Back Office Exposed: Kadavy Inc.

Written by Paul on May 18th, 2010

Here’s a quick interview I did with David Kadavy, “President and Owner of Kadavy, Inc., which is an S-Corporation that houses my web design consulting services, as well as media properties, such as kadavy.net, Flatmate Meetup, and my share of nom.ms.” He seems to have his hands in a bunch of stuff and I wanted to see how he manages to run it all without breaking a sweat.

What is Kadavy Inc?

Kadavy, Inc. is a Media company that I bootstrap with User Interface Design / User Experience consulting. The end goal is to be myself for a living.

How did you get started?

It all started with a really simple, really meta blog post on a Blogger.com blog, about 6 years ago. I wanted to share what I learned and encountered by following my curiosities day-to-day. Over time, opportunities to make money have come out of this.

What tools do you use on a daily basis?

  • 13″ MacBook Pro
  • IKEA Jerker Desk
  • Wacom Tablet
  • Aeron Chair
  • Green Tea
  • VooDooPad
  • Google Calendar
  • Gmail
  • iPhone
  • Freshbooks
  • Google Docs
  • Google Analytics
  • Google AdWords

Can you tell us a little about your backoffice infrastructure?

I invoice using Freshbooks, which is great, but it’s a little awkward for keeping track of ad revenues from ad networks. I end up creating a client, emailing myself the invoice, and entering payment, whenever I get a payment from an ad network, such as Google AdSense. Since oDesk is one of my clients, I use their time-tracker when I’m working for them, and billing and payment is automatic. I also have to create “imaginary” invoices for them to get the data into Freshbooks.

What were some of the biggest mistakes you made in growing your business?

I can’t say that I would do much differently because it’s a long process, and – for my style – there isn’t any way around that. But, over time I’ve learned that every business has a product or service, customers, suppliers, and competitors. Really understanding the nature of all of these elements, and how they relate to one-another, works wonders in recognizing the difference between a weak business model, and a strong one.

If someone wanted to start a business similar to yours, what advice would you give to them?

Forget about money and follow your interests and curiosities. Share what you learn, and be thirsty to learn from others. If this isn’t enough to make you happy and fuel your patience in waiting for success, you should do something else. Also, this post on the way I work may be of interest.

You can find David at kadavy.net, read other Back Office Exposed features and submit yourself for a Back Office Exposed feature. Photo of Kadavy, Inc. at a cafe is from a Chicago Tribune article on Foursquare.

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