Year: 2013

Why I’m Working at Colupon

Colupon is an online platform, mobile and desktop, that helps students to save money when shopping at local businesses. To learn more, check out our website, colupon.com.

“Why do you work at Colupon?”

This question has two sides to it. Why I joined and why I’m still working.

Why I joined

I was in the middle of running a successful (for an 18 year old, amateur entrepreneur) website design and SMM company but that was a means to an end. Colupon, the beginning of the end, was the logical choice for me. Daytaro was an experiment and a way to satisfy my boredom. Colupon was my ticket to getting where I wanted to be in life.

That is fairly straightforward, I didn’t have anything to lose so I took the position.

Why I’m still working

“Well why I am still working?” middle-of-the-night Adam asks myself. “Is it the right choice?” “Maybe there is something better out there?”

Shut up middle-of-the-night Adam, go to sleep.

This is why I’m still here:

  • The potential is there. When I first joined, our only plan was to get coupons from businesses and give students access to them. Over the past 6 months the core idea has been refined and reworked to what it is now. More features, more value, and a better pricing model. Not to mention ColuponApproved (you’ll just have to wait to find out what that is). What we are doing is a “why hasn’t this been done already” scenario and leaving an opportunity like that would garner an appointment with a psychologist.
  • Fun only begins to describe a typical day. And when I say typical, I mean every single day that we have been together working, I have laughed. We work long hours and there is a lot still left to be done but when you are having fun, none of that matters.
  • This is what I want to do. Starting/being a part of a software company has been my goal for the past couple years now and now I am actually doing it. I can’t picture myself working any other job or doing anything else. It feels right waking up every morning and walking into my office.
  • I wish I had a way to quantify the amount I have learned. I am surprised by the amount of information has been jammed into my head in the past 6 months. I thought I knew what it took to build a website, but building a website like this has taken my understanding to a whole new level. And managing the team that builds the website is something that I haven’t done before, but again, it feels right. While I am not the guy making all of it happen, I am in a majority of his meetings and we work together on a constant basis. “Shadowing” or being around a CEO is something that very few have the opportunity to do and the amount you can learn from that alone is enough to make it worth it.
  • Students need help. Sure, the DOW is hitting all-time highs and the housing market appears to be getting better but look around. Too many people are still unemployed, college students have unprecedented amounts of student loans that they won’t be able to pay off because finding a job fresh out of college is near impossible. If we can help save the typical student 10%, 20%, or more a month I will be thrilled. ¬†And that is what is driving us to make Colupon a reality. (See this great article for more on the state of our economy)

TL;DR – Working here feels right and a couple of years down the road, Colupon is going to be a huge success while helping millions of students.

I can’t wait to see what the next 6 months are like.

-Adam

Goodbye Daytaro

Part of me was pushed into this position but another part of me knew that I had to and ultimately I know that the decision is the right one. I had to leave and this is the why and how.

I was bored. I would get home after a school day full of honor classes, maybe write a blog post and that was it. After a couple of conversations and late nights thinking of how it was going to work I decided that I was going to launch detaro.com (when looking for a name I looked through a huge list of available domain names and detaro.com caught my eye but since you could pronounce it a couple ways I went with daytaro.com for simplicity). At the time I could make a Facebook page and post on it but that was about it. That’s all I needed to know, what I really needed to have was the drive to learn and do what I needed to do to make this simple idea become a reality.

One thing lead to another, we started making websites in addition to managing Facebook pages, I met a couple fantastic people and now we are on track to make $30,000 this year. Two things to note with that statement, first, I was never in it for the money. I didn’t want to work a typical teenage job so earning that money was nice but the knowledge I gained is infinitely more valuable to me than the checks. Second, when we first started our price was $20/month for us to manage your Facebook page so one client was $240/year + $20 to create the page. At the time I thought that was a ton of money, so in other words I was easy to please from a financial aspect.

As I wrap up with my last client and give the Daytaro boat one last push until they are on their own, I find it somewhat difficult to know that it is over, that the year and half long roller coaster is coming to an end. I was always excited to get home from school and work on a new client or send a couple hundred emails just to get our next client. I learned how to work long and hard to accomplish the goal and how to keep going even though I had to go to school in a few hours. I experienced what it’s like to say yes when I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. The subsequent short term learning and paranoia is what kept me going, it was exciting.

And as my role went from doer to manager, I didn’t know it at the time, but I was preparing myself for the next step on my career path. In my new position I have to manage a small team and keep the companies goals in mind and make sure we accomplish them on time. If I didn’t start Daytaro, I wouldn’t have learned how to code, I wouldn’t have met the people I met, I would have the resume I have, I wouldn’t have the skills I have now and I wouldn’t have the job I have now. Setting myself up for success is what I strive to do everyday. I’ve heard all the cliche lines that teach us that there is no such thing as a free pass through life. Now I have experienced that first hand. To be successful, I need to work hard and build the road that I want to drive on.

Was Daytaro a success? Yes. At the beginning I was happy just to have 1 single client and that was a success in my book. Heck, with that one client we were profitable (which is one of the main reasons why I decided to start it, cheap is too expensive of a word to describe how little I paid to get this all started). At the end I can still call it a success for multiple reasons. From a financial perspective, our expenses for the first year was 2% of our income and for the second year it went down to .4% (this doesn’t account for wages as we weren’t generating enough to have salaries or hourly wages). I learned more than I could have ever dreamed. Some of the people I met a year ago, I am still talking to and working with. And sure we had our fair share of failures. Clients terminating contracts, poor performance, and missed opportunities were seen but that only made me work harder to get the next client and give them the service they deserved.

I would do it all over again time and time again if I had to because every second was worth it. I haven’t ‘made it’ yet but I still know that Daytaro is my starting platform and anything that I am currently doing and or will do would not happen if I didn’t start Daytaro.

There are few times that I am now bored thanks to Daytaro.

-Adam