“Building a startup is like doing five or six masters at the same time. It’s always worth giving it a go”

Inspiring people

21/08/2018

Carlos Pierre (Barcelona, 1990) is someone who likes to be creative, innovate and tackle new projects. He might be young, but he's already experienced in building startups and managing teams. Two years ago, he created Badi, a platform that makes it easier to find and advertise rooms for rent. He saw a need and decided to find a solution. How? Keep reading to find out.

How did the idea come about?

I was working in Barcelona, but living in Sant Cugat. I was commuting every day and finally decided to move to Barcelona. I looked for my own apartment in the center, but couldn't afford it on my salary. So I began looking at shared flats and realized that the available platforms provided a horrible user experience...

So you decided to take action...

Yes, I had just read a blog post about a girl who had had the same problem, but on the other side. She had posted a room on a classifieds page, left her number, and in less than 20 hours, she received over 100 phone calls from people she didn't know at all...

And this was a problem for her...

Of course, she was looking for a specific kind of person and had no way of finding them. In the end, she decided to use her Tinder profile, but instead of posting a photo of herself, she posted one of the room. And instead of describing herself, she described the room. She found a roommate in less than three days. She could see the verified profiles and accept or reject offers very quickly and conveniently.

I imagine she could even talk to people...

Exactly, she could use the app's chat function and reply at any time. That's what inspired the idea of creating an app that would connect people with a shared need: finding and/or renting an apartment.

Do you remember the moment when you thought the idea would work?

Yes. I'd been jotting down ideas for a while. Many were completely useless, but then, after more than 30 ideas that didn't lead anywhere for various reasons, I came across one that would work. I showed it to some other people, and everyone agreed that it was a great idea.

Did you need the go ahead from your inner circle?

It wasn't necessary, but it always helps to be more confident. I checked out the competition and after three days, I knew it would work.

When did it start coming together?

A week later, a friend and I began designing the app screens, putting in time every night after work.

Do you see yourself as a successful entrepreneur?

No. The words “entrepreneur” and “success” are really played out. They actually make me angry. We've got a long way to go before we can consider Badi a successful project. The most interesting part is moving from the startup phase to being a company with a big turnover, and at this point, we're nowhere near that.

What is Badi to you?

It is my personal and professional project. With personal I mean that it's part of my everyday life. I'm learning a lot on this project.

But it hasn't been easy all the time... What was your lowest point?

No, it hasn't. You see the media reporting on funding rounds, but the truth behind that can be really tough. You cry, you suffer, you lose sleep. The hardest moment came six months ago when I was trying to close a round and didn't make it. At that point, the 20 people working at Badi were about to lose their jobs, because we were on the verge of shutting down. Luckily, we did make it a month later, and now we're about to close another round.

Would you do anything different?

No, nothing. Everything has brought me to where I am today.

How do you deal with criticism and praise?
I always keep the team in mind. It's important to have people with whom you can talk, discuss ideas and make decisions. It's the best way of getting different points of view.

Where is Badi headed?

We can improve, especially in terms of user experience. Right now we're focusing on room rentals and building a Europe-wide presence. Once we're well established in the room rental market, we'd like to expand into full apartment rentals.

What is the secret behind the success of an app like yours?

I think two things are important when building a startup. The first is common sense, and the second is the strength and determination to see your idea through.

What would you say to young people who want to start a project?

That they should do it, and if it doesn't work out, it's okay. Building a startup is like doing five or six masters at the same time. Personally, I always think it's worth giving it a go.

What has been the biggest learning experience?

Managing people. It is really complicated, but having motivated people on board who want to grow together is essential.

Where do your ideas come from?

I think the best ideas come from daily life and ordinary things. There's no need to invent or look for the perfect idea. If you go about it that way, the ideas might never come.

If you weren't working on Badi, what would you be doing?

I have no idea. I would definitely not be at my old job.

 

A Brief Taste

The best moment to enjoy a glass of wine?

After skiing or before dinner.

What do you do in your free time?

Lots of sports, especially at midday.

A flaw and a virtue.

Flaw: I'm very impulsive and impatient. Virtue: Determination.

What did you want to be as a kid?

A lawyer, like my dad.

Categorías: Inspiring people