You may know that I like to use the phrase "Lets build something!" whenever appropriate. I am referring to building something the world has never seen before usually in the form of a piece of software (as I enjoy building software). I love building products that I get to deliver to people and see the look on their face saying "WOW! That is cool!". I simply love building.
When I was around the age of 7 or 8 years old, I remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a millionaire. My mom did not find this as a surprise because all kids think about being a millionaire at some point because that means unlimited amounts of new toys so she somewhat shrugged it off. I then continued my story and told her "I want to be a millionaire because that means that I have more money to give to people to help them". This surprised her a little but again shrugged it off because she figured that I am just 7 years old and I would change my mind next week anyway.
I remind my mom about this story every now and then to remind her that my mind has not changed. I still want to help people when I can as I feel that it is everyone's responsibility in this world to help each other out. We are all on this world together in this thing called 'life' so why don't we help each other out?
A few months ago I attended Startup Weekend Iowa City in Iowa City, Iowa. This was my second Startup Weekend event and I was going to make sure that I would not miss the event for anything. I spent the opening night of the event listening to over 40 business idea pitches that were all potential project ideas to work on during the weekend. While listening, I was getting nervous because none of the events really inspired me and struck my passion at all. Then someone named Doug walked up and delivered this idea of a mobile app that helps young kids in their every day lives. He gave it this name "me2". I found what I wanted to work on that weekend.
While at the event, I met this great group of guys who had this same vision in life as me. They all felt that it is important to help people whenever possible. We all ended up supporting Doug by joining up with him to work on his idea for the weekend. All of us remember growing up and struggling at some point with some issue that was brought into our lives that we simply felt stuck with no help in sight.
We had a couple marketing pros, my talented designer roommate, a marketing and law school student, someone with a passion in PR, myself and another Android developer and an 11 year old kid named Isaac. Our dream team had the time of our lives over the very short weekend building this product that aimed to change the lives of young kids around the world. At the end of the weekend we built a working Android prototype app that Isaac demonstrated to the judges, customer discoveries, a marketing plan, and a vision for a future product release.
I have never had this much fun in a weekend building with this team of fun guys who felt this excited about the product as I did. Sunday night after the judging event when we were all saying our good byes to each other the 11 year old Isaac said to us "so I will see you next weekend to continue to work on me2 right guys?". We all looked at each other thinking of a way not to disappoint Isaac as Startup Weekend is just a fun weekend event but then we really got to thinking, why don't we continue to work on this?!
As weeks after the weekend passed we all continued to communicate together, discuss ideas for the business and the me2 product. The spark was not gone. We really wanted to release me2 to the world for the kids. Not only that, but we naturally started putting our passions together and coming up with this idea for a company that is centered around the idea of helping people. We were all shaping this dream job of ours that seemed very hard to pass up.
Long story short, tomorrow morning I will be starting a new job. I am working full time as the product and development lead for me2. I decided after graduation I wanted to take up entrepreneurship full time and build products for people to enjoy every single day. I want to see me2 succeed. I want to see the smiles on kid's faces when me2 brings them out of a situation that they have been having lately. Myself along with a majority of our team from Startup Weekend are going to be working heads down building this company that we have visioned. We are all building the dream.
What I look at every day I leave my room. It all started when I put this name tag on that Friday night of Startup Weekend...
From previous blog posts I have mentioned that Startup Weekend has changed my life in many ways. I would say that this is good proof of it. I met this group of amazing people from the Startup Weekend event that I absolutely hate saying good bye to every time I see them. I could not resist to be so moved by this community of passionate creative leaders. I wanted so badly to be with these people every day to soak up that energy and use it on something I was passionate about.
Entrepreneurship and programming are my passions and life is too short to pass up following your dreams. I am ready to have the time of my life and learn more then I have ever learned before.
Lets build me2!