Why did you start HappyCo? What was it about its mission that made you want to go all in?
I was an investor in residential real estate and the tenants that rented my properties would cause damages to them. When it came time for them to move out, there was always a dispute about the damages that the tenants caused vs what was already damaged before they moved in. And it did not help that the property managers, who managed my properties, never documented the condition of the property. So, my co-founder and I built an app to do inspections. Essentially, trying to solve my own pain point.
As we launched the app, we started to see many people using it and telling us how much it’s going to help them in their day to day! And that was how we decided to build a company that could provide delightful software and technology for property managers.
What’s one piece of information you know now that you wish you had known when you started your company?
I wish I knew how difficult it would be to run and grow a company. It’s a very challenging endeavor and often a very lonely one for founders. But I’m very lucky to have a great co-founder and team of people that I work with everyday to overcome each new challenge that we face.
What do you like to do in your free time away from HappyCo?
One of my very few regrets in life is not being able to play soccer at a professional level. If I could play soccer every day I would. But I have bad knees and so my playing days are limited. Besides soccer, I love spending time with my family and see our little boy grow.
In your opinion, why do some startups succeed while others fail?
There are sooooooooo many reasons. I think that’s the challenge with Startups. It’s the fact that all the odds are stacked against you even before you start. But if I had to choose why startups fail, it’s because they are not delivering something of value to their customer. If you can deliver something of value, you will get something in return. And the more people you can provide value to, the more successful you can be.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire and why?
I admire all entrepreneurs. It’s a very challenging job. And everyone’s circumstance is different and it’s all challenging. We don’t know it yet, but we are all pushing in the same direction and I admire how we are all pushing against the grain to take an idea and make it a reality.
Entrepreneur Jindou Lee founded HappyCo, a leading real-time property operations platform that builds mobile and cloud-based applications for smarter business operations.
(Editor’s Note: At York IE we are proud of the entrepreneurs we’re fortunate enough to work with. They inspire and teach us every day, which is why we frequently publish interviews with them, which you can find more of here.)