A little over 5 years ago, John Meyer and Amy Colgan co-founded Lemonly based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The two have set out on a journey to capture the art of storytelling through the use of images, especially in animation and infographics. “We take boring data from customers and turn it into beautiful stories…lemons become lemonade,” explains John.

The Perfect Hire

The story of Lemonly began in 2011 at 9clouds, a company co-founded by John and Scott Meyer. The Meyer brothers started 9 clouds to provide inbound marketing solutions for automotive companies. As the company grew, there was a growing need for creative design and social marketing skills. This need led toward the hire of Amy Colgan who was interviewed and hired to enhance the 9clouds social


Amy Colgan

marketing solutions. The end result of Amy’s hire was a partnership with John Meyer to co-found Lemonly.


“Amy was the perfect hire…for Lemonly” shared John. It was in 2011 when John and Amy researched the world of graphic design in social marketing. The two stumbled upon the use of infographics and soon created a few for their 9clouds automotive customers. After a couple of months, the two realized that there was great value in creating high-quality infographics to engage customers. John and Amy saw a niche market that needed content creators.

Late in 2011, Lemonly was created. John shared, “We set out to be the best at making infographics and animation that were highly visual and rooted in story.” With John Meyer as the CEO and Amy as the Creative Director, the company has found success that has continued to build over the last 6 years. 

Snowball Effect

John Meyer

John Meyer

John Meyer compares the success of Lemonly to that of a snowball rolling down a hill. It begins small but gains momentum and size as it finds its way to the bottom of the hill. “Our growth was part luck, but mostly a high-quality product that spread through word of mouth,” explained John. The first customer, Argus Leader (a Sioux Falls Newspaper), led to Marriot, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the 9/11 Memorial and still others using Lemonly to create infographics.

“One of my favorite clients was Major League Baseball…it was always my childhood dream to sign a Major League Contract,” shared John. The doors continue to open for Lemonly to create highly visual stories for companies around the world. The client list on the Lemonly Website shows a glimpse into the results of this snowball effect.

Although Lemonly has found global success, John Meyer and the Lemonly team are proud to be in South Dakota. John shared that he wants Lemonly to be the “best place to work in the Midwest.” Meyer is one of many start-up founders that value the work environment along with providing a quality product. In fact, John and the Lemonly team recently created a blog to provide Human Resource information to start-up companies. John truly believes that making a profit is important, but seeking to do good and making a difference in the world can happen through the platform of a start-up company.

Learn more from John Meyer and Lemonly as he speaks at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. at The Stage at Island Park.

Brent McNeal