I’m Nick Ostroff, the guy who made the jump from cozy couches to the world of pixels and code. Now, that might sound like a drastic transition, and it indeed was, but the entrepreneurial spirit coursing through my veins never made it feel like a chore. Today, I run Pixelocity, a digital marketing agency based out of Manhattan Beach. But before the algorithms and A/B testing, it was all about foam, fabric, and custom-built furniture.
Back in 1998, fresh out of UC Berkeley, my friends Jim, Peter, and I set out to take the LA furniture scene by storm with our startup, The Sofa Company. Why furniture, you ask? Well, besides the fact that everyone needs a comfortable place to sit, we saw a gap in the market. Everyone seemed to be selling the same, run-of-the-mill furniture. We knew we could offer something unique, customizable, and most importantly, comfortable.
ROLLER COASTER RIDES: MISTAKES, SUCCESSES, AND SOFA STORIES
Our journey wasn’t a smooth ride. Picture three ambitious yet clueless youngsters trying to run a business; it’s comical, really. There were mistakes, so many of them, but there were also victories that kept us going. The learning curve was steep, but we scaled it, step by step. Over the years, we honed our instincts, sharpened our skills, and managed to turn The Sofa Company into a brand synonymous with quality and comfort.
A FORK IN THE ROAD: THE DECISION TO SCALE DOWN
However, time, as it always does, brought change. Jim, Peter and I decided to scale down the business in 2019 to follow other personal pursuits. This was not an easy decision by any stretch. The Sofa Company was not just our business; it was our labor of love, our brainchild, and for a significant part of our lives, our identity. Scaling down felt like asking a piece of myself to step aside. But as I’ve learned, entrepreneurship is as much about knowing when to pivot as it is about persisting.After investing so much of myself into our first venture, I was at a crossroads.
FROM DAUNTING TO DOING: THE BIRTH OF PIXELOCITY
Starting another business so soon felt daunting. But, as they say, once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. I couldn’t shake off the desire to create, build, and contribute. And that’s how Pixelocity came into being. Throughout our journey with The Sofa Company, I’d developed a fascination with digital marketing. I saw how it could be leveraged, not just for big corporations with vast budgets, but also for small businesses trying to find their footing.
I learned firsthand how the right digital strategies could propel a business, but also how a misstep could spell disaster. I saw small business owners struggle with the constantly changing digital landscape. It was overwhelming, confusing, and downright intimidating. I knew then what my next venture would be: a digital marketing agency that makes navigating this tricky landscape simpler for small businesses.
NURTURING DREAMS: EMPOWERING SMALL BUSINESSES
Now, I get to share my experience, successes, failures, and knowledge with small business owners, equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in the digital world. We at Pixelocity work day in and day out to ensure our clients can focus on what they do best while we handle their digital presence.
LESSONS LEARNED: EMBRACING THE JOURNEY
Looking back, I realize every experience, every triumph, every failure, has been invaluable. Each venture has shaped me, taught me, and brought me to where I am today. Life is full of surprises, twists, and turns, and sometimes, those turns take you from selling sofas in LA to running a digital marketing agency in Manhattan Beach. And what a ride it has been!