Founded in 1996, Interactivate Inc. has been providing marketing strategies to clients like NBC Universal, Howard Hughes Corp. and Gallo Winery for more than a decade. CEO Jack Abbott focuses his business on not just providing a bigger bottom line for his clients, but being personally involved with their growth.
Name: Jack Abbott.
Company: Interactivate Inc.
Titles: CEO and chief client advocate.
Education: UC Santa Cruz; Universidad de Bilbao Spain.
Birthplace: New York City.
Current residence: Poway.
Family: Wife, Donna; son, Dominic; daughter, Brittany; stepson, Austin; stepdaughter, Chandler.
Essential business philosophy: Do a great job for your customers. If you’re not making them money, saving them money or making them smarter, find out why and fix it.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Run smarter, faster and harder than everyone else.
Guiding principles: Maintain a positive, confident attitude. Hire great people and encourage them to be greater.
Yardsticks of success: Length and depth of customer relationships. Employee satisfaction and tenure with the company. The bottom line.
Goals yet to be achieved: Life balance, including the perfect formula for growth.
Best business decision: Starting Interactivate in 1996.
Worst business decision: Taking my eye off the bottom line and letting a former associate make a business decision I knew was wrong.
Toughest business decision: Terminating employees.
Biggest missed opportunity: Not selling the company during the dot-com bubble.
Mentors: Cliff Brown, my CPA for 18 years; Horace Simpson, my Score adviser for 22 years.
Word that describes you: Determined.
What you like best about your job: Mentoring and watching people grow professionally.
What you like least about your job: Administration.
Pet peeves: A poor work ethic and decision-making by committee.
Most important lesson learned: To keep my eye on the bottom line or risk losing my focus.
Person most interested in meeting: Muhammad Ali.
Three greatest passions: My wife, our adventures together and growing Interactivate.
First choice for a new career: Dive master/philanthropist.
Favorite quote: “Life’s too short to not work with nice people.” We (print) it on our Interactivate business cards.
Most influential book: “Blink,” by Malcolm Gladwell.
Favorite status symbol: My tropical vacation home in Fiji.
Favorite restaurant: Kiyo’s.
Favorite places for business meetings: My home for friends; University Club for business.
Favorite vacation spot: Taveuni, Fiji.
Favorite way to spend time: Traveling and diving with my wife.