[quote style=”boxed”]I walk the talk. Ideas have almost no value (everyone has good ideas!) so I try to build simple (but not simpler) solutions interactively, releasing early and often, and attacking only one problem at a time. This approach has some costs (perfection is not gained immediately) but it’s the only way I know to be more efficient.[/quote]
Asier Galdos is CEO and co-founder of Greenius, a smart gardening platform that brings together people who love growing their own food, giving gardeners an easy, real-time and cool tool to connect to other growers and a smart platform that helps them become better gardeners.
Their ultimate vision is to become the main reference for growers everywhere and foster the green lifestyle for present and future generations.
Where did the idea for Greenius come from?
Greenius is a result of a personal pain. I was working in London and moved back to Spain where I started growing my own food in my backyard. I soon realised I had no idea what I was doing so I bought some gardening books and started googling and searching on online forums and facebook/twitter groups. All gardening knowledge was all over the place and no modern, cool and real-time communities were available so we decided to build a simple and smart tool to connect to other gardeners and knowledge.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I ride my bike to work where I first check my news and blogs feeds on feedly and social media. Then I emerge myself in codeland to develop the issues raised by the product team. After a quick lunch we have a small brainstorming session to design and prioritize the new features and think over our target audience, market trends and business goals. Then I continue coding.
In my case I choose tools that reduce incidental complexity and allow me to focus on resolving core business problems rather than inherent technology problems.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I walk the talk. Ideas have almost no value (everyone has good ideas!) so I try to build simple (but not simpler) solutions interactively, releasing early and often, and attacking only one problem at a time. This approach has some costs (perfection is not gained immediately) but it’s the only way I know to be more efficient.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Urban gardening. Our food system is broken and small scale organic farming is the only way to feed the world (according to the UN). Globally more people than ever live in cities and food has to be where it is eaten, it’s that simple, but it requires a revolution to happen in the food system.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Exercise and reading. The former gives me physical energy and confidence, the latter gives me perspective and a better understanding of the world.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Truck loading/unloading. For paperwork reasons I needed to work at least one day and I learnt one very valuable lesson: even if you fail it’s worth doing something that you’re passionate about.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would start earlier. Before being an entrepreneur I worked in large corporations and I now think I should have started earlier. In big companies you just learn to work for big companies.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Everyone is unique. We all have different education, value systems and expectations in life. Just do that thing that makes you different.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Honesty and agility. Being honest to yourself, to your team, to your customers and partners. And agile methodologies for both, to develop products and business models.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of funding. I have never raised money and I always self-funded my projects. This has been a clear limitation to gain traction. To overcome this the only way is bootstrapping: to be creative and do a lot with very little resources.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
This time when attention is so precious and difficult to get I would like to see an evolution from the current inbound and outbound marketing strategies to smarter tools that simplify marketing efforts. An intelligent system where you describe your goals, insert a reference to your product or service, and it automates the segmentation and reach of your target audience.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I can’t whistle, it’s in the open now.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
Tools and languages: Clojure and Datomic for building scalable and fact based systems that allow time travel and exploration of future scenarios.
EnyoJS to build responsive web apps that work in any device and platform.
Online marketing: WordPress platform and plugins to build cool corporate sites with very little costs; mailchimp to automate mailing; hootsuite to automate social media activities, Google Analytics/Ads to understand and reach target audience; Social media for conversation.
Web services: Mapbox API to build cool, customizable GIS maps, Forecast.io API for accurate worldwide weather forecast.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement” by David Brooks.
Because raw intelligence is not enough. We are complex human beings and this book explains what it means to be human.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Alain de Botton
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.