John L. Wade

Incline Village & Reno, Nevada

About / Bio

I am an Economic Liberalist and fairly certain that I have always been an entrepreneur. And, perhaps,”I am a creator,  inventor, and innovator” as Ray Davies, the primary songwriter and lead vocalist of The Kinks: The most underrated Rock ‘n’ Roll band of all time, sang in Starmaker.

At age 7, I started a door-to-door business buying and reselling used toys. I later added to the product mix by selling polliwogs I caught in a nearby pond.

At age 10, I answered an ad in a comic book and started my own franchise selling custom imprinted Christmas cards. This was my first experience with on-demand printing. Although the income at about $30 an hour was pretty good for an elementary school kid in the 60s, the business was very seasonal and only door-to-door.

At age 13, when L’eggs pantyhose dominated the hosiery industry with its unique egg-shaped packaging and marketing that allowed it to sell for a premium price in virtually every type of retail outlet, I started a business importing and selling equivalent quality pantyhose at a fraction of the cost. Again, the pay was good, but I sure took a lot of teasing from my friends.

At age 16, I bought my first rental property by purchasing a $30,000 house for $1,500 down and assuming the loan. I certainly wouldn’t have qualified for a loan – I wasn’t even old enough to legally sign the purchase-sale agreement. Fortunately, no one asked my age. I sold that house for $60,000 when I was 21, realized a $30,000 net profit (2,000% return on investment), and purchased a triplex apartment building.

Over the years, I continued buying apartments in California and Nevada. In 2021, I sold all my California properties and started investing in Downtown Reno commercial buildings. I also started Gung-Ho Real Estate to oversee my commercial and multi-family residential properties.

When I bought a condo in the “Heart of Downtown Reno,” I discovered the closest public self-storage facilities are at least a mile outside of the downtown area. So, in 2022, I created Gung-Ho Storage to build self-storage facilities that are within walking distance for people living, working, and moving in to the rapidly growing Downtown Reno area.

Along the way of growing up, I also did the typical paper route (what else was I going to do at five in the morning?) and worked as a checker at a local grocery store which provided the income necessary to put myself through college (UCSC) and law school (UC Hastings College of the Law) with the assistance of Full Academic UC Regents’ Scholarships for both colleges.

In 1982, when I graduated from law school and passed the California Bar Exam, the personal computer software industry was just taking off and I co-founded Bindco to supply the custom 3-ring binders used for computer software manuals.

As the high-tech industry grew, so did Bindco. After we became the world’s largest supplier of custom binders, we added printing, packaging, media duplication, assembly, and fulfillment.

In the late 80s, I became interested in two emerging technologies influencing Bindco’s print production and distribution:  E-Commerce and On-Demand Printing.

E-Commerce: In 1988, long before the Web, we used the Internet with modems and a Bulletin Board System (BBS) to process manufacturing and fulfillment orders from our clients.

In 1994, Bindco manufactured the software for Mosaic (which became Netscape) to “launch” the World Wide Web.

Shortly after that, Steve Jobs introduced me to Bill McKiernan at CyberSource which provided Web-based order processing and software downloads. We quickly partnered and one of our early projects, Hewlett-Packard’s first e-commerce site, was so successful that it was featured in Time and Business Week.

On-Demand Printing: In 1991, Bindco began digitizing expensive bulky manuals and putting them on low-cost CDs for mass distribution. We would then only print the hard copies as needed in low volumes.

In 1992, I was awarded the on-demand printing contract for Tandem Computers. At that time, the Xerox DocuTech Network Publisher had just been introduced and Bindco received the first DocuTech on the West Coast.

Within a few years, Bindco had 10 DocuTechs networked together running 24/7 producing 40 million unique on-demand pages per month. We then integrated additional printing locations in the US and Europe so we could concurrently print any document in any location for optimum distribution.

Bindco’s Silicon Valley location also afforded me intangible personal benefits because I was able to meet, work directly with, and learn from so many bright and talented entrepreneurs during their startup and early growth stages.

Many of the entrepreneurs I was fortunate enough to work with and learn from became industry leaders: Steve Jobs (Apple and NeXT), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Bill McKiernan (CyberSource and Authorize.Net); Phillipe Kahn (Borland and Starfish Software), and Jim Clark (Silicon Graphics and Mosaic/Netscape).

By 1998, Bindco had grown into an international company with annual revenue of $78 million. I sold my Bindco equity and retired at age 41.

In 1999, bored after only 6 months of retirement, I decided to create Gung-Ho as a “virtual company” that would utilize the power of the Internet to integrate disparate best-in-class brick-and-mortar suppliers to provide one-stop printing, packaging, software manufacturing, e-commerce, and fulfillment solutions.

Gung-Ho was an immediate, profitable success with first year revenue exceeding $8 million. As Gung-Ho grew, it continued to maintain profitability, operated without incurring any debt, and never lost a client based upon its quality or performance.

In 2022, after 40 years of successful leadership in the printing industry, including the technologies related to print production and distribution, I decided to focus on expanding my commercial real estate holdings, and their associated business entities, in Downtown Reno, Nevada.

Today, in addition to running my Gung-Ho real estate operations and businesses, I enjoy consulting with other entrepreneurs – especially those that support rebuilding Downtown Reno or manufacturing products in the USA.

And for the “personal stuff” I am willing to share on the Web, I only need about 4 hours of sleep a day so I have plenty of time to get things done.

I prefer active sports like running, swimming, cycling, hiking, snow skiing, water skiing, and scuba diving. I also like the adrenaline rush I get from skydiving, hang gliding, and bungee jumping (including the highest jump in the world).

I love to travel internationally, especially to third-world areas, and have explored every continent in the world except Antarctica (at least not yet).

For domestic travel, I enjoy getting in the RV and exploring all the beautiful areas in the United States.

I am an avid reader, primarily of biographies and other motivational non-fiction. My favorite book, which I heartily recommend, is Atlas Shrugged by the visionary Ayn Rand.

And I love virtually all types of music, especially rock and roll, with what I call, “a basic biological rhythm beat,” by The Rolling Stones, who I have seen nearly 40 times over the past 50 years but never with lead guitarist, Mick Taylor; and AC/DC, who I saw over the decades they performed but never with lead singer, Bon Scott.

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Contact Info

John L. Wade
+1 (775) 843-1800
johnlwade (Skype)