Get Ready To Moteevate
What do you want to accomplish that you’ve been putting off for the past six months? Some people want to lose that final five pounds, some people want to write the next great American novel, and some people really, really need to find a new job.
But making changes and meeting goals is really hard. The folks over at moteevate know that a community is essential for most people to keep working hard when the going gets tough and they’ve developed a social media platform that does just that.
Founder, Dov Biran spoke with us from his New York City office about what’s going on over there and what gets him motivated.
How long have you been involved with the internet? What were your first steps?
Oh who can even remember that far back? I’ve been at this a while. I have about 20 years or so of experience in starting, running and selling internet companies in various verticals in Israel, the UK and the USA. It’s been a good run so far and it hasn’t disappointed me yet.
What time do you usually start work each day?
Official answer is 9. A bunch of us have some pretty hairy commutes though and I’ve got newborn twins at home so we’ll just leave it at 9ish.
Do you have an office or work at home?
We have an office in midtown Manhattan in a nice old building off 57thstreet. Very charming.
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
Call our programmer over in Belarus to get some updates on whatever he’s working on and to make sure any bugs we uncover get handled. Between audio feedback and everyone in the conversation having a different accent that’s always an interesting start to the day.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
We actually just looked for the domain closest to motivate (which was occupied) and this is what we came up with. I think it has a nice ring to it.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started out with just two of us, me and our first developer, and we were actually based out of Boston. Today there’s 10 people on the moteevate team in NYC, including our overseas programmer and offsite designer.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food? Give us the deets, dude!
Snack food would be a big one if I could get any, the wife keeps that pretty regulated I’m sorry to say. Video games I showed up a bit too late for and I don’t do too much running these days, though a lot of people at the office are very into it.
For me, my wife and children are huge inspirations and always have been. I also have the blessing of working with an amazing group of individuals who’ve made this pursuit far better by their presence, and they inspire me a lot too.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded? Where’d you get the money, man?
Moteevate is completely self funded at this point, though I wouldn’t turn down a few million if you happen to have it lying around. I’m happy to say that we’re financially secure though which is more than can be said for a lot of startups by launch time.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Make use of all the great free programs out there. We do so much of our work with Google Docs and we always use Skype to keep in touch with our off-site team members. You can’t afford to be stingy all the time because you do get what you pay for, but there are new services being offered every day if you know where to look. Make use of them.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
Ha. I’m at the worst possible time in my life for a question like that. What would I be doing? I guess I’d be home with my family helping my beautiful wife take care of two newborns for a year. The extra cash would be nice though, twins go through a lot of diapers.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
I’m going to forgo modesty a bit here and say yes, I do. Not so much because of past success, though I’ve done alright, but just by being involved in something like this. Moteevate started out as just an idea I had one day and now here I am working with an amazing team and we’ve made that idea a reality. I don’t know what moteevate will look like a year from now but so far I’m happy.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why:
Hootsuite. It’s made all of our lives a lot easier on the social media front. Usually I’ll still end up with forty tabs open by the end of the day but it helps me cut down a bit.
Mobile App you’re in love with:
Dogs or cats?
Dogs. 100% dogs. I can tolerate cats being around the house and it usually works out if we stay out of each other’s way but they’re no substitutes for the companionship dogs provide. And frankly they’ve always seemed just a little bit evil.
iOS or Android?
Android. You’ll get mixed answers around the office as we have a couple of Apple junkies. Personally though there’s no comparison.
What’s the greatest thing about your company?
I think the greatest thing would have to be that we give you the tools to actually follow through on your goals, and when you think about it, how often do you have that? How many goals fall by the wayside year after year when people either don’t know how to succeed or lose motivation? We can’t guarantee that everyone will accomplish every single one of their goals, but we give you more than a fighting chance on moteevate.
Where can our readers get a hold of you?