I've pursued entrepreneurship off and on for the last 15 years: from band manager to iOS developer, from beard oil chemist to management consultant.

What:

Wanderfull syncs multiple phones together to create great audio, no matter where you wander. While we initially focused on yoga teachers, we've since branched out to include any mobile, multiple-device recording scenarios. View the full website here.

When:

I first thought of Wanderfull (conceptualized as "GoYoga") back in 2013 while struggling to fall asleep. I thought that it should be way easier to find guided meditation online that it was. I pitched the idea formally at Raleigh's Startup Weekend in November 2015 and won first place. The app mockup you see to your left was developed in ~7 days and 90 hours entirely by me. Many of the icons are pulled from flaticon.com and some pictures are pulled from Flickr for expediency's sake, but the majority is original work.

Why:

Yoga is a shockingly huge $21B/year business, with $9B coming from direct sales and $12B coming from peripherals like apparel, downloads, materials, and retreats. At the same time, it is intensely low-tech while many casual yogis are high-tech. Even popular sites like DoYouYoga.com or Gaia.com look decidedly antiquated, and the content they offer is often "one size fits all" instead of crowd-sourced. Once it's developed, Wanderfull will allow every user to easily record and distribute content so that students can work on physical/mental/spiritual fitness regardless of their location.

Lessons:

70% of existing yogis prefer audio content over video, while 90% of people who have never tried yoga prefer video over audio.

Just because there is a need and a market for your product doesn't mean that people will write you a check.

Simple user interfaces, smart marketing, earnest intentions, and hard work are not a substitute for strong networks and positive cashflows.

What:

Bonafide is a now semi-defunct company that I started to make men's cosmetics like beard oil, balm, waxes, while curating other products.

When:

I started Bonafide in December 2014 and sold product for the next 7 months via my web site and in-person sales.

Why:

I grow a serious beard fairly quickly and it seemed exorbitant to pay $20+ per ounce of beard oil. I spent a few months developing product, checking chemistry, and building up momentum. When I started, I was one of the first 25 or so manufacturers of beard products. Within 4 months, I was one of 450.

Lessons:

Even if your product is great, without distibution channels it's dead. Many specialty stores stocked beard oil but almost never sold any, so by the time I approached them they were unwilling to stock my product.

It is really cool to have a product that people can hold, smell, and touch! While most of my work experience has been on the web, Bonafide was highly tangible and fun to talk about!

What:

Bingo is an ongoing passion project that aims to correlate job reviews, social media metrics, and other assessments to make predictions about business decision outcomes. It's main focus is on HR but there are many larger implications for organizational behavior, partnerships, marketing, etc. Play with the prototype by clicking here.

When:

I started Bingo in 2013 and worked on it nearly full-time for a year while I was working on my MBA. 

Why:

If you've searched for a job, you'll realize that it's pretty frustrating: companies aren't always transparent, actually looking for jobs is difficult, and it's tough to know when an employer will get back to you. On the business side, many businesses squander useful data like employee reviews/assessments which could be collated to predict all sorts of things, like the impact of a new CEO on employee happiness, where a satellite branch would do best, or which sales person to send to which client.

Lessons:

Many companies have legacy ATSs in place that they're reluctant to migrate from, and handling those migrations requires a village of developers who are much smarter than I am.

I learned to use Sketch and InVision for this project and LOVE both of them. I can't recommend them enough!