Success in Failure

By Johannes JAEGER

Many people ask, how did I end up in the world of startups: it was nothing more than a series of unexpected yet life changing events. During the early months of 2015 like most other students I was out hunting for summer internships, yet somehow I managed to reject all the offers I received. Then on one fine day I eventually did end up receiving my dream offer, however it landed in my spam folder, and I only realized when the offer had already expired. I thought all hope was gone.

On the side my friend Long Hoang and I were also working on an interesting project (which now evolved into Plain Exchange). When I missed that final offer, it was clear to me, I was fated to enter the mysterious world of startups. Both of us love travelling, and have heaps of foreign currency which we cannot use, and won’t exchange due to the unfavorable exchange terms. So we thought why can’t we sell our left over currencies to other travelers, cutting out the middleman.

The first challenge was to find the right talent to help with the develop our initial prototype. That was easier said that done. In the process we learnt how to “fire” someone (thank you Google for your uninterrupted support), met a lot of amazing people and with every passing day we it became more apparent little we actually knew. The more we read, the more unanswered questions there were (thank god for those 16 gigabytes of RAM to support a relatively large amount of open tabs).

Ever since then things have gotten out of hands (in a good way). During the month of October, we were twice in Silicon Valley, and blew off our own socks when we found ourselves crowned the best startup, sourced from 10 000 participants from all around the world. Now that everyone has found their rhythm and area of interest everything is going a lot smoother. Every now and then new faces join the team, to help out with the ever growing amount of tasks. Our journey is just starting.