Steve Enstad, co-founder, director of sales of PageDNA, and a friend started their first business—developing custom websites—when they still were cruising the halls of high school. While Enstad was searching for more website customers, he stumbled upon the printing industry. He walked into the prepress firm Metagraphics and immediately decided that's where he wanted his career to continue.
"Shortly thereafter, I was hired as a web guru, doing desktop publishing and web development," Enstad recalled. "PageDNA later spun out of this firm."
PageDNA.com, a Redwood City, California-based software company, has been providing web-to-print storefront solutions since 1997. Here, Enstad discusses his business, the printing industry and its future.
Print Professional (PP): Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, what school did you attend?
Steve Enstad (SE): I grew up in Edina, Minn., a suburb southwest of Minneapolis. I moved out to California to attend Stanford University in 1994, and have had a real hard time leaving since. There is something magical about Silicon Valley.
PP: What is your greatest business accomplishment and disappointment?
SE: One of our greatest accomplishments as a company was landing one of the world's largest manufacturers as a customer of our web-to-print platform. For five years, I would make an annual run at this account. I'd visit their facility, give the demo, get an enthusiastic welcome and then get a rejection letter. Two years ago, the stars aligned. We were in the right place, at the right time, and subsequently this manufacturer adopted our system. While they are pretty far from being our largest customer by revenue, they are adding storefronts and growing their usage as we expected and should become one of our top accounts in time. It's been said that a salesperson is "paid to hear the word 'no,'" this proved true in this case, and persistence paid off.