Back in 1993, when Done. co-founder and CEO Kevin Nazemi (second from left, top row, in the photo above) was in 6th grade, he sat down with President Bill Clinton and grilled him about everything from economics to education on national television. He arranged that interview by thinking it was possible, then tenaciously following up with the White House.
Now, after spending a few years at Microsoft, he's all grown up and is bringing together talented Doers (i.e., regular people with a skill or talent such as DJ-ing, photography, IT support, etc.) with neighbors in need of help with a project via his new startup, Done. I asked Kevin some questions about his vision, company, and proprietary technology development via email. Here's what he had to say:
What made you decide to leave Microsoft and go out on your own?
Microsoft is a bit like a big ship, operating at immense scale and traveling to amazing places. After five years at Microsoft, I wanted to take a ride on a speedboat, without the established operating rhythm, safety, and security of a bigger company.
Tell us a little bit about how you got the idea for Done.
As I got ready to move for the seventh time in five years, I was looking for a simple way to find trustworthy people to help me with the move and to provide a helping hand in the months after with projects around my home. I couldn't find one, so I called some of my best friends and we started to build Done.
What fears did you have as you looked into starting your own company?
Would our baby delight people and smile? Would we exceed the expectations of all the people (friends, family, investors) who believed in us? Could we create a culture that people enjoyed being a part of?
What was the most challenging thing you faced while getting Done. off the ground? What was the most rewarding? Did anything surprise you along the way?
The most rewarding part of starting Done. is working with great and diverse group of friends — some of us have been friends since the eighth grade. Among us we have the first engineer from Zipcar, a former consultant, and the head of wardrobe for ABC's Modern Family. The most challenging part has been balancing additions to our offering while continuing to keep it simple — this is a tension that we continue to work hard on.
How does Done. stand out in the crowded tech startup landscape — what makes it different, relevant, viable?
We are laser focused on providing our customers with such a great experience (both online and offline) when they need a helping hand in their home that they talk about it with their friends and family.
Check back next week for Part Two of my interview with Kevin, in which we get the details on Done.'s proprietary technology, and check out the smartphone that will help you get things done — Sony's first LTE smartphone, the Xperia™ ion, powered by the Mobile BRAVIA® engine, for all of your HD viewing and video shooting needs!