Jason Hope is a futurist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and healthcare technology investor. Jason got with us to answer some interview questions, detailing his keys to success and the passions that lead him there. His forward-looking perspective on business, technology, and the human condition provides context to an increasingly complex economy of technology. For his expert insight on investing and modern business mindset, read on.
Q: How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
A: Fittingly, after you get an undergraduate degree in finance and then an MBA-you’d better start something business-related. Marketing Smartphone technology inspired me because it benefited a large segment of people. This is how I got in on the ground floor of selling premium text message services.
Q: How do you make money?
A: Fortunately, I make money from my portfolio of technology companies. I started with Jawa as the foundation, acting as the parent company for additional partnerships.
Also, from my portfolio investments, which include companies that provide marketing services, search engine optimization, digital media solutions, computer and business information systems, and interactive software.
The future is technology. Technology connects and interconnects people, places and things. That’s the impetus behind the Jawa. You have to keep one eye on where technology is headed.
Q: How long did it take for you to become profitable?
A: I was profitable essentially right out of the gate and that encouraged me to build my portfolio by investing in others.
Q: When you started out, was there a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
A: No, there wasn’t a time when I thought that it wouldn’t work. No successful entrepreneur thinks that way and if they did, they wouldn’t become a success. I have always been interested in technology.
Q: How did you get your first customer?
A: Through a referral for some advertising and marketing work I performed for someone else.
Q: What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
A: Social media works if you work it. It’s one tried and true method of marketing that’s always available. I believe in using marketing strategies that keep people interconnected. It never fails as a method to generate new business. I use Twitter as my main marketing platform.
Q: What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
A: To take a step back and reevaluate the direction I want to go in next. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of writing for various tech-related companies as a guest blogger. The toughest decision that I’ve faced these past few months is learning to scale back a bit.
Q: What do you think it is that makes you successful?
A: I always have an eye on the future; not as in always looking ahead, but looking to the possibilities of where technology is headed in the future. I enjoy my philanthropic work, and this focus I think that makes me successful, even if something doesn’t work. I always move on to the next project.
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A: Essentially, philanthropy is a business unto itself, because it’s a serious pursuit for me. So, I would have to say my most satisfying moment was having the funding to give the $500,000 to SENS. That’s a half of a million dollars towards shaping the future of biotechnologies.
Because of that, they’ve come up with research essential to advancing the future direction of medicine and anti-aging techniques. Working with SENS and Dr. Aubrey de Grey has been my most satisfying moment to date.
Q: What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
A: When I say that I am excited about future technologies, this doesn’t mean the future as in fate. There’s a part of life I just live and let develop, that’s daily living. I’m most excited to see what happens next. I am passionate about technology and technology is always advancing, always evolving and ever-changing.
Q: What business books have inspired you?
A: Technology is life for me. It’s a part of who I am. I don’t really spend a lot of time reading offline. I do however read a number of scientific articles every week and if I feel something’s particularly interesting, I will share it on Twitter or Facebook.
Like, recently I came across a really great read entitled, “Higher intake of whole grains associated with lower risk of major chronic diseases and death.” My focus is on doing anything to accelerate human intelligence using technology.
Q: What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
A: For me, it wasn’t something that I purchased, but I sold my house after five years on the market. This mostly freed my resources up and I look forward to helping other people protect what’s important to them. Of course, using technology.
Q: What are you most passionate about with your philanthropic involvement?
A: Wow! That’s an easy one. I am most passionate about helping further research into anti-aging through preventive measures. I was impressed with the efforts of the SENS foundation from the beginning and I couldn’t wait to join them in making strides in that area.
There’s emphasis on conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses and Alzheimer’s. It goes beyond treatment, which only targets the symptoms. SENS research is actually advanced technology, aimed at preventing these diseases from developing in the first place.
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