You can fix it later if you’re wrong.
Q: Please share some advice for new entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
Develop long-term thinking. Observe the masses and do the opposite. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail. Take action, get a result, revise. Repeat until you get the results you want. Also, thought process is key, so protect your brain and never stop learning. Surround yourself with people who are encouraging and who are in life where you want to be.
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
Can I give you two things?
- “Integrity and generosity wins.” – Craig Horne, My dad. [Tweet Quote]
- “You can only control two things: your actions and your attitude.”- Robert Linville, My college golf coach [Tweet Quote]
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
We use Basecamp to manage our internal projects and to do’s. Part of our team is remote, so we use Google Hangouts, and Uberconference for stand ups and team communication. Externally, we’re starting to use some optimization tools like Mixpanel and Optimizely to help us make data informed decisions for improving conversions and experience.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
Success has to be holistic. You can’t be successful in business and lose your family and relationships. For me, success is living life fulfilling the purpose you were called to, and making decisions based on their merit, not their price tag.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
Limiting it to three is hard, but I’ll try.
(1) – “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: Relationships matter – People buy from people they know and like. It’s old, but still the best book on people skills out there.
(3) – Seth Godin’s books – Pick up any and all of them. Seth is a consummate entrepreneur and marketer. Maybe start with “Permission Marketing”.
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
Always be on the lookout for “dare to be great” opportunities. – Lloyd Dobler from the movie, “Say Anything”. [Tweet Quote]
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?