Here's John James of Acumen Brands at PandoDaily

June 17, 2014

In case you missed it, and we sure did, John James of Innovate Arkansas client and e-commerce giant Acumen Brands was the PandoDaily poster boy last week.

James was included as part of the Southland lineup, and he dished on how a little ol' startup in little ol' Arkansas could possibly raise close to $100 million, which Acumen did last year

(Yes, Acumen remains officially an IA client firm. But we're more than happy, and it perhaps makes more sense at this point, to refer to IA as an Acumen-affiliated organization...;))

A sample:

Acumen sells everything from nurses’ scrubs to worker’s boots through a number of verticals focused on serving specific customers — though they might not be who you think. As Acumen founder and chief executive John James said in an interview with Pando’s Sarah Lacy, the company’s second-largest market is Manhattan, trailing just behind Texas. James’ goal is to eventually expand these verticals to build a $1 billion e-commerce company… from Arkansas.

This means that Acumen can’t afford to be crippled by changes that other companies make to their own products, like Google often does with the algorithms controlling its search results. It needs to be able to build a brand consumers recognize and visit directly to take advantage of new platforms, and to sell Southern style to Northerners buying their very first pair of boots.

James admits that this seems like a longshot. When asked one of the standard questions Sarah asks at the end of every interview — what’s something you believe that no-one else believes? — his response was “that a billion-dollar e-commerce company can be built in Arkansas.”

Read the full thing here. Keep up the good work, guys. 


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