Anna Vital is the founder of Adioma, an online infographic maker. As an information designer, she creates visualizations using algorithmic design to visualize the lives of companies and founders. She started Adioma in 2016 to simplify the process of infographic creation. Before that, she has been an infographic author at Funders and Founders. Her infographic work is often featured in the media. She holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings and a B.A. in Linguistics from Brigham Young University.
She will be speaking at 1,000 Upvotes: Meet Top Product Hunt Makers on Tuesday, April 25th @ 6 pm. Click here to get 20% off tickets to the event.
Q. When you were growing up, were you always interested in entrepreneurship?
A. Yes, but I was not sure what exactly being an entrepreneur meant. I definitely felt like entrepreneurship is something mysterious, especially the part of starting something from nothing.
Q. What were some early influences on your career choice?
A. Very early on, at about age six, I think, my parents left me in charge of selling corn at a bus stop. This was back in Ukraine. I was a shy kid, so was very surprised to that people came up and didn’t think much about me being a kid and bought my corn and were grateful that I was out there selling something they could eat on the way to work. That experience showed me that you don’t need much to start. Just showing up and offering something of value already makes you an entrepreneur.
Q. What did you study in college?
A. I studied linguistics and Chinese. I got good advice about what I should study in college. I think it was a college counselor who advised me to just study whatever I like. I had no idea how linguistics would apply to anything I’d do later on. And I couldn’t explain why I liked it. I just did. But now that we are building a visual language inside Adioma, it recently started making sense why I liked it. And the icon language inside Adioma is build following some of the principles behind Chinese characters.
Q. What did your parents do?
A. My parents did a lot of different businesses from brick selling to running a restaurant. Growing up, I’d help my father sell bricks over the phone for a small commission.
Q. Tell me about your first job.
A. Other than internships in college, I don’t think I ever had an actual job. Right after graduating from law school, I started a startup demo show business, then an infographic agency, and then Adioma.
Q. What were some early lessons you learned about business?
A. That the best way for me to learn about business is by actually doing a business. Every business is different and learning about it at a distance never seemed to work. I like getting involved right away, even if I don’t have an exact plan and just assume that most things will go wrong and I’ll figure out how to fix them later.
Q. How have you funded Adioma? How did you first attract investors?
A. Adioma is funded from revenue right now and will be for a while. The first prototype was funded from my previous business.
Q. What career advice would you give to young people today?
A. Honestly, I wish I sought out less advice and just tried more things myself early on. So my advice is to take all advice with a grain of salt and just start something, no matter how small.
Q. Hardest part of being a entrepreneur?
A. The hardest thing is living with the possibility that at any point things can go south. And only you and your team can fix them.
Q. Favorite part of being a entrepreneur?
A. Seeing that I can actually solve a real problem for other people. I’ve been surprised that some people take the time to write and thank me even though they are paying for the service.