Eddie Lou - CEO and Co-founder of Shiftgig

[quote style=”boxed”]Be passionate about the idea then surround yourself with people that have the same passion for the idea.[/quote]

Eddie is the CEO and co founder of Shiftgig. Prior to that, he was a general partner with OCA Ventures, where he led 10 technology investments. Previously, he was the founder of PlanetHVAC, a business-to-business software and service provider to HVAC companies, and started a manufacturing facility in China. He also co-founded and is an executive board member of a non-profit, One Goal (formerly known as Urban Students Empowered), and was recognized in 2010 as one of Crain’s Chicago Business’s “40 Under 40″ and 2011 as Chicago United’s “Top Business Leaders.”

What are you working on right now?

Shiftgig, a community for the service industry to connect with people and businesses for full-time, part-time and temp jobs.

Where did the idea for Shiftgig come from?

40 million people in the restaurant, retail and hotel industries are all on Facebook but most are not on LinkedIn, a white-collar career site. Shiftgig provides an online community for the service industry to connect.

How do you make money?

Premium subscription features for employers.

What does your typical day look like?

6 am workout, 8:30 am in the office (team meetings, one on one meetings, phone calls with customers, investors, press, partners).

How do you bring ideas to life?

Be passionate about the idea then surround yourself with people that have the same passion for the idea.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Emerging markets are driving internet’s growth. Countries like China, India, Brazil are driving traffic. This will make the world a much smaller place.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I worked one summer during college at a government office. Walked in at 8 am and out at 5 pm with a one hour lunch and 15 minute coffee breaks in the morning and afternoon. I ended up reading the WSJ every day so I could learn how to invest.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Nothing.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Spend time speaking to customers and understanding their needs.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I had to shut my first internet company down. We made many of the same mistakes of other dot-com entrepreneurs. In the end, the learning lessons from the experience has made me a better investor and operator.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Find a way to transmit electricity wirelessly.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Give everyone an opportunity for an education….check out One Goal Graduation.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

Won a city-wide chess tournament when I was a teenager.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Facebook and LinkedIn so I can learn about what my friends are doing and learn about what my work network is doing.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

7 Habits of Highly Effective People…useful lessons that improve your career and your personal life.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

Hanging out with my girlfriend because we have silly, fun times together.

Who is your hero?

Superman.

What has been your best decision starting Shiftgig?

Partnering with my co-founders, Jeff Pieta and Sean Casey.

What has been your toughest personal challenge in life?

Finishing Ironman…overcoming physical and mental pain racing 140 miles but really four months of dedication and focus.

Connect:

http://www.shiftgig.com/
Eddie Lou on Twitter: @eddieplou
Eddie Lou on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/eddielou