It has been said time and again, but the best way to execute on your ideas is to surround yourself with amazing people. We had 5 co-founders at Flipswap, and I think having a big, core team like that really helped us to be successful.
Cyrus Farudi is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Flipswap, Inc in 2004 and Capsule Media in 2011. While at Flipswap, Cyrus served as CFO, helping build the company to over 100 employees and more than $20M in revenue. Additionally, Cyrus was integral in three rounds of fundraising totaling over $15M, and the company’s expansion to Europe. As CEO of Capsule, Cyrus leads UI/UX for the company’s web and mobile applications as well as the direction and business strategy for the company.
What are you working on right now?
Capsule (trycapsule.com) is an event planning and group sharing platform built to help anyone who is planning, attending, or organizing a trip, party, or event. It combines a lot of the best features from evite, groupme, path, and color but is ultimately a unique solution in the market. Along with the companion mobile app, CapsuleCam, the product was designed to manage the entire life-cycle of a shared group experience – before, during, after, and archive. The idea was born out of real-life frustrations with the existing services and the lack of a good comprehensive solution.
Where did the idea for Capsule come from?
After a fun-filled year of 7 weddings and 5 bachelor parties, it was clear to me that the existing services just weren’t getting it done. The biggest issue is post-event photo sharing, which Capsule has solved.
What does your typical day look like?
I was raised with the mantra “work hard, play hard” and I try my best to subscribe to it. Starting a company means the balance is shifted towards the “work hard,” but I still make time for the gym and a basketball and flag football league. I also love to travel and will jump at any chance for a trip… but now it always involves taking my laptop with me.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s been said time and again, but the best way to execute on your ideas is to surround yourself with amazing people. We had 5 co-founders at Flipswap, and I think having a big, core team like that really helped us to be successful. Capsule has an incredible team, and we have a hell of a lot of fun working together. Thank god, cause 16 hour days aren’t really doable unless you’re having fun doing it.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Skinny jeans. It excites me because it is a trend, and trends always have an end.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I bagged groceries and waited tables for a while in college. Neither were horrible – I was always proud to have a job, but I’m definitely happy to be doing my own thing now. I learned a lot about how to talk and interact with people, and that’s valuable. Good social skills are very important, especially in the early days of a company.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. We got criticized a lot at Flipswap for having so many family and friends involved, but being able to absolutely trust and depend on the people you work with is critical in a startup. I’ve known Omri, my co-founder at Capsule, for 14 years and I couldn’t’t imagine trying to start a company from scratch with a stranger.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make sure you get the details right. The difference between a decent product and a great product is in that last 10%.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A Chipotle-style shawarma chain. Seriously. Its on every corner in Europe, but impossible to find in the states. Makes no sense, its delicious.
Tell us a secret.
I used to get in a lot of fist fights when I was younger and enjoyed them all… even the ones I lost.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
Dropbox - no surprises there I’m sure, but it really is an incredible tool when you have it on all your devices.
Testflight – no idea how you could successfully develop an iphone app without it.
Stereomood – when I need to focus, the studying or reading playlists are unbeatable.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff. As an entrepreneur, being able to understand your audience and present your ideas in a convincing way is critical. Whether you’re talking to friends, industry people, or VCs, you need to be able to pitch your idea effectively.
What’s on your playlist?
Mostly folk and country. Really diggin Somebody That I Used to Know by Walk Off the Earth right now.
If you weren’t working on Capsule, what would you be doing?
I’d be starting something else. My brothers and I come up with ideas daily. There is no shortage of ideas, just time.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I’m not really a big twitter guy. I love it for news and get most of my tech/social media info that way, but don’t really use it outside of that.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Just a few days ago playing charades with some friends. Granted we were a few bottles of wine in, but that game has definitely become way more funny now that I’m older.
Who is your hero?
My father. He is a serial entrepreneur as well, and watching his successes and failures over the years inspired me to take risks.
Do you ever regret not following a more traditional career path?
I’ll be honest, I get a little bummed thinking of all the happy hours I’ve missed, but the pros of working for yourself definitely outweigh the cons.
What’s something crazy you’ve done in your life?
I’ve run with the bulls in Pamplona, three times.
Old fashion email is still the best: email@example.com