Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bartek Oparski, CEO, Charlateria.us

Bartek Oparski, CEO, Charlateria.us

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Being specialist in my area, vision, passion and willingness to work hard.

What inspired you to start your business?
To develop something meaningful for my customers.

How did you finance it?
Family so far, we might go for first external financing in 2014.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
I am actually European but the passion of Hispanic users drives Charlateria.us towards being one of most popular shopping sites in the US. We look also for Hispanic cooperation partners like bloggers and shop owners because they are very meaningful for our business.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I am convinced of the success even if it might be necessary to repeatedly align the strategy in a very fast changing business environment.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Technical development - Charlateria’s system might look at first sight quite simple but it has a complex technological backend with diverse interaction possibilities and user friendly privacy settings.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
We will build out in the coming months the shopping part, Plaza. The direct e-commerce part gets more and more focus, though the social part offers already interesting features.

What was your childhood ambition?
Movie director - I always wanted to create and shape something inspirational and entertaining. Now, in the Internet industry it is also possible but in a slightly different way compared to the show business.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
There are so many who impress me but if I had to tell only three then it would be Jeff Bezos, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I moved with my family to another corner of the country, invested all my savings and still work 60+ hours per week.

What is your favorite quote?
"If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering." - Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Probably trying hard to be unconventional will usually not work out. Be yourself and do what you love and the rest will follow.

Biggest mistake made?
We needed too long for our first Alpha version, there are ways to do it better.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Partially but we’re still heading towards enhanced shopping experience and are keen to find the ideal mix, that will be supported by technology and people.

Description of the company
Charlateria.us is a new Spanish language social commerce portal that makes online shopping easier. Visitors can always effortlessly find the right product for them or that special someone. The “Plaza” displays products from numerous American online stores and shoppers can find there virtually everything at the best possible price. An optional signup for a free account takes just a few seconds using own e-mail address or Facebook account.

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