[quote style=”boxed”]”If you have an idea, just make it happen. It’s not worth it to wait.”[/quote]
Mr. Rameet Chawla is a developer, product specialist, and the founder of Fueled, an award-winning design and development company based in New York and London. Combining a decade of experience architecting Web and mobile applications with his innate sense of style, Chawla has created apps for a wide range of industry clients, from high-end fashion brands to successful tech startups. Chawla is passionate about building and being involved in disruptive technology ventures and can be found on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
What are you working on right now?
No matter the day, I’m always working on growing Fueled as a brand and company.
This month, we launched our collective working space. Located just below Houston Street, the new Fueled Collective is home to over 25 of New York City’s fastest-growing young companies. The space was designed by our creative team and features a blend of Old World English aesthetic, with libraries doubling as conference rooms, and a return to a childhood atmosphere of ice cream carts and popcorn machines.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
It’s out of the ordinary. I do two shifts and try to get two full working days into each 24-hour day. Normally, a person might work a seven- to eight-hour day, take off time for lunch, and then go home at 6 p.m.
I use a process called “seven and one,” with the idea that there are three seven-hour shifts and three one-hour shifts in the day.
My first shift starts at noon and is all meetings and calls with my team and clients. Then, around 7 p.m., that shift ends. I usually take two one-hour shifts and combine them into a dinner, an event, or a party. Basically, it’s a two-hour break to eat and socialize.
Afterwards, I return to the office for the second shift, which is almost all email. This is why everyone will receive a lot of responses from me late at night; I very seldom email during the day.
Finally, at around 4 a.m., I go horizontal for seven hours of sleep followed by an hour of getting ready to do it all over again.
It’s a personal system that’s developed over time. It’s not something to which one can quickly convert. Most importantly, it required a change in my diet to maintain my energy. I only have protein and vegetables throughout the day — no carbohydrates. I don’t drink coffee or any stimulants, and I avoid sugar. There are no highs and lows — just a constant level of energy all day long.
I originally changed my diet to be healthier, but I noticed that it gave me a more efficient stream of energy, too. When people have a big lunch with a lot of carbohydrates, it induces a sugar rush and makes you want to work from a couch all afternoon. Then, they go for a coffee for the caffeine kick, which usually keeps them going for another hour, before they inevitably return to the couch.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I just do them. A lot of people think about stuff and strategize. I find that really annoying. If you have an idea, just make it happen. It’s not worth it to wait.
My business partner and I were giving each other evaluations and he said to me, “You’re pretty much good at everything, but your weakness is you’re just head first like a workhorse.”
We will make decisions without considering the consequences, and then deal with them later. It works for me, and I haven’t changed. I don’t consider that a weakness.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
When I was 16 or 17, I was as a cashier at a Jewish deli in Boca Raton, Fla. I was in high school, and it was my first paying job.
While working there, I learned I have issues with authority; I didn’t enjoy having a boss. I learned that there are much better ways of making money than an hourly wage. I also learned that I love black-and-white cookies — in moderation, of course.
If you were to start again what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t have spent three years in banking. I would have done two years, or maybe only one year.
I probably would have studied abroad in a non-English-speaking country. I also would have taken business school less seriously and would have taken more liberal arts classes.
I did a double major in school and studied things I was going to be doing for the rest of my life, and I feel like that was a bad decision. I should have studied all the things I was not going to be doing for the rest of my life. I would have studied world cultures or taken art appreciation. My passion is in creating new technologies, and there’s no way I would have gone into anything besides the tech industry.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend everyone get seven or eight hours of sleep each night. If there’s one good thing you can really do for yourself, it’s to eat healthy and sleep well.
It’s especially critical to eat well and stay healthy when you travel as extensively as I do. For about half the year I am out of New York, and two-thirds of that time, I am out of the country. We have an office in London, so I am there at least twice a year. I also go to Paris at least once a year.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have an idea for a boating version of Airbnb. It’s a market opportunity that nobody has executed properly yet. Airbnb is trying to, but there is still a market opportunity to get there before them.
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
The first one is FollowUp.cc. Most of my day on my computer is spent using that. It’s an app that copies down emails and reminds you to reply to them.
SaneBox is another tool I use. It filters out all the garbage from your inbox and puts it in another folder automatically.
Another inbox tool I like is Boomerang. It lets me schedule messages to return. In many ways, my life revolves around my inbox.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I read the news every day, especially things like the 10 must-know articles about technology. But I don’t read books.
What’s on your playlist?
I’m listening to the new Daft Punk album “Random Access Memories.” Contrary to what everyone else is saying, it’s awesome.
If you weren’t working in tech, what do you think you’d be doing?
I would be in finance, excelling in hedge funds, investments, and that whole world. But it would never happen. That’s because what I do right now is something I’m passionate about. I worked in banking for a few years. I quit and went into technology. With finance, it’s about having a skill set and less about passion. I just happen to be good at it, but it doesn’t mean I like doing it. I’m good at building technology applications and contributing to innovation and I love it, and that’s the best thing one can ask for in a career.
Who is your hero?
In general, I’m not really inspired by other people. There are some people who I think are impressive and are doing things right, but I’m not following them from an inspirational standpoint. I just respect what they’re doing.
If anything, the most influential and inspiring thing is New York City itself. Just being in New York is inspiring. Also, when I travel, the scale of things inspires me. When I look at life from a global standpoint, it makes me understand just how small my operation really is and how I’m basically insignificant. What’s inspiring is the knowledge that today — and everything I’ve built thus far — is insignificant. And, if I want to do something significant, I have to keep on working. I find that very inspiring.
Rameet Chawla on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/rameetchawla
Rameet Chawla on Twitter: @fueled