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Episode 09: Mark Quezada

Mark discusses his experiences in the tech industry and his transition to successful entrepreneur and CTO at Hobnob

Mark is the CTO and Co-Founder at Hobnob. Mark is one of the most talented full stack developers and startup minds in Hawaii. He’s founded multiple companies, has built apps and websites visited by millions, and has been a major asset in the Hawaii startup ecosystem for nearly a decade.

Links and Resources

Podcasts Mentioned

a16z podcast by Benedict Evans

The Startup Radio School by Aaron Harris

Entrepreneurs Mentioned

Pierre Omidyar

Tina Fitch

Startups Mentioned

Stack Overflow

Fast Customer

Twilio

Hobnob

Blogs Mentioned

MirthLab

Accelerators and Events Mentioned

Blue Startups

Startup Weekend

Show Notes

3:44 – Mark’s introduction to the tech world

5:52 –  How Mark ended up in Hawaii

7:19 –  Mark’s first tech job

8:42 –  The thought process behind MirthLab

10:40 – Working for Pierre Omidyar

13:07 – Joining the Fast Customer team

17:40 – Applying to Blue Startups first cohort

19:10 – Trying to get their first company off the ground

22:30 – The elevator pitch for his first company Minded

24:49 – Moving from Minded to Hobnob

27:10 – The idea behind Hobnob

29:50 – Overcoming obstacles on launch day

30:48 – How Hobnob uses Twilio for scaling

36:27 – Hobnobs first users and the start of their organic growth

40:56 – Raising a round (first investor gave a term sheet 2-hrs after initial meeting)

42:20 – What its like for Mark being able to shape the culture of his team and product

44:46 – Working with team members across the globe

46:30 – Testing and hacking growth – How changing the gradient color on their app icon improved downloads by 300%

48:27 – What’s in store for Hobnob

49:40 – Rapid Fire Q&A – What is your favorite thing about Hawaii, favorite beach, useful tools for entrepreneurs, favorite blog or podcast, book that has been read or gifted multiple times, someone that you find inspiring, final tips for entrepreneurs

57:56 – BONUS! – Mark talks about what it was like working with Ebay Founder, Pierre Omidyar