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The startup life Snapchat

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01 Mar 2017

How badly would you love to look into Steve Job’s life as he was building Apple? How about Elon Musk as he was building PayPal?

Hold up! I’m not saying I’ll be them 100%! But if I was, wouldn’t you wish you followed my story?

The concept is simple: show the world an unedited version of someone’s life as an entrepreneur. This will no-doubtingly have a resounding impact on how I operate and those who watch me.

Well, what else is there? Interviews recounting the creation of a startup (ala Brian Chesky) seems like edited and scripted PR gold. Day-in-the-life’s like Gary Vaynerchuk’s DailyVee are a lot more realer, but are heavily polished for consumption. So how do you get a down-to-earth gritty show? Well you can watch Gary Vaynerchuk’s Snapchat again or even any of these other big names jumping on the platform. My issue with his SnapChat is that he’s already rich! Ok, thanks for the motivation but I’m still missing the piece between entrepreneurial thinking and entrepreneurial success. What does that blank space look like?

Well I’m chugging along through this blank space currently, so I might as well share it!

The effect on me

It’s like I have my own non-personal entrepreneur diary. And like a diary, I need to force myself to put all I have onto the platform or it will be useless. This means I have to force myself to be transparent and keep pushing out interesting content. A tall order. As a result, I am building a group of people beside me that can share advice or lend their hand as they are seeing the story unfold.

“What does that blank space look like?” Well…me.

The effect on you

The word entrepreneur shows it’s head every chance it gets. By now you probably think anyone who calls themselves entrepreneurs are full of shit, right? And by now, you probably think you are more ‘entrepreneur’ than the rest. So in some sense, you can use me as your baseline to measure how you are doing. I’m not saying I’m what an entrepreneur should look like, but this can be a wake-up call. Otherwise, it could assure you that you aren’t alone in your struggles. I will try to put my fears into these Snaps, so in some cases you might be able to relate. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the ride!

This is not a show

I have to stress this. This SnapChat isn’t to entertain mountains of people. I won’t show you getting a Ferrari, or getting million dollar validations every other day. Less than 10% of startups are successful. I am a reference, not a guide. My hope is not that you will copy me because I can be in that 90%. My hope is that this lets you reflect on your own path by comparing it to someone’s.

The story so far… (as of March 1st 2016)

I’m cultivating two companies:

Loggia (loggia.io)

Loggia is how you know what’s happening in your campus. I want to bypass the social and locational barriers to events in a college campus. It gathers all events in a Feed for user’s to navigate through. We have the Android version out but still working on the iOS version. Once that is done, we can release to a couple of schools set to help us and even an incubator which wants to test us out. This doesn’t generate revenue or making business with people just yet.

Subletinn (subletinn.com)

Subletinn is a way for students and interns to get a proper living arrangement in great cities, and with great people. We have locations where students want to live. We have 1 location in Chicago right now and will soon push to more cities. This company gets revenue and doesn’t do too bad at the moment.

So far, I failed to get seed funding while I was in Chicago for a week. I met great people including an Angel and a VC president. I also met the partner to this channel, my friend Livio. Now I’m studying abroad in Budapest. I have access to the founder of Graphisof Gábor Bojár, and the serial entrepreneur Erno Duda. I convinced my partner in Loggia to set aside pride and let us hire an iOS developer. Now we started reaching out and getting resumés back for internships. I also found out another company, student.com, is doing almost exactly the same thing as SubletInn minus the emphasis on branding. That company now has $60 million in funding. After feeling bad about it for a quick minute I realize this means that we on on the right track!

Livio is taking the SnapChat spotlight occasionally when he is at a great event (he recently was at a startup weekend that he put up). Then I take the mic back to handle day to day stuff.

I’ll keep this part of the post updated with recap paragraphs.

Future

I might not be the winner. GaryV mentioned a concept like this in one of his DailyVee’s so there might be a flood of people like me very soon. All I can say is I’m doing what I feel is right. I’ve followed countless other “entrepreneurs” and all I see is travel updates and the occasional selfie with someone. Boring. I hope I can be a little 40 second wake-up call for you. If not, I hope to hear your criticism.

-YK


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