Ep. #976 - Lessons Learned While Building An App
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, two founders look back at the lessons they’ve learned while building an app. Matt DeCoursey welcomes Kiante Young, founder of the Success Airlines App. Their discussion also includes how to learn life skills outside of traditional schooling and the purpose behind Kiante’s company.
Covered In This Episode
What are the lessons Kiante has learned while building his app? Why shouldn’t you underestimate the value of time in app development? How can you find funding?
The answers lie in Matt and Kiante’s insightful conversation. Their focus may be on the lessons they have learned while building tech. But they also dive into how today’s generation can better prepare for the future aside from attending school.
Join the conversation in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- The Kiante Young backstory (02:07)
- The purpose behind Success Airlines (04:07)
- Street knowledge vs. school knowledge (07:05)
- How to solve society’s flaw in education (08:47)
- This generation might not be ready for the future (10:10)
- Lessons learned as a first-time software founder (12:03)
- Kiante’s most prized advice that helped launch Success Airlines (15:22)
- How good planning helps launch businesses (17:17)
- On determining the most critical parts in building the app (19:57)
- Kiante on the process of looking for funding and investment (23:49)
- What Matt learned while building Gigabook (28:22)
- Kiante and the funding for Success Airlines (31:06)
- How founders underestimate time and money when building an app (33:01)
- Interdependencies involved in software development (34:27)
- The value of having the right people who know how to execute the task (37:00)
- The number one lesson learned while building an app (40:07)
As I became an adult, I recognized there were so many things that I didn’t learn as a child. If I had learned as a child, I would have avoided those mistakes.– Kiante Young
The only way you can make real changes in policies is through politics. But the reality is our children are learning things that they don’t need and that they’ll never use.– Kiante Young
I have talked to too many people whose businesses just failed. And later, they just came to the reality that I just kept the wrong people around for too long.– Matt DeCoursey
Hiring the right people makes a big difference when building an app. That is one more reason you should choose Full Scale as a partner. Using the latest tools and tech, their qualified developers, testers, and leaders can help you deploy your app successfully. Take advantage of their easy-to-use recruitment platform now!
Are you in need of banking or business compliance solutions? Look no further than our podcast partners. Discover what they can do for your business today.
Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:01
And we’re back! Back for another episode of Startup Hustle. Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. So there ain’t nothing to it but to do it right. And once you start doing it, and you get a little bit of experience, you learn many lessons. Life lessons and business lessons about yourself and lessons about the people that are around you. And we’re going to talk about some of those things. But really, what we’re going to talk about is lessons learned while building an app. And that could probably be like 10 shows because there are a whole lot of lessons that anybody figures out and comes up with as they begin to build technology. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult, and Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably. And has the platform to help you manage that team. I’ll tell you what, we have learned a few lessons building that. Go to FullScale.io to learn more. With me today, I’ve got Kiante Young, and Kiante is the founder of the Success Airlines App. I have a feeling he’s learned a few lessons building that. Straight out of Houston, Texas, Kiante, welcome to Startup Hustle.
Kiante Young 01:12
Hello, everybody. How are you doing, Matt?
Matt DeCoursey 01:15
I’m looking forward to sharing these lessons, man.
Kiante Young 01:18
Yep. Yeah, man, it’s gonna be a great time.
Matt DeCoursey 01:21
So, you know, every conversation is easier to have and more informative if we get a little bit of information about your backstory. So lay it on us. Caliente is making it hot, right? So that’s gonna be a hot show.
Kiante Young 01:36
Right, it’s gonna be a hot show. Well, I’m from New York City, actually, originally from Harlem. I started out at 19 and got my own public access show in New York City. I’m not sure if you remember, but you know, Free TV. I did that. I use that show with public access as the original YouTube. So I was 19. Well, my own public access show. I used that to get a deal with Coca-Cola, where I was the Coca-Cola ambassador. From there, I used that, and also I helped Coca-Cola develop a teen magazine. I went on to take that idea. And also worked with another teen magazine, and I started my own magazine. I used that magazine to develop The Sneaker Man. And I traveled to America promoting sneakers in a news article for Footlocker. I’ve done 279 Morning show appearances. From there, I mean, I’m an entrepreneur, but basically based around marketing. I provided marketing services, but my passion has always just been educating the next generation.
Matt DeCoursey 02:44
Well, you know, I’m a self-admitted sneakerhead. Nice. Yeah, I know, the second closet. It’s the third clause. It wasn’t happening. My wife says get some of these shoes out of here. And it’s fun here in Kansas City. We have a startup called One pair. That is a sneaker shop that is used to teach kids how business works. It’s really cool. So yeah, so I dropped off a whole lot of sneakers there. They weren’t sure what to think of me when I showed up and lifted up the gate of the SUV. And I like taking them.
Kiante Young 03:18
Yeah. My wife is probably ignoring the goodwill.
Matt DeCoursey 03:22
Yeah, yeah, my wife is gonna probably either throw me or the sneakers out. So the Success Airlines app is a detailed education tool that helps children begin to navigate career opportunities in an ever-changing world. You talked about the motivation behind building the Success Airlines app and why that was important. But I mean, like, I mean, where every good entrepreneurial idea usually comes from solving a problem. Let’s talk a little bit about that. I mean, what was the problem that you wanted to solve? And why did you dive into building this?
Kiante Young 03:55
That’s a really great, great question. And most people don’t recognize the problem. For one, there are many problems. Mac, for one, the pandemic has crippled a generation of our kids. It’s already stated that the reading scores are down and math scores are down among ninth and ninth graders. Secondly, we live in 2022, and the cost of living is high. Parents don’t have the time that they had when we were children to educate us. Also, as I became an adult, I recognized there were so many things that I didn’t learn as a child that if I had learned as a child, I would have avoided those mistakes. You know how it is when you get to college, and there’s a cool guy with a table, and guess what? You got a shiny new credit card. I didn’t learn about that till I got to college. So what my app does is it teaches kids about careers initially, but secondarily, it introduces them to life skills. You know, things like what is alone? What is a bank account?
Matt DeCoursey 05:02
You know? Yeah. And you know, there’s now someone that actually dropped out of five colleges. Yeah, that’s me. And, for those of you that can’t see them, they just held up until I don’t know if he was telling me, yeah, you’re you should be at peace. Oh, no. It was. Yeah, one of the more popular comments I get tagged in from people online is that reading my book gave them the courage to drop out. But at the same time, as I get kind of on my soapbox about that because I think a lot of the things that you’re forced to learn, and I say forced, you know, because I’m sitting here struggling in school, I’m in some economics class trying to go through, I just want to be in the business school. And I’m going through all these Greek symbols and learning all this shit. Like, I still haven’t used any of that and never became a pretty sophisticated business person. And you know, so like, some of the things that they’re in. I understand the point. It’s intended to be well-rounded. But you know, it’s almost like we should have, like, realistic one-on-one like, yeah, and I see a lot. I’ve seen a lot of that there. I’ve talked to other people on the show that are doing things to increase financial literacy, not just among children but even among adults. And it kind of leads me to believe that a lot of the things like, I don’t know, man, you’re from Harlem, dude, there’s like, there’s, there’s their street knowledge and their school knowledge. Like, which one’s more valuable?
Kiante Young 06:30
I think that they’re both values viable, depending on the environment. It just depends on the environment that you’re in. But again, like, you know, you hit the nail on the head, man. The kids are going to school, and they’re learning things they will never use in real life. One, too, did you not? Do you notice? Did you hear that the kids are getting less homework? There are some times when the kids don’t get homework for me to get the homework to help me because I learned what I learned in class. And then I went home. I did my homework real quick. But it was a quick reminder of what we didn’t do in school. Kids aren’t even getting homework. You know, we live, so go ahead.
Matt DeCoursey 07:09
No, I was gonna say, I mean, I think a lot of that is you talking about parents in busy lives. And I think it’s easy. You know, I’m a parent. I’ve got two small kids that are in elementary school. And I think in an ideal scenario, I teach them all kinds of shit. But in reality, I don’t not when it comes to books, try to teach them other stuff. Like, like, for example, my daughter, who is, you know, almost eight, you know, sends a message to someone that said, like, you’re a poopy head or something like that, you know? And I was like, you know, that’s not cool. That’s not cool. Like, so there’s, I mean, there’s, there’s, I think that that’s a challenge, though, for parents, because it’s, I mean, I don’t know, man, life’s been pretty exhausting for me. And everyone else, I think I got it pretty easy. I can’t imagine how people that are tougher than I do. Yeah, it’s dealing with it. So do you think that this is like a societal flaw? Like, I mean, if you’re gonna, you gotta treat, you gotta treat the cause? And not just the symptoms on some level. But you know, like, I mean, how do we begin to fix this?
Kiante Young 08:19
Well, you know, that’s, you know, that’s not my path.
Matt DeCoursey 08:27
I just got into that, too. I get into that, too.
Kiante Young 08:30
What can you do? I’m not a politician. I don’t want to be that the only way you can make real change and policies is through politics. But the reality is, is, you know, our children are learning things that they don’t need and that they’ll never use. I mean, they may use them in college in those preliminary classes. But aside from that, you know, and so why my app is important is because it introduces kids to all of the careers that are available. And just keep in mind we just launched a few weeks ago, and we’ve got over 1500 downloads, which is amazing. In the short term. Yeah. And the thing is, is that, you know, we have a huge following on the clubhouse app, has been very supportive, and due time and listening to all of the parents speak, and talk about the issues that they have with their children. You know, the reality is that this generation may not necessarily be prepared for the future. They may not be everything at their fingertips. They’re texting and tweeting. They don’t know how to do simple things that we learned as children because technology does it for them. But more importantly, my app, all with all those things aside, right? It’s all about getting your child in the mindset of success. It’s all about introducing them to the possibilities of you could be aerodynamics, you could be a tattoo artist, and could be a painter. But how many people have you spoken to who have gone to college for something that they did they realized they didn’t want to do? And this is something that they decided, you know, in high school, when children could be young. And number one, getting exposed to different careers and seeing behind the scenes and being introduced to, you know, people who are in their careers or they can go to college, waste your parent’s money, hello, waste your parents’ money, and don’t even finish, and then end up doing something else. You know, when I worked in the earliest memories, I had an entrepreneurship I was talking about. She was the head PR person that a clothing line calls in each day, China flowers. And I’ll never forget, she said, you know, she went to school for one thing, but she’s working in fashion now. And I was 1920. And I remember that. And that just stuck out to me. So that has always echoed in the back of my mind. And I think that’s why my app will be beneficial.
Matt DeCoursey 11:09
Have you built any? Have you built software before this? No. Because that’s what we need to talk about now. Because we told everyone, we talked about the lessons we’ve learned. So what are some of the lessons you learned? As a first time software founder? Because there’s a lot? It’s a lot?
Kiante Young 11:27
Well, I think the first most important thing is I know how to shut up and listen. And I know how to delegate. And I know how to, if I’m gonna hire you, I’m just going to trust you. A lot of bosses make the mistake of hiring people, and they want to be over his shoulders every couple of minutes, hey, no, not at all. No, I don’t do that. I built a team, I have my own development team. And I trust them. They have outperformed every single instance, you know what I expected. So the first step is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And then listen, I have several mentors, several, many who guide me. I’ve never paid for coaching. I have mentors. And I’m not arrogant. And I have no ego. I let go of all that a long time ago. So I can humble myself and say, I don’t know this. And I’ll call someone who does, even if after pay, give them a few bucks. It’s worth it.
Matt DeCoursey 12:39
You know, one of the things that you said that really stands out that I’ve heard, countless, quote, successful people say is I hired people that are smarter than me, and heard that my whole life from successful people. And I think that that following that advice starts with accepting the fact and owning the fact that you’re not the smartest person in the room, and you shouldn’t you don’t you shouldn’t want to be No, I’m gonna find it, you got to find people that are good at the things that you’re not good at. And then I liked that you get out of the Get out of the way. And that’s, that’s tricky, that’s a tricky science because you also have to understand when to get involved. Because if you get too far out of the way, things get real far down the road, and they get off track.
Kiante Young 13:33
It depends on whether or not they want to get their checks on time.
Matt DeCoursey 13:37
True. Now, now with that, I mean, that’s not always that’s not always the option, though. So some of that is like I think when you talk about the lessons that you’re going to learn, I see a lot of people that want to build an app, and we can talk. So what’s an app, we can talk about a mobile app, you can talk about a web app, you can talk about a lot of different kinds of apps, but they want to build a software product. And you know, some of that is I think one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned in the past and I’ve had other people mention, is they tried to make that very first version of it. A little two, it needed to be a little too good. It had to be a little too perfect. It had a little too much stuff. I mean, I pick a couple things and get really good at them. Yeah. And work on that part first before you try to say okay, this needs to do 67 different things. And until it does 67 different things. It’s not ready to get out there. You mentioned like, if you’re good at just a couple of things, which are your core items, like what is the problem you want to solve? Like what were a couple of those for your app?
Kiante Young 14:43
For me, before I even go there, let me just touch on one of the things that you said because we can’t skip pasture. I got a call with my mentor, one of my mentors, Davis Vizag. And he said to me, don’t go Why go deep. And so the mistake a lot of people make is, you know, they try to make their first project, oh, it’s gotta be perfect. I didn’t do that, what I did is and I’m gonna be 100% real with you, Matt, what is on my app based upon how I envision it is only maybe 1510 to 15% of what it’s going to be, you know, just like a baby, you gotta crawl before you walk, you got to stumble before you walk solid, you got to be able to walk solid before you can run. And so I accept that. And I accept the fact that, you know, I got to start off small, I’m not going to put all my all of my ideas on the app yet, because we just started, you know, you got to get your feet wet, figure out all of the mistakes and the glitching. And, and all of that, you know, now in terms of issues that I’ve had, you know, to be honest with you, I’m a well oiled machine, I really haven’t had any issues whatsoever in development. At all, my team has performed above what I ever imagined, so much so that and they completed the work the everybody completed their work ahead of schedule that we already have begun developing success at Helenius. This excess air francais, which is the same apps in French and in Spanish.
Matt DeCoursey 16:28
So that’s, that’s what you just detailed and described as rare, most, on average, most people take twice as long and spend three times as much as they expected. No, congratulations.
Kiante Young 16:42
On that, I planned. I planned.
Matt DeCoursey 16:45
That starts with good planning. Now what you’re talking about is going deep rather than going wide. I mean, that’s a key ingredient. Because I mean, that’s the same thing, saying the same thing with different words. And really one of the phrases that someone said to me that I say a lot as well as be brilliant on the basics. And if you can’t, and that’s that same thing if you can’t be good at the core thing. So like we talked about a core thing. For example, I’m also the founder of Gigabook.com. With an online appointment setting if Gigabook can’t make an appointment, we have no business building or doing anything else. It’s a court. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. That’s a core ingredient, though. If you can’t, well, you use it to make the appointment here on this show. Yeah, yeah. Right now it reminded you it did. It does a whole lot of other stuff where it can’t do that very first thing, which is let you pick and reserve a time we had we had no business or what have had no business or how, you know, hypothetically, trying to mass with reminders or notifications or like a whole bunch of other crap because it’s kind of like it’s it’s kind of like in basketball, if you can’t move the ball up the court. Who cares about layups, shooting, rebounding matters whenever you want to take a shot? Or if you do, it’s gonna be like a full court shot. And unless you’re me, those don’t go in often.
Kiante Young 18:12
Well, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so good at basketball.
Matt DeCoursey 18:16
I’m not sure I’ve ever had a full court shot either. I’m just kind of joking about that. I just, it just felt appropriate to say something like that. Now, a quick reminder, as we continue our conversation once again, with me today, I’ve got chi Anta Jung, who is the founder of the successful airlines app. There’s a link in the show notes suicide, go download that app and check it out. And you can have a better idea of what we’re talking about. Now, if you’re looking to find expert software developers, that doesn’t have to be difficult, especially when you visit FullScale.io. Where you can build a software team quickly and affordably you can use the Full Scale platform to define your technical needs. And then see what available developers, testers, and leaders are ready to join your team FullScale.io We help you build your app. That’s all we do. I’ve got about 300 people that work on that stuff all day, every day. And that number grows. So one of the things you mentioned, I think is a good lesson, and I think you’re really smart for so I think entrepreneurs have a challenge and founders or entrepreneurs have a challenging time quelling ambition, like we want to do it all every time, every time like all of it. Oh, we’re gonna it’s gonna be the greatest friggin thing in the world. And so you’re kind of talking about how, hey, the overall vision and what we launched is 10 to 15% of what it will be down the road. Now, the reason that’s important to focus on is if you get people who have mediocre in the beginning, they’re just not gonna stick around. Right. So how did you go about defining the most important parts of what you were gonna build during your planning process?
Kiante Young 19:52
Well, it started off with the base initial idea that I have for the app, how I envision app initial And then as I started to imagine other things and see other ideas, you know, I added it to my plans, but I didn’t necessarily tell my developers. Okay, um, one of the things that I try to do is I try to learn from other people. And I recognize, look, I’m from Harlem, I’m from the hood, I don’t have access to Elon Musk, or, or a mat of a person as successful as you with the background.
Matt DeCoursey 20:30
I don’t have access to Elon Musk, either.
Kiante Young 20:33
But the thing is, is what I do have is I’m able to look at the moves of successful apps of Twitter, of Facebook or Instagram of clubhouse, one of the thing that’s common amongst them all is if you look at how they looked when they first came out, and then you look at them now they’re completely different. Oh, yeah. So what that taught me is that it’s okay for me to start off small. And it’s okay. And as my app grows, and we add value like currently on there, they’re 200, over 200 different lessons about different careers and glossary style curriculum. Whereas a list of hundreds of careers, and then we have voiceovers, where the kids can push the button and play. I’ve gotten correspondents that two year olds are on the app, and they don’t, they don’t really know what they’re doing, but they touch on it and play it. And the thing is, it’s about getting your kid in the mindset, one of my investors, daughters, she has met and learned the entire app, and you should see her go. And the thing that Matt is so excited about this project is Matt, I can’t wait to start making commercials to promote this app, because we’re gonna have so much fun, they’re going to be such fun commercials. So, you know, it’s really just about building the foundation. Most people, they go into a project, and it’s boom, boom, boom, they’re gonna do everything now, no, you got to make sure that your foundation is built, you got to make sure that the initial part is strong, even in terms of fundraising, Matt, I could have raised millions of dollars, the app is already up, I’ve got 1000 downloads, and everything, what I only do is I only take what I need for now, just so that we can get the app to where we want it to be. And then we’ll grow from there. But it’s but you know, a lot of people again, they put the cart before the horse, you know, they go into situations that they may necessarily not be ready for me, I’m humble enough to take my time. And really make sure that this opportunity is right. For me. That doesn’t mean that if a great opportunity comes my way, I’m the type that overthinks it. I know a great opportunity when I see it immediately. But at the same time, you know, entrepreneurs, app developers, this goes across the board beyond all in all industries, and all businesses crawl before you walk. Because if you try to walk and you haven’t crawled, you’re gonna fall on your face.
Matt DeCoursey 23:11
So you mentioned investors, what did you learn about that process? Because that is a different reality and experience for everybody.
Kiante Young 23:23
I mean, it can be very hurtful to mine a person. Yeah. And I want to know, and you know, Matt, I’m going to tell you the real the full story.
Matt DeCoursey 23:33
Yeah. Don’t seem weak minded to me, though.
Kiante Young 23:35
Now, it didn’t bother me. But some people, it’ll, it can hurt people’s feelings. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you a few scenarios. Originally, Success Airlines was going to be a series of children’s books. And then I decided that we were going to develop an app. I did my business plan. I interviewed developers. And then I said, Okay, I need X amount of dollars to do this. And then I had a call with someone and, you know, they just mentioned the words that I have forgotten from my youth, these three letters, OPM, other people’s money. Now I’m here about to dump, you know, $150,000 of my own money into this project. And then I remembered that so I said, Okay, I know all of these wealthy people have achieved a lot of cool things. But Matt, I’ve never gotten funding. I’ve gotten sponsorship, but I’ve never had funding which is a huge difference. Very different. Yeah. Yeah, so and I mean, I’ve done very well over the years getting sponsorship, because investment is different anyway. Um, so I reached out to some of the wealthier folks that I knew that I just have relationships with that I thought I was cool with, and honestly met them wasting my time. I have one who I flew to town to town to meet with him. Then another one who wanted to give me the money, but he wanted to take half the company. And in my mind, I’m thinking, I have that money. I could do it myself. But why would I give you half of my business. And if so, then it was another investor. And I really, it just didn’t work out. And so I had already been producing daily rooms on this app called clubhouse. For those of you who may or may not, this is kind of a catonian money, called a clubhouse. And I have a club, my club has 27,000 file members in the clubhouse, I have 40,000 followers. So I just put it in one of my rooms, I put it out there. And my club members, Matt stepped up. I couldn’t believe it, Matt. And so my app, the first seed round of my app, and I’m currently in Series A all in the clubhouse, people, most of my members of my clubhouse club stepped up and supported it. And the thing, what makes it great that they did that is the fact that they’ve gotten to know me over a long period of time. I’ve been in the clubhouse for two years, almost two years, I’ve produced 1000s of rooms, I have daily rooms going every day. So they’ve gotten to know me, and they trust me. And what’s even better is that it’s not that they just trust me, but they also are helping me with the process, you know, helping me complete tasks. Because, you know, when you have a huge project like this, and you’re a founder, you could do everything, right. But I have other things I’d like to do. So if myself and my team, and my investors, we all chip in a little bit, we can get a lot done. And so, you know, and I’ve had no issues with my investors whatsoever. I am at a point now where, you know, after we, you know, complete a couple more tasks with the project, I’m going to be really presenting a huge package. And, you know, and I’m a bit consistent in my business models, you know, individual investors, not just that
Matt DeCoursey 27:42
there’s a couple of lessons I learned through building different stuff. You know, giga book was the first commercial software product I ever built. And, you know, I’ve self funded, I’ve been in a pretty good spot, to not have to, you know, everything from Gigabook to Full Scale. I have a partner and Full Scale, but I’ve done most of the stuff myself. I have entertained and had funny conversations with a whole lot of people. The lessons I learned along the way were, well, there’s a lot of people out there raising money. Like you’re not the only one asking, yeah, asking funds and rich people or friends or anyone for money in an investment. And with that, you need to understand that these are business decisions that you’re often asking business people to make, which means that they should be based on some foundation and business now. Now past that, I found a lot of people were like, you know, Matt, love you love what you’re doing? Think You’re the real deal, yada, yada, yada, but this wasn’t the right thing for me. Okay. Next, anybody down the line? You can’t take it personally. And, you know, the thing is, it is, you know, I don’t? I would if I went back through the nearly 1000 episodes of the show at this point. And talked to everybody or how many times I’ve asked, I mean, the average amount of people needed that most people would get funded needed to ask was 60 like in the range of like 60 to 75. I mean, and these are some hyper successful people, these aren’t just like people that showed up and said, Hey, I’m gonna do a startup. And now I gotta go find investors. I mean, I’m talking to seasoned people of pedigree or experience or whatever, and they still have to go out and you know, they’re in that 60 to 75 Ask range and that means that they give a lot of presentations.
Kiante Young 29:50
They did a lot of it and you just have to like it is okay, so opposite of that. I didn’t do well, right? Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 29:54
Well, you kind of did though because you will do it. What You’re smart, cuz you went and asked you have, you’ve already built a community of people that believe in and support you. And that’s where you should start. That is the right start. But that said, those can also sometimes be your worst investors. Like, I don’t do business with my own family. And it’s not. It’s not because I want to keep things civil at Thanksgiving, man.
Kiante Young 30:27
I listen, I create an environment where, you know, I tell them everything, all the investors are all we all are all on the same chain. And there are no secrets. They understand that this is a process. One, two, I was very smart, because I didn’t take much money from anybody. I took just what I needed to complete a task. I’m not. I haven’t looked at this thing yet in terms of making profits, but just in terms of getting the app up and running. Also, I’ve been consistent in improving and doing the things that I say that I was going to do. I have consistently met my deadlines. The app is up and running before we’re supposed to. It looks better. And in fact, Matt, I lied to them. Because I didn’t tell them I was developing success, Aerolineas and success. Err francais? By the way, those apps are already completed, designed, and done. The lessons just have to be loaded.
Matt DeCoursey 31:28
Do you? Do you speak French?
Kiante Young 31:30
Paul a boo petite francais?
Matt DeCoursey 31:34
I have no idea what you just said to me. So I’m just assuming that you told me that I’m awesome. And French.
Kiante Young 31:42
What I said is I speak a little French. I’ve been listening,
Matt DeCoursey 31:45
I’ve been listening to my wife use the damn Duolingo out for almost two years and speak French. And I’m hoping that she would have known what that is, but I’m not gonna go. I’m not gonna make that assumption yet. So, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff to learn. Now, you know, one thing I want to say is, as I want to throw a caveat out there, cuz compared to so many conversations I’ve had with so many people, over the years, you’re on, you’re on the far end of having got it right. Thanks, man. It’s not the norm. It’s not the norm. I mean, there are a lot of really hard lessons that a lot of people have to learn. Congratulations on the timeline thing. I think one of them has had this conversation with so many different people over the years, like, the underestimation of time, and, and money, are probably two of the bigger lessons that I get from repetition. When I hear people talking about it, they’re like, I grossly underestimated how much time it would take, how much money it would take. Or and then honestly, the next thing is probably how difficult it is. Because I think a lot of people think that you just decide you’re going to build software, and then you just build it, and it works. And everyone’s cool with it. And, you know, there’s a lot of things that don’t play out in reality, like they wouldn’t concept. So as someone that works with so many different tech companies to help them scale teams. You know, Warren Buffett once said, nine women can’t make a baby in a month. So some of this also is you can’t necessarily always speed it up by just putting more people involved on it. And yes, is that, in fact, you can slow it down in a lot of cases. So the idea that I’ve had a lot of actual investor type people call me and they’re like, Well, I put all this money into this thing. And it’s going really slow. What can we do to speed it up? Possibly nothing. Because you know, when it comes to building things that have moving parts and interdependencies and the evolution of a product and software, so much of a is related to like, you know, a has to lead to B has to lead to C has to lead to d has to lead the E. And the problem is is in reality, C broke, B quit, and D, you tried to move it up in the timeline, but realize that it wasn’t going to work at all. And let’s tell you how to put B and C in place. And, you know, these are the things it’s just like, you know, if the gear isn’t there, it can’t turn another gear. And you know, that’s a pretty, pretty basic description of what highly technical I actually had. Someone asked me the other day, it was someone that was working on my house and he said, What do you do? And I said, I own a software company. He’s like, cool, how does that work? And I said, it’s magical gibberish and a server somewhere. And he goes, it might be the best description anyone’s ever given me of what software is and for most people that is the truth because I don’t write code I write checks. And for me, it is magical gibberish. They should be called not developers, but magicians. Yeah. That works. But my point is, it’s a lot harder than people think it is. Because there’s technical components and all these different things like, the thing is until you get in there and you do it, it’s really hard to have an appreciation for it. It’s kind of like my wife had COVID Recently, and when she got a positive test, she had to immediately quarantine me and the kids didn’t have it. And we never got it. But it turned me into a single mother right away. And it took me about a day to be reacquainted with my appreciation for all the crap that my wife does. That’s really hard to say, it’s just a ton of little stuff. It’s like, oh, well, you take the kids to school. Okay, well, it’s one thing, they got to get dressed, they got to eat. I kid one of my daughters, like, showed up with a dreadlock in her hair. And I don’t know, well, maybe because I do it. I don’t know, I barely have any hair. Yeah, air. I don’t know what that takes anymore. So but the bill and software is that same thing, like little lessons, there are just in startups in business. In general, there are 1000 little components. And the problem is when one of those gears gets yanked out of place, or stripped, it can sometimes be very difficult to move all of the others.
Kiante Young 36:20
Well, for me. For me, I just operate it a little bit differently. I just position myself in a way where one part can affect the other. And I know that’s a challenge. But I think I’ve figured out a good way of doing it. I think for starters, you just gotta have people that can complete tasks, you know, that can execute. And once you have people that can execute, even if they execute at 75-80%. That’s pretty good.
Matt DeCoursey 36:53
Most people don’t execute is the thing, like finding people that truly do execute.
Kiante Young 36:58
That’s why you weed them out.
Matt DeCoursey 36:59
You can’t do it, but that’s part of the process. And that’s what’s challenging along the way. Because if you have, I mean, it’s easy to maybe get a couple people on a startup team, and you’re like, there’s like three people. But if you look at the math, let’s look at the math. Now you have three people, and they deliver, and now you bring in a fourth person. That means 25% of your company doesn’t deliver. So the ratio and that of that early stage can be tough. But the one thing you said, you got to weed it out. Yeah, yes. You have to take that like, Oh, man. And it’s tough. It’s tough because I’ve never done that. You’ve never done it. And I mean, most people, most people on the planet, have never had to fire someone. They really have it. That’s a tough thing. And it’s, you know, it’s like, I mean, I’ve I have talked to too many people whose businesses failed. And later, they just came to the reality that, like, you know, I just kept the wrong people around for too long. That’s speaking of the right people if you need to hire software engineers, testers, or leaders. Full Scale can help us have the people in the platform to help you build and manage a team of experts. When you visit FullScale.io. All you do is answer a few questions and let our platform match you up with our fully vetted, highly experienced team of software engineers, testers, and leaders, at Full Scale. We specialize in building long-term teams that work only for you to learn more at FullScale.io once again with me today, Kiante Young. He’s the founder of the Success Airlines App. There’s a link for that in the show notes. You can download the app and check it out, and let your kids go home and play with it. Let’s drive that download count up for him. I got to feel like your clubhouse group is probably going to enjoy this episode as well. Maybe, maybe they’re tired of listening at the same time.
Kiante Young 38:53
No, they like me pretty. They like to give a speech tomorrow at a local networking or co-working place.
Matt DeCoursey 38:57
And I sat there, and I was like, I was like, Man, I gotta come up with some new material. I gotta go do something different. That’s not like what people could listen to hundreds and hundreds of episodes of, so that’s always the key ingredient. Well, hey, man, thanks for joining me today on our way out. I mean, what’s it like if you had to look back at like the number one lesson learned while building an app? What comes to mind?
Kiante Young 39:27
Um, the number one lesson is to ask questions. You know, and don’t think you know it all because you don’t. Another thing, too, is don’t be a copycat. You know. I’ve had a few people contact me because they mean they want to develop applications. And out of the five that contacted me for wanting to develop an app almost identical to the clubhouse being unique. One of the things I would like to say is that I appreciate Success Airlines. It’s unique. We’re the only ones in our space doing what we do. There’s no one else who does what we do. You know.
Matt DeCoursey 40:09
And I’ll tack on to that. By saying that, if you are going to quote a copycat, you have to do something to disrupt what you got to do. It still has to be unique in that regard. You look at things like, you know, a clubhouse has had an interesting kind of rise and fall about it as well from a user subscription base. But that’s still very, very well funded. They say to be careful of the 800-pound gorilla in the room, like he is trying to get people to go from one thing to another. It is a challenge. And if your business model is based on trying to take other people’s users or subscribers, the math that we came up with is that you really have to be three times better or three times cheaper to get given to get people to give a shit enough to want to maybe do something different because once you get into sticky products and things like that’s the thing so build a product that people want to use, that they rely on that they feel comfortable with and then they don’t want to change so I digress we could go into a much a whole different topic of that. Kiante, thanks so much for joining me, man.
Kiante Young 41:20
Thank you so much. You’re amazing, man. I learned so much. Thank you.