Featured on Dec 08, 2010
"Why isn't anyone else laughing?"
Co-founder of SpotOn, recent grad of NYU, insomniac, co-coordinator of the NYTM Student Group and the Location Based Apps Meetup
- Title: Co-founder of SpotOn
- Age: 24
- Location: East Village
- Contact: @gaurimanglik
Your startup, SpotOn, is comprised of 5 recent graduates here in the City. Can you briefly go through the roles of the 5 people and what they do day-to-day?
Sure thing. I'm the CEO and right now I'm focusing on all the non-dev work. I spend a lot of time looking at pivotal tracker, working on our product roadmap. On any given day I could be doing one or more of the following: networking, showing our app around and doing some usability testing, taking care of all incoming e-mail, market research, and everything pitch related (presentation, exec summary, etc).
Nicky is our CTO. He focuses on our technology stack, API, website, and our recommendation algorithm. Day-to-day it's a lot of everything. Currently, he spends much of this time building out our API so Sarah and Tony can make use of it in our iPhone app and setting up our infrastructure so that we can handle a ton of data.
Orion is our Algorithm Lead. He spends all of his waking hours thinking about, coding, and optimizing our recommendation algorithm. Being the resident Sternie, he also handles all of our accounting (the little that we have right now) and helps me out with other business related tasks.
Sarah is our Lead iOS developer. Right now, she focuses on front-end iPhone development. She's also often my partner in crime at meetups.
Tony is an iPhone ninja. He focuses on all things iPhone and currently works on the more hardcore aspects of it like memory management.
If you could poach anyone else from another company/startup here in New York (in a friendly way) to work with you on SpotOn, who would it be? And why would you choose that person?
Although the core of our technology is our recommendation engine, what will make us win is an unparalleled user experience. I'm not exactly sure who this is but I'd love to poach the BEST UX person in New York.
SpotOn was founded back in February of this year. What has been your toughest challenge while getting started? Have you been able to overcome it? If so, how'd you go about doing so?
Since SpotOn started out of an Entrepreneurship class in NYU, it began more as a class project than a company. Since graduation, it's been interesting to make the transition from class project to company both personally and as a team. In a classroom setting, there isn't really a sense of urgency for business and product execution - there was a bit for us because we did want to have something to show at the end of the class, but it doesn't compare to being in the "real world". What we really needed was a mental shift. As we became more involved with NYC's growing tech scene, talked to seasoned entrepreneurs, got more feedback on our idea and prototype, we were able to shift our mental attitude and fully grasp that sense of urgency that I think is necessary for a bootstrapping startup.
Co-founding and being CEO of a startup can be stressful. What kinds of things do you do that aren't work related and allow you to relax?
Not sure if this counts as "not work related" but I do enjoy scouring the twittverse for interesting, tech-related blog posts. Besides that, I watch TV on my Macbook - my current favorite shows are Modern Family (fav character: Gloria), Lie To Me (fav character: Gillian Foster), and 30 Rock (fav character: Kenneth). Also, my family lives pretty close in the 'burbs so I like to go home some weekends and just chill out with my parents and sister and enjoy some delicious, home-cooked food.