How I can help Esc members
Firstly, I'd like to help you be more spontaneous. If you live in London and have an iPhone, download the YPlan app & join the movement. And, if you'd like any advice on starting a business or running a tech startup, please feel free to drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am the co-founder and CTO of mobile commerce start up, YPlan. Founded together with my long-term friend, Rytis Vitkauskas, YPlan is tonight’s going out app. The app let's you discover top tickets for tonight, pay in 2 taps & go to gigs, theatre, & quirky events like chess boxing.
There’s already a booming global trend in mobile commerce where people are booking everything from cabs to hotels – we wanted to do the same to make having an amazing night out just as easy. It’s the perfect app for the spontaneous.
Before I escaped...
Before handing in my notice and diving head first into the scary, yet endlessly exciting world of entrepreneurship, I was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. I was a front desk quant / strategist, assisting the team by leading efforts on modelling funds, share classes, strategies & management companies, which was central for the Fund Derivatives desk to be able to track & hedge positions.
Before that I was working on Global Macro Proprietary trading desk & then Equity Exotics trading desk solving all sorts of problems: working on pricing models for new products, extending risk systems to run real-time for exotic derivatives & defending the desk from the unknown if markets moved too violently.
My moment of truth...
Working at Goldman Sachs gave me the unique opportunity to work with the brightest & smartest people in the industry. As time passed by, it became clear that it would be more & more difficult to move out of a cushy finance job because both my personal & professional responsibilities kept growing.
I’ve always dreamt about running my own business & it became ever clearer that staying at the firm wasn’t getting me any closer to that goal. I wanted to challenge myself & delve deeper into the fascinating technology startup world.
Rytis & I spent many a late night discussing options & potential action plans for a few months, then the summer of 2011 came, & we decided to take the plunge. Needless to say I’ve never looked back.
Planning for it...
When you’re in a demanding job working long hours, your mental capacity is drained & spare time is hard to come by, so it’s very difficult to come with a well thought out plan or great idea. Ultimately we knew we had to quit our jobs, recharge & do a lot of thinking.
Having a clear mind, spare time, & the urgency to do it (I was living off my savings which runs out quickly in London!) allowed us to come up with 50 ideas in around a month. We spent lots of time going back & forth, discussing them with friends & asking our mentors to pick them apart until we settled on the one. YPlan.
The worst and best bits...
The best bits are out without a doubt the wide array of challenges that come across you on a daily basis. Solving all kinds of problems, helping sales, getting involved with marketing, working out the logistics of operations, & tweaking designs with the team - there’s something new to set your mind to every hour. Being responsible & taking care of the people in the team is also very rewarding.
The downsides are the stress that can come with the huge demand, & the uncertainty that always lies ahead. It really helps to have a co-founder to chat with & an amazing, supportive fiancé & family.
Aim for the moon, that way, even if you miss you'll still be amongst the stars! - W. Clement Stone.
Useful resources and information...
We wrote a personal blog - http://2founders.com/
- describing our journey.
Here's a few books which really help you understand exactly what startups are all about:
- Delivering Happiness - Tony Hsieh
- Lean Startup - Eric Ries
- Founders at Work - Jessica Livingston