When I was a kid, my mom told me that I could accomplish anything.
Deep down, I truly believed her. I thought I was destined to do something great with my life. I had no doubt that I would be a millionaire by the time I hit 30.
Life was easy: I got into my dream college (UCLA), I was accepted into an exclusive business fraternity, and girls liked me. I was well on my way to becoming a management consultant and climbing the corporate ladder.
Fall recruitment 2006 was off to a blazing start. I had interviews lined up with the top accounting, investment banking, and consulting firms. I had no problem getting the interviews, but it was taking too long to hear back from these companies with my acceptance letter. Why were these companies taking so long?
I went home to visit my mom during Thanksgiving.
In my old room I found opened letters from companies, rejection letters that my mom had opened and left for me at my desk. She was so shocked that she couldn’t bring herself to call me and tell me the bad news.
I was in disbelief. I was ashamed.
To be honest, I couldn’t care less about these companies and what they thought about me; I was ashamed because my mom knew I was a failure. She left her entire life in Lima, Peru so that I could have a bright future here in California and live the American dream. I was the hope of the family, and I let her down.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only do so looking backwards. I didn’t know it then, but this rejection was the most important turning point of my life.
It was difficult for any UCLA student to get a management consulting offer. I therefore decided to start Bruin Consulting, the first undergraduate management consulting organization at UCLA. I teamed up with Yu-kai Chou, Ben, and Josh and together we launched the first undergraduate case competition. Bruin Consulting was a resounding success, and because of it, UCLA students are now actively recruited for management consulting jobs.
Yu-kai, Stephen, and I teamed up after college to start Future Delivery, a technology company that helps people become more productive and have fun while doing it. Yu-kai truly was a pioneer in gamification — he thought of this concept back in 2007!
RewardMe was our first true internet startup. We raised $1,000,000 in angel funding in 2010 and moved up to Mountain View, CA to pursue our startup dreams. In 2.5 years, we built a working product, closed deals with paying clients, and had multiple nation-wide franchises that were ready to integrate the product into their stores.
In the summer of 2012, we ran out of money.
RewardMe was one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. My former team members are life long friends and I use the knowledge I gained every single day.
I met Alex in June of 2013. “You can start your own company and you could succeed, or you could fail. Or you can join me and you WILL succeed.” he told me. It was a good pitch.
I had never before joined someone else’s team. I have always been the founder of my company, but I knew I could learn so much from Alex. I decided to join him and become the Chief Growth Officer of Bunny Inc. Together, we’re revolutionizing the way companies outsource their creative projects.