Pop Quiz, Monday with John Siegman

You’re going to have to pivot and be willing to do so. We’ve had two significant pivots since launching our business.

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
John Siegman

John Siegman
Photo credit: John Siegman

What is your job role?
Founder & CCA

Tell us about your company?
HazardHub is the first third-generation geospatial hazard data company. We’re designed to overcome the typical barriers of expensive, hard to use, third-party data in the P&C insurance decision space.

What do you love most about your job?
We’re always making something new. We don’t worry about whether or not a data set is going to make money. We figure that if it solves a problem for one customer, it’s most likely going to solve a similar problem for another customer.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Just finding out what new problem we get to solve. We love what we do, and we love who we do it for. It doesn’t get better than that.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work with the most brilliant people in the business. By their very nature, they force me to work harder just to keep up with them.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have fun looking at the oddities of what we do. For example, we’ve built the only locational database of hydrants in the U.S. You wouldn’t think that hydrants are all that fun, but there are people who collect them, make art out of them, and try and hide them. We have fun seeing who can top each other for the weirdest hydrant display.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
I think that getting recognized by the industry is probably the toughest challenge. We primarily sell to the insurance industry and companies that support them. Insurers tend to be risk-averse. That makes sales cycles longer.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
You’re going to have to pivot and be willing to do so. We’ve had two significant pivots since launching our business. We moved from lead generation to be a data provider, and we moved from shapefile data delivery to API. We could have continued down both paths, but we would not have been as successful.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
We’re in the insurtech space. I think that a lot of the companies in that space have brilliant, creative, ideas and applications, but don’t understand that insurance has been around for 150 years without them and can go another 150 years without them. It’s an evolutionary business not a revolutionary business.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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