The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Meghan Corroon is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Meghan Corroon, Founder & CEO of Lumen Insights. I'm a former academic and data nerd excited about using complex analytics to help a diverse set of businesses thrive. We just created a ground-breaking algorithm that solves the mystery of how digital marketing drives sales and quantifies that by channel. Our insights are lifting sales on average 25% or more.
What did it take / how did you get started?
After a career of leading data science teams to answer tough questions for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, national governments of Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal and others I was burnt out on travel and wanting more time refocused at home. Living in Durham, NC I became connected with and really excited by the local start-up movement. I spent more than a year just chatting with any entrepreneur who would have lunch with me and listening a lot, particularly female entrepreneurs. I realized that everyday businesses were essentially throwing spaghetti on the wall and money at all sorts of trends in digital marketing and never getting a clear, unbiased quantified answer of what was working to drive their sales. Then COVID hit, everyone was pivoting to online and this problem became even more urgent for the survival of a lot of businesses. We decided to solve it.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
The future of Lumen Insights is accelerating right now. We just won an NC Ideas MICRO grant and hit some really big tech milestones over the last two months. We're off and running and learning about growth every day as we expand our customers and the kinds of businesses we support.
What drives / motivates you?
The next puzzle that needs to be solved and truth-seeking. Also working with an awesome, quirky and brilliant team.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Talk to everyone and listen well. Triangulate all data points and advice with your own gut and let the evidence drive you not identity or ego. Run your own race. This is especially true for women and minorities tech founders.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Being a Founder & CEO of a data science start-up AND the mother of two young children during COVID. Also realizing that privilege and access to capital/generational wealth and resources is what allows most start-up founders to do this work. We are not currently benefiting from the best leaders or the most innovative visionaries, instead it's those that can afford to jump the hoops imposed at the moment. I'd like to work on changing that.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
The books essentialism (I frankly don't have time for any other approach these days) and Nail It and Scale It. The podcast, How I Built This and Hardcore History with Dan Carlin. Also, I read a lot of literature and fiction because I think it expands my mind, imagination, and connections to other people in a qualitatively different way than business-type non fiction can do.
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
Every hour I can squeeze into the week. That being said, every hour on Sunday where I plan and set my minimum three achievements for the week is probably worth 4-5 hours of work production time.
# of Employees?
4 full-time, 1 part-time
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
<5k plus a personal runway fund.
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Bootstrapped to date
Any call to action?
If you are a company that doesn't feel really sure their investment in digital media is driving sales in the way you expect, reach out to me directly and let's talk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out our website at https://lumen-design.com/.