Today I had the pleasure of doing an interview with someone that is in the early stage of running his startup, Paul talks about graduating from georgia or should i say he linked to it.
WOW, I still can't believe this is my 100th interview, it seems like yesterday i started doing this interview
He Talks about the following:
- How he managed college work and skribit
- Valuable Skills he has learnt as an entrepreneur
- Paying $425 USD for a tech event.
- His favourite young entrepreneur at the moment.
Hi Paul, Welcome to YHP, so how are you doing?
I'm great, thanks for inviting me over for this interview!
Paul Can you quickly give us some background information about yourself so the readers know who you are?
Sure thing. I am a 23 year old web developer living in Atlanta, GA. I graduated from Georgia Tech last year where I received a degree in Computational Media (essentially computer science with a mix of new media stuff). For the last 4+ years I have been writing on PaulStamatiou.com where I cover technology with a mix of news, in-depth reviews and how to articles.
When did you jump on the entrepreneurial wagon and how has the journey been so far?
I officially began working for Skribit full-time in at the start of 2009 so I guess you could say that was when I really jumped on the proverbial entrepreneurial wagon. However, I had been working here and there on Skribit for the entire year prior. In general it's been an interesting ride filled with lots of learning via hands-on experiences.
So you tell us about your company- Skribit? How is that doing? What is the next step now?
Skribit helps bloggers cure writer's block (as we like to say) by allowing bloggers and website owners to receive suggestions about what to write about via our primarily widget-based service. Essentially you put a simple and customizable widget or our suggestions tab on your site and it lets your readers give you ideas about what to blog about next. People can follow particular suggestions and get notified when they are updated, blogged about, et cetera.
Overall it's going well but we are still fairly early stage. It will be at least another year until we really start to understand where it's going and how we're doing as we have not really done any marketing yet. Our official launch is coming very soon so then we'll start some marketing initiatives and see what happens!
How were you able to focus in college, especially after you knew you had the entrepreneurial bug?
This is a popular question I get and unfortunately there's no fancy answer. I would just come back from class and work on my blog or Skribit. Homework, studying and other projects did indeed take time but I was always able to make time for everything I needed to do. I ended up graduating with honors as well, so it seems to have worked out positively for both school work and my side projects. Time management is an important skill and once you've nailed that down you can juggle lots of side projects in addition to school. People reading this now have probably heard this many times - find a solid routine and stick to it - and that has worked well for me.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
I'm not sure about lesson but the most valuable skill I've noticed that a new entrepreneur can have is being able to wear many hats and switch between the easily. That is to say that one moment you might be programming and the next you need to reply to support emails, work on marketing, write blog posts about the latest features/company goings-on, and so on. This is especially important in an early stage startup where you don't yet have employees each dedicated to one specific area of work.
What do you like the most about technology?
The fact that it changes so quickly. In particular I enjoy the types of technology that make little things in life all the easier. Whether that's software that helps me be productive or a gadget that saves a minute of my time everyday.
What has been your most memorable experience so far?
I would have to say my graduation from college! http://paulstamatiou.com/thoughts-on-graduating-from-georgia-tech
Name one favourite item that you own right now?
I recently purchased a new car so I'm pretty fond of it right now! It's a 2009 John Cooper Works edition MINI Cooper. Skribit Co-founder Calvin Yu has been driving MINIs for a long time so I've been around them a bit and over the last year I became a fan of them.
What is the most you’ve paid to attend a tech event/conference? What kind of exposure and advantages would you say tech conferences and events can give to tech entrepreneurs?
That would have to be the South By Southwest Interactive conference and my pass was $425 USD then I rented a loft for the week with a friend and 3 other guys I met online through friends for about $300 a person. So I took the cheap route compared to the $200/night many people were paying for hotels, which were pretty much all sold out. I don't go to conferences much but when I do I make sure that I'll get something out of it - mostly from a networking and meeting people perspective.
What do you think is the most powerful social media in the world and why?
While everyone is talking about Twitter and Facebook, I still think blogs are a powerful type of social media. Twitter is great for engaging with others and pointing to your work, but that all just ends up with the blog as your base.
What upcoming technology or company should we have our eyes on in the next 6 months?
Hrm I think I'm going to have to skip that one. The startup community is so fast paced so it could very well be a company that is currently stealth and hasn't even launched yet, making this something very hard to predict.
Who is your favourite young tech entrepreneur at the moment and why?
That would have to be Daniel Brusilovsky. Daniel has done everything from work for Qik to write for TechCrunch and he's just 17.
Apple or Microsoft?
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Likely living in another city working on another startup - either my own or someone else's. Or perhaps in an alternate universe, working full-time on my blog as I enjoy that just as much as building a startup.
What tips can you give to web developers and tech guys/girls out there looking to break into the tech world?
The same advice I always give - get your name out there! In general that means being active on your blog and Twitter. If you want to be a programmer, you'll want to get a github account and have some public projects you work on, or open source work so prospective employers can see what you're capable of.