Today, we’re talking to about.me advisor and COO of ONE, Cory Levy. As the first in our Deskie series, we’ll be talking to him about everything he does, plus what his desk says about him and his personality. We were lucky enough to stop by his office in San Francisco, meet his team, snap a few photos of his #deskie, and interview him on who he is and what he thinks of about.me.
So, let’s dive into the interview!
Q: First off, what is ONE?
A: ONE is a phone application that brings people who are close in proximity, personality, and character, together. Whether you are at a party, concert, classroom, or library, the app notifies you when you’re right next to people you should meet.
Q: That sounds cool! How did you end up working on ONE?
A: In high school, I did short internships at Nutshell Mail, Founders Fund, DFJ Mercury, Techstars and Union Square Ventures. When I was a senior in high school, the University of Illinois asked me to talk about entrepreneurship to their engineering students. That’s when I was introduced to Illinois’ poster child engineer, Michael Callahan. We sat down and chatted for hours. We hit it off. At the time, Michael was working on The Audeo (technology that enabled the world’s first voiceless cell phone call). He introduced me to a new project he was considering. This side project of his was ONE. He told me the inspiration for it, and I was sold. I had had so many experiences of the problem ONE is trying to solve, and it became clearer on my first day at the University of Illinois. I was surrounded by so many people with no information about them. At ONE, we are trying to turn serendipity into a science and give you more information about the people around you. We started formally working together about a year after we met, my freshman year of college. At the end of freshman year, we raised a seed round of financing. Tony Conrad was one of our first investors.
Q: How does about.me help you tell your story?
A: I signed up for about.me shortly after launch. I want to control my web presence – not let Google do it for me. It’s always been in my email signature, and I absolutely love it!
Q: At ONE you’re focusing a lot on college students so you know the demographic well. Why do you think Backstory is good for university students? What’s one way you can see them using it?
A: It’s an efficient way to tell people who you are and what you’re looking for. It’s a new, visually pleasing version of a resume. If you are applying to a position at ONE, send us your about.me page, not your resume.
Q: About your desk, how does the tennis ball characterize or say something about you and your office space?
A: My desk is pretty simple. We have a big conference-style table where our whole team works around. We all sit together and work.
The tennis or soccer ball occasionally hangs around my desk. I enjoy playing both. I play tennis every week with my roommate who played college tennis, or with Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp (fellow Illini)! We also have a small dog named Neon in the office who enjoys the tennis and soccer balls when they aren’t in use.
A: Your online presence is worth an investment of your time. I have had many introductions and interactions on about.me. I encourage anyone reading this to contact me and say what’s up. Feel free to ask me any questions related to entrepreneurship, startups, or technology.
Q: Which are your 3 Favorite about.me pages and why?
Michael Callahan – Awesome picture, and he’s my co-founder.
Tony Conrad – Without Tony and team, we wouldn’t be talking.
Alex Bass– Known Alex for years. He’s super talented, and an awesome person to work with.