Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Diego Saez-Gil > www.inBed.me

Diego Saez Gil, Co-Founder & CEO, inBed.me

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need irrational optimism, the ability to create a vision and convince others to jump on-board with you in the journey (partners, employees, investors, customers, etc.), and most important you need a strong passion about what you want to create.

What did inspire you to start your business?
Seeing how some people had transformed our world for the better by enlisting talented teams and executing ideas that seemed crazy at the beginning, always inspired me. I always dreamt with doing something with positive impact in the world. At some point I realized that starting a business may be a way to do it.

How did you finance it?
Initially I financed it with my savings and my credit card, when I ran out of money I started working in the side to keep going. At some point we raised investment, not only for the money but also for the contribution that the investors could bring to the business with their experience and connections. 

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
I think it does in a positive way. Being from Latin America makes me more flexible and creative, maybe because of the uncertainty that we are used to in our countries). Plus we are naturally really passionate about everything we do, which as I said I consider essential to be an entrepreneur.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I believe that adversity is part of every journey to achieving meaningful things. Therefore, when the adversities arrive I realize that they are just part of the journey, and that I need to keep going to realize my dreams.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenge was to keep going when you get rejected several times in a row by investors or partners. There is a big dilema between accepting outside feedback and sticking to your own vision, between pivoting or persevering. We persevered in the main assumptions but pivoted in the strategy and model to grow and keep going.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I would like to do more, faster. But sometimes things take time, and one have to be patient.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition it was to travel the world. That's why I started travel-related businesses. :)

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
I admire Steve Jobs for the passion he put on everything he did. I admire Richard Branson for the craziness he brought to the business world. I admire Alec Oxenford (that I'm fortunate enough to have him as a mentor) for thinking big from Latin America and building global companies like OLX and others.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I like breakfasts, but everything work for me, as long as you do good business. :)

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
The first years of building a business requires a lot of hard work, focus and travel. Because of that I don't spend all the time I would like to with my loved ones, nor I can spend time doing things I love like playing music, helping others, or traveling for fun. I hope that at some point the business will be more estable and I'll be able to have a more balanced lifestyle.

What is your favorite quote?
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart".

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I love to be unconventional. For example, I happen to have an accent wherever I go (even in Argentina, because I am from the north) which makes me unconventional, and I find out that it has a positive impact in new people I meet. :)

Biggest mistake made?
I made a lot of mistakes in business, I could do a long list!, but they have been an amazing source of learning, that I am capitalizing now.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I am proactively trying to think different and do things in new ways, not only on the design of the products we ship but also they way we work together with the team. Therefore I do consider myself an innovator.

About the company
inBed.me is a social booking platform for social travelers. I allows users to connect with peers going to the same destinations while they are booking a hostel or bed & breakfast to stay. Users can see who else will be staying at each place and find out travelers with similar interest, allowing them to connect to share tips or even plan activities together. Our company wants to make the process of booking online more fun and social.

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