When it comes to group purchases – no matter how reliable or pro-active your friends may be – there always seems to be a straggler or two that can make the whole thing… well… awkward. There’s nothing more of a buzz kill than chasing down money from your friends for that cruise you’re going on next month. Good thing there’s platforms like PayByGroup that are making group purchases easier, faster and… well… less awkward. We caught up with CEO and Co-Founder Camilo Acosta to talk 500 Startups, biggest challenges and what he would eat with Peter Thiel.
Tell us a little more about what inspired PayByGroup.
We were tired of the usual hassles involved around group organizing: getting commitment, collecting money up front or hunting people down to get paid back, people flaking out at the last minute. We knew there had to be a better way!
How was your experience at 500 startups?
500 is not a singular experience but an investment family. It has been foundational to our success and provided the impetus to move to Silicon Valley.
What’s a typical day look like?
There is no such thing as a typical day at a startup. You’re just always juggling client meetings, investor meetings, PR duties, code reviews, product mapping, UX/UI design, and a menagerie of other responsibilities.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Never build any product without first validating it through customer development. It’s shocking to me how many startups are still making this simple fatal mistake despite the proliferation of the lean startup movement.
If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be, what would you eat, and what would you talk about?
Peter Thiel. Kobe steak would be served and we’d discuss his political views and the future of the payments business.
Biggest startup challenge?
Hiring! It’s tough to find talented people who fit in with your company culture. Both criteria must be met if you want the relationship to succeed.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why.
Living in Silicon Valley, TechCrunch and Facebook provide indispensable daily news that keeps me abreast of what is going on in our industry, in the funding world, and beyond. It is important to know how you fit into the ecosystem if you want to thrive in it.
What’s your music-streaming site of choice, and what’s currently playing?
Spotify! I don’t have time to search for music so I just listen to the Top List which is basically a Top 100, but it’s a few weeks ahead of what plays on the radio so that makes it a little edgier.
What’s the greatest thing about PayByGroup?
How excited our users feel about the service. We get amazing testimonials from people who’ve all wondered why this didn’t exist before and the myriad ways they’re going to keep using it in the future.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
Email us at founders [at] paybygroup [dot] com
Thanks, Camilo! Next time you and your friends decide to go in on a big purchase together, check out PayByGroup and make all of your lives a little easier.