Eric Clark Su
Co-Founder/CEO, Twidl Inc.
Generalist, PicLyf (Product of Twidl Inc.)
1. Who are you and what’s the elevator pitch?
I am Eric Clark Su, co-founder of PicLyf - communicating around pictures.
The idea evolved enough that it didn’t fit the name at all anymore. Twidl it came from Twitter + Doodle but we were excited to build something that can let people communicate visually in an open-ended way so we needed a new name to fit that idea.
3. Before PicLyf, were you already doing other start-up ventures or involved in other start-up projects? If yes, what were they?
Not really a startup per se, but I started an indie game development shop with one of my PicLyf co-founder - Blue Jayson Basañes. I wasn’t really aware of this whole startup movement / philiosophy until a few months after deciding to do Twidl it (which became PicLyf) with both BJ and Andrew.
What made you decide to go the start-up way?
I think it came from wanting to solve the problem of having no good place to communicate visually. I had an idea on how to solve that and got partners to sign on board to help me realize it.
4. Back to Piclyf, of all the ideas you can create a web application, why create about pictures?
Pictures have very great characteristics in them that I thought made them a very good form of communication compared to text, audio or video. They are less boring to look at, easier to make interesting, more freeform, universal and very portable. There were a lot of application that lets you share photos but each site had philosophies that were less freeform and as a consequence made it very weird or out-of-place to show off something that didn’t conform to the community.
Who came up with the idea?
It was initially my idea though it evolved greatly as I bounced it off of my co-founders and what the early users were doing.
5. What are the high/fun moments of Piclyf as a start-up?
There were no high moments during PicLyf, it was pretty much depressing stuff after depressing stuff. Just kidding. The highs came mostly from solving problems and watching what our users do on the site.
Any moments/events that make you think of backing out from Piclyf, or from ‘start-up life’ in general?
Gosh, I never thought about quitting it but I always thought about moving the company somewhere else besides the Philippines. I wish this wasn’t true but Philippines is probably one of the most weirdest place to be a startup. The friction is huge with everything and a lot of the people you think who can help you, won’t. But I am glad we are starting to grow a community on the site, i do think it will get easier as we go along.
6. What were the biggest mistake you have done so far?
It would probably be not focusing enough on the mobile clients, we probably took a bit too much time on discovering our user experience but i still it was necessary.
7. What was the most surprising thing you have encountered while building PicLyf?
How hard it was to find the right people. We have cycled thru a total of around 40 applications, interviewed and tried 10 to 13 people and retained only 2. We still lack a couple of key hires but we believe that its better to be understaffed than being wrongly staffed.
8. You have the generalist title in the Picly’s About Us page, what are the different roles you have in Piclyf?
I’m responsible for the vision of the startup (which changes every week or so.), the visual design, the user experience and a few other aspects of the company. BJ does all the hairy technical stuff and architecturing, Andrew handles the operation, finance and the ‘etc’s. Mark does all the magical jquery UI stuff + some modules and Sherwin is in charge of the game mechanic modules as well as a couple other ones.
Which role you like most/most passionate about?
I think it would be where I am shaping the product and designing it.
Which role you least like, if there is any?
Dealing with paperworks, and other non-product tasks.
9. Last, what music puts you in the zone to ‘work’?
Lately, its been a dose of Interpol, Radiohead, the National and new stuff from thesixtyone.com or wearehunted.com.
The slides from his y4it event talk.
The slides from his y4it event talk.