Q&A with Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith, Co-Founder & Head of Product at Stem Disintermedia Inc.

Last Updated: December 1, 2018

An interesting take on work-life balance from Stem co-founder Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith: “Work is part of life, and if you love where you are working, you will be enjoying your life.” Read on to find out how Jovin and his team are helping to create a more equitable world for creative artists.

    by Agent Staff
Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith
Image Source: Jovin Cronin Wilesmith

As co-founder of Stem Disintermedia Inc, Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith has been inspired by a goal of ensuring creative artists are paid fairly and efficiently for their output, without having to worry about where the next paycheck is coming from.

Founded in 2015, the Los Angeles-based Stem, Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith and his team, have helped to bring more transparency to the process of distribution and monetisation of original creative content online, and to ensure= all shareholders in a project receive a fair share of earnings.

Stem pays artists and their teams every month, enabling creatives to be creative, instead of chasing bills for work completed.


12 questions for Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith

Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith took some time out of his busy day to answer AGENT’s questions about his business origins and the start-up story of Stem. He also spoke about work-life balance, his business inspirations, and, for the benefit of young startups, shared the key lessons he has learnt in business over the past few years.


1. Briefly, tell us about your business and your business goals.

Stem is fixing the broken pipes of the payment and financial data structures (or lack thereof) for artists and their collaborators, so that creators can create more freely and get paid for their fair share of earnings. With Stem, I aim to create an ecosystem of efficiently paid creatives who never have to worry about when their next paycheck is coming.


2. What age were you when you realized you wanted to run your own business?

I was 16 when I had my first taste, selling graphic designs that I made for t-shirts and other goods.


3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?



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My five chief business icons and inspirations are:

• Allen Cooper
• John Kenneth Galbraith
• John Maeda
• Maria Pousa
• Don Norman

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4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?

Learning when to just jump on board with decisions, even when I am not the one making the call. I started getting past this problem when I realized that everyone is at Stem to make sure we succeed.


5. What gives you the most satisfaction in business?

Helping and watching employees & team members advocate for their personal development. It gives me a ton of joy when I can be part of other’s career successes.


6. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?

Not possible. Work is part of life, and if you love where you are working, you will be enjoying your life.


7. What is the first thing you do every day?

Turn on some music and make my bed.


8. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?

“Question everything thought to be obvious.” – Dieter Rams


9. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?

Our test version of Stemm because it has both unreleased and released features. This test version helps me get a clear picture of how new pieces of the application will fit with what our current users have on their devices.


10. What is the last thing you Googled?

Five best places to hike and climb in Monterey, California (traveling at the time of answering).


11. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?



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Whichever book I am currently reading (The Great Crash, 1929) so I always have access to reading while I am commuting or in between meetings.

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12. What advice would you give to your younger self-starting out in business?

Curiosity and experimentation often yield excellent outcomes and always be aware of your personal biases and assumptions.


Image Source: Jovin Cronin-Wilesmith


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