Interview with Ayo Omojola, Co-Founder of Flypad
Wharton Journal: What is Flypad?
Ayo Omojola: A game console made of software, controlled by your phone. We want to make everyone be two clicks away from playing a game, at any time, on any screen.
WJ: You used to trade rate securities at Bank of America, now you run a Y Combinator-backed mobile technology startup. Not your typical career transition. What’s the story?
AO: I went traveling for a couple of years after my time on the trading desk. While on the road, I noticed that everyone I met, everywhere, rich and poor, was starting to get a mobile phone. I realized that eventually, everyone would have one, and it would basically be a pocket computer. I believe that in our lifetime, every human, old and young, rich and small, will have a computer in their pocket, with them at all times, and that in our lifetime, we’ll see the first businesses built that reach 5 – 6 billion people. I’ve been pursuing that path ever since. Along the way, I’ve built several products, started 4 businesses, and YC was a fantastic opportunity to bring this vision to life.
WJ: You worked on a few different entrepreneurial projects before ultimately pursuing Flypad. What lessons or takeaways did you gain from those earlier experiences that have helped you achieve success with your present venture?
AO: We’re not yet successful. But we will be. Every single part of those earlier experiences had lessons I apply today. Some of the bigger ones:
– Starting a company is hard, so you should have a core insight or conviction that drives you, and a community of family/friends that supports you. It’s the only way you’ll weather the inevitable lows.
– Tell people about your idea. Stealth is usually not the way to go.
– Adapt. The only thing that you KNOW to be true today, is that in 12 months, your idea/execution will look much different from what it does today.
WJ: Mobile phones are rapidly changing the way we shop, play, learn, and interact with others. If you had to predict the future, what role do you think mobile phones will play in our lives 10 years from now?
AO: Every human will own one, and they will all be “connected”. Never in history has there been a way to reach every human in a personal manner. We’ve grown up with the internet being experienced on a PC-sized screen, so that’s the standard. This will flip in the next 5 years – the primary lens through which we view the internet, will be mobile.
WJ: The floor is yours. What advice do you have for all the aspiring entrepreneurs at Wharton?
AO: Don’t get caught up in what other people think – do what’s right for you. For me, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, but for someone else, you might choose another path. Just make sure that whatever path you choose, it’s right for you. Because if it’s not, you’ll only have yourself to blame.
Good luck and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help in any way. I might be busy, but my door’s always open.