Balancing and taking it day by day are two concepts that are instrumental in the life and work of Babatunde “Tunde” Ogunfemi.
It was between balancing work and side projects that Ogunfemi became the Co-Founder of Channels, after creating the location-based group chat application that is a one-stop shop for posting, finding and chatting anonymously along with his roommate.
“My roommate and I were bored and felt like we were inside too much. We knew there were a lot of things to do, but wondered about, how do you know where to go to connect with others. We were bored on a Saturday afternoon and thought let’s make something,” Ogunfemi said.
Within two weeks they had their first iteration of Channels and it was called WAM an acronym for Who’s Around Me. In about a month and a half they had a Android and iOS app.
“The app wasn’t as intuitive as we wanted. There was no way to interact in the app. We wanted to include chat and we redesigned the app around chat,” Ogunfemi said.
Once, the app was relaunched as Channels it focused on anonymous location based group chats.
“The idea stemmed from finding events or activities by their tags, and popularity which is based on seeing clusters of people in that area. We want (channels) to be a place where you can explore a new area and not have to worry about sharing personal information. We want to make it’s straightforward and useful,” Ogunfemi said.
When every user agreement you sign makes you more and more aware of the data you’re giving away, the channels app has removed the privacy barrier.
“We just want to give people an easy way, with no hidden schemes and with actual anonymity, to connect and share with friends and people of similar interests around the world. It’s important because everyone is so worried these days about their privacy but want more ways to connect with people for various reasons without giving up this privacy,” Ogunfemi said.
The Scotch Plains, New Jersey native has juggled work with InnerCircle and Government Contracting, while he has pursued entrepreneurship and describes it as the American dream, but passion is a better motivation than money.
“Creating a start up is the new American Dream, so everyone wants to start one which is great, but I do believe that success only comes long term to those who are passionate about what they're building, so you'll only be successful with your start up if you have something you’re passionate about, rather than trying to come up with a problem just to create a start up and get rich,” Ogunfemi said.
He has worked to maintain balance between work and play throughout his everyday hustle.
“I generally wake up around 8, reply to some emails, head to my 9-5 job, return home to work on either a personal project, client project or part time job work until 8:30pm, head to my Kung-Fu class until 10, return home to continue working most likely or if it’s an easier day will then relax with some games, tv or working on some music, then head to bed,” Ogunfemi said.
When he’s not working and practicing martial arts, Ogunfemi spends his time working as a catalyst to help others.
“I more so just make myself available to those I already know or meet in anyway I can help, and when I'm approached with something I have no expertise in I still make sure to give an effective response,” Ogunfemi said.
Motivated by the quote, “If you’re going to start something you might as well finish it.” Ogunfemi is focused on his name not being associated with things going unfinished.
“I just have never liked giving up on anything so believe I should at least finish something rather than quitting it, regardless of the outcome because there's only one outcome possible if you quit, but multiple if you don't,” Ogunfemi said.
He said, that in his project experience there’s nothing worse than a project failing or losing it’s luster before it’s had an opportunity to see the light of day.
“I have heard many ideas and been a part of a few group projects that as a group we end either before its had a chance to shine, immediately after an apparent failure or worse just the enthusiasm declining over time causing the project to just fall off and never get completed. In many of these cases, you then hear about a successful project down the line that’s similar or exactly the same idea or project as what we worked on, and then realize you should have completed it but is now too late or are too far gone and that just adds another regret, so in the end it’s about finishing what you start so you at least know you gave a real effort,” Ogunfemi said.