For the next few months, Catapult will be interviewing residents to get an inside look as to what a typical day at Catapult is like. One of our newest members, Atish Doshi of The Black Sheep, sat down with us and told us a little bit about himself as well as his company.
The Black Sheep is a collegiate media company that allows local and national brands a one-stop shop to reach the collegiate demographic through an in-house, integrated multi-channel approach. Atish Doshi started The Black Sheep, while he was in college at the University of Illinois and soon after moved to Chicago to take advantage of the resources the city has to offer. Doshi fell in love with the vibe of the city and believes it’s a great place for entrepreneurs because it nurtures growth and houses resources and places like Catapult that help businesses develop as individuals and as companies.
Compared to other college magazines, The Black Sheep puts an emphasis on making the content relevant for students based on where they go to school. By having the content written by students at each particular school both online and in print, The Black Sheep is able to relate to college students and provide them with valuable information in a witty, accessible way. With a wide variety of topics to choose from, including “Top 10: Ways Netflix Can Help You Study” and Daily Bar Specials tailored to each university, college students stay up to date on campus happenings and take a break from the stress of academic life. The Black Sheep’s ideal customer is any business or brand trying to reach college students—in particular, businesses targeting the more social and outgoing student.
The silliness Atish Doshi describes is definitely a key component to The Black Sheep’s work environment. With juvenile and humorous content, there is a degree of seriousness in a funny culture. Being productive and providing great editorial feedback to writers when they know the content is meant to be funny and entertaining makes The Black Sheep one of a kind. Their unique office environment is especially palpable when considering the team’s activities. To bond, The Black Sheep team does taste tests and experiments with products sent by clients, such as a Taco Bell taste test they did last month. Not only are the taste tests exciting, they also provide editorial and business opportunities for the magazine. The team is hoping to get a Bocce Ball event going, too. It seems as though The Black Sheep has struck quite the balance.
Since beginning The Black Sheep, Doshi has gained significant insight into life as an entrepreneur. The worst advice he’s received? “If you want things done right, you always have to do it yourself.” Doshi notes that you gain a lot of value by trusting people and letting them take on responsibilities. Once you establish that trust, you allow them to grow as a person and help your business grow as well. Along the same lines, Doshi notes that trust management is the most important skill needed to be a successful entrepreneur. Between the everyday craziness, highs and lows, and attempting to balance your personal life and your professional life, trust management seems to be the only thing keeping entrepreneurs sane and motivated.
Ultimately, Doshi would like The Black Sheep to become “the one-stop-shop for students to get everything they need for their social collegiate life.” We definitely think The Black Sheep is headed in the right direction and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead for Atish Doshi and his team.