Graduated BA Economics, George Washington University, 1999
Co-Creator: Flowtility (Exit to Telestream, 2015)
Vaguely libertarian, definitely capitalist.
Family of 4.
Lives in Tri-Cities, WA, the last American Paradise.
Hiking, Weightlifting, Reading, Writing, Racquetball & Being a Dad.
Currently working to build AtomCityLabs.
This is the personal website of Chris Johnson. Serial entrepreneur. Full-Stack Hustler. Closer. Bad racquetball player.
I'm not finished with my work yet. This site means to chronicle the process.
I was born during the Ford administration in the Midwest. I grew up in a factory town that lost its factory. I wasn't as cool as I thought I was. So I wound up having to go to a liberal arts college in Ohio.
That school was a lot of fun till it wasn't, so I eventually migrated to the George Washington University where I earned a degree in Economics in 1999. It should have been 1998, but I skipped a meeting with a dean about transfer credits from the liberal arts place. Thus, an extra class the summer after I walked, and a bunch of fees.
On my entrepreneurial journey (oh, does that phrase sound pompous, even for me) I've tried my hand at a variety of jobs. Real Estate, Politics, Financial Services, Mortgages. Even WordPress websites. I've been good at some things, and not so good at others. My wife was patient with me this whole time through the ups and downs that come with a business.
Together with a hardworking and magnificently talented business partner, I founded a company called Simplifilm. Over a 5 year period, we sold millions of dollars worth of videos. Those videos sold literally billions of dollars worth of books, software & services. We launched a product called Flowtility and were able to get that to a little more than 10,000 users before we sold to Telestream.
In 2014, my business partner and I split up (as amicably as those things can go) and I tried to scale Simplifilm. That worked for a while, but then I oversold my capacity and became an inadvertent Ponzi scheme. In what was one of the most stressful periods of my life, I almost wrecked my company - and my family - by selling too much, too fast. I'll cover this on the blog eventually.
I licked my wounds and healed my business, and now Simplifilm is a part-time affair where I produce just a few videos a year for our loyal friends and clients.
During this whole time, I managed to start and raise a family. I'm married to Heather-- the best person I know. She's a nurse midwife at the local hospital charged with bringing babies into the world. She's dedicated, hard-working, kind, loyal and fierce. We almost blew everything up a couple of times. By "we" I mean mostly "me." The "mostly" is merely there to assuage my ego.
My son says that the family motto is "we do things the hard way." Too true, my man, too true.
Speaking of, we have two great kids, Jack and Ruby, that I love dearly. Jack is entering his teenage years and Ruby is following three years behind
We moved to the desert paradise that is the Tri-Cities, Washington in 2015. I had to go through the five stages of grief when I left Portland.
Now, I'm building something new.
AtomCityLabs.Com. This catch all is to try to help small agencies and small businesses sell better, more congruently and with more success and intention. We're running a transparent and clean business.
I started this site to converse about what's working and what systems I'm building and to have some public accountability. And I wanted a non formal place for thought experiments and some occasional political writing. The other reason was that I wanted to pay Squarespace $18 every month. I mean, who doesn't?
Hopefully I'll oscillate between being too busy to update and burdened with great purpose and willing to share accountability posts with all of you.