Russell co-founded Cargo Chief, his fourth startup, to address frustrations he experienced as a shipper. Previously, he co-founded and led two cloud-based physical security firms, Sentinel Vision and FireEar. Russell was also the VP of Marketing at B2B air freight marketplace, iCargo. Earlier, he was the CEO and co-founder of Clearvox Communications, the pioneer for the market for wireless phone headsets, which he sold to Plantronics. Russell has been awarded eight patents, double majoring in MIS and Marketing from Boston University’s School of Management and has an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
How did the concept for Cargo Chief come about?
I had a terrible shipper experience, so I wanted to solve issues for small shippers.
What was your marketing strategy?
PR, trade shows, and LinkedIn.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
One of the fastest out of 20,000 freight brokers.
How do you define success?
Home, car, vacation, and helping real people.
What is the key to success?
Team, mission, and focus.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
The selling begins when the prospect says “no.”
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
When I had to terminate a co-founder.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
I think of the factory laborers in China that I visited.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Go for it; it is the best life.
This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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