Calling All Gurus – Exchange Knowledge At Guchex.com
With an all-access pass to blogs, articles, stories and all other forms of advice, opinion and know-how content from our favorite gurus and experts on the Web, it can overwhelming…to say the least. Guchex wants to make sure professionals, students, scientists and geeks alike can exchange knowledge simply, all in one place. We caught up with founder Vinicius Melo to talk Guchex inspiration, failing in Brazil and not trying to re-invent the wheel.
How’d you come up with the name Guchex?
The name “Guchex” was originated by combining letters from some of the keywords that best express the core business of the website.
The website is intended to spread knowledge among its users. It’s a collaborative and free environment, where the registered users – called Gurus – are able to publish posts about whatever they know, in order to reveal their interests, to get feedback or advices from others, or just to contribute by sharing knowledge.
The website’s purpose might be summarized by the following words:
Gurus, exchange and expertise.
After mixing the words, we took the “Gu” from Gurus, the “ch” from exchange, and the “ex” from expertise. The final result of this words puzzle was: Guchex, a name that we consider remarkable, nice, and simple.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
Our team is composed of seven people. I am currently earning my graduation degree in Mechanical Engineering, and the other six are recently graduated in Control and Automation Engineering.
We all met in college, I was their classmates, but I decided to change to Mechanical Engineering. One of our associates, Mr. Claret Sabioni, is currently earning a doctorate degree in the field of Robust Optimization and he is in charge of the website’s suggestions system and computer inteligence. All of the associates were chosen carefully, because our profiles complete each other and, most important, we have a great team spirit, even in recreational activities and hobbies.
We always work as a team, whether we are drinking beer and playing video games or brainstorming and developing software.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
It is funny to remember the day that I first presented the idea and invited the others to join me, because it was a complex and ambitious idea that we had to start from sketch, and now here we are, still together as a team and near to accomplish our goals and have a concrete result instead of a dream.
We are trying to solve a problem that came up after the explosion of Google and social networking. Today, you can find anything in the Internet, but sometimes you don’t even know what you are searching for or how to look for it. Besides, social networking today is not suitable for being productive after hours and hours of distractions. That’s where Guchex makes a difference!
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
As we live in Brazil, our culture is very different from the USA concerning failure. In our country, failing is frowned upon and makes it very difficult to rise again. A lot of people give up on their dreams to have a stable job, which is something also very difficult to achieve in a lot of cases. One of our main goals is to be an example to our country that we can dream and aim high and achieve global success. We are capable of doing something great and we are not afraid of frustrations.
I am aware that there is always going to be some kind of frustration, and you have to be prepared, and not give up on your dream. Frustrations are not so harmful if you are able to rise again and go on. So, I handle it by not letting myself down. I try to learn from it and move on.
I don’t remember the last time I dealt with frustration because it is water under the bridge.
What’s your office environment like? Is it the kind of place where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music or is it more traditional?
Unfortunately, we still don’t have an office. Each associate work from his home, and we have daily Skype conference calls. On weekends, we all get together in one of our houses and work hard. We stop the software development process to watch soccer games, drink beer and play video games. And after that, we start working again.
In the future, our office will be less traditional than this place you mentioned where everyone is bumpin’ away to house music, you can count on that!
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
- Really big!
- The largest online collaborative knowledge platform, making sure that the people who share knowledge are recognized for their collaboration
- People will learn anything they want, and even what they want to learn but don’t know yet
- Gurus sharing video-tutorials in real-time and helping others with online tasks from Mobile, Tablets, and maybe Glasses.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Simple, don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend (and you couldn’t spend it on your current startup / projects)
I would invest in some companys:
10% @ Tesla Motors
35% @ Google
35% @ Amazon
20 % @ Apple
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
Yes. Even though we are still finishing the first version of the website, I consider myself a 100% successful entrepreneur just for having a strong and united team, focused on the purpose of making knowledge more accessible.
What’s the greatest thing about Guchex?
The main idea is to provide a public space where a Guru can share his knowledge by posting texts and tutorials of his authorship, like a personal blog, but in a network of Gurus that makes it easier to find something that you want to know, but maybe don’t know how to search for.
The greatest thing about this is that users are guided to find useful content that helps them to improve themselves professionally and people who contribute a lot in some field or area of interest will be recognized in our community as a real Guru in that area.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
Thanks, Vinicius. As a seasoned and esteemed writer, a guru if you will, I feel it is my duty to exchange and impart my knowledge on Guchex’s platform for other aspiring authors. Wait, no, that’s not right. I am a Bloody Mary-making guru though; anyone want to learn?