Justin KownackiHello!

I’m Justin. Thanks for stopping by. I love to meet interesting people.

So, what do I do? I’m a storyteller and a problem-solver. Nothing excites me as much as figuring out a crazy new solution to a challenge (except maybe enchiladas, or really good coffee).

Throughout my career, I’ve been part maker, part marketer, and perpetual learner and teacher. Everything I do, both personally and professionally, revolves around one core belief:

We, as humans, are hungry for stories that make us want to be better people.

And when I teach you how to get better at telling stories, everybody wins.

My Current Life

By day, I help startups and nonprofits fix a very big business problem using three key principles:

  • thrilling customers
  • scaling revenue
  • implementing processes that convert user data and feedback into sales

When I’m not helping businesses grow by fixing their value proposition, I’m teaching people how to tell better stories — whether they do it for profit or for fun.

(And when I’m not doing any of those things, I’m writing screenplays. But that’s another story.)

My Past Life

In 2003, in need of a creative outlet to balance out my day job I launched what would eventually become the web’s longest-running sitcom, Something to Be Desired (“STBD”), which I wrote, shot, directed, edited, and produced from 2003-2009. In 2008, STBD was nominated for a Yahoo! Video Award for Best Web Series. (We lost to The Guild, so congratulations to them.)

In 2006, I attended the very first PodCamp Boston, which created the original social media scene and propelled the careers of dozens of social media experts whom you’ve probably bought books from, including its co-founders, Chris Brogan and Christopher Penn. Six weeks later, I launched Podcamp Pittsburgh, the annual social media “un-conference” that survives to this day, in the spirit of the Boston original.

In 2010, with help from our fans on Kickstarter, STBD was spun off into a new series, The Baristas (2010-2011). Unfortunately, the real-life coffee shop that the show was filmed in closed down in 2011, so — like STBD before it — The Baristas never came to a proper end. (Yet.)

Over the years, I’ve spoken about digital marketing and the future of media at conferences from San Jose to Tel Aviv. Here’s a recent example. If you want a speaker who’ll get your audience talking, let’s make that happen together.

I also contribute to the MAQTOOB group for entrepreneurs on Medium.

I currently reside in Baltimore, but a part of my heart will always live on Twitter.