In conversation with Tom Jackson, Founder of JaxonLabs

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Find your multipliers and early adopters then leverage them to spread the word and optimize your product.

Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Founder @ JaxonLabs

Tom Jackson is the founder and corporate director at JaxonLabs. He was born in Denver and moved to Canada at the age of 3. His entrepreneurial journey began when he was 16, with a snow removal company that worked for the post office.

When Tom graduated high school he went into a business management program at MacEwan University and started a denim brand. He sourced fabrics and materials from Japan, manufactured finished products in Los Angeles and built a platform to sell online. Eventually, Tom moved on to study visual design, data science, and business intelligence at NAIT then transitioned into a brand consultant.

He spent the last 4 years in Phoenix AZ, developing out the US side of JaxonLabs, where he worked to develop brand initiatives and implement optimization processes for companies.

Tom is actively involved with the community, volunteering with a number of organizations over the years. He sat on the board of directors of a fashion program at Lethbridge College in Canada and currently spends a lot of time working with youth golf programs and other charities.

Tom is very passionate about helping people and companies achieve their potential. His goal is to build a company that drives innovation globally and help people optimize for business and life in the 21st century.

Your Business Journey so far

JaxonLabs began as a side project. When Tom was working on his denim brand he received a lot of inquiries about helping small businesses with strategy, branding, web development, and implementing the technologies they needed to grow their company.

After a few years of juggling multiple businesses and projects, Tom decided it was time to focus solely on JaxonLabs and helping companies build strong brands.

One of the biggest challenges that we faced at the beginning was pricing work and building a portfolio that prospective clients could look at to evaluate our capabilities. We addressed this by evaluating other service providers and finding a price point that matched our experience. Sometimes that meant doing something for free to get experience and a foot in the door which led to contracts and retainers.

Another interesting challenge was that companies would start throwing different problems at us. For example, implementing a new ERP, or HR system that was not something we had direct experience in. They liked our work ethic and communication, so we said yes and took the time to learn and work through the problem and became proficient in driving these kinds of changes.

One challenge that we still face is building our own systems internally to scale our company in a way that keeps the core culture intact while creating opportunities for others to grow and lead within JaxonLabs.

How do you help your clients grow and achieve their goals?

JaxonLabs helps clients visualize their strategy and we work beside them to build their business with a brand-first approach.

Using an Agile framework, we help companies minimize the timeline it takes to see results.

Clients like us because we bring a 360-degree perspective to their brand and have a lot of experience across different industries to help break down barriers and bring innovative ideas to the table.

Experience from 0 to first 10 clients and further growth

The first 5 clients were a result of the denim brand that Tom started. Referrals for projects to create brand identities, websites, and digital marketing started to flow in. The dedication to providing value helped build a strong brand and word of mouth helped drive more clients.

Beyond this, it became clear to get more involved in the community and networking to see what people are interested in the marketplace. This is where Tom started to leverage his passion for golf to meet people and build relationships with them on the course. Prospects would be interested in the work he was doing and provided opportunities to bid on projects.

After investing a lot of time and resources into building a website that provides valuable insights and information about brand building, leads started to come in through the website and more projects launched.

Now we have a strategy that involves all of these aspects to drive continuous prospective clients and a service offering that has rapidly expanded.

Keeping pace with changing technology and remain competitive?

At JaxonLabs and we always like to explore new technologies to see have any value in helping businesses build strong brands. The key for us is to focus on tech that has the ability to positively impact brand value.

Lately, we have been focusing on developing out our machine learning capabilities to help companies take their data management to another level.

We also saw a lot of opportunity in the content creation space, so we created partnerships with other media companies to offer media library packages that are critical to driving engagement.

Top hurdles faced for business growth

  • Time is limited and prioritization is crucial
  • Building a pricing model that is scalable
  • Knowing when to pass on an opportunity.

Key to motivation & Productivity

Tom has a backlog that has prioritized action items based on the value and effort required to complete them. He also has taken considerable time to find a life schedule that is optimized for performance. By scheduling meeting times when he is at his cognitive peak during the day and scheduling creative or strategy work when he is optimized for that has really helped make an impact on productivity and motivation.

Also building a calendar for everything, family, friends, and work. As life gets busier it is important to prioritize time away from work as much as time at work.

His top book recommendations are

  • Principles by Ray Dalio
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
  • The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
  • The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
  • The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
  • Zero to One by Peter Theil

Advice to Product Makers

Market research and prototyping will be your best friend in narrowing your focus on a product that works.

Develop a definition of done so you don’t get stuck in paralysis analysis trying to perfect something that doesn’t need to be perfect.

Focus on WHY what you are building matters, rather than the features and benefits. People align themselves with things that align with there why and use features and benefits to rationalize it to others.

Save some of your budget for marketing. Don’t invest everything in product development.

Find your multipliers and early adopters then leverage them to spread the word and optimize your product.

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