Chief Crazy Officer, Crazies and Co.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO APPLY TO FOUNDER HOUSE?
I heard through a friend of a friend... I was looking for entrepreneurs who want to change the world, and the idea of Founder House and living with entrepreneurial people sounded awesome...
WHERE HAVE YOU TRAVELED TO / LIVED PREVIOUSLY? HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOU?
I have traveled to about 89 cities around the world. I’ve worked in 30 cities around the world. It changed everything in me and taught me about humans. The major idea is that humans are the same. Whatever country they are in, position: humans are the same. We have the same feelings, same understanding of things. It’s liberating feeling that I can live anywhere and can know people well. I reached this after traveling and it makes me feel more comfortable. I treat everyone as family. We’re all the same.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON FOR THE YEAR?
My focus right now is my newest company. People are scared of ideas and scared to pursue them. Crazies and Company is about accepting their craziness. Don’t be afraid to try ideas. There’s a thin line between genius and crazy. If you don’t try crazy, you won’t ever get to genius.
We’re an incubator that invests $10,000 - $20,000 in ideas. I have 8 co-founders right now. We find people who have crazy ideas - who want to make an impact on culture and make a difference. We fund their crowdfunding campaigns, build the video, marketing, and PR and if we feel it’s something that’s attracting people’s attention and imagination, we invest heavily; if not, we try again with another crazy idea.
HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I dropped out first year in college and started my own agency. I was always an entrepreneur. Selling chocolates and candy all through school. It got me into a lot of trouble, but I love the freedom. Love the social impact. It’s a mindset. Sometime’s you’re just born with it - a fire inside you to change things.
WHAT COMPANIES HAVE YOU BUILT?
I’ve built around 13 companies by now. Every year we have one big project - huge - something I’m passionate about. Something I want to see make a change in the world. But, every month, I do stuff that makes me have fun. And that’s my message with Crazies and Co. If you don’t have fun with what you’re doing, you’re doing something wrong. Entrepreneurship is fun! My first project was an agency. I have other companies that are in export / import and real estate. I have some dealings with perfumes, a garment business, and two restaurants.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
The AI T-shirt. There is a visually impaired person, who for about 25 years had never been late, ever. I was fascinated by the fact and said “how the hell do you do that???” We had a conversation and I realized that his life is difficult. He had a guide dog, but people kept petting it and he had lots of problem. I realized that tech can solve this problem. It was crazy enough to tackle. So, we created a t-shirt with a pocket in the middle. You put your phone inside the pocket and Siri (or another AI assistant) tells you what’s going on around you. So, if two people are smiling in front of you, Siri will say that there are two people smiling in front of you. We have 35 AI startups so far who are helping us build that app. We’re launching soon (hopefully the end of October). There’s going to be an app and any visually impaired person can use it and listen to what’s going on around them.
HOW HAS YOUR NETWORK HELPED YOU?
My network is everything - all my relationships, including the media. Without my network, there would be no Crazies and Co. With my network, I can build a company and encourage people to be themselves..
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO OTHERS LOOKING TO BRING AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET INTO THEIR LIVES?
It’s a must! It’s all about having an impact and solving problems. It’s your responsibility with your community! Stalling or saving enough money first is the wrong idea. Entrepreneurial life is the easy way to gain freedom. If you’re delaying it, it’s a mistake. Jump into it head first.
HOW DO YOU THINK LIVING WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE IMPACTS YOUR CURRENT WORK?
Well, I love it. Coming back to people who are working encourages you to work. I also get to brainstorm with people who have different perspectives.
WHERE DOES YOUR PASSION FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP COME FROM?
Making an impact. The idea that I can own it and personally do something about a problem. That’s what I live for. I’ve never done anything in my life that I’m not passionate about. If I see a problem, and can fix it, as a human I have an obligation to try to fix it.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?
Entrepreneurship. Making an impact. Seeing a smile resulted from my work is what really motivates me.
THREE THINGS YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT?
1. Family & friends.
2. Entrepreneurial life.
3. The freedom to explore new ideas - if you stop me from doing the crazy shit that I do, I’ll be dead in a day.
THREE THINGS THAT MAKES A GOOD ENTREPRENEUR
1. The right mindset - are you having fun, helping someone, changing lives?
3. Playfulness - have the ability to pivot, listen to the market. If you’re not feeling happy about it, change! Be able to stop tomorrow or change on a dime.
FAVORITE PLACES ON THE GLOBE?
It’s gotta be Founder House (BedStuy location)! But, I love Dubai - it’s where I lived. In my opinion it’s very safe and easy living. I love London. Though, the most beautiful place that I’ve been is Chamonix in the Alps, very close to the Mont Blanc. A very beautiful village - very secret. It’s Heaven on earth.
WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERYONE READ?
“Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets” - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Entrepreneurship is about randomness. That book taught me that luck is a big factor in everything. What really matters is launching and to keep trying.
WHO'S THE MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU'VE MET WHILE AT FOUNDER HOUSE?
KB, her dedication and care to the smallest detail is amazing, she puts her heart into it, which is very admirable. Also, David Sun. The idea that he has an empire that he built on his own and we’re sleeping in the same bunk bed.
WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
The challenge is the fun of it. If it’s not challenging, it’s not fun. If you have the right mindset, nothing is challenging. If it’s easy, then what’s the fun?
YOUR FAVORITE HACK? SKILL THAT YOU APPLY TO SEE RESULTS?
I’m fast. I don’t think a lot. I do more than I think. I always follow the results of the market. I don’t waste time in studying. I do first. I get feedback. Based on feedback, I do other things. I stay realistic. I listen to the market.
IF YOU HAD TO BE STUCK ON AN ISLAND WITH ANOTHER FH RESIDENT, WHO WOULD IT BE?
KB. She would organize everything and I could live in it. All the animals would organized. The monkeys bringing us bananas. It would be the most organized island in the world!
DESCRIBE YOUR FOUNDER HOUSE EXPERIENCE IN 3 WORDS.
Awesome. Super awesome. Super duper awesome.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET TALENT?
I love magic. I know a lot of tricks. I used to do them, but have stopped recently.
WHERE ARE YOU IN 30 YEARS?
30 years. Whoa! I don’t know where I am in a day. I decide fast, change fast. I don’t have long-term plans. I have a goal that, in whatever situation I am, I’m alway experimenting with new stuff. The day that I start not-inventing will be the last day of my life.
DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL DAY
That’s difficult. Now, here, I do things at the wrong time. I’m still running on agency time. I usually start the day by a visiting my team at our coworking place and brainstorming ideas. We catch up on projects. Plan. Have a lot of fun! I spend about 8 hours there. Usually by 6pm I do my best to visit a couple of events, “hunting events”, where I find my cofounders [for Crazies and Co.]. Then I come back to FH and find a lot of people working and bother them. I stop them from what they’re doing and ask them about ideas; “what do you think of that?” After I’ve bothered enough people, I finish work, catch up on calls on other side of world. Then I sleep. Sometimes I sleep 1 full day and then don’t sleep for 2 full days. It happens about twice a week. It works! I don’t like interrupting the flow [of my work]. That’s an indication that I’m passionate about what I do. I don’t sleep. I don’t care about food. I’m so focused that I’m doing it all night.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE?
“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert EInstein
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH ? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BECOME THROUGH FOUNDER HOUSE?
My plan is to build something. With someone. I’m still looking to find that someone at Founder House. I think business and entrepreneurship is about relationships and less about ideas. It takes time to build relationships and trust. That’s why FH is a great idea. Living and sleeping together makes it easier to trust and know each other. It’s the perfect way to build a relationship.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Looking for entrepreneurs with problems. If you have a crazy idea, feel free to approach me! Let’s start something crazy!