Once Ania Rodriguez, founder of Key Lime Interactive, which was named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, makes a decision, she takes action and does not look back. Rodriguez worked in the user experience department at IBM and an agency in New York in 2008 when the great recession hit.
"I was laid off two weeks before my first child was born and Christmas," Rodriguez said. "I had two choices. I could look for a job or start my own business. I was at a conference when I decided to launch my own business, so I called my husband, brainstormed some names, incorporated the business that day and then immediately went to the hotel's business center to print business cards on the spot."
No business or partnerships resulted from the conference, but after reaching out to her professional network, Rodriguez landed ESPN as her first client and she says "the rest is history." Now Key Lime Interactive is a leading user experience consulting firm.
"Our goal is to help companies and thought leaders who seek to improve product usage, whether it is digital or physical, so it is friendly and creates an overall better experience for the user," Rodriguez said. "What makes us unique are two things: we are technology focused and looking for innovative ways to answer our client questions. That focus has lead to our developing unique methods that we've patented that get deeper into the questions our clients need answered. We're not the vanilla cookie cutter variant. The second differentiator for us is we've found that hiring great people is the key to success."
Rodriguez's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to keep it simple and lean. "Don't spend too much time overthinking what the final version of your product or service will be," she said. "Start iterating and engaging your customer so your customer can help define the product and you can create something you can sell. Don't try to create the perfect thing before ever starting to sell it. Produce your minimum viable product and perfect it through feedback."