Whawhee Founder Thien Doan Talks About Bootstrapping And His Self Funded Social Platform

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Depending on how you like to spend your free time, it may be difficult to meet other people interested in what you like to do, right? When moving to a new city or even travelling to a new city for a few weeks, sometimes it’s difficult to find people interested in the same thing or even people who share your goals. You want to go out, but who wants to check out the same shows, play some serious ping pong, or surf the old break on a really cold day?


Well, Thien Doan, founder of Whawhee has a solution by which users can connect with other people in their community interested in the same things! Not only that, Whawhee even allows users to share event posting, post on other users’ walls, and it even allows users to sell items to each other via the platform.


KillerStartups had a chance to speak to Thien Doan recently and here’s what he shared with us:





What’s your company about?

Our passions define who we are. But it is through shared experiences that these passions come to life. This is why we created Whawhee – a revolutionary social media platform that connects you with nearby users who share your goals and interests.


What’s the greatest thing about your company?

Whawhee is a revolutionary social media platform that allows you to browse and share information about your hobbies, interests, activities, advice, tips, and special events. You can even buy, sell, and trade items in Whawhee’s online marketplace.


How’d you come up with the name for your company?

Whawhee is the blend between What and Where.


What was your first computer?

A Commodore 64. I was 23 years old.


What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?

I start at 9 AM and I generally work 12 – 14 hours a day.


When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?

Last May I went to France with my family. Loved it.


What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?

I set daily goals, and review key points, review statistics and monitor social media channels.





When do your best ideas come to you?

During dinner brainstorming with my friends or family Usually when we’re discussing about market niches or even talking about any important news


How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?

We started with 2 people and now we are 8 in the project and we also outsource some of the workload.


What gave you the confidence to actually go after your idea?

We combined the experience and know-how with the inspiration of a great idea. The mix has worked very well so the business plan came very easy. The funding of the project became a reality relatively easy.


Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.

We started this project in July and our major struggle has been the implementation of the specs in a way that may not have limitations if we grow in the future.


So how do you handle frustration?

We handle frustration by looking at issues from another perspective and we also try and come up with various solutions to any one issue.





What’s your office environment like?

We have an small office in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. There’s always sunshine and we like to surf, skate and so other outdoor activities. The office is our center for brainstorming and problem solving. We drink coffee and enjoy our productivity. The office is the zen of our business.


How do you picture your company in 5 years?

With millions of users affiliated to the platform.


Who or what inspires you?

People – as a social being I see people and see how they behave. My inspiration has come from people.





How’d you fund this venture? Are you self funded? Crowdfunded?

Self – funding and some friends have helped us.


Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?

Learn as much as you can, and get the most experience before starting any business. Also, discipline is a key. After that, work as hard as you can with a clear plan to follow. Never change your course of action if it’s not necessary.


What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?

Have a clear plan of action, think strategy, and think monetization. Also, think clearly, and act objectively with precision.


What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?

I would form an non-profit organization for teaching and forming entrepreneurs.


Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur?

I have had success in many other projects some others have failed. Failure is necessary to get the right experience of making another project a success.


What is your music streaming player of choice, and what are you listening to right now?



Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet?

Australia, I want to go surfing there and explore the continent.





How can our readers get in touch?

Facebook and Twitter.


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