In his own words: Jim Belosic, Pancake Labs president | nnbw.com
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In his own words: Jim Belosic, Pancake Labs president

NNBW staff

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company.

Jim Belosic: Pancake Labs specializes in social media software development. Specifically, application development for small-to-medium-sized businesses (our primary product is shortstacklab.com). We started out in 2002 as a traditional design agency, and since then we’ve added software development capabilities in-house. Currently we have a staff of seven.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Belosic: President/overlord/creative director. I’m primarily involved in the creative side of things and help form concepts and strategies for our products. I also unload the dishwasher and pretend to be the IT guy around the office.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Belosic: Mostly by accident! I’ve always been involved on the creative side of the industry with graphic design and user-interface design. Recently I’ve discovered that visual creativity can be applied to problem solving in software development. I’m definitely not a programmer, but I can still help steer the project in the right direction for the client.

NNBW: What are some of the skills a person needs to succeed in this job?

Belosic: Flexibility, creativity, and … a little stubbornness. Sometimes you have to push something through five or six times until it finally works.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn’t it your first choice?

Belosic: Probably a mechanical engineer. I’ve always been fascinated with robots and manufacturing lines. But engineering involves a lot of math (not my strong suit.) I’d rather draw the plans for the assembly line than figure out the math to make it work.

NNBW: What are some of the important trends you see in your industry?

Belosic: I think it’s important that businesses place more emphasis on Web presence more specifically, social media. The migration that we’ve recently seen between old and new media needs to be embraced and businesses need to be aware of that shift.

NNBW: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Belosic: Strangely enough I’ve actually tricked myself into believing work is my hobby. Outside of work I enjoy analyzing the data and thinking up my next move. Before, my hobby used to be race cars, but it involved a lot of time and money. Now I’m happy to be keeping my mind on work and of course, soaking up as much family time as possible.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Belosic: A lot of people are under the impression that software startups get some angel or VC money and have huge success overnight. The truth is, the most successful start-ups are the ones that have been working on it for 10-plus years. It really isn’t as over-night as people would believe.

NNBW: Would you rather be younger, thinner, richer or smarter? Why?

Belosic: None of the above. I think I just need a bit of gray hair. Maybe people would take me more seriously since I’d look “distinguished” (ha!).

NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Belosic: “Jump off a cliff and build your wings on the way down” Ray Bradbury. I love that quote. Don’t think too much. Just do whatever it is you need to do and figure it out as you go.

NNBW: What are five things you can’t live without?

Belosic: iPhone; high-speed WiFi; a good microbrew with lunch on Fridays; my awesome staff; and my wife and kids … (not necessarily in that order).

NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?

Belosic: The ability to withstand burns from hot coffee when you spill it on your lap because someone cut you off while driving.

NNBW: What does the content of your refrigerator say about you?

Belosic: 1. I love beer. (Currently the office fridge is full of BuckBean beer), and 2. I’m a little too optimistic (as judged by the expiration dates on everything).

The basics:

Name: Jim Belosic, president/overlord, Pancake Labs. Inc, ShortStacklab.com

How long have you been in this job? Two years

How long in the profession? 12 years

Education: Mostly self taught. I’ve always had a tendency to show up to class a little too late

Best book you’ve read? Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think”

What’s on your iPod? Tons of stuff: Led Zeppelin, Car Talk Podcasts… anything from NWA to George Michael.

The best movie ever? Office Space. No. 2 is Spaceballs

Spouse, kids or pets? All of the above. I have my smokin’ hot wife Erin, 4-year-old daughter Allie, 1-year-old son Ryan and 6-year-old English Bulldog, Bailey.