Kevin Fremon is the co-founder and CEO of vibe.me, a social network that gives you a meaningful, simple, and fun way to share the vibe (sentiment) you get from places you visit, trending topics, media, brands, or day-to-day life.
Kevin has been in the tech scene for the past 8 years and founded his first web development agency, Don’t Blink Design, back in 2004. Quickly, Kevin cemented DBD’s niche in the startup community and found his passion for collaborating with other BIG idea people. He’s led the design & development direction of social networks, learning management tools, and multiple web 2.0 products.
When Kevin’s isn’t sitting behind all 7.3M pixels of his Apple displays designing UI in Photoshop or tweaking CSS in Coda, he can be found tromping through the city of Santa Monica in his staple blue jeans, flip-flops, and unique T-shirt of the day.
Aside from being a tech geek and an Apple fan-boy, Kevin is all about being active and leading a healthy (yet fun) beach-lifestyle. Skateboarding, surfing, riding his fixed-gear bike, hitting the gym, and DJing good music are a few of his common weekly releases.
What are you working on now?
First things first… I’m constantly working on myself. Although sometimes I like to think I’m Mr. Awesome, lets face it, I’m learning as I go like the rest of us. That said, I’m constantly hungry for a knowledge-sandwich (hold the mustard) and love learning new things. Whether its how I can be a better leader, communicator, entrepreneur, designer, husband, or friend, I’m all about expanding my universe and am humble in my approach.
Vibe.me is a really big focus of mine right now. We’re in the process of three things. Iterating on our current product, developing a kick-ass iPhone app, and out looking for amazing investors with the “right vibe” in order to raise the capital necessary to introduce vibe.me to the world.
What does your typical day look like?
At 6:30am my eyes are typically just opening. First thing I do before hopping in the shower is reach for my iPhone next to me and check for important emails. Then shower up and cook my go-to breakfast of scrambled eggs and turkey “MUSCLE” sausage for my wife and I. Once I have my coffee made I’m off for my morning walk into the office a few blocks away with our dog Luna (French Bulldog). Did I mention living and working within blocks is AWESOME? It is!
I’m typically the first one into the office in the morning. It gives me the perfect amount of time to get caught up on emails, tech news, social networks, Angel List, and organize the rest of my day.
At 9am my team and I have a quick morning status meeting (mini-scrum) to re-group, talk about what was accomplished the day prior, and what’s next up to bat.
Throughout the afternoon my time is spent either in Photoshop working on UI elements to consistently improve our vibe.me user’s experience, “getting out of the building” and talking to users or potential partners, writing HTML or CSS for new features that need some tweaking, and the list goes on.
On a good day I try and leave the office between 6-6:30pm to walk home, grab my gym bag or running shoes, and get a workout in. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that exercise can do marvels on stress levels.
Returning home, either my wife or I cook dinner then we both begin nerding out on our laptops. In bed typically by 11pm. Rinse and repeat.
What inspires you?
Other passionate people that are doing what they love inspire me the very most. There is something about being around the energy of people who are passionate that is just electric. IdeaMensch meet-ups are a perfect example of this.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what you learned from it?
One mistake I’ve made that won’t be repeated is putting too much force on a SPECIFIC outcome. I’ve found that when you’re so dead set on making something happen in a specific way, in a specific time frame, for whatever reason, it’s just not a good thing. Rather, still be focused on an outcome but remain open to a variety of possibilities that will make the outcome a reality.
3 trends that excite you?
Mobile, location based services, and the visualization of data. For example, I love cool and well designed info-graphics!
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Hover Board! Trust me, everyone will buy one.
What is one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
I could easily rattle off a number of Lean Startup books I’ve read, but let me try and be a bit more creative here.
“Awesomely Simple – Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas into Action” by John Spence. And it’s available for iPad! A close friend and one of my business partners, Dustin Brown, turned me on to this book and I’m so glad he did. It’s a great motivator for any entrepreneur that thinks BIG. Plus the way John writes is awesome and filled with humor throughout. Easy and fun read you won’t want to put down.
What is one gadget or piece of software that helps you bring ideas to life?
Photoshop, hands down. Anything from high-concept art to UI elements, the first thing I open is photoshop. I’m really fast so I can get an idea out of my head in no time flat.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Jonathan Triest of Ludlow Ventures. Great guy, awesome vibe, and all about the startup community and ideas.
Why have you chosen Santa Monica / Los Angeles to build your startup?
Simply put, the vibe here is amazing. You can feel the creative energy walking down the street. In my opinion it’s different than the energy up in SV. Santa Monica itself has become quite the hub for startups which makes it that much more exciting.
Also, co-working spaces such as Coloft have really been a huge catalyst for bringing the community of startups together. It’s great that I can walk 2 blocks down street to different tech meet-ups held regularly at Coloft, or meet other startup founders out at happy hour for a beer or three.
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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.