How did you get into the Tech industry?
I developed an interest for computers in high school and began doing some web development for fun. I also learned some basic computer hacking techniques and took down a website, which resulted in me working as a security consultant during my senior year of high school. I then got interested in social networking and mobile apps. This led to me to work on many side projects with my brother, who is also in the tech industry.
Tell us about Xpire. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
Being a college student, I constantly heard people warning me and my peers that we should be careful about the content we post online. While posts we share may seem innocent today, they could easily be taken out of context in the future. We have all heard the horror stories about people losing jobs simply because of what they tweet, like, favorite, comment, retweet, and follow. Everything we publish under our personal identities says something about our character and we must make sure that we represent ourselves online in a positive way. Because of this, I wanted to create a way for users to easily clean up their social media accounts and be able to share self-destructing content to prevent any posts from negatively affecting them in the future. Xpire strives to be the easy way for social media users to shrink their digital footprint online and to make the consumption of social media much more seamless.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Xpire's success?
I co-founded Xpire with Mark Cuban, who is widely known in the tech and privacy spaces. Together we have been able to get the word out about Xpire and also the importance of social media reputation. Also, integrating with the top social networking websites has allowed us to help users manage their content on multiple networks. So far, we have not spent a dollar on marketing and instead rely on word of mouth.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
People are becoming more and more interested in ephemeral content. With the rise of apps like Snapchat, it is evident that users feel safer when the content they share does not live forever. Because of this, we have taken this technology and applied it to the social networking space. Because Xpire is tightly integrated with your favorite social networks, we make it easy to share text and photo updates that automatically delete after a specified time limit.
Fear nothing but God.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of Xpire? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Creating a product that is loved and used by so many people on a daily basis. Too many difficult moments to mention, but entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of ups and downs so enjoy the ride and grind, grind, grind.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Find something you’re good at and get great at it. If an idea keeps you up at night then that’s a pretty good sign to pursue it. Also, don’t waste time getting things right the first time. Entrepreneurship is a learning experience and it is better to move fast and adapt instead of taking too long to execute and missing out on an opportunity.
Describe the ideal experience using Xpire.
When a user is able to re-surface old (and sometimes embarrassing) content they forgot they even shared and is able to delete it once and for all. Also, when a user is able to express their true selves by sharing self-destructing content that does not live on the Internet forever.
How do you motivate your employees?
Don’t forget about the task at hand and the end goal. Somedays you may not feel as motivated as other days so draw back a bit, clear your mind and focus. Solving a problem that has never been tackled is invigorating, but also takes constant focus.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Chicken Fettucine Alfredo and Kiwi-Strawberry Vitamin Water.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Role model - business and personal?
Business - Mark Cuban: highly competitive and hard-working - laziness will never produce positive results
Personal - My parents: taught me to be self-disciplined and to never give up on my dream.
Building great products that people love and find useful.
Favorite travel destination?
Sanibel Island, Florida - the perfect place to unplug and get your mind right.
What's next for Xpire?
We have been focusing on the consumption of social media. People spend hours a day scrolling, liking, commenting, favoriting, and retweeting. We are currently working on a way to greatly reduce the amount of time spent consuming content, as well as adding some pretty neat ephemeral features along the way. We are also working on implementing image recognition. This will allow Xpire to locate any risky images you have shared and will allow you to delete the images before it's too late.