[quote style=”boxed”]Be happy. There are so many things out of your control, and startup life is full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Staying happy is tough when things are bad, but you need to be level-headed and optimistic enough to get yourself out.[/quote]
Eddy Lu is the CEO and co-founder of Grubwithus, a social dining network that connects you with like-minded people over good food. Grubwithus was founded to become the best and easiest way to meet people in real life, whether it’s for friendship, dating or networking.
Prior to Grubwithus, Eddy Lu worked at Lehman Brothers as an equity research analyst in the semiconductor industry, and at Deloitte Consulting as a technology systems analyst. Eddy graduated from University of California Berkeley with a degree in computer science. Go Bears!
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am working on finishing this interview.
Where did the idea for Grubwithus come from?
My co-founder and I moved to Chicago to open a cream puff store (yes, very random), and we realized we didn’t know anyone there. We tried meeting new people at bars and parties, but it’s so hard and inefficient to find friends that way. There weren’t any good solutions out there, so we built a social dining network to scratch our own itch.
What does your typical day look like?
The great thing about being in a startup is that there’s no typical day. That being said, I try to have areas of focus for each day of the week. Monday is focused on product, Tuesday on marketing, Wednesday on partnerships, Thursday on sales and Friday on culture.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By empowering our teams to execute our ideas with as little friction as possible.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My co-founder and I tried day trading after we quit our corporate jobs, and we worked for a tyrant of a fund manager. Since we were on the west coast, we had to get in at 4:00 a.m. every morning. We normally sleep at that time, so you can see how that was a problem. We lasted a two months before we had to call it quits.
It was actually a very eye-opening experience, because we were babied in our corporate jobs, and we realized how tough and cruel the real world was. Our fund manager ripped into us constantly and taught us how to be super sharp, alert, confident, etc. It was a great boot camp on how to survive and excel even in the worst of conditions.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Be happy. There are so many things out of your control, and startup life is full of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Staying happy is tough when things are bad, but you need to be level-headed and optimistic enough to get yourself out.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest problem as an entrepreneur is figuring out a work/life balance. I’m trying to overcome it by working efficiently and focusing more on friends and family, but it’s definitely a work in progress.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A subscription cereal company.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I’d make the universal symbol for “screw you” be a smile, so instead of creating hostility, people would always think others liked them.
Tell us a secret.
Sorry, I don’t kiss and tell.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Hacker News to see what the tech community is thinking.
- WickedFire to learn about how people push the limits of online marketing.
- Of course Grubwithus, so that I can meet up and have a fun meal with my casual connections.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
It’s a horrible title, but I highly recommend reading Ca$hvertising if you want to get better at marketing or advertising.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
I’m sadly not really on Twitter enough to know who to follow, but I would follow:
- @justinbieber to learn about the latest kiddie fads.
- @oprah to see what’s she’s influencing people to purchase.
- @grubwithus to see all the crazy things we say.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Probably when my dog did something funny or stupid.
Who is your hero?
My dog, Gogi, who doesn’t have a care in the world and lives life in the present.
What’s the most rewarding part about creating Grubwithus?
We get a bunch of emails every week from people telling us they met their best friend at a dinner, found their significant other, or got a new, dream job. It’s awesome building a product that positively impacts people’s lives.
What’s your favorite food?
Grubwithus on Twitter: @Grubwithus
To message me or hang out with me whenever I go to a dinner: grubwithus.com/users/eddylu
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.