It must be nice to have no concern about competition. Even when you have a ton of it.
For young entrepreneurs competing in the web development space, there's nothing but competition, and yet there are thousands, or tens of thousands, of them out there banging away.
"For someone like me, competition was never a concern," says 26-year-old Logan Lenz, who founded his Coral Springs, Fla.-based firm, Endagon Enterprises, in 2006. "My competitive advantage is that I have been in the social media space since 2004, working with bands and artists leveraging MySpace to create greater levels of fan interaction. I thrive on my history and track record and am fortunate enough to continue to have a heavy influx of new clients coming in from that alone."
As for the thousands of competitors, who seem to grow like kudzu? "Over the years, I've watched the space close in on itself to the point where there is not much room for innovation left. I watch acquaintances start their own companies just because they understand Facebook. It doesn't make sense. It's the experienced companies like Endagon that have to get those rebounds in order to reignite the faith into today's small business owners on the web."
What's also interesting about young web-design entrepreneurs is that many take a portfolio approach to their business, branching out into adjacent opportunities to see what might work. Lenz's has another business, IcedTees.net, which sells custom t-shirts -- for $34 each; and Jiggy Piggy, which he describes as a boutique agency creating solutions for musicians. Endagon also consults with entrepreneurs to help them make money online and produces web and music events.
Endagon Enterprises isn't a big business: a staff of three, $150,000 in sales in 2010, a projected $200,000 in 2011. But Lenz says it's not about size and scale for him. He says the best decision he's made was not to take any outside investment. "I'd like to stay small and have it be my baby." And he plans to grow up with his baby, planning to be in his own business for 20 years or more.
Oh -- in case you were wondering about the name Endagon: It derives from "the end is gone." Lenz says, "I came up with it when I was designing the company around the idea of saving the music industry. While I'd like to think we've been somewhat successful in doing that, it's been tough to solely exist in the music industry over time. Before I knew it, the name stuck and the brand was taking off in other industries."
Endagon is member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (Y.E.C.), an invitation-only nonprofit organization comprised of promising young entrepreneurs. The Y.E.C. promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to youth unemployment and underemployment and provides its members with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of a business's development and growth. This is part of an occasional series reporting on some of its members.