A quick chat with Jonny Comparelli - CEO of Qriket, the app that lets you and your friends earn real money by scanning QR codes.
At twenty-one years of age, Jonny Comparelli has achieved what some people spend their lifetime trying to achieve: he has designed and built Qriket, an app which allows users to receive cash rewards for scanning and sharing QR codes. What started out as a college project quickly turned into a full-time position for Jonny and two of his friends, and with more than 72,000 active users, Qriket is moving from strength to strength and is showing no sign of slowing down. I had the privilege of speaking with Jonny Comparelli earlier, and he shared his insights on setting goals, respecting your colleagues, and the importance of family.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and the start-up story behind Qriket.
Jonny: My name is Jonny Comparelli – I’m 21 years old and from Toronto, Canada. In late 2009, while I was studying my first year of Economics at the University of Toronto, I began putting together the first ideas and concepts that would, around a year later, become Qriket. Around September of the following year, I made the big decision to leave school and focus on Qriket full-time alongside two of my great friends, Ilya Spekhov and Mark Muralla.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
Jonny: I am currently working on Qriket full-time.
Q: How many user are currently on this platform, and how do you plan to keep the numbers growing?
Jonny: To date, Qriket has grown to 72,000 active users and continues to grow every day. We haven’t yet undergone any substantial marketing efforts yet so I think generally, we’ve just kept our focus on providing an excellent user experience that is not only fun but accessible to just about everybody – I think that’s one of the big reasons we continue to grow every day.
Q: Please share a few tips and advice for first time entrepreneurs on how to bring new ideas to life.
Jonny: As a first time entrepreneur, I’ve learned that simply beginning and taking the first steps in the direction in which you’d hope to see your idea evolve is all it takes to bring a new one to life. That being said, being realistic with those ideas is also important. You need to be your own harshest critic but believe in your idea at the same time. The start-up experience has definitely taught me that a brilliant idea isn’t always a “eureka!” moment but rather comes from building and improving many simple and straightforward ideas too.
Q: What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew before launching Qriket?
Jonny: That nothing happens overnight! “There are no such thing as unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines.” – If you believe in what you’re doing, being ambitious, confident and excited should always follow, but I’ve learned not to expect results at the same speed the thought of them arises.
Q: What is one thing that you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?
Jonny: Listening and thinking. I couldn’t put into words how much I respect the people I work with, and they are a big part of growing and bettering myself on a day-to-day basis. Hearing everyone’s thoughts and ideas and allowing them to sink in and blend with my own always allows me to grasp a new perspectives on things. Really, I don’t think I’m growing as an “entrepreneur” so much as just growing as a person.
Q: What was the best entrepreneurial advice you have ever been given, and who gave you this advice?
Jonny: I’ve learned so much over the last few years that it’s hard to pinpoint the “best” advice I’ve ever been given, but since day one my father has taught and mentored me both in business and in my personal life and that’s definitely helped every step of the way.
Q: What is your definition of success?
Jonny: I think everyone has a different idea of what success means to them, but I believe happiness is always a common denominator. For me, and even though I have ambitions and goals I’d like to achieve in the future that would certainly constitute success – I still think being happy and appreciating the present is always the closest you can get to it, and that works out to be the most beneficial with everything you’re doing anyways.