John Jacobs and Tony Ford
Master of Business Administration
You never know who you’ll meet in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at University of Phoenix and how they may impact your life. Just ask MBA graduates John Jacobs and Tony Ford, who went from members of the same learning team to co-founders of a fast-growing, $10 million e-commerce company.
John and Tony co- founded ArtFire, an online artisan marketplace that unites sellers of handmade and vintage goods, digital arts and craft supplies with their customers. ArtFire provides the e-commerce platform that makes it all happen and its members provide the merchandise which is sold in individual, virtual studios on the site. The ArtFire marketplace is different from its direct competitors because it puts its members in control of the functions and features of the site by soliciting their feedback.
John is president of ArtFire and Tony is the chief operations officer, a partnership that has brought them swift success. They learned each other’s work styles at University of Phoenix and carried them over to their business venture. They even adopted the school’s learning team model to their company work structure where its employees and subcontractors make up a cross-functional team with a flat hierarchy. This model has added to their competitiveness and efficiency, shares John.
ArtFire has become a fast-growing handmade marketplace and boasts two million unique visitors each month. The company also became the first to launch a marketplace on Facebook.™ ArtFire is currently one of the largest online handmade marketplaces, but John and Tony have big plans to surpass the market leader by 2011.