Karan Jain, Founder & CEO – MagFirst
Jain Karan: Setting the Standard for Digital Publishing
Born in Dehar, a small state in India, this epic designer pushed through familial pressures and societal constraints to build an amazing design agency that creates uncompromisingly elegant digital magazines. Jain Karan is passionate and doggedly committed to contributing only the most beautiful, functional designs to the world.
As a childhood artist, Karan knew that he had a hunger for creating new and beautiful art; however, in his small village, there were only three options: engineering, medicine and the family business. Karan’s family owns and operates the oldest garment store in the village. As the only son, it was assumed that he would run the business after his father retired.
At the tender age of eleven, Karan left his village to pursue an education. He travelled to Delhi where he lived in hostels and learned to navigate the world around him. His passion to exist outside of the mainstream only grew stronger and by the time he entered into an engineering program in college he was beginning to realize that traditional education was only preparing him for a life of obsolescence.
This propelled him to pursue design studies in the evening. He read and studied everything he could on the subject. Using Linda.com courses, he learned to use Photoshop and Illustrator and developed a portfolio that won him fourteen interviews at design firms in India. Within two months of being hired Karan was managing the firms most important brands but those entrepreneurial seeds planted in youth were still germinating.
Karan’s entrepreneurial spirit dictates that he cannot be fulfilled working for someone else; he must always be creating something new and doing it on his own terms. He knew that the key to his success was in linking branding, communication and design. So he turned his focus to conversations: how businesses have a conversation with one another and how they have a conversation with their end user.
For Karan, branding is the most essential element of any business. When his design firm, Enamus, began, it was a business naming company. It has since blossomed into a full-service digital publication agency.
However, there have been some learnings along the way. In an attempt to increase capacity, Karan hired several designers and publications experts. But he soon found it difficult to control the quality of work produced by the team. Scaling back allowed him to enforce the extremely high standards he imposes on himself and his team for creating designs that embody the tenets of Massimo Vignelli: “to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless.”
Karan’s agency, Enamus, has created over 120 digital publication issues and is continuing to experience amazing growth. Much of this success is attributable to Karan’s careful selection of projects. He refuses to focus on mass-produced projects and instead, only takes on those that build on his passions and allow him to build his skills. As an admirer of Steve Jobs, his agency focuses on creating designs that are both beautiful and functional.
The Inside Scoop
As the Art Director at Foundr, Karan is intimately linked to each issue that is produced. Yet even he continues to be astounded by the amazing growth the brand has experienced. He has brought the importance of striking design to the forefront of the brand and continues to deliver breath-taking, inventive ideas to every issue. As a testament to his tenacious determination, Karan admits that even during the most difficult situations at the magazine, including a rebranding effort that occurred as the result of a lawsuit, he never doubted the potential for success. “Desires and passion built [this] magazine” and the growth will continue as long as the team continues to set trends and move forward.
That thread weaves in and out of all aspects of business mindset; “always be doing something new, there is nothing great in doing the same stuff over again.”
The most important element of each issue is the cover. Karan and his team spend a substantial amount of time ensuring that each cover is not only engaging and eye-catching but that it is completely new and daring. He credits his unbounded freedom for much of the success of the covers. Karan and his team have an amazing track record with Foundr, one that affords nearly 100% design latitude. The results are designs that break the confines of traditional or normative products and continually push the limits of possibility.
Karan’s Take on Publishing
As a medium and a catalyst for brand growth, magazines are so powerful because they are customized to meet the needs of the audience. Specialized, specific information backed by the power of a sited source and the publisher’s brand is offered in a distraction free zone; the authenticity and credibility is inherent.
Digital magazines are quickly increasing in reach as more companies come to understand the benefits of digital publishing over traditional, print publishing. As a medium, digital magazines are interactive, scalable and social media ready. They are produced at a much lower cost and have far greater reach; allowing companies to push brand awareness in a cost effective and compelling way.
Perhaps most powerful is the ability to feed information back into the business. Digital magazines are analytics-friendly, providing real-time information on readers to contribute to comprehensive demographics that can then be used to further identify audience needs and values.
Karan’s tenacious work ethic has led him to create a thriving business built upon a strong, unfaltering dedication to producing only the highest quality work. We are proud to have him as a member of the Foundr team.
You wouldn’t probably know this, but Foundr Magazine wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for Karan.
Karan taught me the power of design and branding. This bold move that we’ve made with the level of Foundr’s design has allowed to build great reputation in the entrepreneurial space. Not just as brand itself, but also as an influencer in the entrepreneurial space.
- What it takes to have epic design and branding in your startup
- The untold foundr story you wouldn’t know
- Behind the scenes on the creation process of Foundr Magazine
- Key lessons from Karan on how to choose a design agency
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Karan Jain
Nathan: Hello everyone, around the world. My name is Nathan Chan and I am your host, coming to you live from Melbourne, Australia. I’m really really pumped about this episode, you know, I always say I’m really pumped. Well, you know what, I wouldn’t put these episodes out if I wasn’t pumped but… I’ve gotta come with a new line but anyways, really really excited about this episode. It’s episode number 50. And we’re moving fast, we’ve been out for about seven months now, the podcast, and I hope you’re enjoying it.
And this episode I’m kinda mixing up the…you know, switching up the gears because we’re actually gonna go behind the scenes on how things work at Foundr. You know, how is the magazine put together, how is it designed, like where is this cool funky branding coming from. So, what better person to speak to than our Art Director, Karan Jain, all the way from… I think this conversation was in Bangalore, India, he moves around a lot. But yeah, look, Karan came to me and he’s doing some really really cool stuff at the moment.
And, yeah, I just thought what better opportunity to just show behind the scenes and take the spotlight off me and our other features and really put the spotlight on somebody that… You know, Foundr wouldn’t exist if wasn’t for Karan and Foundr wouldn’t be at the level that it is if it wasn’t for Karan. So, I’m gonna talk to Karan and he’s gonna reveal absolutely everything it takes to, you know, build an epic brand for your startup. What it takes to create award-winning magazines and publications just like Foundr. And also his humble beginnings which is really really interesting, where Karan came from, where he’s at. So yeah this is a little behind the scenes of one of our team members from Foundr Magazine.
So, I hope you enjoy this one guys. It’s a little longer than usual but I promise you that Karan’s such an interesting guy and a super super talented guy, entrepreneur, designer, you name it, he’s a funny guy. And we were actually gonna be catching up again. I went to his wedding in November, November last year and we’re gonna be catching up again actually in the States traveling around, so it’s gonna be really really fun. So, you know, we met from just working together and now we’re great friends.
So that’s enough from me. If you are enjoying these episodes, you do like me mixing this stuff up, please let me know I’d love to hear from you. But first, leave us a review and yeah, I’d love to hear from you. If you’re loving these episodes, loving us missing these kinda stuff up and doing different things. So, get in touch, [email protected] All right, let’s jump in.
Can you just give us a little bit of an insight into how you got your job man and how you’re doing the work you’re doing today?
Karan: I’m a mechanical engineer graduate, as far as my education is concerned. But very very beginning in my education, I understood that education today is so close towards…it’s pretty obsolete. It’s not helping people to create something new and it’s not mobilizing people to understand that how businesses work in real world. So, I realized that I had a calling towards brand communications, like how the whole communication perspective work.
And it was more about, you know, I understood very well in the beginning that how do companies have a conversation with each other, have the conversation with their end user, with consumers. I believe that, you know, it’s very important to understand key things from brand communication. The first thing was, who are you…to understand who are you, and the second is who am I talking to, and the third is how should you say it? That was a very important insight in my life which helped me carve and understand design better. And I have always been a follower and an admirer of Steve Jobs and he always said that, you know, design is not just about aesthetics, it’s something which…it has to be functional. It has to work otherwise it’s of no use.
So, I employed that, you know, design since the beginning and it’s my seventh or eighth year in this business. Now, everything and whatever we do is all backed with the same idea, that it has to work for our client, it has to work for them. If it doesn’t work, even if it looks really amazing, it doesn’t really make any sense. Our journey started as a brand naming firm in 2011 and then we moved on to become a brand management firm and we did branding for couple of companies. We started off ecommerce portals with their complete market and social strategy and, you know, almost managing their account.
But then one of these digital magazines called Digital Nomad, there’s this guy called Raki Bench. So, he contacted us, he saw and he contacted us whether we will be interested in doing digital magazines because we have never done digital magazine before that. But when the content came over, when that design came over, we started researching about digital magazine, but what is it because it was new for us too. And how’s the design done and what are the basics behind, what are the principles which leads to a great digital magazine, you know. The content is definitely a very important part of it but we realized in the beginning that even the design, each and every page of the magazine has to be very powerful, very sound and it has to pop out on a high definition retinal display tablet, right?
So, we understood that that was extremely important and we started working on it, and then couple of different magazines happened. And somehow some of our magazine went on to become pretty good design magazines and it was also considered as one of the best designed magazines by Apple itself. So that’s how journey have been like. And then we started focusing completely on digital magazines. And now we are a full-service digital magazine agency, where primarily we focus in creating interactive and beautiful digital mags. So that’s pretty much our story.
Nathan: Yeah. Look there’s a lot I’d like to unpack there. And for the audience, where are you currently based out of now?
Karan: We are based out of New Delhi. We started off in Bangalore, it’s the IT hub of India.
Karan: We started out from there, we worked from there and then we moved to Delhi and one of our offices are there in Mumbai also.
Nathan: And when you say we…so, you know, when I came to you, you know, we launched Foundr March 5, 2013, we engaged each other, you know, we started working together on the first issue. Do you remember the first issue, we didn’t even have a successful person on the front cover.
Karan: Yes, yes. I remember the image for the first issue.
Nathan: Yeah. You had to find that stock image. What were you thinking? Why didn’t you ever say to me like, bro, like we need to find a successful person. You don’t usually put a stock image. Like, I knew nothing about design, man. I knew nothing we have magazines like… How come you didn’t ask me that, man?
Karan: Very frankly when I went over the content I thought that it will be typically, you know, at least… Very frankly, I never thought that a day will come when we were featuring people like Richard Branson and, you know, Deepak Chopra. It was the… The way Foundr has exponentially, you know, grown over the period of time, it’s unimaginable. I would have never thought, looking at the first issue that, you know, this is how it’s gonna be like. And right from the second, third issue we started featuring people like, you know. So, in the beginning I really thought, you know…I never thought of it, you know there will be a time when we’ll be featuring people like this. So, I thought with a good stock image we would do justice to the content which you sent me and I let it go, you know. That that’s the first issue and probably after that we never featured…we never use a stock image for the cover.
Nathan: Yeah, that was funny. So, like, me and you we’ve been through a lot together we’ve been through lawsuits, you know, I went to…me and my girlfriend who went to your wedding, you know, a few months ago. We’ve worked together quite closely as well and we’ve done a lot together. But I’m curious when you say we, like, who is we?
Karan: See, when started off then…it was almost me all alone and I just had one person to help me with my business administration and sometimes talking to clients and stuff like that. But then, later in the stage we realized that we need more team, you know, more illustrators in-house or more people to help me with the design as in, you know, design publications. At one period of time, we were doing quite a number of magazines in a month’s time. So, what happened was we built a team of around four people back in 2012, 2013. And I taught them… They were people from design background, they were people from publication background, but what happened was that the quality of the work was getting deteriorated since they didn’t knew very much about what digital publications are like or what are the kind of designs required.
So, there are lot of big magazines who are taking the print edition of the mag and taking it online, you know, digital, that doesn’t work basically, you know, because print magazines are pretty different from digital mags, as far as design is concerned. The space is smaller, the text font size has to be bigger. In print mags there are spreads in digital mags there are no spreads, these are single pages. So these things were pretty different. So somehow I was able to build two people in my team who are pretty strong, who are working with me even today, we help you with lot of magazines and lot of work we have, but moreover, the whole design idea and the whole understanding of design and the conversation which we have about each issues are being set by me, like standards are being set by me, as in this is how it should be done. That’s we, basically, you know. We are a team of three people as of now. So one is a UX, UI designer, whom you have met.
Nathan: Yeah, Anuj.
Karan: Yeah, Anuj. And I have a helper, I have a graphic designer, junior graphic designer, who helps me with the work. And we are very soon planning to, you know, expand so that we can cater to more people and with much, much, much better quality of work. Because the one thing we can’t compromise on is the quality of work because I think skill is a very important thing and just…you want to build your reputation you have to do work which is at par with the best.
Nathan: Yeah. Well, look, when we first started working together, man, you know, I went through a few different designers as you know. I was even going to launch, you know, we had a full magazine issue ready to go and the work was not up to scratch but I just was keen to launch. And you said to me “Look, I highly recommend that you set the scene early on with strong branding because it will pay off in the long run.” And that was something that you actually told me, Karan. Because I was big on design and I always liked nice design but you said to me, you said “Look, you pay that extra bit of money, you spend that extra more time, you set the scene and it will pay off. It does pay dividends.”
And one thing that I’ve learned, through our time with Foundr, you know, we just turned two, that still to this day we are constantly complimented by our design. And it speaks volumes in the kind of respect that we get in this industry that we’re in. So, I’m curious, you mentioned to me that you learned from your uncle, can you tell us about that story? Because, you know, you started off as a mechanical engineer, were you working full-time, you know? Did you start this design stuff on the side and then you switch to full time? Can you tell me about how that all occurred, man?
Karan: Yeah. See, actually my uncle is one of the most famous publication designers in India. He designs some of the most iconic magazines of India including “India Today”, including “Filmfare”, including “Star&Style;” and also the newspapers which are the top selling newspapers in India. So, he introduced 22 fonts in India. .22 fonts in India publication industry. So, he was a person who introduced the Times New Roman, he was a person who introduced lots of different fonts in the Indian publishing industry. So, he’s considered an icon in this industry.
In the beginning it was very difficult for me to understand that how is that, you now, he was celebrated diversity person in the design fraternity. So, I always try… I was very fascinated by. But his work was always focused towards design, you know, it was extremely design-oriented. And I just imagined, you know, that how it would be that if you connect this designer skill with immaculate understanding of branding and communications. So, my first job… I used to work at one place ever in my life, that was OpusCDM, it’s a luxury branding company in India, agency in India, so…
Nathan: Sorry, you just got that job, like you finished your mechanical engineering degree and then you just got that job with no experience? How did that work, man?
Karan: No. When I was in the college, from the first year onwards, I had started focusing towards design. I started learning, I started people reading like Massimo Vignelli, going through his works, going through the works of Stefan Sagmeister. So these kind of people…I started building my skills. And when this college placement started happening then instead of applying to mechanical engineering colleges, I applied to this design agency or advertising agencies. And you won’t believe, I applied to 16 agencies just with a basic portfolio I had and I got a job interview from 14 companies in a matter of two days, in a matter of two days. Because… I thought that’s great because I don’t have even a design background and I have never worked this industry but there is something in my portfolio probably which people are looking into.
So that happened and then I went to this company where this person was there calles Nagesh Manay, who’s the strategic planning head of this company. So, he met with me and he said that “You know, we want you to join us and it will be great having you onboard.” So, I started working with that company and within a span of two months I was almost, you know, managing couple of brands, big brands, brands like, brands like Seiko watches. So, that was pretty exciting for me, you know, that gave me a lot of confidence on my work. Because sometimes what happens is, you might be doing amazing work but it’s very important to a third person to reinforce it, and a person who has already proved this credibility in the market out there.
So, this happened to me and then after a while I realized that I’m not a person who can work under someone because the idea which I had about branding, the idea which I had about communication, if I need to pursue it I have to start my own firm. When we started off things were pretty easy because, you know, I had already a good client base before that, I had works going on. But we were almost, you know, we were bootstrapping. So we were bootstrapping and in the beginning, after a year or so, it was pretty difficult for us to, you know, continue with the work we had going on.
Nathan: Sorry. I’m curious, how did you get customers when you first started out? Like you…so you left that design firm you working for and did you go on Elance, Odesk start pitching? You had local clients? Or how did you get clients, man?
Karan: In India, we have a very well connected community and the community I belong to, the kind of people, you know… Janaism, I follow Janaism. So we have a very well connected society. So, as soon as someone gets to know that we have a brand manager or, you know, a designer we have in our relation, so you get some work through which, you know, you can live your basic life. So I was living in a very small place with one desktop I had, which I bought from my savings, one PC. And from there I started working and only trusting in work, which I believe would help me in the long run. Because lot of works came along for, you know, a small companies wanting to get work done but, you know, they didn’t have the budget or they weren’t giving enough creative freedom to go ahead and try something new.
So, I never wanted to get into those kind of work because it might give me money but it won’t help me build my skill. So, I was very clear since the beginning that up to the age of 35, at least, I just need to work on building my skill. Because if you follow, you know, follow great work, if you believe in great work, if you believe that, you know, you have to produce results which are really amazing, money will come or success will come. So I always believed in that since the beginning.
So, I never did mass work, I always did very selected projects. I made sure that it has to be amazing. So, through Behance also I got lot of traction, I got lot of people talking about my work, lot of people coming and saying that, you know, we want this thing to be worked out the design, the strategy to be made. And many of things happen through Behance. Then later we started, you know, in order to grow our business, we got to know about this platform called Elance and from there we started. And very soon on Elance, we went on to become a leading agency in India with a huge turnover on Elance.
We did business for over $70,000 only through Elance. So yeah, things went on and it was really amazing. The hustle in that period of time was great. And even I loved that the same passion, the same desire to create something amazing is still there in me and I feel that every day. And I think probably you also feel that when you give me some work to do, something which is pretty new I become really excited about it, you know?
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean, man. I’m curious, what excites you right now? What is the vision in the future for Enamus and the work that you’re doing? Because you wanna do all sorts of crazy things, man, you’re not just a designer, you’re a serial entrepreneur. So I’m just curious around that.
Karan: I also was a partner for an ecommerce startup called so it was into female gaming equipments. And along with that…means I’m a person who always wants to build something new or do something new. For Enamus, means what we are planning is that we want to make Enamus the biggest digital publishing agency in the world. And this has been our, you know, the motive, the goal, with which we are working for the past two, three years. And this is what we want to achieve in the very near future, and we are working very hard towards it.
We want to make the digital publishing industry…and set different design standards for digital publishing altogether. We want to set a completely different standard for digital publishing. We have already designed over 28 plus digital magazines and 120 issues, but that’s not our main goal that, you know, try and achieve and do 500 issues or 1000 issues. The ultimate goal is that we want to continuously create magazines which try and create an impact, which try and set standards.
Because every day, when I browse through platforms, when I go through different, you know, when I read about digital publishing, every day we see like something new is happening, a new interactive platform has opened to go digital or something new is happening, so we want to be in top of the game. There are agencies who are doing it and we are very inspired by them, we just want to be there. We just want to create that dent and help these publishers, help these advertisers, people some education, to use the digital publishing as a platform to leverage their brand and also to get a great amount of revenue in a very cost-effective manner.
Because there are lot of benefits to digital publishing which wouldn’t have been imagined two to three or four years back, because it’s a very cost-effective way, it’s socially integrated, it’s interactive. You can analyze it, which is a very important part of business today. You know, analytics has become so important part of business today that in order to track that which people are following you and who are your true followers, who are your true readers, it’s extremely important to understand that which demographics they belong to, what kind of people are reading your magazine, right?
So, these all possibilities wouldn’t have been possible with any print mag ever, right? It’s only with digital magazine, through which you can track that…from where your readers are coming and that also in a real time basis. It just fascinates me that how much possibilities are there with digital publishing, where it can be taken. And we just want to innovate in this industry, you know, keep innovating, keep doing new stuff and take it to a whole new level.
Nathan: Yeah. Look, I can really hear passion for this, man. And we’ve talked at length about this kind of stuff, but I’m sure that the audience would love to hear, you know, you’re a digital publishing expert, much more than me, in the sense that you can see these trends and you’re very ahead of the curve there. Because, you know, you’re a Art Director of Foundr and, you know, you’ve done some amazing work for us. I’m sure people would really love to hear, you know, what do you believe that the future is of digital publishing? Do you think that eventually print magazines will be gone or do you think that that will be like, you know… I personally believe that there will be a little bit like records, you know, vinyl. Vinyl is still in, you can still get it, but it’s just collectible so, you know, it’ll be a dying trade. What is it… I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
Karan: See, I believe print magazines are here to stay for the next 10 years or so, but the possibilities which digital publishing is giving you is immense, it’s pretty huge, in comparison to print mags, as far as the cost is concerned, as far as the reach is concerned, as far as the revenue is concerned. So there isn’t a single way…you know, for example, let’s take a very simple idea. If I am an entrepreneur, if I want to read magazines, right, I go to a trip for like 10 days and I want to read couple of magazines. So, you know, I can’t carry those 10 heavy magazines, I can’t “Forbes”, “Entrepreneur”, “Fast Company”, I can’t carry these magazines with me. Instead, I’ll just take my iPad, this will also help me to read all these magazines with thousands of titles and choose to read it. So, you know, the whole world has become very minimal these days. I was talking to you that day about the minimalistic revolution which is going on, you know, you remember that?
Nathan: Yeah, yeah.
Karan: So, digital publishing is also part of becoming minimal. In one tablet, you have thousands of mags and how exciting is that. Just imagine, a rack of 1000 mags, how big and heavy it would be. But thousands of mags in an iPad it isn’t any heavier, even if you have editions, So, I believe that print mags are not gonna stay here for the long run, I totally believe that it’s the world of digital publishing. It will not only help publishers in the future but even small businesses, big businesses, advertisers, educators, you know, any people who… It will be almost but everyone who are looking to leverage their position in the market, who are looking to push their brand from one point to another, in a very cost-effective and extremely powerful way. Yeah, I believe that, you know, print magazines are not gonna stay for a long, long, long time. It’s sad to say that but that’s the truth.
Nathan: Yeah. I’m with you, man, like you’re not wrong there around the the profitability and cost of production. You know, that’s what’s so awesome about digital products is they’re very scalable. You can just create one and you can sell it millions, hundreds of millions of times. And that’s why, you know, a lot of these big companies that are coming out of Silicon Valley, these successful startups, they’re all, you know, SaaS’s and technology companies is because they’re very very scalable. And print magazine is very very difficult to scale, you’ve gotta pay for production costs, you’ve gotta pay to, you know, get fulfillment and all sorts of things and you’ve gotta pay to ship it. And, you know, it’s just amazing how much more cost-effective it is to produce a digital publication.
I’m curious and I’ve kinda touched with you on this question… So we’re covering a lot of ground, like new ground here for me too, around the cover. Now, you know, when you design a Foundr cover, you always say to me that it comes down to the image. And I try my absolute best, because obviously we don’t do photo shoots, we’re not like a traditional print magazine where we do photo shoots. We’re usually always just given the photo and we just get to choose a set of photos that, you know…professional shots that the, you know, feature has had done previously. And I always go out of my way to try and get you the absolute best photos and as many as I can. And I remember… I never forget, you said to me that, “It always comes down to the photo and it always comes down to how much time is spent on that cover. Like, you know, covers like “Wired” magazine they make amazing covers, they spend so much time on it.”
I’m curious to, you know, what your process is. Can you give us an insight to, you know, how you create these covers? Because, you know, the Foundr covers are amazing. Like one of my favorites was that one we did with Deepak, Deepak Chopra, that was amazing, man. Like that was so good. Like, anyone who’s listening you’ve gotta check that one out because it’s, Karan… my personal, one of my personal favorites. We have many but you really just stepped up another notch, like you always cease to amaze me with your talent and your work. Yeah, so please can you just give us an insight into how you’re doing that?
Karan: All right. Thanks a lot for that, I also love the Deepak Chopra cover. In a digital mag, cover is the most important part which I think is the essence of a digital mag, like any magazine. I think it’s a war of thumbnails on newsstand and I realized it very much in the beginning. Being from a branding background, being from a marketing branding background, I understood that what’s a reason that a certain magazine is picked over the other magazine. There is “Foundr” Magazine and just next to it there’s “Forbes” Magazine, and “Foundr” is doing better than “Forbes” on newsstand, how is that happening? You know, then “Forbes” has been there for a long long time, one of the leading magazines and a huge setup and right here, you know, a small team are doing such huge work, how is it happening?
I understood that. Until and unless you understand the idea of the war of thumbnails, which is about, your thumbnail has to jump out of the iTunes store page, it has to be that powerful. It has to have super strong typography. If we take a print mag, take its cover, and put it in iTunes new newsstand, then there will be a very small thumbnail, this will be visible, unless you will zoom you won’t be able to even read the text what is written on it, and neither the image is gonna pop out.
So, we always make sure that we have a very strong contrast on our cover and when we design it we keep the size really small. We don’t make it full screen on our desktops, we make it really small. And we keep checking how does it look like when it’s really small? Does it stand out? And sometimes, if there’s a need we also put it on newsstand on a template mock, that how does it look like on newsstand, does it stand out? And if that works…because as soon as a person sees a cover and is attracted to it, he gets from the magazine, he’s sold. He has bought the magazine now, he has become a true follower. So this is what happens, all the “Foundr” mags, when you see all the covers they are not identically same. For example, when you see “Entrepreneur” Magazine or you see “Esquire” Magazine all the covers look similar.
Nathan: That is true.
Karan: Yeah. That’s similar branding, that’s great, that’s no doubt about it, that’s great, that looks amazing when put together. But when it stands to compete with other magazines on newsstands, where all of them are stacked side by side, how do you differentiate your mag? If you have a similar design, people will love it for the first or second time but from the third time they won’t come back for that. But just check out “Foundr” Magazines, we have done 45 issues and some special issues, all the issues have different color, different covers, different typography, different uses of image, different positioning, different layout and different market positioning, as far as the cover is concerned.
So that’s what we work on, we always make sure that we see the cover as a thumbnail. That’s what I tell my whole team, that’s what I talk to people about, that it’s a war of a thumbnail out there. If you need to make your market, if you need to make your stand on the newsstand platform, you have to make sure that your cover stands out as a thumbnail, that is around 80 pixels to 120-25 pixels. If it works in that kind of size, it is gonna work in the long run, because as soon as you sell your cover your magazine sold, you get a new subscription, you get a new reader, you get a new follower. That’s the idea with which we work towards cover.
The cover is one of the most difficult parts of a magazine and we take a lot of time on designing just the cover, but it’s really fun for us. It’s really fun because with every new issue, we can do something new. We can try a new font, we can try a new layout, we can go crazy. And I would really like to thank you, that you that you have given us enough creative freedom to, you know… Whenever a cover comes, I ask, you know, how should we go about it? And the only answer you say is, “Karan, just go wild and be as creative as you can.” And you have no idea how great a designer feels when a client says like that. Because most of the clients are like, “No, I want this color, I want this font and do something with this,” and stuff like that. But you are always like, “I trust you and just go as crazy as I can.”
And Deepak Chopra issue is one of those covers which can never happen for a person like him, with that kind of cover. We have Deepak Chopra written on his face, that is embossed on his face, that is crazy. You know, that’s a very bold cover for a person from the life coach industry. But just because you trusted in us, just because you have always trusted our designing strength we’ve been able to do that. And I just thought, you know, while designing it, “Karan, I think it’s too loud but let’s give it a try. I think that Nathan will love it and probably the PR team of Deepak Chopra will end up loving it.” And I was just, you know, I was just praying that this happens because I want that cover to go out there, I want that cover to, you know, be something new because there are a hell lot of Deepak Chopra covers but all of them have a typical design style. I wanted to use a very bold color, very bold font and extremely bold personality of Deepak Chopra. And it was amazing when you said “No, that the PR team loved it.” And I was like “Dude, yes, it’s great.”
Nathan: Yeah, man. You absolutely rocked that one. That was awesome. Look, this is awesome. I’m really loving this insight because I don’t know why but we’ve never taken the time to just sit down and to really unpack how you operate, and we will be working together for so long, it’s funny like that.
Nathan: So, you know, as you were saying all this stuff, I was writing down a whole ton more questions and we’ll work towards wrapping up bro, but this is awesome. I don’t know what it is about magazines but people just love magazines. I realized very very early on in the piece, with what we were doing with “Foundr” is, you know, yeah we’re getting the Richard Branson’s, the Arianna Huffington’s and we’ve got so many more, you know, big time influencers, big time amazingly powerful entrepreneurs and people that have achieved some extremely crazy things. And, you know, we’ll continue to push those boundaries with what’s possible, from a bootstrap startup perspective, independent published magazine perspective.
But, at the same time, I realized very early on that a magazine is a brilliant way to develop influence and to build trust in a niche or a market. And I’d just like to hear your insight into, yeah, I just…I still can’t really wrap my head around the concept around a magazine, in essence because it’s just like a blog, it’s just kinda package it up. Like, what is it to you that makes magazines… Like why people love them, what is it about them, in your eyes, that makes what a magazine is?
Karan: Yeah, that’s an amazing question. And see, I believe that magazines are a extremely powerful way of taking a brand to a whole new level or talking about an idea, right? “Foundr” Magazine when it launched, it was very clear that who is target audience is. It was young entrepreneurs, right? Young entrepreneurs, not even old entrepreneurs and not even people who are 35, 40, 45. Those are also part of the target audience but it was very focused that, you know, this is our target audience. You want people who have no idea about entrepreneurship, have no idea about how to take your business, we will help them in some other way. We help them through our magazine.
So, the question is that, don’t these people already had access to lot of data online through…lot of information online through different channels whether it be Twitter, whether it be Facebook, whether it be Mashable or Gizmodo or whatever platform it is, don’t they have the ideas? But the fact is that on the internet everything is available, right, everything is available, whatever information you want about a certain thing. But the problem is the information overflow. You want to know about a certain thing but you end up knowing about 10 odd things which you are not supposed to know.
The problem is not in knowing those 10 things, the problem is wasting your time in learning those new nine things which you are not supposed to know. For example, when I go to Facebook, I go through so many feeds out of which I’m interested in two feeds only which will immediately help in my entrepreneurial journey as of now, but rest of them won’t. But it takes a lot of my time. It takes a lot of my time which is supposed to be focused towards doing a specialized work. So I think that’s where magazine are extremely important, that’s where magazine play a very important role.
“Foundr” Magazine for young entrepreneurs and we are gonna talk about all those things which are about business and we’re gonna feature great people, and we will have very specific specialized content every month for you, only for you, made for you, you know, customized for you. So what happens is you take, you know, there are those 10, 15 topics which you curate and then it’s published through “Foundr” and all those people who are the readers, who want to get those specialized content, who want to read that magazine in one or two hours and get so much of knowledge, without any distraction. I think that’s the importance of a magazine, without any distraction.
Nathan: That’s a good point. Yeah.
Karan: If someone wants to know about Twitter, you know, how to…for example, Instagram, right, you have such a huge following on Instagram. If someone wants to know how to go about building your Instagram followers, they will go online and they will get like 60, 70 odd articles about it, blogs about it. But what happens is, who has authentically proved that this is the right way of doing it, you know, where does it comes from, which blog is it written, who knows that this is authentic style of doing? And what happens is, after seeing those odd 50, 60 ideas of doing it, you eventually don’t do it because you end up spending too much time and you end up confused.
But if that same article, or it’s an insight which you have personally done or if a person like Richard Branson has personally done, that insight that is put in “Foundr” Magazine, then there are two channels of credibility. The first is Richard Branson and second is a very well doing magazine platform, on which the content, all the content which are there have been written by influential people, have been written by people who have done it in their lives, and then it’s published. So, you know, it’s like a personal mentor, it’s like a personal mentor who have already filtered all the best content, all the best works, all the best interviews, and it has personally curated for you and it has them published in a magazine. So that’s why I feel that magazines are extremely powerful because it saves a lot of your time, it gives you right insight about what you want to do and how you want to do it.
And that’s how magazine are extremely powerful and that’s why it’s very easy for a magazine to carve a niche and talk about a certain point, talk about a certain, you know, industry or bring a follower of people who will always be a follower because we are always working toward the same kind of content, you know, continuously evolving over the content which you have been writing about, which your magazine is all about.
Nathan: Yeah, no, look that was a brilliant brilliant explanation, man. And yeah, look, you’re spot on. I think, you know, that was awesome. So look, let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about your life and what it was like growing up out of… You were born in Bangalore or where were you born?
Karan: No, no. I was born in a very small city in Bihar. It’s a small state in India. And the society in the Bihar is kind of, you know, very orthodox and old school, belonging to a very small city, very small, it’s almost like next to a village. I was born there. Since the childhood, I wasn’t, you know, I was good at studies. I was good at only studies and maths but I wasn’t a person who was a believer in himself, you know, a believer who…
Nathan: You didn’t believe in yourself.
Karan: Yeah. Believer in the sense, you know, it was because of society also. It was more because of a society because they felt as if, you know, from this place, from a place like Munger, a person can’t go and, you know, try and create a dent in the world. So that kind of culture was there, that kind of, you know, when you belong to a very small city very small village or town then people don’t believe that, you know, you can go places or you can do stuff.
Nathan: How big, out of curiosity, to you, because India is very big and many people. How many people is, to you, a small city or a village where you came from?
Karan: The number of people, I think, would be very less, I think not even…considering India’s population. India’s population, 130 crores, but the areas are very densely populated. But what I can just say is that in my city there was even…electricity used to come only two to three hours a day. Just imagine, out of 24 hours electricity was only two to three hours a day. There wasn’t a conveyance to go to school. We had to…there were a lot of other issues with it. But the environment was not conducive enough to, you know, take you to a bigger height. You know, it was there since the beginning that, you know, people or the teachers or the whole education system was like that. You know, you just have to get a job and, you know, find a decent salary and live a happy life, that was the idea there.
There wasn’t anything about doing something out of the box or creating a dent or doing something powerful. So I never, you know, couldn’t think beyond what I was able to. I was very good at studies, I always the top one in my class and Maths. But somehow I think there was something was lacking in me because I had a die-hard desire to do something new or create something new. But at one stage of time, I wasn’t the smartest or the most coolest person around, but somehow at one point of time I started realizing that you don’t need to be the smartest or the most, you know, fastest person out there, you just need to believe that you can. It’s a famous quote also and I really follow it on everyday basis, that as sooner or later the person who wins, you know, is a person who thinks he can.
So you don’t need to be faster or smarter, you just have to believe that you can. And from that place I went on to Delhi, I came to Delhi. Delhi is a capital of India. I left that place, I came Delhi. I had to rebel against my family that I need to study outside of the city because I need to go beyond whatever I’m capable of and I need to start, you know, building something. So I went to Delhi, you know, as a very young age.
Nathan: How old?
Karan: Eleven or twelve, I guess, I left my city. I came to Delhi to study in a hostel and since then I have been all on my own. Since that age, I have always lived outside. I have lived in like six, seven odd cities in India and I never went back to my city. I go there every once in a while, like, once in a year or so, but I went to these places and I got to know so much about, so much possibility which can happen. I went to this amazing engineering college where most of the people were and I got to know about, you know, what are the possibilities that you can… Because as a youngster, the only thing you can imagine is…in India or in a place like Bihar, you can only imagine being an engineer or a doctor, right, nothing more than that.
So, then I got to know that there are interior designers, there are architects, there are consultants, there are designers, graphic designers, communication people, so many options. Then I thought that, you know, I don’t want to get into something mainstream but due to, you know, family bound-ish you know, a kind of temperament that, you know, only if you are an engineer you can do amazing in your life otherwise you won’t. So somehow I ended up in engineering college. I was doing good with that also but what happened was…means due to my curious nature, I kept questing things and that was something which my professors didn’t like.
And in the beginning only I had a, you know, kinda professor and that wasn’t good enough, and then I realized though it’s not happening to me, it’s not happening. And it was like I almost became a dropout, you know, in my college, never went to college I just got the degree by doing, you know, by somehow managing it. In my college, first year itself, I never studied engineering, I started working with graphic designing, working day and night because it was extremely difficult for not belonging to a design college and understanding design in a daily basis, you know, learning about it through different platforms. Lynda.com was extremely powerful in teaching me a lot of stuff which I know about design.
Nathan: Ah, lynda.com. So you’ve done a lot of courses on Lynda.
Karan: Yeah. In the beginning of my career, back in 2008, 2009, I have done lot of courses on Lynda to understand Photoshop, to understand Illustrator, InDesign, and the possibilities which they can offer to us as designers, as creators. So, I have been artist, you know, I have been good at painting and sketching since my childhood, so I thought of taking it forward. The designs which I made in the beginning, well, is typically beautiful but I never understood the communication part of it. So, it was working with my uncle that I got to know…in one holiday I was with him for a while, so I got to know that what communication is how communication is so important, why is it so important, that aesthetics is not…and it’s nothing, the only thing is communication. If it works, if it’s talking to someone, if it’s trying to achieve a goal, if it gives a solution to a problem then it’s a good design. So, then I thought, “Okay, aesthetics is a second part but the most important part is the communication perspective of it.”
And then I started reading about Massimo Vignelli who is supposed to be one of the greatest designers who ever lived, so… He died last year I guess. So, he wrote like, the design has to be visually powerful and intellectually elegant and above all, timeless. So that was one of his quotes. So, it was so…this whole quote was so enriching, so powerful, that it has to be intellectually elegant and above all, timeless. So that’s a very important understanding which I got in my mind about branding, that the branding has to be timeless, the branding has to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant. So that happened, college somehow I managed to pass and immediately I started working in the agency for three months, which I talked about. And immediately after that I went on to start my own company. But the issue was my father have a very strong business here, you know, it’s a 70-year-old business in India.
Nathan: What is your father’s business?
Karan: My father’s business, he’s into garments, ready-made garments, right, clothing. We have a clothing store, which is around 70 years old. It was the first store in our city. And we have a huge following of people who come to our shop and buy clothes on a regular basis. We have a very good business going on and I was the only son, business. So, since childhood it was always like, you know, whatever you do, you know, you can’t earn as much as our traditional business is earning, right? So, you will have to come back to Munger no matter what, wherever you study, wherever you go, that was the idea because what will happen to the 70-year-old shop when my father grows old.
So that was a concern. And I was really really, really… I never wanted to get into that industry because I never liked it. It might give a lot of money, it might give a lot of, you know…
Nathan: Recognition, reputation.
Karan: Recognition and stuff, everything, recognition, reputation but somehow I never wanted to get in the clothing business, the ready-made garments business. And it was a really great fight to, you know, match up to the scale of the business they were doing since 70 years and to my business. So that was a very important reason that I wanted to start my own business because a person can’t earn a lot with being an employee of certain company. There is only in limit up to which you can earn, even if you are extremely skilled. And that wouldn’t have brought me anything closer than what my traditional parents business was doing. So I thought that the only option is let’s just hustle and, you know, get into start your own business and make it happen. And after two years, from my family no one start…everyone stopped telling that you will have to come back. The only thing they said was, go ahead with believe in you now. So it was like that.
So, you know, sometimes it just get down to your bank balances, sometime it just get down to the revenue you’re doing, you know, sometimes your family setup. So that’s what happened to me and I’m glad that I was able to reach that milestone which was set by my parents in a very short span of time. We are an affluent family back home, so in order to reach that level, from scratch… I almost literally started everything from scratch, right? From buying my first iMac to building our office, to place, you know, whatever it is. So everything I’ve built from scratch right from day one, I’ve been bootstrapping till now. So, yeah.
Nathan: Yeah, no, look, it’s amazing what you’ve accomplished, man. And I’m so grateful…you know, before we hit record, I was saying that I’m so grateful that, you know, me and you started working together. And “Foundr” would be nowhere near where it is today if it wasn’t for your hard work and us working together…and we’ve been through so much. Yeah. I just, you know, I wanna do whatever I can to help you and thank you for your hard work and helping us, you know, with our mission.And, yeah, we will continue to grow and we will continue to slowly take over the world… I just wanted to ask you a question that I’ve been dying to ask you for a long time and we’ll work towards wrapping up. And that is, you know, when we first started and we got sued…now we can’t say who sued us but, you know, “Foundr” was sued by a very big company, a big publishing company, big magazine. And like, what was going through your mind? Were you thinking… Because we had a lot of tight deadlines where we had to change the name, you know, it wasn’t called “Foundr”, we had to change the name. In the end it was a massive blessing because the name was 10 times better. And I think the branding, to be honest, was better…the new branding that we had. What was going through your mind, because we had some pretty tight deadlines and I was putting a lot of pressure on you? Did you ever think like, you know, jeez, maybe I should just, you know, give up or, you know…?
Karan: No, no no. That idea wasn’t ever there. I just knew one thing, that the reason with which we are doing certain things, the reason with which I was trying to make “Foundr” the best magazine on the newsstand, the reason with which you were working towards “Foundr” was right. And I think everything will work out, that was my idea, that was my thought, that everything will work out. And I always believed that it was an opportunity, that whatever happens is an opportunity. It was definitely a nightmare for both of us that you know what will happen next, but I believed, you know, somehow, I had this gut feeling that it is for the better. And you have no idea how powerful the new name is, how powerful it is.
When you came up with the name…we were discussing about names for the new magazine and when you came up with the name for “Foundr” it was just smooth. I was like, “Dude, this is like thousand times better.” And, you know, as soon as the name changed, the only thing which came to my mind was now “Foundr” Magazine is scalable like anything. Now “Foundr” Magazine is scalable like anything because with a the name like the previous magazine there was a very limited scope, you know, but with “Foundr” you are straightaway, you know, hitting the target. It’s powerful, it’s bold, it’s simple, it’s, you know, six letters, it’s beautiful. And as soon as that happened, the only thing which was on my mind was, “I need to give it a very super strong branding, I need to give it a very simple font which everyone could relate to.” And when that happened, the only option that was left was the Helvetica, the most neutral font ever. And I used that font for the typing and I was…the first two days I was a bit afraid. I wasn’t afraid about, you know, the work closing down because I had a good work going on at that point of time Even now, even today, we are doing good amount of work.
So it doesn’t matter to us, you know, if one client is there or if it’s not there, but the issue is that if you’re building something from scratch you get connected to it, you get connected to it so much. I was connected to “Foundr” so much because, you know, the most important thing is when you build something from scratch, when you’re building something you want it to go and fly, you know, you want to see it out there. And “Foundr” was doing it but just after a couple of issues, when this happened, I was like “No, dude, this is not happening. We have to somehow sort it out, we have to sort it out.” And I knew that it will be sorted out and sorted out for good.
And look at the “Foundr” branding today. When you said that, you know, we will have to change all the branding, all the covers and stuff, I remember I said that, you know, whatever it takes, whatever it takes. If we don’t have to sleep for two to three days, whatever it takes, we just have to get those changes done and get started, you know, in an amazing way. And I think that was a blessing in disguise. I totally believe that was a blessing in disguise because that taught both of us a lot of things. It also taught me that how important it is for you to love your work which you are doing, no matter what extent it is.
Because, for example, if I’m doing…if I would have done “Foundr” for 10, 15 issues after 15th issue told you, , you know, just let it happen, you know, let’s just get the issues done, that is what the thing was. But when that happened I thought, “Foundr” might not exist. So when that happened I realized, you know, how important it is for us to continuously…we feel grateful about the work which you are getting through your clients and doing your best and considering it your own work because then only you can create masterpieces. But I always believed it will work out. I always believed it’ll work out and thanks to whatever happened, and look at “Foundr” today.
Whenever I read about “Foundr” in some of the other blog, you know… somewhere I was reading couple of days back a LinkedIn post in which, you know, a person posted that we want to the top magazines who have done it great on newsstand. And I read about people talking about “Foundr” and was like, just look at these people, you know, “Foundr” was something small, now it’s like something huge which everyone is talking about, all the publishers, all the people. And it has become a business model kind of a thing, you know. How can a very small team of people, who have no idea about publishing and stuff, can make it so big. I think it’s only the desire, it’s only the passion, it’s only the belief to do great stuff.
Nathan: Yeah, man, you know, you’re spot on. But yeah, no, those were some tough times. We’ve been through a lot, man. And like, you know, a lot of people might think that, you know, you’re a full time employee of mine or whatnot but, you know, we’ve only still, to this day, we’ve only worked on a project per project basis and, you know…
Nathan: Yeah, so like… And, you know, our working relationship’s great. I think probably we need to get ahead though, like I think we need to get ahead of a couple of issues. I still struggle to do that.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. We need to look forward to what our possibilities are there, we need to look forward to enhance overall positioning and, you know, take “Foundr” to a whole new level because we need to be the trendsetters, we need to be the trendsetters. We have set a trend with taking “Foundr” from nothing to like a huge magazine in the span of such a small period of time. So, we have to keep setting trends, we have to keep moving forward because that’s the essence of life. I totally believe in that, keep moving forward. That’s what I believe in it. With every issue I do something new because there’s nothing doing great and doing the same, you know, doing the same stuff all over again.
Nathan: Yeah, no, and like you, you do do that, man, you always do… always, always cease to amaze me. But man, look what I’m mindful of your time. We have to work towards wrapping up but just have one last question before we finish off this interview and that is… I think, just do you have any strategies, advice, for our audience that are listening to this interview around finding a good designer? Because it is difficult, you know, from the other side of the table. You know, you mentioned Behance is a great place to find good talent, that’s where a lot of people found you but, you know, what would be a good way to find great designer, besides looking at their work, and what are the kind of things you need to look for?
Nathan: See, one of the things which we talked about while we were having this conversation that is, don’t cut cost on branding. Branding gives you scale, it gives you wings. You might think, you know, go with the cheap designer and get, you know, basic things done and we will leverage it later on, never ever do that. You can cut cost on other stuff, you know, you can…instead of having a 70-page mag or instead of setting up a whole big platform or a team, always believe in setting up a very strong brand personnel since the beginning. Because that is what will help you in the long run, which we discussed about. That’s the first thing. So never cut cost when it comes to designers.
If a designer from a branding background, a designer who understands that what design is supposed to do is extremely important because then only he will be in sync with your business. Because I believe design is not just a skill, it’s not something which you can only learn through softwares or aesthetics or by going to a design school. I think design is something which you need to implement in your life, design is something which you need to understand the business, be in sync with it, then only you can be able to come up with solutions which will help your client, otherwise it will just get lost in the herd. So I always believe that branding and communication has to go along with designers.
And if you find these kind of people, which you’ll mostly find on Behance, then don’t let them go, don’t let them go even if they’re charging, you know, $10 extra per hour for some work, don’t let them go. Because your branding will help you in every possible way and you will be grateful, at a later stage, you know, when you understand that why branding is so important in the beginning itself. I’ve seen so many businesses where they start off by doing something, you know, start off with a very basic platform and start off with doing basic branding. But what happens is that when it’s time to go huge, you have already walked the mile or couple of miles, and what happens is then it gets very difficult to leverage yourself.
So that’s…this thing for the people, the audience out there. And along with that, if you want to find great people then don’t look for designers, it will be always good for finding agencies. Single designers can get you good designs, but as for the insights concerned that will come through a whole lot of mind mapping and driving process, that will only happen through a agency. And most of the times agencies turns out to be more cost effective in the long-term than a designer, and moreover you are getting a whole package of people who will be working towards your work.
I’m not saying a big design agency, a design agency there 100, 200 people or even 40, 50 people, team of three to four people, you know, team of three to four people who have their own distinct… Because what happens is when a single designer works on something then the whole work becomes really subjective. He sees things with his own perspective and that’s what he gives you. He feels that this is amazing and he will probably sell that idea to you. But when there are team of two to three people then there will be other people in his teams, from the same industry, to tell him that probably this is a better way of doing it, probably this is not what is working, probably this will work.
And then what happens is when you get the product, that product is a more defined product, that is a more happening product at the same price at the same cost everything, right? So, it’s like a whole team working for you.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s a really good one. And, you know, me personally, you know, I learned that from you that design is so key and important, you know, every piece of collateral that we put out I always make sure it’s really well designed because it triggers an emotion. Like I find, you know… I even spoke someone about it a while ago they said like, you know, when you open up “Foundr”, when you see any of our content, how does it make you feel? Does it make you feel excited? Does it delight you? And they said “Yes.” I think there’s a lot to be said about that.
I think, you know, if something looks crappy, you won’t trust it, you think less of it, you think… The perceived value if it doesn’t look good, someone will not even be prepared to, you know, pay or, you know, whatever…invest the time not even just, you know, exchange dollars but invest the time. So, yeah, design, to me, is so key. And all the biggest startups, you know, out of Silicon Valley, for, you know, tech companies, you know, Airbnb, Uber…
Nathan: Exactly. And now you have…
Karan: Millions of dollars in design.
Nathan: That’s right. And they always started off with very very strong design even when they first started, you know. We talk about, you know, the lean startup methodology and all that stuff, you know, I’m all for that too but you’ve gotta spend a little bit and invest in your design, I think it’s massive.
Karan: Right. It’s extremely massive. And I think design gets you wings. Design gets you wings even if you don’t have any strong platform ready. You might be in the beta phase but you have a great design, people will automatically be intrigued because there’s a paradox of choices. There are so many choices out there to get the same content, why would you choose one over the other, what is the differentiating factor? The differentiating factor is the design, the ease of use. How fast does it get you done? You know, how fast you read a particular content, you know. So this kind of stuff is extremely important.
In UX, UI design people always talk about the information architecture, how fast… For example, ecommerce company, what are the number of steps in which you can go through the checkout page and buy a product? In order to reduce that time, the information structure has to be very powerful. Same thing with design. When you have lot of options online or through, you know, on magazines or whatever stuff it is for providing the same service, how are you gonna differentiate yourself? The easiest way is go for great design so that it’s very easy to use, very easy to read and it does justice to the content which is written. You know, it has to be in sync, the design has to be sync. If you just write content and put up image over there and it does not have anything to do… you have seen that we use a lot of vectors with “Foundr” Magazines.
The reason is that with vectors the information, you know, a person just looking at the vector can understand that this is what the article will talk about, it gets him intrigued. If that vector is not there, it will just be a e-book, you know, information about a hell lot of theory about anything that you want to know about in this world. But it’s that information, presented in some manner, which gets people intrigued that, okay, what is it about if we read more about it, and there you go and there’s that’s the content, right? So, it’s extremely important, in every startup, in every business, we need to scale it. You have to have a great brand name, which we already have. We have to have immaculate design, which we also already have. So, I think it’s very important part of any business. And any entrepreneur who is listening to this podcast, they really need to understand this fact, that design has to be one of the top priorities since the beginning.
Nathan: Yeah. And I will attest to that, you know. If there’s anything to go by, you know, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the investment that we made in our design. So, look, man, I won’t take any more of your time, just one more, where’s the best place for our audience to find you?
Karan: Our website. You can visit our website, www.enamus.com. We are a full service digital publishing design agency, where we help you integrate your digital magazine right from scratch. So, it’s all…we provide you end-to-end digital publishing design solutions, so that is there. And you can check out some of our works which we have done. Yeah, that’s about it. You can also check out my personal blog which is jainkaran.com. You can go there and check out some of the works I have done in the field of branding, in the field of identity design, in the field of ecommerce portals. So, yeah, it was really amazingly.
- Learn more about Karan on his website
- Visit jainkaran.com
- Explore Magfirst
- Check out Karan’s Magazine creations for Foundr Magazine
- Follow Magfirst on Twitter
- Visit Magfirst’s Facebook Page