FOMO: There’s an app for that!
What is NomoFomo?
NomoFomo is a company created by two Remote Year participants — Jeffrey Walsh (Remote Year’s inaugural program) and Adelaida Diaz-Roa (Remote Year Battuta). NomoFomo is a new way to socially connect you and your friends to share experiences, trips and your day to day travels. Our company looks to connect you and your friends to allow you to see where they are, what trips they have coming up, who will be in the next city you plan to visit or even plan a trip with them. It is essentially your social planner for everything and anything travel related. This is a true way to make your journeys more memorable and let the people who want to experience life with or through you be a part of your journey no matter where they are.
We believe this platform will truly change the way we plan travel, share memories and more importantly keep in touch with our friends around the world. As you can see, we are not only excited about our new business venture but even more excited about finishing it so we can use it ourselves!
We also are excited because this is something that was not only brought about because of our connection through Remote Year but was created 100% with Remote Year in mind. As we consider ourselves the Remote Year guinea pigs, both being a member on one of the first two programs, we are looking at how we can enhance the Remote Year experience for both active participants and alumni.
Tell us about the team.
I, Jeff, a RYOG, had just finished Remote Year and I decided to continue my Remote experience in Colombia. Through the Remote Nation Network I was introduced to Adelaida, from Remote Year Battuta, on my first weekend in Bogota. She unfortunately broke her foot and had to get surgery which meant a 3 month break from Remote Year back home in Bogota.
Luckily, her hiatus from Remote Year lead to us meeting and eventually founding Nomo FOMO. Within the first few days of meeting we instantly got along and started talking about how great Remote Year is. We reminisced over the fun of the side trips we have taken, the group dynamics and started to look at what life is like after the program ends.
One night, over a dinner and some sangria, we started to talk about how amazing it would be if there was a platform that allowed us to see where everyone is in our group (remember we have trouble staying in one place for more than a month), where they will be going to next and to plan trips together. The conversation continued that night over 3 more bottles of wine in which we discussed and outlined features we would like to see on a platform to continue an enhanced version of the lifestyle we have become accustomed to on Remote Year.
With a little nudge from the wine, we made one of the craziest but best decisions you can make; the decision to not wait for it to be made but to make it ourselves! And so Nomo FOMO was born.
We came up with a handful of features, mock ups and ideas of what we wanted but realized we were not the two to build it.
Once we sobered up a little and we came up with a handful of features, mock ups and ideas of what we wanted we realized we needed someone with actual coding skills. After some interviews with people from our network we decided to reach out to Remote Nation through Slack to see if we could find someone who not only would understand the lifestyle but would be passionate about the project. This is how we found our amazing developer, Rick from Magellan, who instantly came on board with ideas and feedback which validated our decision to keep the project in the Remote Year family!
What are the benefits of building a remote team stemming from Remote Nation?
The nice part of a remote team stemmed from Remote Nation is that everyone has the same mentality regarding working hours as well as the lifestyle we want. It is hard to bring someone on a team from a corporate environment and explain to them that the call tomorrow had to be moved because you have a pickup basketball game or your mom is visiting and cooking dinner for the group. With people from the Remote Nation they understand that life gets in the way and you aren’t always working a 9–5. It is built off a mutual respect for each other’s time and the ability to be flexible when it is possible for everyone.
Another major benefit is that people from Remote Nation typically want to work on something they are passionate about and not take on projects simply to have work. This is true with the Nomo FOMO team, where each person has a drive to complete the current release and is excited to continue to grow the platform. Every time we talk we see new areas to improve, new areas to grow and it is hard to not share this excitement when we talk about it with other people.
What have been some obstacles of launching an app remotely?
That is a hard one. It would have to be between 1) do I have to wear a shirt today to the meeting or 2) How do I convert 11 am Eastern to both Belgrade and Thailand local time? We realized our team is not the best at either laundry or math so we have to work on that but guess it really isn’t a remote problem.
But in all honesty, because technology has made meeting remote as productive as meeting face to face we have not ran into many obstacles. The biggest issue we thought we would have is dealing with the ever changing time differences but we have all been flexible and able to make it work.
I think the biggest thing that most people concern themselves with is the 9–5 work hours that most companies work on. Being that we are not held to the 9–5 hours where we are located, this gives us the flexibility to meet at night, early in the morning or even during a break in our 9–5 job. Launching an app remotely gives you low overhead and the ability to work as many or as few hours as you need to meet the timelines that are set.
How do you stay focused and stick to deadlines?
The great thing about this project is that it wasn’t a task given to us but rather something we created. This is a company we’re passionate about so anytime we have time to work on it, or have anything to do related to Nomo FOMO we are more than happy to get it completed quickly. We don’t typically have to set a deadline for most tasks as they typically get done within the week but anything that will take more time, we review weekly and evaluate if we are still on track to complete per our original date. We hold each other accountable and being that this is a passion for us all we are responsive to the time frame that is set and communicate whenever we are not able to meet the deliverables.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs on Remote Year?
- Get a business partner. Starting a business has its ups and downs, and it’s always good to have support during those down times that is on the same team with the same goals. It’s also great for accountability and getting things done, especially if you’re a master of procrastination. If you plan a meeting with your partner to work on a task, you will not only be able to hold each other accountable but typically build off each other and get 10x more done together rather than alone. With that said, make sure you pick a business partner you enjoy spending time with and trust. Starting a business takes time and a lot of work, so make sure you and your partner have the same goals in mind for the company as well as similar business ethics. This is pretty much like a marriage and the business is like your baby.
- You should always get a contract signed upfront, even if it’s just an email or a paper at the beginning. Most contracts only need to contain two elements to be legally valid: both parties signatures and an exchange of goods or services (you’re work for a percentage of the company). This will help with any simple disputes down the road and help maintain civility between friends/business partners. Also, the back of a bar napkin is probably not the best place to write the contract as any proof of intoxication or not being in your right mind can nullify the contract in court. Don’t take that as drinking doesn’t enhance creativity! Just remember to sign the contracts sober and in a more legal form.
- Read books about business or biographies of successful business owners. These books are written by some of the brightest minds in business who have made mistakes You should learn from their mistakes instead of recreating them. You can take Sam Walton (started Walmart) as an example. He didn’t read his lease on their first store he opened and when the lease ended 5 years later, the owner had the right to keep the store, the name and all the assets that were associated with it. Sam lost it all because of a simple mistake of not reading the lease. He had to start from scratch again after that; lesson learned for him and anyone who read his book. Also, there are a lot of good points that are built on their successes that you can learn great tips from. It is a few hours out of your life to hopefully save you a few years of mistakes.
- And lastly… just go for it! There will always be a million reasons why not to do it and excuses will keep piling up. Whether it is the fear of failure, money, time or just that it is Tuesday, if it is something you are passionate about you should go for it and make it happen. There are resources available to help get funding (investors, loans, partners), support groups (#startupnation) and even ways to outsource some of the daily tasks so we can focus on our passion (upwork). Besides, who said this would be easy! If you are truly passionate about it you won’t see this as work.
- Finally….Remember, even a failure isn’t a failure… it’s just a learning experience!
How can the Remote Nation support Nomo Fomo?
We are very excited to be launching our Beta version around mid December or early January! While we are being very selective to the general public, being that you are either a fan of Remote Year or already part of the AMAZING Remote Nation, we know you fit the mold and want to give you exclusive access to sign up for early access. All we ask is that as you test it out, we want your honest feedback. We have tried to think of every possible use case for this platform but we are only three people and you are many! We hope that while great minds think alike they can also bring some additional ideas!
Also, while you are waiting to for Beta to be released you can like us on Facebook and Instagram. This will let you keep up with what we are doing as well as any other updates that we want to pass out to the Nation.