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My Amigo: Mike Jones

Mar 8, 2012

In 2009 when I was still building Best Made Co. a very interesting email arrived to my attention. This email was from a gent looking to get a quote on a custom painted axe or 2. He did not leave me much to go on other than “base the design on the current state of My Space”… I was like wtf?  BMC did not do any custom work at all, but my interest was peaked based on the way this request was put to me. My response was pretty much  “what are you talking about dude?”… He then explained that he wanted to get axes for the, then co-presidents of the company that he worked for, being My Space. After multiple e-mails I finally received one with a signature at the bottom… Mike Jones , President. Ha! I had been going back and forth with him and had no idea that I was actually talking to the guy in charge. The axes, of course, where for him and co-president Jason Hirschhorn as they started this new adventure with My Space.

I came up with a plan for what they would receive – each axe was presented to them with a story but I will keep that between Mike, Jason and myself.

The two axes arrived and Mike decided that instead of using it or hanging it up in the office, he would lean it up against the couch – nice touch!

When I started Base Camp X in the Spring of 2010 Mike was one of the first people to respond to me and offer support… He even became one of the first people to follow BCX on Facebook. Think about that for a minute… The CEO and President of My Space was now following me on Facebook. Bahahaha… I loved it.

The exposure that I often get to other entrepreneurs is pretty amazing and I am very proud that many of those contacts have become personal friends of mine. I don’t have time to waste on fair-weather people that spout BS and promise things that they have no intention of actually delivering. It can be hard to weed them out at times but my gut has become well seasoned to the hot air… Mike Jones is one of the guys that has been there for me so he can count on me having his back – he is one of my Amigos.

“Mike is an Internet executive, investor and strategic advisor. A long-time entrepreneur, Mike founded his first successful Internet company in college and since then, has founded, built and sold numerous online and mobile businesses. His experience and expertise in both large and small companies focuses on strategy, growth, and operational efficiency resulting in over $500M in successful investor outcomes.

Most recently Mike Jones served as the CEO of Myspace. In this role, Mike oversaw global business strategy and operations for Myspace, Myspace Music, and Myspace Mobile, which included board and strategic roles with joint venture partners in Myspace China and Myspace Japan / Softbank. During his tenure, he was responsible for the relaunch of Myspace, one of the most high-profile turn-around challenges in the industry. This included stabilizing a historically negative traffic and user trend, reducing the operational cost of the business by nearly 90 percent and pivoting the product from its legacy as a social network to a social entertainment destination, then selling the business on NewsCorp behalf to SpecificMedia.

Mike has over 18 years of strategic, operational and senior management experience in businesses ranging from early stage start-ups to private equity backed assets and from mid-stage business to large turn-around operations. A serial Internet entrepreneur, Mike has founded, advised, invested and sold numerous businesses, including application platform Userplane, which he led from startup to its acquisition by AOL, Tsavo Media, Movoxx, PeopleMedia, Brizzly and Myspace. Mike is actively involved with early-stage start-ups as an investor, advisor and board member. As an active early stage investor, Mike has personally invested in over 30 startup businesses including Klout, Betterworks, Formspring, ShoeDazzle and LunchMoney to name a few.”

In December 2011 I headed down to LA for meetings and spent the good part of an afternoon in the offices of Mike’s new venture Science-Inc. Based out of Santa Monica, Science is all about accelerating companies and making things happen. Media will describe this new company as an “Incubator”…. that is a pretty weak handle since it implies being boxed in and handled with kid gloves… “Accelerator” is a much better way to describe Science:

“Science creates, scales and acquires successful digital businesses by bringing together the best ideas, talent, resources and financing through a centralized platform. We focus on three things: developing new businesses, providing emerging startups with operational strategy and capital, and transforming later-stage Internet ventures with new talent and innovations.

During our meeting Mike introduced me to a few top members of his team and some of his partners. The response to BCX was a bit overwhelming and I left Science with my head spinning and a $53 dollar parking fine (which I forgot about and it is now $103)…

I hope to tell you all more about the relationship between Science and Base Camp X this year… I hold Mike and his team in very high regard and look forward to establishing a greater presence in LA with their support. Mike understands that this company is about more than awesome products… we have big things to do.

A few of the new projects coming out of Science have already been receiving a very solid amount of attention in the media. Check these out:

Uncovet

A carefully curated, design-centric shop that unearths a daily pallet of fresh, rad, one-of-a-kind products for its members at a discounted rate. Uncovet’s staff of interior and fashion design experts hew the cutting edge, scraping the best bits from both just-discovered artists and well-known designers. Uncovet’s members enjoy all that is new, daring and unique.

You will see BCX product featured on Uncovet.

A few of you may also have seen this piece of marketting genius that is currently going viral… Yup – Science Inc. is behind it.

Dollar Shave Club

I draw a ton of inspiration from my friends… Mike is a shining example of why. The BCX Tribe is comprised of some of the most interesting and accomplished people out there. It may be small but the Tribe is highly concentrated with talent and I promise that you are going to see some very cool things born from it.
Mike Jones… my amigo.

X
Graeme

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