Knucklehead Podcast Ep. 115: Mistakes Made by Design Agencies, Handsome CEO John Roecsher

Knucklehead Podcast Ep. 115: Mistakes Made by Design Agencies, Handsome CEO John Roecsher

John Roecsher (00:00): I had no choice. I had to succeed. I had to do something. I went to the lowest job I could possibly find and worked my way up. Tried to start a business. Didn't pay enough money. I had to go and do jobs. I didn't want to do don't wait until you step in it. Just step in and figure out how to move on from there.

Knucklehead (00:14): Choose not to live in a world of filters, realize your mistakes, set the foundation for your success. Get some wins knucklehead podcast.

Stephen Colon (00:27): Welcome to another episode of Knucklehead Podcast you got with you today, the Knucklehead, Steven, I've got a Marine with a special and unique perspective about the phone that you have in your hand and the technology that is on that phone. And so I'm excited about bringing you a unique perspective about how screw ups, how mistakes, how mishaps, and potentially unforeseen outcomes play a role actually in the success that you're chasing out there in the business world. And so John Roecsher from Handsome in Austin, Texas, and don't let it fool you just because of the name of his company is handsome. Doesn't mean that he does not have a face for radio. John is I'm just messing with him. He is, he is been gracious enough with his time today to talk with us about the topic of failure and success and the relationship between the two and how it relates to something as honestly as sensitive as a, as technology people's data and how that gets stored and the infrastructure behind it. John, I appreciate you taking some time to spend some time with our audience and spend some time with me to talk about all of those things. So how in the hell are you?

John Roecsher (01:27): I'm doing well. Thanks. Yeah. Thanks for having me on the topic is interesting. Uh, the audience is interesting and I've enjoyed my conversations with you so far.

Stephen Colon (01:36): Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. What some of what you've enjoyed, let's be honest. I mean, we talk a little bit about, you know, some time in the military, so we have some commonalities between us and, uh, I ran a service based business for a short period of time down in the Austin, Texas area.

John Roecsher (01:50): Are you still in Austin? Yeah. Yeah. I'm still in Austin. The company's headquartered here. Almost all the employees are here in Austin working from home right now, obviously, but we have an office everybody's here in Austin.

Stephen Colon (02:00): Your office is set up to build and scale mobile apps and that technology for businesses. And I don't want to be presumptuous and mischaracterize it in a way, but you know, even a business that's set up like that. How has this impacted you?

John Roecsher (02:13): Yeah, I have to say that we're probably from a day to day work life and work style perspective. One of the least impacted we do work in an office. We made a decision to invest in a big fancy design agency office. Um, not like the one you you saw, which was a closet. So it's a stepping stones, but we're on a large step. Now we have a really nice office and a lot of money. And so I believe in the value of being a people, being in a physical space together, especially for collaboration, culture, things like that, but that's a nice to have that we could afford. It would definitely wasn't necessary. And so I feel very fortunate compared to most small businesses in the country right now where we are mostly fine. I'd say in some ways we're more productive. It definitely favors a certain personality type and that certain home situation. And so I think overall we're more productive. I would say that longterm culture, we're going to have to figure something else out for culture, but productivity wise and just that kind of day to day we're actually doing, I dunno, I hate to say it. We're kind of doing better in some ways.

Stephen Colon (03:14): Well, it's interesting that you say that because from that traditional point of view, there's a perspective that unless you can see work being done or unless you're in the same office, similar to what you were talking about to develop culture, this could be the new culture going forward. I mean, do you foresee that happen in businesses that maybe don't necessarily work in the same industry they're in Austin?

John Roecsher (03:33): Yeah, I think so. For sure. There are a lot of reasons for it, but even back to what I said, we, we spend a lot of money on our, on our office. And if we can prove that we're just as productive and quality of the work and quality of culture, quality of ability to attract and retain talent, those things that are the big drivers of our business. If we can see that those things stay high while not in the office, then you can make an argument for the office being a waste of money. That's not the only argument, but that's a very simple and very compelling way to think of it. So, yeah, I think that there is a lot of efficiency to gain financially, if not also productivity wise, by having a workforce that is either fully remote, remote, optional, or some of something in between.

Stephen Colon (04:20): That's interesting, you know, that's an ode back to where you came from, how you said that we came by and we happened to see you a closet space, even still, it was a very, very productive, fast moving high paced environment. I remember walking into your office and I would just talk about, for those of you who are listening, who aren't familiar with East Austin hasn't necessarily been from historical perspective as robust in terms of infrastructure and investment up until the recent, maybe five to 10 years. Would you say John, that there's been more of a significant investment on that side of 35? Definitely. Yep. Yeah. For those of you who are, who are not as familiar when you go back and you look at where his office is located, it's a, it's amazing, what's changed around him and how even, I mean, prior to the Kobe crisis, there has been significant investment into that area.

Stephen Colon (05:04): And so it's, it's a cool fun and kind of a neat place to work. So, uh, the investment was a very, very well spent, but I guess that also leads me to my next question, going in from the military, from your perspective as a special forces operator, going from where you were to now, then starting as a civilian career, what was one time where you kind of step on a cow, Patty searching for what you were going to do, uh, where you didn't anticipate, you thought it was a very well thought out, very perfectly formed plan, then all of a sudden it just kind of blew up in your face a little bit, or you realize that you had a little bit of poop on your shoe for lack of a better phrase.

John Roecsher (05:37): It's a really good question specifically in that timeframe. I'm trying to think about an example. So I was, I was Marines. I wasn't always a special forces, so I was in light armor for constants, but I left the Marines after four years. I knew when I went in that I was going to be four years, do my deployments and then get out. Um, and I remember on my way out of the Marines, uh, meeting with the captain, my, uh, my company and trying to get me to reenlist and I had already made up my mind, so I wasn't disrespectful about it, but it was a heart note. I remember them telling me it was, it was a tactic a bit. Um, and then he was maybe fired up a little bit. He said, you know, there's, it's, you're going to get out. And if you don't, if you're going to fail and you're either going to fail and come back and give up this reenlistment money, uh, we spent a bit of a jerk, but I get, I get well I'm so you're going to, you're going to fail and you're gonna, you're gonna come back and you're going to give up this reenlistment money or you're going to fail and it's going to be too late.

John Roecsher (06:38): You're going to be too old, too fat. And you're not going to be able to come back into the Marines and you're going to be homeless. That's I'm pretty much verbatim. There was no mincing words in that office that day. And, uh, that just gave me, you know, that's th that's a perfect thing I needed to hear, uh, to be like, okay, good. Well, I won't let that happen. Thanks for letting me know what not to do. Um, and so then I got out and by the time I left the Marines, I already had a mortgage on a house here in Austin and no job, no, no, no plan lined up. So I threw myself like I didn't, I didn't step in it. I threw myself in it face first. And that set the course for me. I don't think I had this mindset before, but it's the sink or swim mindset.

John Roecsher (07:24): And so I had no choice. I had to succeed. I had to do something and I also had to have an exit plan. And so I knew that, well, if things don't work out and I can't afford this place, then I have to do something. And so I tried thing after thing I started, I went to the lowest job I could possibly find and worked my way up and tried to start a business. Didn't pay enough money. I had to go and do jobs that didn't want to do, but it taught me how to fight out of something. That's been, my mindset is don't wait until you step in it, just step in it and figure out how to move on from there.

Knucklehead (07:55): Have you ever asked yourself why you haven't started a podcast? Well, I already know the reason. So to you, you don't feel like you're tech savvy. You don't feel like you got your message wired, right? And quite frankly, it's just, it's all this mystification going on. Quite frankly. Uh, our process helps to demystify that we're pushed button for podcasts. We're knucklehead, why knucklehead, but we lead with the fact that you don't know what you're doing. We do. We've been there. We've actually been in your shoes. We take your spoken voice. We literally give a human voice to your website. You want to bring dead leads to life. Well, then you need to talk to the knucklehead. Essentially what we're going to do is we're going to take you through our process, or we're going to help take your human voice and increase the process for you going from dead leads to life.

Knucklehead (08:37): How do I, how do I do that? Well, you essentially just take your human voice, put it in a directory and let people consume more of you. Give your audience the ability to Netflix on you. They want to binge watch you. They want to binge listen, give them the ability to take your voice along on that commute with them. So you can get in touch with us, Steven at knucklehead podcasts, or if you've got a really cool story stories at knucklehead podcast, you can find us on LinkedIn and on Facebook and not go promotions, LLC, and get in touch with us. Don't be a beta about the process. Don't let be fact that you don't know permitting you from getting some wins. So don't be a beta, get some wins and contact us the next day.

Stephen Colon (09:15): Yeah. So it's really interesting. Two things that I heard from that scenario is you were able to realize that somebody was being a jerk, however, that they weren't being that, that they aren't a jerk, right? That they're trying to essentially massage use offensive maneuvers to get you into a, um, you know, a position to orient your behavior and potentially back you into a corner. And it sounds as if a fight or flight kicked in and you decided to fight, um, which I can appreciate, I can appreciate that, that, that thought process, the, the, what ends up happening. And you can go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong here. Cause I've seen it. I've seen it happen for more than just my story. Uh, those who fight in today's, you know, in today's world where not necessarily every corporation is set up to deal with that, but there are corporations that are set up to, uh, to not respond very well to folks that fight.

Stephen Colon (10:03): And what I mean by that is, uh, it does ruffle some feathers. It creates some tension in the office, right? There's some external forces that are that trying to tamp down creativity, so to speak, uh, if folks don't fall in line and fall in order. And I just, I, I got to ask it because it seems as if maybe I'm off base in saying this, but it seems as if you don't necessarily need a perfectly made bed in order to sleep. Okay. You're okay with a little bit of disruption. Is that a mischaracterization or do you think that that's fair? What I say it

John Roecsher (10:31): that's true. Uh, but what I've learned is that I'm not the only one in the bed. So it's another thing that I've learned is that just because I have a certain style doesn't mean that it works for everyone else. And I know that if I, if I want to accomplish the bigger mission, I need to create an environment where different types of people who need different levels of bed being made in order to sleep, uh, are comfortable. One of the traps though, that, that, that I find myself falling into a lot with that then is a martyr syndrome, I guess, where I, I sleep on the floor so that other people can sleep in the nicely made bed. Also something that doesn't scale and not good behavior. You might think that you're doing a good job. It's kind of the hero behavior. Maybe that helps you get off the ground, but do something that you're going to have to wise up about as you grow as a leader.

Stephen Colon (11:20): Well, for those who aren't familiar with, with what your design agency does, or the way that you go to market with a, with a service offering, like handsome, first of all, phenomenal title, by the way, I do love handsome, not just the way to describe the apps. Cause I understand that there's, you know, there's that. However, if I think it's a fantastic title, because in my mind I call myself a knucklehead just as a self deprecating way to say, Hey, listen, if you think that you're not going to make some knucklehead moves on your way to success, then essentially you're not, we're not speaking the same language, but anyway, I appreciate the handsome being a title. But for those you who aren't necessarily familiar with what you do, can you describe what it is that you do and how there's an opportunity to really screw some things up along the way, if you don't get it right. Sure.

John Roecsher (12:01): So where design agency, we focus mostly on designing brands and brand experiences, and we've developed specialization that is based around the fact that the majority of brand experiences these days happen on some kind of technology platform, some kind of digital product app website, combination of the two, some kind of kiosk in the store that you touch your app too. I mean, if you can think about it, that the brand is providing this experience for their customers, their consumers, but technology is the, is the, is what it sits on essentially. And so what we care about is designing experiences, but in order to do that, we have to be good at the technology side so that we can design this experience. We have to be good at the brand and brand strategy side so that we know what that experience should be. What's being, what's trying to be communicated.

John Roecsher (12:52): So clients ask us to whether it's a brand new company or it's a brand new product for an existing company, come up with the brands, come up with what that customer experience should be, how it should work and then design it and then develop it and build it on disrupt products, digital platforms, e-commerce mobile apps, all those kinds of things. Uh, and so in a sense, there's a lot of pressure because we are taking a large amount of an investment from a company, figuring out what the strategy should be executing on that strategy, launching it out into the world and saying, all right, let's turn it on. See if it runs, you know, obviously it's so yes, it is that simple. Uh, there's a lot of risks, a lot of pressure, a lot of opportunity to make a mistake, a lot of risk. And so our whole business really is built around.

John Roecsher (13:40): And what we get paid to do is to mitigate, minimize, uh, compartmentalize and, and plan for that risk. Yeah. I say, you know, all of business, really all of life, but all of businesses guesswork, it's just a, it's an estimation. It's a guess it's an experiment at best. It's an experiment. It's an experiment to set up, to measure failure until you get it right. And so that business has guesswork the best way you can approach that is by an experimentation methodology. And that's what my whole business is about. What should we do? Why, how do we make sure that's the right thing to do? What happens if it fails? How are we going to iterate? And we apply that, that methodology and mindset to, you know, corporate scenarios and software and things like that.

Stephen Colon (14:26): So as a industry starts to evolve, that means that there's actually players in the industry that, that are better than others at doing certain things. However, there's also folks with good BS detectors that are out there. So in your mind, can you think of an opportunity, or can you think of a time where you thought that you had the risk measured out the exactly the way it was supposed to, uh, you were fairly confident in the way that the distribution was going to work and then all of a sudden it went differently than what you anticipated and you don't necessarily have to go into the brand experience and the actual scenario, but can you think of a time where you learned more through the pain of failure because somebody didn't, maybe somebody didn't pick up on something ahead of time or there wasn't a customer survey that was done the right way, that what I'm thinking of as a competitor coming in and trying to misinform you throw in that process and kind of threw you off a little bit. I don't know if that happens.

John Roecsher (15:15): No, no, no. Not from a competitor perspective, but there are plenty of examples where we went very far down the process of developing out a product to find in to, to, to finally do testing or to have testing happen once it's live, uh, to find out that it was a bad, a bad investment. Um, you can make a bad investment in the feature. You can make a bad investment in entire product or entire business. Um, and we've had plenty of examples like that. You know, I think of one where, um, everyone, this was, this was a service that, uh, started online from it from a user experience perspective. You start on on the website, you, you book your thing, you arrive and you pick up your thing. And we were going to use technology to streamline that process. Uh, well, just to eliminate steps in the process overall and have technology facilitate it to the humans.

John Roecsher (16:08): And, you know, it was a brilliant idea. We got very excited about being able to solve that problem. Technology wise, being able to have your phone talk to another object and nowhere, it doesn't recognize it authenticate whether you are who you say you are and things like that. So we got really excited about the technology and we got really excited about the prospect of this as being a possibility and the competitive advantage that was going to give that client over other, uh, other, other similar offerings and went far down the path. You know, I'd say six months, uh, 600, $700,000 worth of money and time on developing out this set of features that would facilitate that basically LA lost it alpha version in to the market. And then, um, found out very quickly that the human touch that we worked so hard and spend so much money to eliminate out of this process was very much needed. And so we could have, you know, we put the person back in that step of the process, the concierge type person. And I eliminated a lot of the hard work and hard investment that we did and things started to work out well. Um, and it was successful. So it was a big hypothesis. We could have definitely seen a head that that was going to fail. If we had tested properly, we got too excited about the fact that we could do it and forgot to ask.

Stephen Colon (17:24): Absolutely, absolutely. What you, you, you took my question and were able to provide a different perspective, which is really what your process is able to surface is. And have you looked at it from this point of view? And if you haven't, let's ask a few other folks and, and collect some, uh, some market research out there to, to make sure that, I mean, you're validating all of these assumptions and I loved how you said that you have this propensity or not you, but the organization can sometimes go down this lane, thinking this feature

John Roecsher (17:50): is the biggest change or the biggest value add to that particular product. And it turns out you actually need the human. You need the human. Yeah. I mean, I know there's, there's funny example of that. It's, it's smaller impacts, but it is really funny. And I use this a lot is similar story. Uh, we developed this w this method for someone to check into a certain spot, uh, truck was going to come into to pick up some, some work. Uh, and, uh, and the person driving the check truck you to check in. And we developed out this, this system with using RFID where the phone could recognize a certain chip and things like that for, for the time, this was, you know, four or five years ago, very advanced stuff at the time, um, worked on a, built it out, found that, uh, certain, certain places weren't adopting it.

John Roecsher (18:38): And they had instead just put a sign on a stake and it solved the problem better than this really expensive piece of technology is a piece of paper on a wooden sign that got changed every day at the cost of a dollar. So we tell clients who come to us and say, I want this, I want, I want an app that does ABC. And how much does that cost? And we can't help it say, are, are you sure that that's what you need, because what you could need is a piece of paper on a wooden post. And that's not a joke, um, as far as much as we want technology to solve all our problems. Um, I think technology is a, is an innovative solution to a problem. It doesn't have to be an app or a piece of software. It could be piece of paper on a post.

John Roecsher (19:21): You bring up several interesting points. One of which, uh, that's been consistent throughout this entire conversation. John is typically the solution is just a different way to look at things. And so that different way of looking at things could be facilitated through technology or to the point of your last example, a piece of paper on a stick. So I love the simplicity behind the message. Let's walk through this last scenario and kind of lay into the plane this way. The majority of the folks that listen to this particular podcast are coming from a military background. They have aspirations to, to run a business, or they have ran a business before, and it's not scaling the way that they would like to, or they've listened to it. They've been on the show before, uh, and they're on to essentially their, their second business, but that second business is a little bit different than their, their previous one that they've successfully exited.

John Roecsher (20:07): And so w we get questions all the time about, as these changes in marketplace, take place, how would you go back and Instructure your business differently? Or how would you set up your business differently to prevent some of maybe some of the mistakes or screw ups that you had in your first few years that you can talk about that you learn from, or did the mistake actually teach you something that you were thankful that you went through it? So one of the things that we're going through right now in the business is what I'm calling a remodel. Um, and we're just really blowing it all up, um, taking all the pieces that come out. So we're not necessarily throwing anything away or pulling it up and starting over COVID has allowed us to have that kind of focus. It was thrust upon us with some changes, um, on, on the client side.

John Roecsher (20:52): And then also with the time that we have being at home and not at meetings and things like that. And so we were taking this as an opportunity to really rethink the business from a foundational fundamental perspective, and then from an operational perspective, and what we're doing now, that we should've done a long time ago is, is operate this business. And again, we're a services based business. Clients come to us for a specific service that we, that they think we're good at, and we can deliver that service for a fee. And that is operating on the principle that the business should be shaped and sized based on the demand for the work that we want to be doing. And so in order to arrive at that, you have to first say, what is the work you want to be doing? And then you have to be disciplined enough to say no to work.

John Roecsher (21:37): That isn't the work you want to be doing, even if it means you don't grow. I mean, turn it, that means turning away work and no other way that, that is, that means turning away work. I mean, it's turning away money, but you might grow slower. You might shrink before you grow again. Um, but when you do grow, you'll have, you will be the rate that the shape that you want. Um, and so I think that's the biggest thing. You know, it's a long way of saying, be very clear with yourself about what work you want to do. Um, and then turn away work that doesn't fit that model. And you will have, what's what, you know, you will build from a foundation that is a lot more true to the reason why you started the business. And we're eight years in, so started agency years ago.

John Roecsher (22:23): And it's not like any of these are our revelations or things that we didn't know before. We just simply weren't strict. Uh, we didn't have that discipline the idea of growing slow or the idea of not taking on that six, seven figure deal. And instead turning it away was just not even an option to us. Uh, the idea of having to lay people off, because we didn't have enough demand at this moment for us, for exactly the kind of work we want to be doing was never an option for us. Um, I still hate to do that and I'll do everything I can not to do that. But simply is we, we grew the regrew, this business under a false sense of demand for what we truly wanted to be selling, because we had demand for things that were adjacent or, you know, we, or weren't exactly that core.

John Roecsher (23:15): And we took that work and we got to a certain size and like, Hey, look how big we are, like how fast we're growing. But in reality, we weren't truly fulfilled. And it also wasn't sustainable because that's not what we set out to sell. So that's the biggest thing that I've learned. Um, most recently the thing that I would do differently if I went back, I'd say, Hey, slow down, be true to your core and grow from a true core, not from a spreading out of anything that you could sell to anyone. That's a very hard thing to admit when talking about a business

Stephen Colon (23:46): that's eight years old and you wish in a way you would have turned away some projects. That's a, that's a bold statement. John kudos to you for, for going through that process, because that's any business owner that's out there that can talk with integrity about turning away business is a solid win. And especially when you characterize it in a way to say, is this the type of work that we want to be doing? And do they have a completed view of demand and building your service offering around what you perceive that demand to be is, uh, that's an incredibly insightful takeaway and I love how you, you threw it out there. You're like, ah, it's nothing really insight. That's actually very insightful. It's, it's very difficult to have to go through that process.

John Roecsher (24:22): It's one of those things that is, you know, in hindsight, it's common sense. It's, it's a simple concept. It doesn't mean it's easy to do. It's actually very hard to do very hardest. Anyway, especially as a new first time business owner have big deals coming our way, you know, great work on some aspects, terrible work and other aspects. We kind of make excuses for it. You know, there always justify taking on work. And you know, it's not that I'm not grateful for any of the work that we've had over the years. Wouldn't be where we are without it. But I think there's just, there's a lot of power in defining to yourself what your core is, what is your core goal? Um, and then what is core about you that you're going to use to achieve that goal and then being stripped? Um, if you can succeed at that, being at the thing that you set out to do, then either change what you were setting out to do and be true to that, or be honest with yourself that you're not actually successful.

Stephen Colon (25:17): I like it that's a bitter pill to swallow. So for those of you who are listening, uh, John talked about, uh, essentially the formation of, of his particular business and maybe the journey to get there. Uh, he took the scenic route. I would, I would like to characterize it that way. And I like being able to, uh, to talk with folks who, who honestly put bets on themselves, the way that, uh, the way that he did may not necessarily, uh, it felt like it at the time, whenever your backs, you know, against a corner and you have a mortgage on your house without necessarily the plan that you're looking for and to work some of the jobs that you work, what was the, what was your least favorite job that you had to do before you started handsome or before you started at handsome, full time

John Roecsher (25:54): car sales? Is that right? Used or new, new, yeah, I lasted one month sold zero cars. I've never failed at something because I froze or couldn't, couldn't do it. You know, there's never been a thing I've never given up unless I wanted to give up and something about selling cars, something about trying to sell a Ford station wagon to people who don't want to buy a Ford station. Wagon is just not something I couldn't do it. I felt, I felt actually dumb, which is the only time that ever really felt like that. I understand

Stephen Colon (26:32): saying something we've gone through some, some quarterdeck experiences it's very similar to, to each other. So that's saying something to, to characterize it that way. So, all right. Let's leave people with this. How can people get in touch with you, John? What's the best way for, to connect with handsome or connect with you individually?

John Roecsher (26:46): The best way is LinkedIn for me, I mean, my email address is John at handsome dot I S but, uh, John Rocher, LinkedIn, I will I'll see it and we can connect.

Stephen Colon (26:58): Well, I get all right. Well, what we found is for those of you who are listening, John just talked about a few things. So if you're going to go back and unpack this particular episode and think about what the, some of the biggest takeaways are, um, it sounds as if the power of focus is probably one of the biggest takeaways in conjunction with, as you come away with some observations from focusing, ask somebody about it, ask somebody who you trust and ask them if they're looking at it from not from the same perspective, because multiple perspectives in the, and the value of focus, uh, is what helped John grow and scale. I don't want to mischaracterize where his business that I just know his headquarters is located in downtown Austin on the East side at 35. That's right. That's saying something. So, John, I appreciate you for those of you who like listening to that, go ahead. Anything that you want to leave these folks with before we jam John?

John Roecsher (27:44): I think you said it best. It's about focus for me, it's focused. And for me, it's throwing yourself into the pile and, uh, and having a sink or swim mindset. Those are the two things that are really stuck with me

Stephen Colon (27:56): that, and some people just like their bedmate differently. Yeah. That's actually a big takeaway. So if that analogy doesn't make sense, then go back and listen to at the beginning of the episode. So if you're here, then you understand what we're talking about with bed making. So, John, we appreciate you for those of you. Like, listen to that, go ahead. You got new episodes coming at you every Tuesday. What John talked about, we call don't be a beta. We call get some wins. Simply. It's just a tongue in cheek way of saying, Hey, listen, you got your, you got to be able to put yourself out there. Not everybody's going to like what you have to say, but you can learn by being willing to take risks. You can learn to say it a little bit differently. So it's more palatable. Next time you can also learn to listen instead of talk.

Stephen Colon (28:36): There's a lot of things that you can do, but you gotta be willing to go out and take some action. Even if listening is the action that you need to take. So John, we appreciate you and he tells you exactly how to get in touch with him. Handsome dot ISMP. Is that also the website for folks to go to? It is, yeah. Okay, fantastic. Alright. Handsome dot. I S if those of you who wanted to build some mobile experience, if you're an experiential marketing business, or if you have an element of your product or service offering that you'd like to take to a mobile direction, John's who you want to get in touch with. So with that, we're done have a good rest of the day. John, we'll talk to you after a bit, so yeah. Thanks a lot, Stephen. You bet.

powered by

Talking about the power of focus, today’s guest of the Knucklehead Podcast has it all.

After getting out of Marine, John leaves himself with a mortgage of a house, no job, and no plan lined up. Landing himself face first, he had no choice but to have an exit plan and no other option but to succeed.

John Roescher is the CEO of Handsome. It an agency that designs and develops custom digital experiences and web and mobile-based software products for brands in all industries. His team works with brands to create innovative digital products and technology powered experiences that engage their audiences, customers and users.


Favorite Quote:

“There’s a lot of power in defining to yourself what your core is, what is your core goal, and what is core about you that you’re going to use to achieve that goal.

If you can’t succeed at being at the thing that you set out to do, then either change what you are setting out to do and be true to that, or be honest with yourself that you’re not actually successful.”

                                                                                                 -John Roescher

In this episode:

2:29 – The impact of working remotely on businesses

6:46 – His reaction to offensive corporate tactics to persons who express resistance

12:14 – What is Handsome as a design agency

16:20 – Incidents that resulted in the pain of failure

19:28 – Interesting scenario where human interaction outsmart technology

22:27 – How he structures his business to prevent failure in the future

26:32 – His piece of advice to first-time business owners

Connect with John Roescher



Connect with Knucklehead Media Group



• Knucklehead Media Group is your “push button” for podcast. We help companies and organizations tell their story using podcasts and best practices for content distribution. Home to some of the top podcasts across multiple categories, captivating coursework on gaining traction with your show, and consulting to those companies BOLD enough to get some wins. We believe your mistakes set the foundation for your success, those stories help customers beat a pathway to your doorstep, and the myths from bringing business online shouldn’t hold you back from getting yours.

Click here to more episodes of the Knucklehead Podcast

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.