Excited for this week’s “Came, Loved, Stayed?” I sure am.
This week I’m highlighting Jon West, co-founder and CEO of AddShoppers, a social analytics tool for eCommerce. West was inspired to found AddShoppers by a need his first company, 3tailer, an online retailer, had: to keep track of every share, every click, “everything from a shopper to a dollar amount,” according to West.
West moved west (yes, I went there) from Dumfries, Va., to Cherryville, N.C., for the Carolina school system; he stayed in the area because of the entrepreneurial spirit of Charlotte.
I sat down and asked West six questions about time in Charlotte (aside from how he snagged the Twitter handle @west. That’s pretty darn cool in itself.)
— Jon West (@west) January 15, 2015
(1) What brought you here?
I originally moved to North Carolina because my dad is a Chapel Hill grad. He wanted me to be in state for college, so we moved mid-high school. … I ended up at App State, because that was [the] rebellion thing that I did, I didn’t even apply to Chapel Hill.
I started a company in college. Charlotte seemed like a good place to grow that company.
(2) What made you stay?
Several different things:
- The city is growing. I’m a technology entrepreneur; it’s getting better and better for tech over the past nine [to] 10 years.
- I made a lot of good friends, most of them live in the city. …
- There’s lots to do, [it’s a] not too big, not too small situation. It’s a happy medium city.
- It’s so close to my family.
- Couple hours to the beach, couple hours to the mountains. It’s a good location.
(3) What was your first impression of Charlotte?
It’s just a well-planned, clean city.
(4) What’s your favorite aspect of Charlotte culture?
Lately it’s been the craft beer culture that’s been getting more and more popular. There’s just a ton of local breweries to experience. I’ve been taking advantage of that recently.
— Jon West (@west) June 21, 2014
On the entrepreneurship side, people are pretty willing to help each other out. It’s easy to make your way through the community, network and meet other people who will help you achieve whatever it is you want to do.
(5) Why would you (or wouldn’t you) recommend Charlotte to friends?
Overall, I would recommend Charlotte, but it’s hyper dependent on your situation and what you’re looking for. It’s not Chicago, it’s not New York, it’s not a small town either. It’s great for families — any friends that I have that were in a Chicago [place] with a family and wanted to get out of that rat race, I think it would be perfect for them.
Also perfect for young professionals trying to start out. … Overall the city … really is what you make of it. It’s person specific.
(6) Describe Charlotte in one word.
Madysan Foltz really wishes her Twitter handle could be @madysan. In the meantime, she’ll continue editing and writing for Charlotte Five and the Charlotte Observer. Have a story idea? Tweet her @MadysanFoltz or call 704-358-5089.