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Run Your Business from Your iPhone

| October 13, 2009 | 16 Comments

apple iphoneWhen I launched CyberSynchs in 2008, my vision was to construct a company that would defy the depressed economy and provide a sorely-needed service. What I didn’t anticipate is that, for the first year, I could run the entire business from my iPhone.

Running CyberSynchs out of my pocket happened pretty naturally. As any entrepreneur knows, once you get the wheels moving on a new company, life starts moving pretty fast. Staff gets hired, ideas are developed into products and essentially the days start getting blurry as things develop.

My company develops a patented universal data synchronization platform. Simply put, we help consumers wirelessly back up and manage their contacts, email, calendars, photos, ringtones and other files to a central location. Users then go online to manage their data. Throughout our development period, I was told by friends and business associates to purchase a Mac Pro and run the business off of it. It was, as several folks told me “essential.” At the time, however, CyberSynchs was a virtual company. We had no office, just a team of developers, a few executives and all working virtually and holding meetings at the local coffee shop.

Developing the platform involved a lot of leg work. I was running around Manhattan for meetings, visits with developers and dealing with the controlled chaos of starting a business. In retrospect, anchoring myself down to an office would have delayed our success, given the need for me to be both everywhere and available to work.

The “Ah-Ha” moment arrived one Friday afternoon when I realized that I had completed a week’s worth of tasks, merely by using the smart phone that I stuff in my pocket every morning.  Spread sheets were read, Contracts with partners were reviewed and approved, and letters were written and edited right out of my hand. The Mac Pro could wait.

Unlike many entrepreneurs, I wasn’t tethered to an expensive New York office. I could travel where and when I needed; review documents on the uptown subway, or take a reporter call from a downtown coffee shop. I was simultaneously free and at-work, wherever I went.

This realization – that the business could be successfully run from my jacket pocket – gave rise to other insights into what we didn’t need at the time. Phone systems, desk rentals and VPNs could wait until the time was right.

The highlight of our virtual office period was when CyberSynchs was chosen as a Sun Microsystems partner. While invited, by Sun to attend the prestigious JavaOne Expo in San Francisco, I was able to review and mark-up a new global partnership contract and submit a final version to my attorney, all from the expo floor via my smart phone.

When CyberSynchs received Series A funding from Momos Capital, the entire deal was orchestrated – on my end – from my jacket pocket. Everything from conference calls to agreements were handled via smart phone.

Today, CyberSynchs is finally based in an office. Our first round of funding helped transform us from virtual to a brick-and-mortar company located in New York’s Flatiron District. Our partnership with Sun Microsystems  matured into an agreement by which CyberSynchs is now included in Sun’s JavaFX technology, meaning we’ll be pre-loaded on over  850 million PCs throughout the world and can also be acquired at Store.Java.com. A separate agreement with Samsung has been executed and details to be announced shortly. And of course, users can download our Mobile and PC application at our web site www.CyberSynchs .com. We’ve come a long way in a twelve month period and we’re proud.

I’m spending more time in our new offices these days – with a computer at my desk. The days of running a business out of my pocket are fading fast as our staff builds up and our offerings expand. These days, I’m  building the next great technology that enables me to optimize my time and efforts. Within the first year of business we have taken CyberSynchs from a small start up to partnering with global brands to integrate our solutions into billions of devices worldwide.

Amos Winbush is an under thirty CEO of CyberSynchs.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Great story! Running things virtually is so cool and I think a lot of people can learn from this. So many people waste money on things they think they need like offices, phone systems, furniture. Technology today is amazing and especially in the early stages most businesses can be run %100 virtually.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinMercuri Kevin Mercuri

    Must Read article about modern entrepreneurship. You don't need a lot of technology, you just need the right technology and a lot of discipline.

  • http://www.rockstarlifestyledesign.com/ Greg Rollett

    Great story indeed. I have been using my iPhone for more and more work. I was telling my partner in Rock For Hunger that the next step is to hire a driver so I can work while moving from place to place. That's when I'll really be set.

  • http://www.rumfordaquatics.com rumfordaquatics

    Neat story, its nice to see examples of this being carried out by people.

    I'm wondering what your opinions are of say the macbook air and other pocket PCs? Overkill or useful since the iPhone doesn't exactly have a perfect keyboard and can be cramped when really doing work. (I currently have a iPod Touch and MacBook Pro 13.3″…

    -Andrew

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    I don't know what Amos thinks exactly but I still love having the macbook around. Like you said its less cramped and does make plenty of things a little easier.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Agreed! You don't need a ton of technology to get things done and get them done well. Just utilize what you do have to the absolute max!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Haha love the driver idea I think that is definitely the next step for all of us!

  • http://www.rumfordaquatics.com rumfordaquatics

    Thats my thoughts exactly. Granted on trips and whatnot I try to leave my laptop in the safe in the room unless I have to bring it for something.

    I was wondering if the original author thinks its more of a time vested thing with the iPhone/touch since it does have most of the same capabilities.. I'm really impressed how well it reads different files I've had emailed to me, but I'm not sure it would be very efficient typing a proposal or something on it. Maybe if I made a effort to learn to do it better I would be all set though. The popular Office Suite was on sale last time I checked and I almost bought it.

  • amoswinbushiii

    Growing a successful company from a mobile device isn't as hard as one would think. It gave me the ability to be on the move and connect with many great people that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to connect with from the comfort of an office. The point of me telling my story really rested on being honest ,transparent and open to the true experiences of launching a start up in today's down market. My hope is that my truth can be a light of hope, action and inspiration to those starting on the amazing journey of being a successful smart business owner. Thanks for sharing my experiences.

  • http://www.rumfordaquatics.com Andrew Hill

    Neat story, its nice to see examples of this being carried out by people.

    I'm wondering what your opinions are of say the macbook air and other pocket PCs? Overkill or useful since the iPhone doesn't exactly have a perfect keyboard and can be cramped when really doing work. I currently have a iPod Touch and MacBook Pro 13.3″…

    -Andrew

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    I don't know what Amos thinks exactly but I still love having the macbook around. Like you said its less cramped and does make plenty of things a little easier.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Agreed! You don't need a ton of technology to get things done and get them done well. Just utilize what you do have to the absolute max!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Haha love the driver idea I think that is definitely the next step for all of us!

  • http://www.rumfordaquatics.com Andrew Hill

    Thats my thoughts exactly. Granted on trips and whatnot I try to leave my laptop in the safe in the room unless I have to bring it for something.

    I was wondering if the original author thinks its more of a time vested thing with the iPhone/touch since it does have most of the same capabilities.. I'm really impressed how well it reads different files I've had emailed to me, but I'm not sure it would be very efficient typing a proposal or something on it. Maybe if I made a effort to learn to do it better I would be all set though. The popular Office Suite was on sale last time I checked and I almost bought it.

  • amoswinbushiii

    Growing a successful company from a mobile device isn't as hard as one would think. It gave me the ability to be on the move and connect with many great people that I wouldn't have had an opportunity to connect with from the comfort of an office. The point of me telling my story really rested on being honest ,transparent and open to the true experiences of launching a start up in today's down market. My hope is that my truth can be a light of hope, action and inspiration to those starting on the amazing journey of being a successful smart business owner. Thanks for sharing my experiences. Keep in touch with me on Twitter @TechCEO or @CyberSynchs.

  • http://www.indiegogo.com/Learning-Makes-Cents David Streisand

    Great story and very inspiring.  Imagine if they taught business students how to create businesses that can solely be run on smart phones.