Our members come from a variety of backgrounds, but since the tech industry has been in the spotlight as of late, it’s only fitting that we take some of that light and shine it on a Co-Merge member who has made many contributions to the San Diego tech scene.
Our featured member of the month is the founder of SkillMasters, Julian Bryant, who has been facilitating web development-related workshops such as iPhone app training and computer programming here at Co-Merge Workplace.
Here’s my mini-interview with Julian:
MP: What inspired you to get into computer programming?
JB: At Notre Dame one of my majors was Computer Applications. The program really let students explore different uses of technology and I used that major to learn about multimedia web development. I really liked the creativity involved. It felt similar to being an artist and the great thing was that once I created some web project I could sell and share it with the world instantly. Since then I’ve moved onto iPhone app development, and I really enjoy teaching others how to make create their own projects and share them with the world via the App Store.
MP: What has been your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?
JB: I really believe that to be successful entrepreneurs have to be passionate about the business we are getting into. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I have several things that I am passionate about (technology, sports, politics/policy, education) and it hasn’t been easy finding a path that satisfies those passions. Now I get to teach programming via SkillMasters, and I’ve launched my own startup, QuikStats, that combines sports and technology. As for policy & politics – for now that passion is satisfied by debating with friends and voting! The big challenge is turning passions into revenue. That takes a lot of research, persistence, and confidence.
MP: How did you find out about Co-Merge and what do you like about the concept of coworking?
JB: I found Co-Merge as we were searching for a venue for the last Startup Weekend in San Diego. The space was a great location for that event and I was excited about having this new place open in San Diego. Personally, I think another challenge for entrepreneurs is getting out of our own heads. We bring a lot of pre-conceived notions about the market and our product to our businesses and often these assumptions are wrong. You really need to get out and talk to customers and peers for a reality check. Although I live in PB (Pacific Beach), I find it helpful to head down to Co-Merge at least once a week to get out of my startup bubble, chat with others who have different perspectives, and get open the door for some unplanned inspiration.
Julian’s next workshop is the iPhone App Building Test Drive which is being held next Thursday, April 19 from 6:30 – 9:30 pm.
If you haven’t heard the big news this week, Facebook purchased the Instagram photo app for a mere $1 Billion dollars, so who knows… That silly or simple idea you had for an app could just be the next big thing! These days it doesn’t hurt to have a skill like creating apps in your toolbox.
For more information about SkillMasters, visit: www.skillmasters.net