Syed Shuttari of LetsLunch.com.
Tell us about yourself?
I call myself an accidental entrepreneur. What started as a fun hobby project got viral overnight and that led me to start building a company.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
That they need to have everything figured out before starting.However its a wild journey that you have to follow along and learn the lessons while on the way.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
Out of the many lessons, Self discovery is the most interesting one where you get an Xray analysis of everything you are made of, your attitude, how you respond under pressure, amount of resilience you have, how you deal with people, how you come up with creative new ideas, how much of a risk taker you are and plenty of understanding of your nature.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I think if i go back in time and give myself advice, i won’t listen to it
! I’m thinking about all the good advice i got when i first started my business but the problem is there is lot of advice and contradictory too and that combined with your own point of view there is no way you know what advice to listen to.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
Actually thats the best way to find balance when you experience the extremes – when you start out you overwork burn yourself out and then get away from it completely and then you will learn where the balance is found.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
We would like to do what airbnb did to houses and apply it to lunch time and cafeteria’s of companies and open it up for people outside of company to come for lunch n learn
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
Experience and data from over 100k lunches we setup in 1-1 lunch space, deep insights of living in 6 countries and getting to learn what makes people grab lunch with each other.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
You can’t manufacture sales but better to lead with your passion and that spreads turning into a playbook for sales.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in California over other states in the US?
Its the techhub so have all the resources like tech media, history, arguably all the best engineers with domain knowledge and not to mention the investors.
What (if any) are the weaknesses of operating your business within California?
High cost of operation, less diverse events and the time zone pretty far away from GMT
We are currently suffering through a cost of living crisis. With California already being one of the most expensive states to live in, how has this impacted your business?
Our team is spread throughout the world in 9 different time zones even before covid so it had minimal impact on us.
It is no secret that California is the birthplace of innovation. But that also makes it incredibly competitive. How have you found the competitive environment of California?
Its actually good that it helps you fill the gaps in your knowledge to be able to outcompete and makes you face and answer all the hard questions.
Have you considered moving your company to another state? If so, which state and why?
Nope that idea never crossed us. Instead of moving its better to add more people in other states. You can’t actually move people out.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
Nobody can predict the future but you can always adapt, create and lead the way. We see hybrid work environment taking off for which we are thoroughly prepared.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
Goto https://www.LetsLunch.com/Syed and ask me for lunch! You can also email me [email protected]m. I occasionally write blogposts at https://www.SyedShuttari.com
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