Founder / CEO, La Ventana, Mexico
I had amazing time chatting with Carly in La Ventana Mexico. Her bi-coastal company is expanding, all while she kite-surfs like a champ. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT click on this if you’re hungry.
1. Where is your hometown? Newport Beach, CA
2. What was the journey like to get where you are (career wise)? My journey all started with a Craigslist ad. I found a cryptic ad for a marketing role at a no-named "fast growing startup". I sent a snarky email application and one of the founders was interested enough to give me a phone interview. Turned out the company was 3 guys in an apartment starting a company called Airbnb. I don't believe there were many other roles that I could have taken at the age of 21 to accelerate my learning, give me real responsibility, and open my eyes to the startup world. One of the early engineers and I eventually left and started our first food related company. While that company failed, it led us to discovering the industry of catering and how inefficiently caterers and customers were connecting. With our background at Airbnb we saw the perfect opportunity for an online marketplace to solve a huge problem!
3. Biggest accomplishment since making a move? Building a company
4. What was the greatest disappointment and plan to overcome it? The greatest disappointment was the realization that our first company, Gusta.com, was clearly not going to make it. That company moved us to NYC, depleted our bank accounts, and cut us off from the real world. That can be big a blow to your self esteem in a world of curated lives on social media where everyone seems to be building the next unicorn. I think stubbornness and and undying optimism kept us from giving up. I think the first step was letting go and....
5. Advice to other women? Have all your one-on-one meetings with male investors, customers, etc. during the day at a coffee shop. Drinks at night is a bad idea.
6. Where in the world do you feel "tallest"? Giving advice to younger women. I'm volunteering for an incredible organization called Technovation which helps 12-18 year old girls build their first company and learn to code. While I have so much still to learn being able to help young women build their confidence, understand their strengths without dwelling on their weaknesses, and prove they can build something from nothing is an incredible opportunity my experiences have afforded me.
7. What fears are you still hoping to overcome? The voices in my head that say, "Should you be doing more?"
8. Where can others find you/your work (links to websites, blogs, etc)?www.catercow.com