Jack Murphy is unlike other 23-year-olds. First, he’s a self-made multi-millionaire who created his wealth in his college dorm room as an entrepreneur making t-shirts with funny and patriotic sayings on them for his company I Love My Freedom. After his dorm room became too small, he expanded, and went from $0 to $25 million-plus in a couple years. That accomplishment not only gained him a loyal following of consumers across America, but led him to meet the President of the United States and get listed on the Inc. 500 list multiple times.
Jack Murphy is extraordinary – beyond just his age – and he sat down with us at Disrupt for an exclusive inside look at his company, strategies and more!
- How did you decide you wanted to start your own company?
The way everything started wasn’t precisely intended, it just all came together naturally in terms of timing and fit with my passion. When I found something I was truly passionate about, I went all-in on it and took a little bit of a “risk” by dropping out of school so I could give it my all. I also knew I wanted to do something that wouldn’t limit my ceiling for growth and I always enjoyed having personal freedom. I didn’t want to have to be stuck working a 9 to 5 job and feel like I was in the adult version of school.
- Why should someone buy your products over other brands?
Our products represent our vision we’re bringing to the world of spreading patriotism to as many Americans as possible. Not only are we providing more affordable products, but when people buy from us, they’re supporting the fundamental beliefs that also align with their values. We bring a more gamified approach to e-commerce and are building a community of like-minded patriots.
- How do you come up with the creative slogans / items your website sells?
Everything we create comes from listening to our customers or an idea that somebody on our team has had based on something happening in the country or something we feel strongly about. We like to test our new products and offers with a segmented strategy before rolling things out to the entire customer base. As we’ve grown, one of the biggest challenges has been keeping up with the supply chain. When we were moving lower volume, we could order and promote things with a pretty risk-averse strategy but as we’ve grown we can sell anywhere from 0 to 25,000 pieces of a particular product in a single week so the supply chain on the backend of that hasn’t been the easiest game to master but if we have a little bit of data before a big launch, we can generally project and pre-order pretty close to where we think the total volume will land.
- Do you find that being 23, some people may not take you seriously? Or how do you approach business deals if the “age” comes up?
Believe it or not, age hasn’t really been a big issue in my experience so far. More than anything, it’s a little bit of an advantage because I’ve grown up in the digital evolution over the last 20 years and have experienced rapid innovation. I’m just old enough to have understood what life was like before the tech era, but also young enough to still be in touch and capable of adapting to the quickly changing software and systems. However, I think when you can communicate at the same level as somebody else and you can prove what you’ve done, age doesn’t really become of any importance in the e-commerce industry specifically. It hasn’t matured enough for people to have a “lifetime” of experience yet.
- How do you feel or know that your company has disrupted the industry you are in?
I believe we’re only just getting started when it comes to disruption. I know we can be the biggest patriotic e-commerce brand in the country if we can continue the momentum that we’ve had snowballing over the last few years. Our strategy has been to provide the most affordable patriotism to as many Americans as possible and that’s something that has really hit well as it appeals to patriotic Americans regardless of their income bracket. What we’re doing with brand building, customer value ascension, and humanization throughout the customer journey is going to really take things to a new level over the coming months and years.
- What advice do you have for other young entrepreneurs looking at launching their own brand or company?
Build something you’re passionate about. Scaling a business is a marathon that’s going to have a lot of peaks and valleys. If you don’t truly love what you’re doing and believe in what you’ve created, I believe burnout almost becomes inevitable. If you don’t know where to start, there are endless free resources in the world now for anybody with access to the internet. Don’t blow a bunch of money before you know what you’re doing. Do some research and understand the fundamentals. You’ll learn more and find your path as you go.
- What trends do you see happening in this world as we continue along in 2021?
The biggest trend that we continue to move toward is the reduction of friction. Things continue to get more and more accessible. Things continue to get quicker and more seamless. Some of the biggest companies in the world now exist because they’ve built something that’s reduced friction for ordering products (Amazon), watching shows (Netflix), and accessing information (Google). Friction applies on a macro level such as the fundamental problem being resolved as well as a micro-level such as an order button becoming quicker or easier. That’s the number one trend I’ve seen constantly increasing in adaption, especially with COVID.
- What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal on a personal level is to be grateful for every day and live life to the fullest with no regrets. On a business level, I want to grow the company to over ten million orders and turn it into a force for preserving the fundamental values of freedom. I’d also like to become an influential voice in the business world who inspires people to follow their passions and make an impact on the world.