Archive for the ‘ Web ’ 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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Tanesha Smith Wattley – Stylist at Bluefly

NAME: Tanesha Smith Wattley
INDUSTRY: Fashion/Retail
POSITION:Senior Manager of Visual Merchandising
COMPANY:
 BLUEFLY, INC.
LOCATION: New York, NY
CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION: Bluefly.com is a leading online retailer of designer luxury and contemporary goods. My job is to guide the aesthetic of our featured products in our photo shoots. I style our models and select merchandise for still life shoots.


WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
Transitioning between the worlds of editorial fashion and online retail. While fashion is the focus of both, there are distinctly different end goals.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
Part of living, both professionally and personally, involves failure. Preferably on a daily basis. It means you’ve tried something new.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
Moving to New York with no money, no apartment, and no job. It’s actually how many success stories start but that doesn’t make the first few months or even years any easier!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT – IN FASHION?
Start! New York is wonderful, but start wherever you are. This is a fantastically unique time in our industry where you can interact with fashion on a global level from wherever you are physically.

Laura Kronen – Founder of Be You Only Better

NAME:  Laura Kronen
INDUSTRY:  Life Coaching, Image Consulting, Beauty Expert, Entrepreneur & Author
POSITION: Founder
COMPANY:  BE YOU ONLY BETTER
LOCATION:  Atlanta, GA
CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION: We provide Life Coaching Services specializing in developing self confidence and self esteem, reaching health & fitness goals, improving relationships and entrepreneurial mentoring and coaching.  We also offer image consulting and provide daily beauty and self help product recommendations.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
My biggest successes have been taking ideas that originated in my imagination and actually bringing them to fruition.  I have done it a number of times with my products Baby Road Trip,  Belly Ups, and now, Be You Only Better.   Every day with Be You Only Better, I achieve personal success with my clients- raising their confidence levels, helping them achieve personal satisfaction and discover happiness within them that they have never experienced before.  Nothing makes me feel more successful than helping others attain their goals and dreams.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?  
I do not believe in failure. There are only degrees of success. Everything that doesn’t go exactly the way I planned or wanted it to is either a learning experience or a step on the road to where I want to be.  Thomas Edison once said – “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  Think about how many times a baby falls as it’s trying to learn to walk.  Is that baby a failure because he is tumbling and crashing into things as as he learns?  No, that baby is going to learn how to walk perfectly despite the challenges he faces or the “failures” he encounters every day.  That is the way I live my life.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 20 years.  I have learned how to become empowered by the disease rather than have it bring me down.  So much so that I was inspired to write a book- Too Sweet: The Insights and Musings of a Diabetic.   I share my experiences of living with the disease, filling a genuine need for comforting, brutally honest, and practical wisdom.  Without stepping on any medical toes, not focusing on anything technical, and definitely not dwelling on any of the bad things that are drilled into a diabetics head over time (who really wants to read about that anyway!), I tackle diabetic myths, the ups and downs of lows and highs, being labeled as having a “disease”, my fear of needles, love of all things sugary sweet, sex, pregnancy and just about everything else in between. From hearing about an elusive cure, to sharing how diabetes can make you into a more confident, motivated person, this genuine, up close look into my diabetic life will make you laugh out loud and feel as though you found a new best friend.  The book will be available before Spring 2012.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?  
I have three key ‘phrases of wisdom’ that I live by and always offer to those starting out.  They are simple but no one will ever give you better advice than this:
1. Be persistent. Never give up.  Believe in your dreams.
2.  Let 1000 doors close in your face and then knock on door 1001.  Eventually someone is going to open one up for you.
3.  Don’t worry about how any one else does something, do it your way!  That just might be your competitive advantage.