Scott Schaible has played founder more than a couple times. After an early stint in the nation's capital working on high-profile political campaigns, he came to Colorado and started a public relations firm, followed by two pet projects. His latest venture, Like A Pro, connects professional athletes to their fans. We sat down to talk to Schaible, 52, about building businesses.
CB: The term 'serial entrepreneur' gets thrown around a lot nowadays. Do you see yourself that way and did you always set out to be a founder?
SS: People definitely describe me as this crazy inventor guy. It's not a churn and burn kind of thing, though. I've never started a business with the goal of selling it for this many dollars, this many months or years from now. It's typically been more driven by the question: Is there a product that solves this problem?
What led you to ask that question with Like A Pro?
My daughter Linden (pictured here) had an opportunity to meet Carli Llyod when the U.S. Women's National [soccer] Team was in Denver for a game in August 2012. It was that exact moment--Linden wanted to get the same cleats as Carli Lloyd ... she was 13 at the time.
For probably three months I kept going back to Google and seeing if there was already some source that was quick and streamlined to find the cleats, like what I'm building today, and I never found it.
Now, almost every single investor in our angel round, one of the first things they've asked is, 'How does this not already exist?'
Describe the platform.
I built a mock profile for Carli Lloyd: a simple head shot, bio, stats and then product stuff. Cleats. Shin guards. Click here to buy my jersey. Basic stuff. The next tab was lifestyle stuff. I didn't want this to ever just be about sporting goods.
So you thought the market was ripe for people to dig deeper about the athletes they admire and make purchases accordingly?
The thing about sports is, it's not about age. If you were a New England Patriots fan when you were in your 20s, you don't stop liking them now that you're in your 70s. I think sports are so compelling and so tribal.
What were the next steps?
I had two people in mind who I wanted to call. The first was Bill Sedgwick, who is a renowned digital marketing and SEO guy, an early MapQuest employee. He built their entire revenue program back in 1995, and his reaction was nothing short of, 'I love it and I want to be a part of it.' We met in 1994. He had launched one of the first cigar of the...