Scooter Taylor (center), cofounder of LookLive, working out of the team's garage in their shared home during their time at Y Combinator.
My name is... Scooter Taylor.
My company is… Looklive, a platform that helps you discover what your favorite celebrity or influencer is wearing—and find an affordable alternative. It's like having a personal stylist in your pocket.
It launched in… summer of 2016.
My career in a past life was… I was a student and intern at Yik Yak and Jopwell for a little over a year before co-founding Looklive. I joined Yik Yak when there were only 15 people working there, and I was with them when they reached 80 employees; it was great to see a company go through rapid growth like that. It's been a swift transition from intern to startup cofounder, but I'm embracing it.
My first career aspiration was… to live in Hawaii and be a brain surgeon. Change of plans.
I made my very first dollar… as a Taekwondo instructor at 13. I was an assistant instructor, teaching four and five year olds martial arts that entire summer.
My ideal day is… knowing that there isn’t one. When working on a startup, you have to be flexible to shift your attention to things that may come up unexpectedly. If I can go to bed feeling good about the progress we made that day, then I consider that a good day.
My typical day is… I get to the office around 9am, grab a Nutrigrain bar from the kitchen and catch up with Kalu, my cofounder. We like to talk about our goals for the day and where we both might need help. We're starting to grow our team, so it's new that I get to talk through problems with other people. For so long, it was just Kalu and myself bouncing ideas off one another. We'll go until about 6 or 7 before breaking for dinner. I like to rest my mind for a few hours after that. Then I pick up my laptop around 10:00pm and prep for the next day until around midnight. I think I'll look back on this period of my life in ten years and be proud of the work I put in.
Right when I wake up… I check email, Twitter, and Instagram. I also read Seth Godin's daily blog, which I recommend to anyone interested in business, and I get my Shine Text every morning at 9:30am. That's a good source of motivation to start the day.
Right before I go to bed… I decompress by talking to my roommate, who also happens to be my cousin. We talk about work and Looklive for a few minutes, but he's good at getting me lost on other topics and taking my mind off the grind.
It brings out my best... when I've devoted enough attention to the important tasks of the day. If I'm procrastinating and my mind is another place, it shows.
I’m motivated by… the emails and tweets we get from people who use Looklive. When we get emails from men in Germany or women in Italy telling us how we helped them find the clothes they saw on TV or on their favorite celebrity, it’s pretty special. It reminds us that we're actually making something that people want.
My career hero is... Steve Jobs. Hands down. He helped change the way we look at the world.
I’m worst at... saying no. I used to be pretty bad at overcommitting, but I’m getting better.
I’m currently excited about... the fact that Looklive is growing! More and more people are starting to hear about us and support what we're doing. We're still very early on this journey, but to see how many people this product can touch is exciting and encouraging, and we’re focused on bridging the gap between the content being produced and the commerce opportunities it provides.
My biggest entrepreneurial leap of faith was... moving out to Silicon Valley to work on Looklive last summer. It all happened so quickly. I remember calling my mom saying, "Hey, I got this opportunity, but I'm gonna have to leave in 2 weeks. Trust me, it's gonna be lit."
My rock-bottom moment was... when I tried breaking the Guinness Book World Record for the World's Largest Water Balloon Fight. 12,000 college students, 300,000 water balloons. Each student was to donate $5 to raise $60,000 to build clean water wells in sub-Saharan Africa. We worked on it all school year, and the campaign picked up so much momentum. Then, two months before the event, our location backed out due to fear that they couldn’t handle the traffic. We had to postpone the entire event. I cried a lot. A month later, we raised a couple thousand dollars from those same college students that I thought hated me for not having the event. When it gets tough, I think about the end goal, and understand that's what matters most.
My biggest triumph was... completing the accelerator program Y Combinator last summer. Our team lived in a house together for 4.5 months working nonstop. It was a test of commitment and teamwork to get us where we are today.
The biggest question I haven’t yet answered is... What would make you want to open Looklive every day? It's phenomenal how many of us open Instagram, close it, open Snapchat, close it, open Twitter, close it, and then go back and open Instagram out of pure habit. We're constantly trying to understand how to get Looklive into that rotation.
I define success as… leaving a positive impact on the environment around you. I want to be an example for the next group of young entrepreneurs coming behind me: Whether they're from Memphis, studying at Morehouse (where I went to school), or reading this article, I want people to say, “Because Scooter did it, I can do it.” My mentors have set that example for me and have lit sparks in me to keep pushing forward boldly, and I want to do the same for others.
If you’re thinking about starting your own company, I dare you to remember… that youthful excitement you had in the beginning! As you begin to build, that feeling can get buried. You have to keep it handy.
I dare you to forget… the mistakes. Even though Kobe missed a game winner the night before, he can't be scared to take the same shot the next night. The team needs him. Shake off the mistakes, and keep moving forward.
My best advice is… understand that everything you need is around you. People want to help people who are boldly going after their dreams.