In June of 2014 Mr. Rossi joined his current company StationDigital Corporation (OTCQB:SDIG) as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer to help StationDigital build a media streaming platform and ecommerce platform.
Mr. Louis Rossi has enjoyed a long career in the Technical Industry as an Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Executive, since graduating Florida State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics with minors in Mathematics and Business, he has been an entrepreneur, first as an independent consultant and a trainer, then as CEO of CCPrep.com and Qoncert.
How did you get into the music/tech industry?
I graduated from The Florida State University with a degree in Physics with minors in Business and Mathematics. I pondered graduate school, but my Father mentioned that a new and upcoming industry was in desperate need for individuals with technical acumen, which you couldn’t help but acquire while obtaining a science degree. This new industry was, of course, Internetworking and the beginnings of the Internet. My first experience in the music business came while in school working for Student Campus Entertainment (SCE), on campus we would hire bands, put on shows, run movies and special events. It is during these days that I learned how the entertainment and music industry worked. Years later, I had a chance to bridge these two passions by taking the position as Chairman and CEO of StationDigital, a media streaming platform.
Tell us about Station Digital. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
I was not the founder of StationDigital but friends with the founder and when he told me of the vision, I was immediately excited about it. The bringing together of Music, Video, and eCommerce would give us the ability to monetize users at a much higher level than our competitors and allow us to grow exponentially for many years. When the founder stepped down in June of 2014 and I took over, my vision for the company was to continue to develop a platform that would allow artists to monetize their fan base at extraordinary levels yet be consumer friendly with an ad supported free music and video product always available.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to StationDigital's success?
Our relationships with our Music Aggregators and Playlisting providers have been critical to our success to this point. They have allowed us to keep costs under control, yet still deliver a phenomenal product.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The music and video industry are in flux, consumers of music and video are turning to streaming services more and more for their content. You can see this with the huge success of Netflix and Pandora. StationDigital will capitalize on this trend by creating a product that will offer users an ability to combine their need for not just music and video, but eCommerce as well. In addition, we will incent our users to use our eCommerce system constantly with the high touch nature of streaming services and the rewards system.
Enjoy every day, because it may be your last. It is this motto that keeps me working with companies I really believe in and people I enjoy working with. StationDigital is truly a great group of very experienced individuals and I enjoy going to work every day.
Sit Back, Relax, and Earn Rewards. Straightforward and easy to understand. While doing anything with StationDigital you are earning points to purchase goods from our eCommerce platform!
Your greatest success as CEO of StationDigital?
Well, I still have a long way to go to truly find success at StationDigital, but as a CEO you deal with a multitude of personalities from your investors to your vendors to your employees and I feel I have managed them very well.
Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
The most difficult moment is when funding is delayed on a round and you have to tell your employees, that paychecks will be delayed. It is a task I don’t relish but unfortunately in a start-up this can sometimes occur. I have learned over the years the best way to overcome it is to have frequent and transparent dialog with your employees so they are never surprised if that event should ever occur.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
In today’s day and age, it is very difficult, government regulations have become such a nuisance and having a good idea just isn’t enough any more. My advice would be to stay lean at the beginning, raise as much money from family & friends as possible, and hire a GREAT attorney.
Describe the ideal experience using StationDigital.
The ideal experience would be a day where you could listen to your favorite music in your car using your StationDigital Music Discovery App, going home to watch your favorite Movie or TV Show, and then using the points earned to purchase that little Knick Knack or something you have been eyeing.
How do you motivate your employees?
Beatings, beatings, and more beatings. If that doesn’t work, we use regular company meetings and communication to let our employees know that we appreciate them and that they are helping us to build a revolutionary platform. If that doesn’t work, we give them more stock!
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Easy, B. Merrils Buffalo Wings from B Merrils in Columbus, GA and Sam Smith Pale Ale beer!
What literature is on your bed stand?
Ayn Rand’s Anthem and Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time.
Role model - business and personal?
John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems
John has led a company through some of the biggest market transitions in business history, all the while, keeping his company growing and among the leaders in every market segment he has entered and endured.
Personally would be my Wife, Kimberly. Never have I met an individual so dedicated to her family, regardless of the hardship or obstacle put in her way, she always concentrates on keeping her family together.
SDIG, I live, eat, and breath StationDigital right now, it is such a fun business to be associated.
Favorite travel destination?
Going home! As a resident of Saint Augustine, Florida, the smallest and most quaint little city you can imagine I just love going home.
What's next for StationDigital?
We are planning on launching our eCommerce platform in the next 60 days, our On Demand Music Streaming Platfrom with Social integration in mid summer, and our video platform later this year. In addition, our video platform will launch with 3 StationDigital produced series that will only be available only on StationDigital.
Mr. Rossi has obtained many industry certifications, specifically around Cisco Systems including Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP), Certified Cisco Systems Instructor (CCSI), and in October of 1997, he obtained the arduous Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE #3116) certification on his first attempt.
Mr. Rossi has personally conducted hundreds of Cisco router, Catalyst Switch, and Novell Operating System classes throughout the United States. He has taught Cisco Certified courses with the two largest Cisco Training Partners. He has also authored McGraw Hill's Catalyst LAN Switching, McGraw Hill’s CCNA Study Guide and co-authored The CCIE prep.com Study Guide from Genium Publishing.
During his time as CEO of CCPrep.com, he negotiated and closed the sale of CCPrep.com to Earthweb Incorporated for 3.25 million, after the acquisition Mr. Rossi stayed on as a consultant. In the trying economic times Mr. Rossi managed to keep CCPrep.com together and later negotiated and closed the re-purchase of the company from Dice Inc. (Earthweb’s new name) in 2003.
In 2003, Mr Rossi, in a need to keep his talented engineers busy, formed Qoncert, a value added reseller specializing in Cisco product. Qoncert quickly became a Cisco Gold Partner, Cisco’s highest level of certified partner and although designed to be a mere supplement to CCPrep.com, quickly surpassed CCPrep.com in terms of revenue and total gross profit.
While CEO of Qoncert, Mr. Rossi began a wildly successful sports marketing program that saw the company grow its revenues 100% year over year from 2008 – 2012, arguably, through a depressed economy. In 2013 with mounting pressure as the company was poised to exceed 30 million in revenue, Mr. Rossi broke the company into pieces and sold Qoncert to GreenPages Technology Solutions, their hosted voice product to Infrastructure Management Solutions of Tampa, and CCPrep.com to Fastlane Training of the US.