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#049: Building business and selling local with Michael Jankie

By Jordan Michaelides

Michael Jankie ( @jankie ) is an entrepreneur who’s built multiple companies in completely different industries, that have shown a nous for operating with small-medium businesses.

It’s funny that I’m reading Small Giants by Bo Burlingham at the same time I’m tasked with writing an apt introduction for Michael’s episode. So often you’re told that you must grow at all costs, raise massive amounts of capital, only ever serve the institutional end of a marketplace, and eventually flip the business on to an investor “who’ll do the right thing for the company”.

During the entirety of the interview, and as I learnt about his decision to pivot his former business – you could get a sense of how deeply he cared for his customers (an often overlooked segment of the market). This deep care for his customers, and the creation of a high quality product – shows that he’s already hitting 50% of the criteria for becoming a “small giant”.

Being that I’m also travelling in Japan I thought it fitting to assign a Japanese proverb to Michael’s attitude in business. The proverb goes: “Nothing Lasts, Nothing is Finished, Nothing is Perfect”. If you want to build any business, I think that’s a good attitude to have.

Topics discussed in this week’s episode included:

  • Earliest memory of wanting to sell
  • Lessons learnt from his parents
  • Background, family & childhood memories
  • What is PoweredLocal?
  • Niche markets and the problem of retail
  • Highest leverage activity
  • Targeting small businesses and startups
  • Least crowded advertising channels
  • Common mistakes among startups
  • Sources of inspiration
  • Advice for young entrepreneurs

Listen to the episode

Watch the episode: 


  • 02:31 – Introduction
  • 06:12 – Nicknames
  • 06:46 – Earliest memory of wanting to sell
  • 10:18 – Lessons learnt from his parents
  • 14:49 – Background, family & childhood memories
  • 19:36 – What is PoweredLocal?
  • 34:30 – Trends type data reporting
  • 35:41 – Niche markets and the problem of retail
  • 41:19 – Highest leverage activity
  • 46:26 – Preventing an over-reliance on products and networks they don’t own
  • 49:06 – Targeting small businesses and startups
  • 56:13 – Least crowded advertising channels
  • 56:45 – Common mistakes among startups
  • 01:00:16 – Sources of inspiration
  • 01:02:44 – Advice for young entrepreneurs
  • 01:05:24 – What life would look like if he had to start with nothing
  • 01:07:19 – Morning routines
  • 01:09:38 – Favourite TV series & books
  • 01:12:47 – In terms of success, who or what comes to mind
  • 01:13:55 – If he could have a billboard anywhere
  • 01:15:25 – Best purchase under $200