Archive for the ‘ Tech ’ Category

Jonathan Daily – Technology Lead at Favorly

NAME: Jonathan Daily
INDUSTRY: Internet
POSITION: Technology Lead
COMPANY:FAVORLY
LOCATION: Brooklyn NY


CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:
Favorly is a new social networking tool that encourages people to help
other people.  Users make favor requests for anything big or small,
and then Favorly pushes them to other users based on the geographical,
social, and skill requirements of the favor.  I began designing and
testing Favorly in April 2011, and launched an early beta in November.
We are currently deploying a full redesign that will be ready for
public use in March.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
The first product I ever built that was actually used by the public on
a large scale was a reply-all group text messaging application called
WeTxt.  I learned so much from launching WeTxt from both a technical,
and business stand point.  It was my first product concept that I was
able to actually see through to reality, and that means a lot to me.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
WeTxt again.  WeTxt never became a commercial success.  The reason it
didn’t isn’t because of the concept, but because of the execution.  I
launched WeTxt in March 2008, and couldn’t raise a penny for it.
GroupMe, also a reply-all group text messaging app, launched 2 years
later in 2010, raised $10.6 million, and was sold to Skype for $80
million within a year.  The difference between WeTxt and Groupme is a
bit of right place – right time, but the truth is more in the
execution.  GroupMe was executed extremely well, and WeTxt was not.  I
could list 100 things I did wrong with WeTxt, and they are all lessons
learned that I’ve taken with me to my subsequent projects.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Deciding to do it again after not exactly succeeding the first time,
and again after that.  I decided to move on from WeTxt (too early
btw.) and had to decide if I wanted to re-enter the steady paycheck
world, or try to continue as an entrepreneur.  Deciding to continue on
was the harder decision, but ultimately the right one for me.  I found
myself in the same situation between United We Tab and Favorly.  I
know I made the right decision; I am taking my lessons learned over
the past four years, and am more determined than ever.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT? (both in your field and
starting out in general)
You need to recognize why you are doing something, and set your
expectations for it appropriately.  If you are just trying to get out
of the corporate world, then you need to diligently test your
hypothesis, and fine tune your business for what customers actually
want so you can create a successful (profitable) company.  If you are
trying to create something that you love, you have to accept the
reality that it may not correspond to a full time business, or you are
going to have to be flexible with your idea in order to shape it for
customers.

It’s a long road.  Every step is a challenge, and each one presents
new challenges.  Getting your business to “launch” is really just the
first challenge.  It’s continually hard, sometimes discouraging, and
other times exciting.  You need to be in it for the long haul in order
to turn it into a success.  If you stick with it, adapt to new
challenges, and are willing to try new things, you will likely see
good results.

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