Sasha Marks Wants To Know If You Are Ready To Enter A New Era Of Social Communication
It’s not just the financial sharks that have started to circle Facebook, sniffing the company’s flounder. Startups are surfacing rapidly, ready to offer all varieties of a different social media experience. PrsEntr hopes to be the next big fish in the high Internet seas by offering a more mature platform.
Based out of Manchester, UK, PrsEntr is poised to make its public beta release. Founder Sasha Marks believes her platform offers a simple design, privacy, and a user-driven experience that will open new channels of communication. Please, enter the dialogue between Marks and KillerStartups and hear more about how her company will put a more grown-up social into social media.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
The Name PrsEntr came about because it’s simply the action users need to take when using our platform to communicate. We shortened it down from “Press Enter” because we felt it would be more suiting. We also liked the ambiguity of the name given the fact that half of the people we have told the name to think its called “Presenter.”
What’s the very first thing you do at work everyday?
I check to see what ridiculous time I’ve woken up at, and then I drink a big cup of green tea and check my emails.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
After coming up with PrsEntr, my brother and I immediately went about hiring 4 staff members for the development of the platform. There are now 7 of us in total. There is myself, my brother Ethan (Co-Founder) and Arkadiusz (PR / Communications ) who is ex-Apple Corporate. Josh is our lead Dev, who oversees Joe, Antoni and Ged. What’s really great is that our developers, aside from how they all get on, is that they all have individual strengths and interests, which helps the platform develop in a really critically thought out way.
Remember the early days starting up? Maybe you can share one anecdote that describe the struggle you went through?
Our Lead Developer, Josh, during our beginning months of the project, had a big problem with people “Assuming” things should be a certain way when it came to development and code. The phrase we have all heard probably 1000 times: “If you Assume, it makes an ass out of u and me.” True, true…
How do you handle frustration? When/how was the last time you dealt with frustration?
I usually get online and gun down some guys on quake. That or more green tea!
What’s your office environment like? More like a church or like a frat house?
We have a really cool triplex apartment and we have got twin 50″ TVs set up in the lounge. One is dedicated for gaming, with all 3 consoles (wii, xbox, ps3) and a great sound system. When anyone needs a break, they usually have a quick game of Call of Duty or Guitar Hero. Everyone does their thing and it’s a very relaxed environment. We’ve got a bunch of iMacs set up in the Octagon, which is our dev room. The team can listen to music while they work, on headphones, or out of the computer speakers if they can all agree on a playlist! What’s great is that everyone knows what they have to do and everyone works extremely hard on making PrsEntr happen.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
It’s an interesting question–in short, we will be at the forefront of social communications, worldwide, and play an extremely important part in people’s everyday online lives.
Who or what inspires YOU? Quotes? Running? Snack food?
What inspires me is the ability to create and add value to the world around me. PrsEntr is for everyone. Apple, as a company, is extremely influential in the way that we work and the way in which we embody our philosophy as a business.
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowd-funded?
My Brother and I have funded this project through a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. He left his job at Apple to pursue the other business we now co-own, which provides services to the legal and financial sectors. Between us, we’ve put in what’s been needed to get things up and running.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Have conviction. If you don’t believe in your idea then nobody else is going to. In my mind, there is no plan B. If you’re setting about to create something, then create it and put your heart into it every second of your day. In terms of bootstrapping, I think it’s just a case of deciding what the necessities are, and ensuring that everyone has the tools to get their job done–also, with the right idea, attracting talent shouldn’t necessarily cost the earth because people will buy into the idea, and more importantly, you.
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’m going a bit stir crazy at the thought of having a year off! I enjoy what I do so I don’t feel that I ever need time away from it. If I had to take a year off though, it would be to study and learn a language abroad!
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur right now? If not, what’s it gonna take to make you feel successful?
Absolutely, I’ve committed to my vision and I’m making it a reality.
Website you couldn’t live without and why?
Not so much website, but IRC in general. This is really the building block behind the idea of PrsEntr and the place where I have made my most meaningful relationships and connections online.
Mobile App you’re in love with and why?
It would have to be Tango or Viber. Both of them are really neat apps that I use on my iPad to talk to all my international friends or use when we travel.
Dogs or cats?
We have a Yorkshire Terrier, a puppy named Chips!
iOS or Android?
iOS, apple through and through….but I don’t like iPhones so I use a Blackberry Torch. *facepalm*
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?
Brazil… for the “views.”
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website/idea?
That we are embodying the original spirit of why the internet was created: to facilitate real discussion with people all around the world.
Where can our readers get a hold of you? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Personal blog?
When PrsEntr is launched, I will always be in the >PrsEntr global channel, user facing and happy to talk to anyone. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you wish I had asked you? Ask yourself and respond.
What my view is on the current state of social networking–I’m not going to rant here, but I will quite simply say that I do not believe the current state of “social” media is “social.” They are the fast food alternatives, and PrsEntr is the dining experience.