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Kirk Marple


1975: So Much to Learn Around Sales and Marketing with Kirk Marple


Neil Ball


July 1, 2021


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1975: So Much to Learn Around Sales and Marketing with Kirk Marple, Founder, and Owner of Unstruk Data Inc.

In this episode of “The Entrepreneur Way,” Kirk Marple is a guest speaker. The show, hosted by Neil Ball, focuses on platforming entrepreneurs and giving them a space to talk about their experiences, advice, and reflections on the process. Marple speaks about his origins in media entertainment and how he applied the technologies to a different industry. Marple’s company, Unstruk Data, innovates the process of media data collection for larger, more industrial operations. However, getting to the point he is now was no small feat. Marple explains the grievous process of “bootstrapping,” offering insights about playing to one’s strengths, having persistence, and enjoying the creative process. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • About Kirk Marple and how he came to start Unstruk data. 
  • His past experiences and the lessons he learned as an entrepreneur. 
  • What he enjoys about the creative process and what drives him.
  • The reality of being an entrepreneur; discomforts, difficulties, mistakes, and persistence. 
  • Change and how to deal with it. 

Good Question and Answer 1:

Neil Ball: What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Kirk Marple: I think the creation process, I almost look at it as an artistic process. I  use the sculpting metaphor a lot with my team, where you have the rough piece of granite and can start carving it away at the rough edges, then get down to the sort of the finer details. I see product building in the same way. To have something in your head that people can use- I love that part of it.

Good Question and Answer 2:

Niel Ball: What are some things you did before you started your business that will be helpful tips to some listeners who haven’t yet taken the first step on the entrepreneur way? What do you think are some of the secrets to success?…

Kirk Marple: I think the biggest thing is looking at ways to complement your skillset. I’ve been a career software engineer and had never really been exposed to sales, marketing, or its business side. I’d never taken a business class before starting my company. With things like budgeting- I mean, I’m pretty detail-oriented, I could use spreadsheets, and I was pretty fiddly with the numbers, that bar came easy to me- but just what does it mean to sell? What does it mean to get your name out there on a website and to market? I did a lot of reading early on just to kind of fill out the gaps. So I think being self-aware is key. Knowing what you aren’t good at and trying to fill in either with the knowledge or with people- around the edges.

Persistence has always been mine [key to success]. Not getting kicked in and being totally down- I think that’s the number one thing, and creativity. I sort of think I’m good at looking for patterns, and seeing- learning- through osmosis. So I try to just be a sponge for all kinds of information. I try and I learn from it.

Additional topics discussed:

  • Marple’s business role models
  • Bootstrapping within the business world
  • Where Marple goes to for information, education, insight. 
  • His take on establishing work culture

Host / Podcast bio: 

Neil Ball hosts his podcast “The Entrepreneur Way” as a means to share his passion for all that being an entrepreneur encompasses which to him is the “journey, the vision, the mind-set, the commitment, the sacrifice…” and the failures as well as the successes. In his podcast he asks key questions about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. As a daily show, he features guests that offer their diverse tactics and experiences, colored with Ball’s own advice. 

Guest bio: Kirk Marple is the CEO of Unstruk. He began his career in Media Management and entertainment, owning a transcoding company. After selling it to diversify his prospects, Marple found inspiration within other areas of data management such as the automotive industry. To Marple, the use of data for car imagery and closed captioning had parallels in “time based telemetry.” However, Marple noticed problems within the storage of unstructured data and metadata within file based formatting and decided to expand into the business of optimizing a system to store, organize, and analyze metadata within pools of stored information. 

Resources and links mentioned in the show:

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