This weeks founder profile features Gret Glyer, Founder of DonorSee
DonorSee is the best place to give your money. Whenever you give on DonorSee, you get to see exactly where your money goes via aid workers who take pictures and videos of your money making an impact.
Q: What are some challenges you faced when developing your venture?
As a non-technical founder of a technical company, I had to teach myself a lot just to get started. Where to find tech talent, how to hire the right kind of talent, how to know who to trust, etc. It was a difficult process, but I was able to use Scott Barstow's blog to walk me through a lot of the unknowns.
Q: Was there any point when you thought it was over? That you were going to fail?
There was a period of time when Apple was making it very difficult to get DonorSee approved. That was a big frustration to me, because it seemed like they were treating me unfairly compared to other apps in the app store. Eventually, I spoke with someone high up enough who finally approved our app after much back and forth.
Q: As an entrepreneur how important has flexibility been in developing your venture?
You need a combination of flexibility and stubbornness. Sometimes things don't go your way, and you have to accept that. But other times they don't go your way and you have to make them go your way anyways. It's a balancing act between what's important and what you should compromise on. Sometimes it's very important to be anything but flexible.
Delegation is crucial. If I have to, I can work on spreadsheets. But it's usually better to have someone more organized than myself working on that stuff. They're the ones who are good at it, not me! My strengths have more to do with anything vision casting, creativity and marketing. I usually need organized, strategic people around me to succeed.
Q: What was was your spark, where did it come from?
This past year I crowdfunded a $100,000 girls school in Malawi using YouTube videos. I'm relatively young and didn't have a big charity backing me. It was just me. But I did a really good job of showing donors exactly where there money was going. After the success of Girls Shine Academy, I wanted to help others have the same success, but all over the world for all sorts of different projects.
There's no doubt that I have authority issues. Whenever someone tries to tell me what to do, my natural inclination is to find a way where I don't have to do whatever I'm being told. It's definitely an issue that gets me in trouble on a regular basis. At the same time, that dynamic has forced me to think outside the box and continuously push any limits and boundaries I face. Whenever presented with an obstacle, I almost never give up, but instead think about any way I can get around it.
Because of my extensive travels, I have a wide range of friends from all over the world. I have friends who are trust fund babies, and others who grew up on a dollar a day in a rural Malawian village. This has given me an enhanced perspective on both what humanity is like and also has helped inform how I look at myself. But, more than anything, it's helped me realize the tremendous amount of inequality in the world and the capacity for us to do something about it. That gets at the heart of why I founded DonorSee.