By Kristopher Hamoud (Coding Dojo’s May 20th Class)
How I Got To Where I Am
I have always loved technology. This leads me to spend a large amount of time with my school district’s IT guy in my senior year of high school. He taught me the basics of network management and of the internals of a computer. I decided pretty much then that I was going to study Computer Science in college. In college, I learned basic, intermediate, and advanced programming but I slowly realized that I still didn’t know how to really build anything from start to finish.
All throughout school I was big into entrepreneurship. There was a hackathon that I went to and placed with a few of my friends. I thought that I could turn our hack project into a viable business but it fizzled out. After that “success” I knew that if I wanted to start a company I would have to be in California. I needed a good reason to move out here so I applied to Coding Dojo. The benefit was that I would learn web development while having the ability to possibly getting funded. I was super excited to be in the bootcamp and started learning web development at a fast pace. After I graduated from Coding Dojo, I looked for jobs (not very hard) but I was more into entrepreneurship. I finally had a project that I thought could be viable as a business and applied to an incubator that a friend of mine had gone through (https://www.boost.vc/). I was accepted and that brings me to where I am now!
The Accelerator Program
The accelerator is awesome. Adam, Brayton, and Ross (the founders) are all really cool people. It’s kind of like a more intense college. There is no class but every day you just wake up, work, and go to bed all while still having fun and meeting a lot of really great people. I was given some money, mentors, and housing. They cut out all the distractions so you can just focus strictly on building a great product. I wish I could say more about it but all I really do all day is the program and try to get people to use my product (http://paytagz.com shameless plug). If you saw me all day you would think I was really boring, but I promise that I’m up to some cool stuff.
Life As An Entrepreneur
Life as an entrepreneur is rather strange. Nothing I do is something that a smart or sane person would do. First, I dropped out of college to start my company (not smart). Second, I don’t work for a paycheck which basically means if my company fails (it won’t) that I will be a college dropout without any income (not good). Nevertheless, it’s extremely fun and honestly, there is nothing I would rather be doing. If you have a strong mind and will, being an entrepreneur is not as hard as everyone else makes it out to be. I am never hungry and I always have a roof over my head. People don’t realize that life can be way harder than the life of an entrepreneur.
Advice For The Motivated
Always keep building. There is nothing more important than this. It’s true for learning how to program as well as starting a company. You will suck when you first try to build something but just like anything else, you will get better with time. The first website that you make will be terrible but they only get better as you get better. This is also true for starting a company. The first version of your product will be terrible and everyone will hate it. If you keep building on it and constantly improving it, eventually it won’t be terrible anymore and it will only be bad. When you continue to iterate on your products day in and day out, eventually people will love it and use it.
Check out Kristopher’s LinkedIn here.