Jay Shapiro runs a global business out of his Glen Rock home. AppMakr is a do-it-yourself app company with some 60 freelance employees based on six continents, all of whom work together through various online tools. Shapiro is a native of Toronto, and he co-founded his business, which was originally named Infinite Monkeys, prior to merging with a major rival in 2013, with an old high school friend who now works out of Canada as the company’s chief technology officer.
But Shapiro, a lifelong entrepreneur, didn’t always head up a mobile workforce: his last company, the Singapore-based marketing firm Blue, had traditional brick-and-mortar offices. He recently shared his thoughts on the virtues of working virtually and explained his surprising ascent in the business world, including how a survival job with “The Phantom of the Opera” changed his life.