"I think I am going to quit my job and develop an app.” I said after a glass of wine at my firm’s Christmas party. Not only did my boss laugh but he reminded me that I thought about quitting many other times in the last 10 years. Once to be a photographer and also to open a Chinese bun shop. We all daydream about doing something different. People write books to inspire folks to quit their job and become a Bad Ass (How to be a Bad Ass) and also not give a *uck about what people think (The subtle art of not giving a *uck). Just the cuss words on the book titles provoke a sense of empowerment to live like a teenager again, to disregard logic, and do something irrational. So I did.
Not only did I abandon my legal career with a good paycheck, the most illogical part was to spend my savings on a start up. I rationalized the insensibility with my husband by saying: “Hey honey, you know how we were going to replace our 10 year-old Volvo? Well, I was thinking I can keep driving that old car and we can use the money to finance an App.” He said “Sure, I would like to be married to a billionaire.” Luckily, he knew that the chance of that happening is the same as winning the lottery. He just didn’t know how much that ticket was going to cost.
When I first heard of bootstrapping, I thought, great so where do I get the boots? I didn’t realize I had to buy the boots myself. And as for investors, they live in a world where they believe in unicorns. I'll do my best to create a mythical creature but in reality, Festi is not currently profitable, nor is it growing at some amazing rate. It is, however, making lives more festive.
More than revenue or growth, Festi focuses on connecting people. At the end of our lives, we remember two things: events and people. I want to use technology to help people find events with the right people. We can use social media as a tool to share life, beyond pictures.
I am still driving the old Volvo. The Volvo may die before I cash out on any lottery winnings. But you know what I realize? There’s Uber. Just when you think you’re running out of options, there’s more than one. There is Lyft and Bird! Do dreams come true? It depends what the dream is. We want to make it easier for you to get together. So the verdict is still out. You tell me.
#1 Group chats suck time and life out of me.
I send a group text to friends, “How about dinner Friday?” I get a response. Someone has a conflict. Someone suggests Saturday. After a bunch of messages, still nothing is planned. The constant buzz from my phone made me regret starting the chat. We’ve all been doing this workaround to get people together. There must be a better way. Festi was born.
#2 Hate invitations.
I hate the fact that people don't respond. I wonder, are people busy or waiting for a better offer? People who said they would come didn’t show up, and others who never responded decide to show up. On the flip side, I don't respond because I don't always want to commit to go. We’ve all gone through this- from both sides. Why not ditch an invitation all together? Festi did just that.
#3 Hate collecting money.
Asking people to pay is awkward (even with Venmo and Paypal). It would be easier if I got the money, without having to ask. Festi made that possible.
Let technology help you connect so you can disconnect. We want to make it easier for you to get together at any time for anything. Connecting you to people and activities you care about most is what we do.
Festi is selected to go to New Orleans by the Arlington Economic Development.