We had the good fortune of connecting with John DeBello and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, how do you think about risk?
Every business enterprise begins with an element of risk. With rare exceptions, success actually increases risk. My first business began in college with unlimited optimism and severely limited capital. The venture was successful, but required constant pivoting as the market quite naturally shifted. It’s often said that failure is the best teacher. Personally, I believe that experience (of all kinds) is the best arbiter of risk. The other key factor is personality. Some people jump out of airplanes, others are afraid to fly. Not being a huge fan of Glorious Failure, I take the leap with a safety chute. When I was 24, I directed and co-produced a ‘risky’ independent movie called Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. It was purposefully designed to zig where other films zagged, to cut through the clutter. It ultimately worked as intended, generating three sequels and an animated network series, but was quite the longshot in retrospect. Would I have made the movie knowing what I’d learned 20 years later? Doubtful. (I’m guessing that more than one successful entrepreneur would say the same thing.) Nonetheless, it’s now some 4 decades later, and my company still pays the rent by following our mantra “Say yes and find a way.” So far, so good.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’m the principal and Chief Creative Officer of Loma Media, a creative services partner to many global organizations, government agencies, non-profits and educational institutions. We do a pretty amazing variety of work for a very diverse (and demanding) clientele, so our common denominator is genuine interest in pretty much everything coupled with a burning desire to succeed. As a services provider, we have to be extremely cognizant of our clients’ needs while being able to move on a dime in a highly competitive marketplace, Our biggest challenge serves as both motivator and differentiator: the ability to align with many client cultures while addressing constant change.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s San Diego. How can you not hit the beach? Having spent most of my life here, I’d also say our neighborhoods are a distinct highlight. Downtown, Little Italy, PB and La Jolla, on to Hillcrest and Kensington. For a change of pace, East County out to Julian. I’ve filmed movies and TV spots in every conceivable part of the County, from the (now extinct) tomatoes fields of Oceanside to the constantly evolving Gaslamp. Always something new to check out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My story, such as it is, begins with supportive parents and continues with a wonderful team of people who continue to inspire me every day. You’re only old the day you have more memories than dreams!