On Episode 12 of the Agents of Innovation podcast, we were joined by German Espitia, a 23-year old Colombian who has been taking some temporary time off of finishing his marketing degree at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami to continue with his entrepreneurial activities. When we caught up to him, German was in his home country of Colombia, working on some of the web apps he is developing and updating.
One of those apps is Habit Streaks, billed as the “best habit tracker to keep you motivated and accountable towards your goals.” This app allows you to put together any number of activities you want to engage in on a regular basis. Exercise? Reading? Flossing? Whatever it is you want to keep up with, you can set goals for yourself and check the stars every time you complete a habit. The app congratulates you, allows you to set reminders, and gives you stats on your progress, including a calendar that shows you the number of times you completed those habits in the past month. To date, users have created over 49,000 unique habits – that’s 49,000 different activities!
German came up with the idea for this app while doing a study abroad in Tianjin, China through his school, FIU. He has also created other apps, including a fun one called Animal Selfie – he has since sold that app to focus on Habit Streaks.
German did not take the conventional route towards his current career. Most of what he learned about web app development came outside the traditional classroom, through independent studying and reading. He has also learned a lot through the website teamtreehouse.com.
He began building websites at the age of 19, shortly after he arrived at college. And he has been able to find teams of people to work with him through freelance.com, which is a website that allows you to hire team members. He worked with three different teams on Habit Streaks. He hired a designer, two developers, and a project manager.
“I wanted to build a digital product that people could use and find useful,” said Espitia. He had a number of failed projects, but they all got him to where he is now, where he is finding much success with Habit Streaks, which has 1500 active weekly users.
While German has benefitted from his time at FIU, which gave him the opportunity to study abroad, he has spent less time focused on his marketing degree and more time focused on programming.
“I’ve had a lot of debates or discussion with a lot of people of whether college is the right thing,” said Espitia. Ultimately he says had he had the opportunity to do things differently, he would have at least picked a different major. But his experiences in college has introduced him to a number of people and allowed him to go abroad to places like China.
For more on German Espitia, follow him on twitter @Espitia7 or find out more about his main product at HabitStreaks.com. And don’t forget to tune into his interview on Episode 12 of the Agents of Innovation podcast.