Ashore Is Making Collaboration Accessible To All, A Founder’s Story with Cody Miles
Cody Miles is an Austin, TX-based entrepreneur and UX designer. After years of struggling to collaborate with his clients, Cody founded Ashore, an online proofing software for high-velocity creatives and the behind-the-scenes collaboration software used by creative teams at Disney, Adidas, Uber, and Coca-Cola. Today, Cody utilizes his background to run both Ashore and his digital marketing agency, Brandcave.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up
I grew up in Austin, TX in a modest home with a decent amount of trauma. I originally thought I’d be a musician but realized I’m not super talented. I did realize I was pretty good at software and team management.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
Prior to starting my first business, I was an overworked middle manager at a large creative agency. My commute was three hours round trip, I worked out of an uninspiring cubicle, and I wasn’t given even a fraction of the resources I needed. At a certain point, I couldn’t take working in that environment anymore. It dawned on me that if I started my own business, I could probably work a little less and make the same amount. Turns out, that wasn’t the case — at least not in the beginning. However, things really improved as my business grew, and eventually, that first business was able to fund my current venture, Ashore. In creative industries, it’s almost an expectation that your work will be harshly and vaguely critiqued — but this practice doesn’t benefit the artist or the client. When the feedback is unclear, you end up cycling through one round of revision after another, which is frustrating, time-consuming, and a huge contributor to burnout among creatives. I saw Ashore as a financial opportunity of course, but more than that, I saw it as an opportunity to solve a real, pressing problem.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
There’s a certain level of risk associated with innovation, but make room for it anyway. Great ideas take both mental and physical space; if we’re too focused on what’s directly in front of us, we lose the ability to innovate. So, give your employees the space and resources they need to experiment and reward their efforts — even if they ultimately fail. Not all ideas are winners, but every idea moves you one step closer to the one that is.