OtherOEN Member Spotlight – Dan Coe, CEO of Coexist Digital

Coexist Digital CEO Dan Coe
Q: What does your business do?
A: We help brands sell at the point of personal connection.

Q: What problem does it solve?
A: Tumblr is an ideal platform for brands to introduce themselves to an audience of 137 million through sharing bite-sized, highly visual brand stories and moments. Now, with Tumblr Commerce Platform, brands can add commerce to the mix — capitalizing on their social effort and allowing customers to buy without leaving their blog. Our service offers two Partner levels — one for small business and entrepreneurs and one for brands with enterprise requirements.

Q: How did you come up with this business idea?
A: Our focus as a digital agency was digital shopping experiences. Also, we gained a deep understanding of the capabilities of the Tumblr API through a particular client project. It was through the intersection of these two things that the light bulb went on and we realized that we could add a transactional layer to Tumblr blogs.

Q: What are your biggest challenges?
A: An entrepreneur’s greatest fear is to miss an opportunity. I sometime worry that we’ll miss an opportunity because we’re only able to move so fast at our current scale. That’s the only thing that keeps me up at night. I want to move faster.

Q: What are your goals for the company?
A: We’re focused on three market segments. In the short-term, we’re all about living and breathing and growing our segments. Tumblr Commerce Platform and our segment focus is groundwork for something bigger down the road so stay tuned!

Q: Are you looking for funding?
A: Every business needs funding at some stage to grow. We have just reached that stage and are just beginning the process of seeking funding.

Q: What would funding enable you to do?
A: Funding would allow us to scale every aspect of our business and execute our plan more quickly.

Q: Have you been an entrepreneur before?
A: Years ago, I was the co-founder of a design firm called 23 Windows after the classic VW bus. Microsoft lawyers did not care for that name and decided we shouldn’t have it. We weren’t doing that well anyways. We were a pet project of an executive team at a large agency. We really couldn’t go wrong because the agency always had our backs. That experience taught me something really valuable though. It’s best not to have a net. Since then, I’ve always put myself in the position where success is the only option.

Q: What brought you to OEN? What do you hope to gain from membership?
A: I just wanted to be part of the community. Sometimes you can learn more about your business from outside of your walls. I hope to meet more bright, driven people.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
A: I’m extremely independent and thought I could do it myself. It’s simply not the case. Since I’ve opened up to inviting people’s feedback and really listening to it, the more successful we’ve been. It’s actually a lot more fun and rewarding as well.

Q: What has been the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?
A: A mentor told me to simply worry about making the best decision you can with the information in front of you. I think this is the business equivalent of living in the moment — not a bad way to be.

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