Renowned software entrepreneur and world traveler James Kappen has made a career out of his penchant for creative problem-solving, particularly as it relates to those problems so seemingly complex that the issue goes unresolved for quite some time despite the inherent frustration associated with its continued existence. Kappen, the founder and CEO of Proposable, has used his current venture to address an inefficiency that has plagued the global sales force for far too long, namely, the painful sales proposal process. Through Kappen’s efforts in creating the web-based platform at the heart of Proposable, sales professionals the world over can reap the reward of a streamlined system through which sales proposals can be designed, delivered, tracked and evaluated with an uncommon level of ease.
Kappen, a software entrepreneur known for his creativity and his consistently innovative approach, experienced how this particular inefficiency negatively affected so many aspects of his work responsibilities. With the creation of Proposable, a web-based sales proposal platform, Kappen felt sales staff would be able to devote more of their time and energy to creativity and customer service, an outcome that would be of clear benefit to all of the parties involved. The impetus, of course, was Kappen’s own frustrating experience in dealing with his own sales proposals.
A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Kappen holds a degree in economics and has been recognized as an expert in his field on a number of occasions. As the winner of the SproutBox Business Accelerator Program, Kappen was selected over thousands of other entrants and was therefore able to benefit from the guidance and insight provided by veteran investors and advisors. Through his unique combination of academic and entrepreneurial experience, along with access to exceptional mentoring from leading experts in their respective fields, Kappen brings a rare skill set to his role as founder and CEO of Proposable.
What is your favorite thing about traveling?
Seeing how things are done in different parts of the world really provides a unique perspective and sometimes reveals how the accepted or established practice is not always the same as the best practice.
Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?
I’d like for it to be more of a lifestyle even though I travel quite frequently.
What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?
I’m obviously biased, but it’s Santa Barbara for me.
Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?
Yes, my wife and I have a few upcoming trips. One really relaxing trip would be our annual sailing adventure to Catalina island.
What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?
Turn off your phone. Try to find places in which getting lost is not inherently unsafe, and then go ahead and get lost, then ask locals when you have any question. All sorts of cool things happen when you take this approach.
Where would you like to go?
I’d like to visit New Zealand and Australia, but I don’t want to go until I have more than enough time to really experience both countries.
Where would you like to revisit?
I had a wonderful experience taking a trip to Nicaragua last year, so I’d like to go back again in the future.
Do you travel alone? Why?
I’ve done my fair share of solo trips and have always had an outstanding time, but when I travel with others I like to be sure that we are on the same page in terms of our plans and expectations long before we depart.
If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?
I’d pick anywhere in the Mediterranean, as well as Vancouver, British Columbia; and Patagonia, Chile.
Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?
I almost always pack very little no matter how I travel, but I do try pack according to the range of potential weather conditions and the duration of the trip.