Portrait of the Artist as a Young Startup

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Startup

New York Tech, as Seen by an Antipreneur

Mr. Yehia. (Twitter)

Mo Yehia is co-founder of Sqoot, a daily deal API that helps publishers monetize. He’s lesser known for stints at Sparkle Buggy Car Wash, Cracker Barrel, and Lehman Brothers. He’s kind of a big deal.

It finally hit me: “I drive a Beemer but make less than a McDonald’s manager (hourly), my hair is thinning, sunlight hurts my eyes, and my Mom says I’ve become an asshole.” It was time to leave. I grew a pair and left my job on Wall Street, scared shitless of what was to come. I moved as far from New York City as possible and spent the next year unlearning everything it taught me. I was so brainwashed by my Vineyard Vines-wearing peers (when is a sperm whale on your belt ever OK?), that I didn’t know what I wanted anymore or where to start. From the outside looking in, entrepreneurship was as foreign as Japanese.

Through a series of random, cosmic events (and mind-boggling hustle), I met Andrew Warner in Buenos Aires, Avand Amiri in Boulder, Chris Stanchak in Philly, and Aniq Rahman in New York City. I wanted to be like them. So, for the next six months, I drank the proverbial Kool-Aid and marinated in just about everything startup. I moved back to New York, finagled my way into the tech scene, shook hands, kissed babies, and promptly began a strict three-pronged regiment to combat my hair loss.

It took six years for the novelty of Wall Street to wear off, and six weeks for the uncertainty of startup life to wear on. Without further adieu: a rant on the transition into and observations of NYC tech. Warning, this is my first post, anywhere, ever. Read More