Jessica Perez

CEO & Founder of Tycoon. Costa Rican/American Sports Illustrated model

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON April 19, 2017

Discussion

Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
Hi, my name is Jess Perez, I'm the CEO and founder of Tycoon, an app designed to help freelancers record their jobs in one place and stay on top of payments. I've been freelancing for over a decade and a half so I'm happy to answer any questions about freelancing or launching a company in the tech industry.
Jacopo Lupi@jacopolupi · UX Designer @ Dollaropath
Hey Jessica! What are the 5 apps / tools / services you use more often in your daily routine?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jacopolupi I love Pocket, Instagram, NYT Crossword, Pivotal Tracker and I use my own app cuz I still do freelance work :)
Jacopo Lupi@jacopolupi · UX Designer @ Dollaropath
How much time do you spend training / meditating during the day? How do you manage to keep on track while traveling?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jacopolupi I usually work out for one hour in the morning. Right now, I only meditate when I do yoga (which is a few times a week). I'm still trying to figure out the best way that I can incorporate meditation into my daily routine. I usually travel with a travel yoga mat. Although I am looking for a new travel one if anyone has any recommendations. :)
Jacopo Lupi@jacopolupi · UX Designer @ Dollaropath
@jesslperez Thanks! You should definitely use https://www.producthunt.com/ask to find the perfect Travel Yoga Mat! ;)
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jacopolupi Thanks!
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jacopolupi Will do once I'm done here!
Ayrton De Craene@ayrton · Code @ Product Hunt
What have been the biggest challenges to getting Tycoon off the ground?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ayrton at first it was making the decision to do it and knowing there was a lot of risk attached. Then once I was in it, definitely fund raising has been very emotionally challenging.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@jesslperez @ayrton can you share any tips for fundraising? What have you learned from the process that you can share with the community?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge @ayrton It's really hard to start when your inner network (friends & family) are unfamiliar with investing in the tech industry or when they don't have the means to. I would say try to make connections with people who you know do angel investing and form a personal relationship with them. Send them updates on your progress and get them to believe in you personally.
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Hey Jess! If you had to swap lives with a tech CEO for a week who would it be and why?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@bentossell Elon Musk so that I would know all of the insider info of what he's working on.
Fernanda Monge Alvarado@new_user_70ce8702ba · Slidebean
Hola Jess, ¿Cuál es el hábito que ha generado el mayor o más importante impacto en tu productividad?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@fernandamongea Despertarme temprano (hasta los findes) y tener metas concretas.
Fernanda Monge Alvarado@new_user_70ce8702ba · Slidebean
@jesslperez Nice. ¿alguna forma particular de trackear esas metas?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@fernandamongea Por el momento estoy usando un programa q se llama Asana. Pero para decirte la verdad, muy a menudo termino escribiendo metas diarias en un cuaderno o en un post-it note jaja!
Fernanda Monge Alvarado@new_user_70ce8702ba · Slidebean
@jesslperez Old school a veces es mejor. ¡Me encanta verte aquí y haciendo este tipo de cosas! Gracias por las respuestas. Si venís a Costa Rica pronto ¡avisános! talvez podés pasar a tomarte un cafecito en la oficina, me escribís y planeamos (fernanda@slidebean.com)
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@fernandamongea @slidebean Asi es! Nuestro producto es muy 'old school + tech' por esa razon. Me encantaria pasar! Muchas gracias por las preguntas :)
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What are your top growth tips for founders looking to get their first 100 - 1000 customers?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jakecrump Tap into the community you are targeting, do a lot of in person networking, understand the user needs very well.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@jesslperez @jakecrump are there any tools, or strategies that founders should use to this?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge @jakecrump I think in the beginning it's really about going to events and talking to people. I went to events I found on meetup.com or through Uncubed and now I throw my own community events for freelancers. I think founders often forget that through connection, they are establishing a brand. Loyalty for a brand comes from the people you are able to connect with.
Jake Crump@jakecrump · Community Team with Product Hunt
What’s your morning routine?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jakecrump I try to work out before going into the office, I take a peaceful walk with my dog, and then I get a coffee ASAP.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hi Jess, thanks for joining us today. What is one thing about freelancing that is often overlooked?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge I think preparing for months when you're not working a lot or getting paychecks in the mail. I think freelancers need to prepare for the worst in order to be safe financially.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@jesslperez thanks Jess. What does preparing for the worst look like? What tips can you share for how best to do this?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge Saving money when you can is the #1 piece of advice (I recommend 4-6 months of what you need to cover your expenses). It's common that when freelancers get busy, they feel like they're gonna keep on riding that 'high' and that work will continue to be readily available forever! That is most often not the case so you should save money for months where either work or payments are not coming through.
Seth Williams@sethbwilliams · Designer, Product Hunt
What does success look like for you?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@sethbwilliams I would have millions of people using Tycoon AND paying for it so I can pay the team behind it what they are worth!
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
What is one thing you really believe in about freelancing that others disagree with you on?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@bentossell I think many people think freelancers will spend a lot of time doing things that I know they'll never do. I think many people try to force freelancers to think like accountants and I can't tell you how many times I've had to say (in terms of building product), "We are freelancers. We are NOT accountants."
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
Do you think we are all going to be moving more towards a project-based work life rather than committing to companies for years? If so, how far off do you think this will be as a wider-spread adoption?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@bentossell Yes, I think this is already happening and the market numbers support this thesis. It will be more widespread sooner rather than later! I think the construct of the office life is working less and less for more people. I think people want more freedom to their schedules.
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
How do you balance your modelling career with launching a business, and also having a life outside of work?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@jacqvon That's been really hard actually, especially the times when I've had to leave the country for modeling work. I think I've had to accept that I'm always going to be busy, going from one thing to another, and I have to stay organized and set out goals and wake up in the morning and get them done. Definitely the thing that has been affected the most are my personal relationships due to a lack of time but this year I'm making a concerted effort to fix that.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
How important is the role of social media when establishing yourself as a freelancer?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge I think it's very important, especially if you're in the creative fields. Clients tend to look up people they are looking to hire on social media. I think social media is a way to show your interests, passions, your sense of humor, and what you're all about. In the fashion industry, even really experienced makeup artists are finding they have trouble getting booked on jobs if they don't have a strong social media following.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
@jesslperez as someone with a strong social following, can you share some tips for how others can grow theirs?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge Do research into the reasons people use different social media forums. For example, what people like on Twitter will be different than what they're expecting to see on Instagram and vice versa. So you want to cater your content for the specific social media forum (although there is some overlap). I would also say, make sure the content you put out there is representative of who you are. People like authenticity.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Operations @ Product Hunt
What's the best advice you've ever received? How did this impact you or change your behaviour?
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge My father has always told me and my siblings that we can do whatever we put our minds to. I think 'putting your mind to' something is an interesting saying because in many ways it's about simply making the decision that you're going to do something. I think that has enabled me to go from being a biomedical researcher, to a fashion model, to a tech entrepreneur. Those were all things I made the decision to do.
Jessica Perez@jesslperez · CEO and Founder, Tycoon
@ems_hodge Thank you to everyone for all of your questions and support!