Exclusive Interview – Jimmy Winter

Posted on 11. Jul, 2007 by in Business Advice

Who is Jimmy Winter?

Jimmy Winter, Founder and CEO of Music Arsenal, is a young entrepreneur with 9 years experience in both the music industry and web application development.

In 1999, while still attending high school, Fastmusic, a New York City based on-line music retailer and record label hired him as a web application developer. Shortly after Jimmy founded a record label management program which grew to become what Music Arsenal is today. In Omaha, Jimmy was cofounder of SomedayNever Productions, a concert promotions agency, which has brought many top selling independent acts for live performances to his hometown. Jimmy loves music and seeing independent artists take what they love and turn it into a full time job.

Today Jimmy has kindly agreed to be interviewed by resident entrepreneur Dean Hunt.

1 – Jimmy, What inspired you to create MusicArsenal.com?

After working with a few record labels I realized there was a need for an application like Music Arsenal. A lot of labels were using outdated systems of data management and it was hard for employees to communicate with one another. I spoke with many labels on their requirements and ideas and overtime the application has grown and developed into what it is now.

2 – What were the main challenges you faced in getting MusicArsenal.com off the ground?

Gaining credibility was the toughest thing I think. Its wasn’t easy speaking to labels, asking them to move their entire infrastructure into an online interface when no one had done it before. I also began development in mid-2000 a time where there were few web based business management applications so not only was it new to the music industry but it was new for everyone.

3 – What single factor would you say helped you the most in getting MusicArsenal.com where it is today?

Constantly speaking with labels and artists and seeing what kind of features they would like to see added into the application. Nothing is better in application development then talking to the actual users about what they want.

4 – Did you want to be an entrepreneur when you were a child?

Yeah, I believe so and I think my parents could attest to that. I have two particular “business ideas” from when I was younger which I’m particularly proud of. In 7th grade I sold gum to my fellow students. My parents would take me to Sam’s Club, I’d buy gum in bulk and the next day sell it for a quarter a pack. I did well and it was my first time learning about competition when other kids realized it was a good idea and began their own gum selling businesses.

The other business was in 11th grade. I went to Gretna High School and actually enjoyed it quite a bit but I found a way to capitalize on teen angst and living in a small town. I had 250 vinyl stickers printed that said, “Gretna Sucks”. I asked kids to put in an order for how many stickers they wanted and prepay for them so by the time I placed the actual order I had already made a profit. When the stickers arrived I sold out in the same day.

5 – If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started. What business related advice would you give yourself?

Try to keep a standard schedule. It took awhile to get into this, working all hours of the day with no real set hours. The schedule will help you feel more organized and get more things consistently done.

6 – Do you think that entrepreneurialism is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?

I think its in my blood but I also think its something that can be learned overtime. A large majority of my family owns their own various businesses so I think growing up and watching them be successful certainly had an impact on how I viewed going out on my own.

7 – Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on?

There are a few record labels that I admire for doing nearly all functions with a Do It Yourself attitude. I like seeing small companies with a we’ll do it no matter how big the challenge may be attitude.

8 – What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Don’t bug the same people every day or every other day when you want to talk to them. Give it some time because other people are busy too and if you keep doing it, it may end up turning them off.

9 – What is the best thing about being a successful young entrepreneur?

Getting to do something I love and am completely interested with WHILE getting paid for it.

10 – What are your plans for the future?

Of course keep running Music Arsenal but I have a few other ideas marinating and waiting for the right time (and for me to have the available time) to come out.

You can check out the awesome Music Arsenal at MusicArsenal.com

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