[quote style=”boxed”]I am not going to waste time, if I ever get a second chance. But good thing is I am only 23.[/quote]
Prateek Gupta is the cofounder and CEO of FreshTag.Me. A team builder, and business operations professional is taking time-off from college to pursue his startup, FreshTag.Me. Prateek was a student until this summer, when his friend Ben Daniel (now business partner) came up with up live-video idea, and Prateek executed throughout. Prateek signed up for a San Francisco based Hackathon happening on the weekend, where they teamed up with two most promising engineers, Cody Byrnes & Jon Bardin.
Later, FreshTag.Me was selected to launch at Demo Fall Conference 2012 with full scholarship and a $1.5 million valuation, and became the youngest startup (4 months old) to be launched in Demo’s history.
What are you working on right now?
I am 100% dedicated to FreshTag.Me. Our mission is to improve the way people communicate by providing the most effective and simple online live-video solutions. FreshTag connects multiple users via #hashtags, keywords and personalized links. Currently, we are seeking angel/seed round the right investors, and have been getting good attention out there.
Where did the idea for FreshTag come from?
We have a very fascinating story about FreshTag. The original idea came from my cofounder Ben Daniel on the same day of AirTime.com’s launch in June 2012. Ben and I brainstormed the concept, and took this idea to the hackathon in San Francisco where we found our engineers. After 17 hours of coding, and looking at the first prototype, we realized our idea is much bigger than we first imagined.
How do you make money?
We want to become live-video provider to the education/enterprise industry as well as continue to be easiest way to do video chat for consumers. Currently, live-video runs on clumsy technologies and users have terrible experience. FreshTag wants to take the real-time college experiences like homecoming games, faculty office hours, group study hours, and campus broadcasting to the internet with easy and user friendly interface.
What does your typical day look like?
As a new entrepreneur, I am busy doing several tasks a day which includes learning on the go, strategies, marketing, and brainstorming within team, product development as well as seek funding. And I tried to do most of that during the night when I don’t have to run for meetings, and attend last minute things. I keep my day open to fit in any possible schedule, so I never have to say, “No” to anyone. I sleep like 3 or 4 hours a day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Personally, I love new ideas, and there is nothing more amazing than pursuing your own ideas to change and improve the way people do certain things. I try to learn from little babies, like how would they would do certain things? This brings simplicity in products, and you can be creative without being complicated.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The internet. I mean look at the world around us. Everyone carries internet in their pockets. There’s an app for everything.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I never hated any of my previous jobs. Every job had its good and bad. I learned “what not to do” from them.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I am not going to waste time, if I ever get a second chance. But good thing is I am only 23.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I suggest choosing a great team to share a vision. That’s very important in any startup or a team. I suggest everyone to make mistakes, and learn from it. Plus, I highly recommend to talk about your ideas to everyone you meet, you will get great feedback on the way, and it will help you to make your product better. Learn from little kids, observe them and think about them while building a product. Simplicity is precious.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I failed to learn programming. I learned you can’t learn everything and be best at it. The important thing is to find people who are better than you in terms of certain skills. I learned lots of things on the way, and I am still learning. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur, learning never stops.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to have a document formatting software for mobile devices. There is big need of a beautiful mobile app that can do amazing formatting on the go.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
There are so many things I want to change. My first thing would be to end the long era of resumes. Resumes are boring and you can’t judge someone by one page of paper. I want to create a rich multimedia academic timeline, where students would be able to share the great things they do on daily basis during college. By the time they graduate from college, the only thing they have is a degree. Where are those many other skills you learned during last 4 years?
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Twitter: An amazing tool for entrepreneurs. Best way to keep up and communicate with people of your interest.
Wikipedia: You know, Wikipedia got everything.
Quora/Reddit: You get to learn so many things on these two websites instantly in form of question & answers.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Recently, I got Sir Richard Branson’s book called “Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School”. It’s a great book for that last push of motivation you need to do something without having expert knowledge in that area.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
1. Shervin Pishevar (Serial Entrepreneur & Managing Director at Menlo Ventures), he’s a great person to look up to and learn what and how he does it on day to day basis.
2. Sir Richard Branson: Sir Branson is one of the rare business legends who are very active on twitter. He gives away his philosophies and ponders insightful lessons on life and business.
3. Seth Godin: He tweets links to his blogs, and they are just awesome! Totally worth the time.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Oh, I have huge family and many great friends. So laughing out loud is a normal thing. I just LOL’d on a text message my cofounder Ben Daniel sent me.
Who is your hero?
Steve Jobs, Elon Musk. Amazing risk takers of our times.
Prateek Gupta on Twitter: twitter.com/prtkgpt
Prateek Gupta on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/prtkgpt/
Prateek Gupta on Facebook: facebook.com/prtkgpt
Prateek Gupta’s Website: www.PrateekGupta.org
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.