Hi, Could you introduce yourself?
Hey, my name is Gabriele Jusaityte and I’m a freshly baked founder on a mission to build a digital health startup. My background could sound a bit unusual, but I have a degree in Political Science and a lot of experience in fashion! I’m (only) 27 years old and I can’t express how happy I am making the hard decision to quit my job, get out of my comfort zone and take a leap into the tech world!
What are you working on?
I’m working on Feelsom - a personal analytics tool to find patterns in daily habits. It’s an app that helps you stay aware of your life and see how the things that you do impact the way that you feel. Having lots of health-related issues myself I was struggling to find a tool that could help me to connect the dots, it seemed that you can track pretty much anything, but the data is not actionable. That’s when I decided to take an initiative and create an app that could solve my own problem and hopefully help others along the way!
What are the challenges and successes you’ve faced at Feelsom?
The biggest challenge is to overcome self-doubt and continuously work on yourself. Building something new doesn’t come with quick rewards, it’s difficult to work on long-term goals and keep yourself motivated when there can be months without any kind of feedback. It has been a rollercoaster, but overnight successes are exceptions, not the rules - it’s a long journey and you need to be ready for it.
On a more positive note, it’s amazing to know that there are people all over the world who tried end enjoyed using something that you build. I’m trying to celebrate every small win, so whether it’s the thousandth user, first subscription, or an honest review, I jump for joy!
What are your goals?
Never stop learning! It feels that during these past two years I’ve learned more than I ever did before and found so many things that interest me. I want to explore UI/UX, learn the basics of coding (at least enough to build a landing page), start a blog, and knit a sweater!
And, of course, my biggest goal is to grow Feelsom! I want to build a community for curious, data-driven people and encourage them to take charge of their well-being.
Do you have a mentor?
Officially, no. But I’m trying to stay active in maker communities like IndieHackers, ProductHunt, etc. as there are so many inspiring entrepreneurs who can provide great insights and valuable feedback.
Do you mentor anyone?
I do help a friend (or a stranger) in need, but I do not mentor anyone.
What could the tech industry do to better foster female talent?
I believe that the best way to make a difference in this field is to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups so that people would be encouraged to enter the industry.
More diverse teams create more diverse products that are appealing to a wider audience, so I believe that inclusiveness should be high on everyone’s priority list. Much remains to be done, but for now, we can at least make sure that all the voices are being heard.
What advice would you give to people getting into your field?
Explore new technology, take risks, and don’t be afraid to learn on the job. Seriously, never stop learning - every new skill can lead to a new opportunity. And most importantly embrace failure - it’s true, you need to fail to succeed!
What’s the best and worst advice you have received?
The best advice - it’s never too late to learn and try new things, if you find something that interests you, just go for it! 5 years ago I wouldn’t imagine myself building a startup, but I always felt that I can do more - I wanted to give myself a challenge so I started with running - I was a very unathletic person (I have never even gone for a jog before), but I set up a goal to run half marathon and after a lot of training - I did it! For me, it was quite a revelation - after that, I understood that the only thing standing between me and all the opportunities in the world is me telling myself I can’t do something.
And the worst thing is when someone is trying to hold you down, suggesting to stay in your comfort zone and play safe. ‘Why would you quit your job”, “What will you do if it goes south”, “I don’t think you’re capable of pulling something like this” - it’s definitely hard to hear and difficult not to pay attention, but quoting Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’ you need to “Just keep swimming”.
Who do you follow? What blogs do you read?
I follow so many different people! I always listen to ‘Acquired’ podcasts, scan ‘Morning Brew’ newsletters, search for interesting topics in Quantified Self forum, read everything P.Graham and M.Andreessen writes and go through lots of books, few of my favorites: “Zero to One” by P.Thiel, ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ and ‘What You Do is Who You Are’ both by B.Horowitz
What’s the best way to keep up to date with what you’re doing?
To be honest, I’m quite a passive user of social media, but I am planning to be more active and start a blog. So when I do - you’ll be able to find me @gjusaityte on Twitter