Posts Tagged ‘ founder ’

Kara Dake – Co-Founder & CEO at Signalfy

NAME: Kara Dake
INDUSTRY: Events/Experiences
POSITION: Co-Founder & CEO
COMPANY:  SIGNALFY
LOCATION: NYC/San Francisco


CAREER OR COMPANY DESCRIPTION:  
We’ve recognized, out of frustration, that there is no go-to resource to discover local events, view who is attending, and share your attendance with your friends. Why, if events are inherently social, is the current event discovery + sharing process, so…not? Signalfy is the new way to discover what’s on, what’s hot and who’s going in your city. Discover local events including art + music + fashion + film + tech and “signal” to friends your interest in attending the events.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS?
My biggest success so far is dropping out of the corporate rat race and pursuing my entrepreneurial dreams. It was definitely a bit frightening at first, but there’s nothing better than living your life, on your own terms.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE?
The first startup I worked on was a fashion incubator. My business partner and I spent almost 9 months in the planning stages, updating the business plan and taking many, many meetings. However, during this process we did little to test our assumptions and receive real feedback from designers. And, the idea grew way too big to manage. Looking back, it was definitely the complete opposite of what I’ve now learned via the Lean Startup movement.

I also learned that I had put wayyyy to much pressure on myself and this business succeeding. While perseverance and stamina are very important in starting a business, I’ve learned that you can’t measure your own personal self-worth based on the success (or failure) of your project. I guess it’s like they say – you’re only as good as your last film/design/website?? Well, I don’t subscribe to that any more. Instead, I’ve increased other things in my life that make me happy, too – health & wellness, friendships, family, spirituality, and continued learning.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE YOU HAVE OVERCOME?
I have had to deal with a ton of uncertainty in the last two years. I started renting out my apartment full-time using Airbnb.com, and I was able to scrape by on enough income to quit my job and stay with friends & family. This has been amazing as I’ve been able to focus full-time on my entrepreneurial projects and getting my MBA at NYU. But, it’s been extremely challenging to deal with not having a home base to stay grounded. I joke with people that sometimes I’ve had to stay in Central Park. It hasn’t gotten that bad, but there are days when I don’t have the right clothes to wear to a meeting, or the notebook I need is…somewhere. This period of my life is coming to an end soon, and I’ve realized it’s helped teach me to live simply and in the present moment (mostly!).

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
I firmly believe that one of the most important things in life is to do what you love. In Buddhism, it’s called following your dharma. I really wish this was focused on more in schools, vs. just chasing a dream because you think you will make a lot of money, or it will make your parents happy. If you can’t do what you love right now, get involved in side projects or help others that ARE doing what you find interesting. Figure out ways you can support yourself with alternative revenue streams. Then take the leap!!

MORE ABOUT ME:
Co-Founder & CEO @ Signalfy and check out my new blog on how to be healthy as a very busy entrepreneur.