Nov 10, 2020
We have the great pleasure of speaking to Paul Jarvis today! Paul has been an entrepreneur for the last twenty years. He is the Cofounder of Fathom Analytics, a company that supports the privacy of digital data, he hosts three podcasts, and he has also written a book called Company of One.
Paul is an advocate for thinking first about whether growth makes sense before you decide to grow your business. He is joining us today to talk about his book and his business. He will also discuss how and why to question growth, what “enough” is and how to define it, and why every business is a lifestyle business. We have an amazing conversation today, and we know you’re going to love it!
Paul Jarvis’s Bio
Paul Jarvis is a writer and designer who has had his own company of one for the last two decades. His latest book, Company of One, explores why bigger is not always better in business.
He has worked with professional athletes like Steve Nash and Shaquille O’Neal, corporate giants like Microsoft and Mercedes Benz, and entrepreneurs with online empires like Danielle LaPorte and Marie Forleo.
Currently, he teaches online courses, hosts several podcasts, and develops small but mighty software solutions. Paul’s ideas about growth have been featured in Wired, Fast Company, USA Today, Mailchimp, and more.
How and why to question growth
Sometimes, growth makes sense. It is not always beneficial, however. It is only worth considering if it makes sense for you, as the owner or founder of the company, the employees, the customers, and the long-term success of everybody involved.
Edward Abbey: “Growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of a cancer cell.”
Growth is necessary at the beginning
Paul explains that you need growth at the beginning of a new business. Otherwise, it’s not a business. It is just an idea that you have.
Growth might not make sense
There is a point in a business where growing it might not make sense. For example, Paul does not want to promote himself out of a job that he enjoys and into managing people, which he is not good at doing.
Paul is always looking for a way to be the most efficient on the smallest scale possible. So, he looks for ways to increase revenue without increasing expenses or personnel.
Paul Jarvis’s philosophy on what is enough
There is no one answer to how much is enough because everyone is different. Enough comes down to figuring out if growth makes sense for everyone involved in the business and if more will be better because more is not always the best long-term solution to a problem.
Every business is a lifestyle business
Paul thinks that every business is a lifestyle business because, with every single type of business, you get the kind life that comes with it. Paul prefers to have the kind of business that affords him the ability to have a life outside of his work.
Paul Jarvis’s typical work week
Every day is different for Paul Jarvis. He typically works for about four hours a day, six days a week, because that is how he feels he is most productive. He prefers to think about the things he wants to accomplish each day rather than having a structured plan.
Paul delegates all his taxes and legal work because although he is good at making money, he is not good at telling the government how much he needs to give them.
He has a privacy officer based in Norway and some lawyers based in Europe that he outsources to, specifically for compliance with current and upcoming privacy laws.
How Fathom Analytics was born
About three years ago, Paul got frustrated with Google Analytics, so he sat down and designed what he thought analytics should look like. He put his design up on Twitter, and it caught on like wildfire. People started asking him to build what he had designed, so he built it and made it open-source (free) in the beginning, and a million people downloaded it quickly. Not everyone was able to use it, however, so he decided to make it user friendly, charge for it, and manage and host it himself. Then people, from governments to premier league football teams, started using his software!
Fathom Analytics focuses on privacy and simplicity.
The Social Dilemma
Big tech companies have a lot of personal information about everyone without having permission to take that information, and they don’t give anyone anything in return.
That data can get used to influence voting and people’s beliefs, so if it gets targeted to people on social media, it could be dangerous to democracy.
Anything that happens on the internet could be made public. Paul suggests that anyone who uses the internet should be thinking about how they can protect themselves, their data, and the personal information that they put out on the internet.
Paul Jarvis and his thoughts on privacy laws
Paul Jarvis is an advocate for smart privacy laws. Now, corporations have more power than governments, so he feels that the government needs to take back their power and make stronger privacy laws. There also needs to be a lot more consumer awareness, fact-checking, and dire consequences for the misuse of people’s data.
Fathom Analytics’s business model
Fathom Analytics’s business model is selling people software. It is not about selling data about the people using their software.
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