Q&A with Evan Varsamis, Founder & CEO of Gadget FlowLast Updated: December 3, 2017
Although by the age of 13 he was starting to wonder why would he would work on another person’s dream rather than build his own, Evan Varsamis has an important lesson for young entrepreneurs to bear in mind: “Be patient. You are still young.”
Evan Varsamis is a young entrepreneur whose main achievement to date has been to help at least 6,000 other entrepreneurs bring their projects to life via the crowdfunding route.
Gadget Flow, established in Greece in 2012 by Evan Varsamis and his co-founders Cassie Ousta and Mike Chliounakis, and now based in New York, has made an enormous impact in an area where the prospects of success were so slim that only 10-30 percent of projects survive.
While there are benefits of crowdfunding that younger entrepreneurs find attractive, the odds are not enticing. That’s why Gadget Flow has been an invaluable aid to so many startups.
Evan Varsamis and his team have created a product discovery platform that curates technology and products—whether made by established businesses or new startups—around the interests of users. Crowdfunding entrepreneurs benefit by using Gadget Flow to funnel their ideas directly to people most likely to buy or fund their products.
As well as his Gadget Flow work, Evan Varsamis is also an investor and marketing advisor at Qrator Ltd, Comet Core Inc and a contributor to Huffington Post, American Express Essentials. His work has also been featured on Mashable, The Next Web, PCMag, Fortune, and Product Hunt.
11 Questions for Evan Varsamis, Gadget Flow
Evan Varsamis took some time out of his schedule to look back on his career to date, and although he can trace his own entrepreneurial stirrings back to the age of 13, he has a simple message for the young entrepreneurs of today: take your time. “Be patient. You are still young,” he advises.
1. Briefly tell us how you first got into business, and describe your business goals.
I was always into technology, coding and design. I started at the age of 12 to learn coding and at the age of 14 to design. I launched my first web design company when I was 16 and a half. I worked in a shipping company for two-and-a-half years and then founded a media agency in Greece which was focusing at digital advertising and marketing. One of our projects was Gadget Flow and as soon as we realized its potential we closed the agency and focused on Gadget Flow 100%.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
Around 13. I started to follow entrepreneurs online. I loved the fact that they were glowing from happiness by doing what they wanted and by setting their own rules. Based on that, I started to wonder why would I spent X years working on another person’s dream and not just build my own?
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
One of the first entrepreneurs that I was admiring was Kevin Rose when he was running digg.com but also launched diggnation one of the first online tv shows. I was also admiring Steve Jobs and he is the reason I’m a minimalist today. Lastly Leo Babauta from Zen Habits has changed the way I think, if you are not familiar with his blog, I definitely recommend checking it out.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
Hiring the right people is by far the biggest challenge for most businesses today. There is no workaround, you just have to do your homework, create smart interviews and hope for the best 🙂
5. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
In 2017 definitely not. Maybe in France where they voted for the “right to disconnected’. There isn’t such a thing as work-life balance when you start your own company. There are always tasks to complete and things on your plate. It comes down to simple math: if you spend eight hours a day building your company, it will take you longer to reach success than if you work 12-hour days. If that doesn’t give you enough drive, keep in mind that your competition may be willing to work even more each day, which means they’ll get more customers, more money, and more success.
6. What is the first thing you do every day?
7. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
Solid black image.
8. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
Wunderlist, I use it more than 40 times per day to keep notes and write down ideas.
9. What is the last thing you Googled?
10. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
My iPhone 7 Plus. I can work from anywhere and I love it. The other day I had a call with a customer at 40,000 feet!
11. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Be patient. You are still young.