There is no ceiling. Anyone can be anything.
Yogev Shelly is the CEO and Lead Developer of TinyTap. Yogev received his B.Des from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. He started 27dv.com, an Interactive Studio working with startups, such as JVP, PLYMedia and Eye-Click, later he joined rounds.com as the 4th member where he acted as the lead Client Developer and UX Director.
He is a passionate designer and developer experienced in various user experience methodologies and a range of programming languages.
What are you working on right now?
We’re working on our bigger vision. The TinyTap Community, a place where everyone, from kids, authors and artists to educators, can share the games they create.
Where did the idea for TinyTap come from?
Personalization. As a kid I created activity books for my friends with coloring pages, mazes and trivia questions, the content I used was their pictures, names and around their life in general. I wish to offer this opportunity again, only this time for an amazing platform like mobile devices. We believe, that we all make up games and that everyone can enjoy and learn from them.
What does your typical day look like?
I am at the office at 7 am. I spend the morning dealing with paper work. At around 10 am, the team meets to brief each other on their tasks. At noon we go to one of the nearby restaurants for lunch. Then I get some quiet time to do some programming for a few hours. Once or twice a week we have a meeting for possible partnerships or something similar. We try to keep these to a minimum. At around 6 pm I get back to management work until I leave at around 8 or 9 pm.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Problem = Opportunity. Every time a problem occurs it’s a great opportunity to come up with an idea that will make it disappear.
Writing = Remembering. I write it down in a note or a sketch.
Demo + Team. Then I build a small demo, show that to a friend and we start working.
Actually Doing It. The process of creating while still being tied down by a job, school or whatever takes stamina. You must hang in there and don’t quit because it’s not fair. Hang in there and finish it, even if it’s stupid, finish it!
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Flip classes – a term I first heard on TED, by Khan from Khan Academy. He described learning today as very unnatural, where one person talks and 20+ kids stare in silence deprived of any social stimulation.
Flip class is the opposite of that, where 20+ kids are sitting and actively learning and interacting with modern education tools like videos, questions and games. Here the teacher simply acts as a guide.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
In high school I worked for 4 months as a baker. I was just a complete idiot. I made more mistakes than possible. I felt bad with myself but had enough confidence to appreciate my other skills. I realized how we all have our unique skills and being sucky at one thing doesn’t mean you’re not a genius at some other thing.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Enroll in Harvard and build a social community from my dorm room. Na, I wouldn’t change a thing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Take full responsibility for everything, because the world doesn’t know what excuses are.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I started a startup with a family member and a friend, soon after, things went awry. The family partner wanted to leave and take his share with him, so we were forced to close the company. I had to throw a year’s work down the drain, and I did.
I took a week off and even went to the beach on a weekday, but like Frank says – “Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race. ”
I started TinyTap a week later.
My mistake was not creating a vesting agreement in our pre-investment Founders Agreement to handle an event like that.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I actually have a blog where I write about ideas I have and I won’t be doing any time soon. It’s called www.startupsketch.com. One idea I had recently was Crowd Sourced Location Based Audio Tours. Imagine visiting a new city and hearing different layers of audio on every corner. It can be someone telling a piece of history fact or simply music that fits the exact location you’re at. Think how great a bicycle ride can be. As you cycle across town, the soundtrack changes.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Capital Restriction Law – It’s an idea I have that fits perfectly with our economic times, That’s putting a limit on the distribution of wealth, so there’s a ceiling for how much money can be accumulated by one man, every dollar after that goes back for distribution, you’ll keep working to maintain that lifestyle but no man or woman needs more $100,000,000 at any given moment.
Tell us a secret.
There is no ceiling. Anyone can be anything.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Dropbox – I don’t email stuff anymore.
Stack Overflow – Allows you to get answers for code issues from the best minds in the field.
Google Docs – collaboration, availability and forget about Ctrl+S, just amazing.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Sorry I didn’t read anything special, so I’ll have to go with – Clean Code – A great book for starting developers, teaches very good practices and prepare you to be a real developer.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I think I typed LOL just recently, kidding, I guess it was when I took a picture of a friend almost disappearing inside a fridge like a bear looking for honey, I laughed cause I only noticed the resemblance after I posted it.
Who is your hero?
De-Vinci for being a Polymath – a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning.
I believe we all need to have more faith in our selves. To go back to the days of the renaissance. We hide behind titles that describe us so people will be able to define us and label our worth.
Specifically I don’t like people telling you what you can and can’t do. That’s for you to find out. Period. You can be the best UX and Designer while also do some programming and maybe run a startup. You won’t be the first.
Why do you do what you do?
Because every-time I did something other then realizing my ideas, the world tuned into grayscale.
Yogev Shelly on About.me: http://about.me/yogev.shelly