Some couples play tennis together, we do start-ups. More specifically, we did a start-up that unsubscribes people from all their daily deal email. I'm a recovering attorney and my girlfriend is a West Village waitress.
We started UnsubscribeDeals.com because unlike our smarter friends, we actually gave the daily deal sites our real email addresses. We bought one or two daily deals two years ago and now they emailed us so much that we couldn't find our real emails in our inbox.
So here are 10 things we learned doing a start-up together:
1. Access to good pizza at all times is the key to success for any start-up. We actually got the design for UnsubscribeDeals done in return for pizza. A designer friend of ours had a late night craving for pizza and Lea happens to work at a pizzeria. We obliged and he designed. The pizza gods were looking down on us that night.
2. It's always good to designate one of us as the one who "calls it a night." People in tech naturally work late hours. Going to sleep by 1 or 2 was OK for us, but going to sleep anytime after that meant waking up at late hours or waking up early and being zombies for the rest of the day. Zombies are bad at coding.
3. Setting aside time a block of time where you can't talk about work or use your cell phone is important. I read somewhere that Priscilla Chan made Mark Zuckerberg spend at least 90 minutes a week without any access to cell phones or talking about work. I then turned to Lea and said, "I want us to be more like Priscilla and Mark!"
4. Spending lots of time on the phone with someone named Sasha is not good for your relationship. Until you explain that Sasha is actually a MAN and the new programmer you found from Eastern Europe.
5. Life is better if one of you is Italian. Lea is Italian. That means spaghetti instead of ramen. This makes a world of difference.
6. People will stop inviting you to dinner if you keep talking about things like Ruby and Python (programming languages) without actually referring to snakes or jewels.
7. We don't really mind item 6 and Edwin is very thankful for item 5.
8.Did you know that UnsubscribeDeals.com now gives you a weekly roll up of all your daily deals in case you're afraid of missing something?
9. Keep granola bars on you. Whenever we start getting snappy at each other, it's probably because we forgot to eat.
10. We wouldn't want to do this with anyone else. Sappy, but true.