Rich Gorman is a local tech geek that has a great philosophy that will change the way companies approach direct response marketing. Gorman is best known for creating niche services that are hyper-focused on fast growing markets. He believes in building successful businesses from the ground up and hiring rockstar CEOs to run them. Rich Gorman knows direct response marketing.
His new mission is to share his direct marketing secrets, and to convert your prospects into customers. He’s helped so many companies with this approach, and it’s made him an expert in his field. I was able to sit down and ask him a few questions about himself, his love for Philadelphia, and the difficulties and successes of starting a tech company here.
Jo : Why have you chosen to start your tech companies in Philadelphia?
Rich Gorman : For starters, Philadelphia is a hub of untapped talent. There’s a shortage of good tech companies in the area and a plethora of great people. You can also get a lot of bang for your buck in Philadelphia. It’s considerably less expensive to start a company in Philly vs. NYC/San Fran. i.e. Rent, salaries, vendors, shopping, and entertainment are a fraction of what you would pay in more common tech start up areas.
Jo : What makes Philly a great place to have a company?
Rich Gorman : Philadelphia is a great city that’s rich with history. There are a lot of great restaurants, shopping, and an amazing nightlife. That’s a winning combo for attracting young, smart tech people. In Philadelphia, there’s a TON of talented people that are competing for a great career. In places like Silicon Valley, it’s the exact opposite; it’s cut throat in competing for talent. That’s why Silicon Valley startups are forced to take outside capital. In Philly it’s easy to bootstrap a company with no outside capital, preserving your shares early in the game.
Jo : What is the most difficult part about operating a tech company outside Silicon Valley?
Rich Gorman : There are 2 difficult parts of operating a tech company outside of the major tech hubs:
i. The learning curve of the city, especially Philadelphia. Philadelphia needs to get rid of the city wage tax for companies in the technology sector & needs to offer aggressive subsidy programs if it ever expects to attract the tech giants. I know of several huge tech companies that opted not to come to Philly because of the city wage tax. Ouch! Whomever gets rid of the city wage tax in Philadelphia is going to become a THE MOST POPULAR person ever in the Philly business world, and likely gain major advantages in future political elections.
ii. The business cultural differences. A lot of people in Philly are unfamiliar with the big risk/big reward culture of startups. But that’s pretty easy to overcome.
Jo : Do you believe that entrepreneurs can be successful in any city? Does the city make a big difference in running a scalable business?
Rich Gorman : Absolutely! Philadelphia is an amazing city that is heading in the right direction for startups. Once the city wage tax is eliminated the floodgates will open up!
I second that emotion, Rich! The city wage tax along with the film tax credit cap is hindering a lot of progress in the city of Philadelphia. Hopefully things will change for us in the future. What do you think? For more information on Rich Gorman we encourage you to check out his G+ page. He’s got some great advice for anyone looking to improve their direct marketing approach.