Meet Haris Adu – a young entrepreneur from London. He is also one of the co-founders of an innovative app called PinU which helps people to meet up with and find their friends easily. Adu studied Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway. In his spare time, he likes to stay active by playing football or just staying in to watch a good movie.
Tell us a bit more about PinU.
PinU is an app for students and is the easiest way to discover when your friends are around. For example if you were in Chelsea in London and some friends were nearby in Fulham you could easily find out that they were nearby simply by opening up the app. You could then message them to see what they were up to. We are currently in private beta and will launch on Google play in mid-late February at University College London and will be expanding nationwide throughout the year. We expect to have an iOS version ready during the summer.
What inspired you to start up your own business?
PinU was born out of the personal frustration of not being able to know when my friends were around at the same time as me, and it just so happened that creating a start up was the best way to solve that problem.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
As we are still a young start up we haven’t had what people may consider being big wins/achievements yet. But what’s far more interesting, to me, is getting a lot of small things done correctly which amount to a big difference! Although – I would say – having a working prototype was a great feeling as we had some technical problems early on.
Have you always wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I wanted to be a few things during my degree from corporate lawyer to an Ambassador. However I’m far too creative for those roles and I only work on things I love. I personally don’t refer to myself as an “entrepreneur” as you may think that my day to day job is glamorous but it is quite the opposite.
Do you have any business icons that you look up?
I absorb a lot of knowledge from a lot of founders and investors whose knowledge and experience far exceeds my own. As far having an an icon – that’s not something I focused on. The people who truly inspire me are the ones I work with everyday, particularly my co-founder Ricardo Mighty, as their talent and work ethic is something which excites me everyday.
What have been some of your biggest challenges to overcome?
Most of our challenges to date have been technical hurdle. However, a lot of the infrastructure is now in place, so we shouldn’t encounter many of those problems in the future – but as you progress you face new challenges. I think our biggest short term challenge will be getting users as building the product is the easy part. It’s getting people to use it (at scale) is where the real work begins.
For many young people, it is notoriously difficult jobs-wise and many of us lose heart in what we do. What keeps you going?
I go to the office every single day without fail. In my eyes when you know why you’re doing something and you love what you do, why wouldn’t you? In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking that any time spent away from PinU, is an opportunity lost to get stuff done.
What has been the best bit of advice ever given to you?
When you start a start up there are a lot of things that are competing with your time but only two things really matter:
1) Talk to users/customers and 2) Get stuff built!
What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
At this point on my journey there are only two things I care about: building awesome products and working with phenomenal people.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take?
I love my food so I would say some roast lamb. For entertainment, my Galaxy S3 and I’ve got listen to some music to pass the time so I’ll bring my headphones too!