“Digital nomads are a type of people who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and, more generally, conduct their life in a nomadic manner.“ – Wikipedia
Sounds nice, I thought…I should try that too!
My name is Joel Monaco and I’m a 20 years old, half-hearted economics student from Frankfurt who spends most of the time working on his own Start-Up.
In late 2016 my Co-Founder Julius Kaden and I started a company called Swapper GmbH. Shortly after we published our equally named product: We developed a marketplace for used products which uses a a Tinder-like matching dynamic that can easily connect potential trading partners. Due to a Like/Dislike method, we try to figure out if two users are interested in each others offer. If that’s the case, they will have a match! They can negotiate in the integrated chat and easily close the deal.
While the idea came very spontanously, the development of our mobile app cost a lot of tears and sweat since we already started to conceive our product in April 2016. Sometimes it’s 6, sometimes 10, sometimes 15 hours a day, work never ends. As a founder I learned pretty fast that things don’t always work out as I imagine but we still had many great successes: Press coverage in the most important magazines, several mentionings on TV, a real user community in the whole country and many improvements of our original product.
Nowadays when people think of Start-Ups they imagine young, uncontrollable party monsters who became rich over night and now live their lifes like rockstars. However that’s not remotely true (at least not in the early stages). While most of my friends went to Australia, Thailand or Indonesia after graduating from High School to explore the world and experience the craziest adventures, I sat in front of my Laptop and tried to design the first screenshots of an App that later became Swapper.
But back to the beginning: Recently I discovered the very interesting concept of working as a Digital Nomad. Traveling and working at the same time, only with a laptop in my backpack and a (hopefully) good internet connection. It’s mostly freelancers who decide to try out this experiment since they’re only responsible for themselves. But is it also possible to live as an Digital Nomad for limited time when you’re the founder and CEO of a Start-Up?
I thought it’s worth a try and so I decided to travel through southeast Asia, starting in mid January, working from different places and at the same time producing Daily Vlogs about my experience. The motto behind that experiment? Why Not. I think it’s the only chance I have right now to finally get out of the house again and discovering new places without neglecting my daily work for Swapper. How this will influence the team, our progress and my way of working will still show. However, I’m sure it will be a very interesting time. Our processes will have to be planned in detail, the communication with the team has to be perfekt and the chance to connect with interesting people during my journey shouldn’t be ignored.
This experiment is sponsored by AirFrance and hotels.com who help me to make this journey possible and report about it every day.
This is a POV from Joel Monaco – a great talent from RMS – that we also interviewed some months ago – https://rhein-main-startups.com/2017/08/20/swapper-presented-by-joel-monaco/.
We will stay tunned to his experience and keep you posted.