Joseph Lacko is a patient man, and that’s a trait that is often in short supply in the entrepreneurial world. His ability to sit back and monitor the competitive landscape and let it guide his decisions is one that can easily conflict with those around him.
“My goals are a little more abstract,” says Lacko, who is the creator of San Clemente-based Koomkey.
“It drives my developer a little crazy. He wants us to create these solid benchmarks, and I just feel that social media is in a constant state of evolution. If we’re going to be a serious player, we have to watch how the current social media takes to us. So the only benchmark I have right now is to as quickly as possible generate more understanding of our service.”
Koomkey is a website that allows users to send unsolicited cash to other people via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. His intention is to empower people to instantly support others on a reasonable scale, from friends to businesses to charities or anyone else they were inspired by through social media.
“I’d like to think what’s going to catch on in social media is this social giving and being able to help each other out,” Lacko says. “We have to get to where we understand that there is power in what we’re doing. Social media allows us, as a society, to be more knowledgeable than we’ve ever been.”
Keep fighting for it
Lacko graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1997 and studied in the school’s film program.
“I came out wanting to direct a film, and I had a film in the works and had some personal tragedies that kind of derailed that,” Lacko says.
So in the early 2000s, Lacko got into technology and new media and pursued opportunities in that realm. He also worked in commercial real estate and took over his father’s business, JL Management, when his father died in 2009.
But the hunger to build a successful business never diminished.
“I’ve always had a desire to create,” Lacko says. “To be in this business and have it be something that gets accepted on a broad scale is something that really appeals to me.”
Patience is one of the qualities you’ve got to have if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, Lacko says.
“It’s a complete fog, and you’re trying to trudge forward and everybody has a good angle,” Lacko says. “My lawyers will say, ‘Defend yourself.’ My developers will say, ‘We have to create this ladder.’ A marketing person will say, ‘We have to push you out into the press.’ It’s hard to know where to put your energy. So I just try to balance those things.”
As Lacko continues to pursue the path toward meeting his goals, he takes the time to celebrate the victories along the way.
“We really captured people who were online and authors on Twitter,” Lacko says. “They took to our service and were sending donations back and forth to each other.”
This led Lacko to take note of a particular writer who had just lost her father and was uncertain as to how she was going to pay for his funeral.
“Having lost my father, I understood the emotional panic, let alone not knowing where the money was going to come from to pay for it,” Lacko says. “We were able to get a lot of people to send her money and she was one of the first people to transfer money from the site into her bank account.
“I give to people close to me and anyone in need. When you blend that with a chance to create a successful business, it’s a great dream for me to have potentially coming true.”
How to reach: Koomkey, (949) 682-9566 or www.koomkey.com