mentor of the month
07 September, 2015
LoungeBuddy CEO and serial entrepreneur Tyler Dikman has co-founded 3 tech companies and now helps travellers make the most of their time while in transit. Settle in and hear from this mentor who makes it his business to see it ALL:
What do you do when you are not mentoring blueprint startups?
Beyond flying 200,000 miles a year, I spend my time at LoungeBuddy. As CEO, I'm tasked with doing all work that is not assigned to anyone else. Many think that the CEO title is a prestigious one but it comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility including getting the blame when something doesn't go as expected. In essence, I do lots of different things, make lots of mistakes, learn from them and try to share them with blueprint startups.
What does that mean you really do all day?
That means tonnes of research, media discussions, legal review, and talking with all members of our team to see where I can bring the most value to meeting our company goals, among other things.
And in your downtime, what keep you vital?
I like to hang out with friends that's aren't in this industry - sometimes it's important to "turn off". I also enjoy having spontaneous adventures. And while most don't find me humorous, I'm a big fan of comedy shows.
What skills do you bring to the blueprint tech community?
Because I've traveled to over 60 countries, worked with a variety of different types of organizations, and have also been an early employee or co-founder of 4 startups, my global perspective and longstanding entrepreneurial experience allows me to share what I think are the most important tenants of operating a successful organization, assessing the market opportunity and being able to tell a good story about your business.
What do you believe are the critical factors for success in a startup?
Know your weaknesses; build a team that is open, communicative and extremely passionate about what your'e working on while ensuring that each person takes full ownership of their responsibilities; don't be afraid to make mistakes - just try not to make the same mistakes twice.
Which blueprint team/s have a standout concept in your opinion?
I've had discussions with a few groups focused on fashion and retail which are two areas that I know little about. They were very persuasive in articulating the larger market opportunity that they are pursuing with their solution.
Weirdest thing you have Googled this week?
Hmmm....."metal workers San Francisco". We want to get a custom piece of metal work done with the LoungeBuddy logo to hang up in our office. Anyone have any ideas?
What is your best Hong Kong life hack that you apply when you visit?
Have lots of extra time to kill at the airport? If you can't get into a lounge (which I don't think is possible because of LoungeBuddy :) ), you can always visit the IMAX or airport museum that is land side at HKIA.