We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There are many reasons why people choose to take risks. Sometimes it’s from passion, sometimes it’s out of desperation, and sometimes it’s just for fun. The most important rule I try to follow is that all risks should be calculated to a certain extent. Whether that’s starting a business, gambling at a casino, or investing in cryptocurrencies/equities, there should be a certain point that you’re willing to walk away.
If it’s time, set 2-3 different thresholds and hold yourself accountable. Maybe it’s quitting your full-time job to create a startup and you want to give it 12 months before looking at other options. If you’ve made good progress in those 12 months but aren’t quite where you wanted to be – is that progress justified to extend your timeline to 18 months? 24 months?
If it’s money, how much are you willing to put in/borrow to achieve your vision? Is it your own money or families’/friends money that you’re risking? Entrepreneurs are risk takers and many times more often than not the original vision isn’t successful. It’s how well they’re able to push through the risks and if they fail, learn from it and be courageous enough to continue to take them.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Roamli helps organizations and companies create engaging experiences for any audience. We initially began as a consumer-app but realized quickly that there was a need for groups to develop immersive experiences especially in the wake of Covid. We have thousands of hidden gems and sights around the world that organizations can use to create their own scavenger hunts, walking tours, contests, and more.
We spent endless hours cataloging these “Challenges” in each city, getting the exact coordinates right to create a perfect user experience. We visited these locations to take photos as part of our approval process since next year we’ll be launching our “Roamli Rewards” platform which allows users to spend their points on gift cards, discounts, and more at businesses around the world.
There have never been more options than there are today for people looking for things to do. Imagine you’re just searching for something to watch on your favorite streaming service, you could spend hours scrolling through content before finally settling on something to actually enjoy. Our vision for Roamli is to allow people to instantly find amazing things nearby, and get exploring without having to dig through countless travel sites or blogs.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is probably one of our favorite questions since we’ve spent the past few years researching amazing things in cities around the world. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Balboa Park is at the top of our list – from historic buildings like the California Tower to tucked away areas like the International Cottages, you can easily spend a full day walking around the entire park.
For those that like to let their imagination’s run, San Diego also has some of the most haunted sights in the country including the Whaley House, Horton Grand Hotel, and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse. Many of these sights are free to check out and can be found scattered throughout the city/region.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Co-Founder, Bane Srdjevic has been there since the beginning when we started Roamli and our other businesses. We conceptualized Roamli during a winter trip with another friend from college in Edinburgh and Dublin back in 2017.
Our friend came down with pneumonia and was essentially quarantined in our AirBNB for the last 3 days of our trip. While he was on antibiotics and recovering well, he was also our de-facto tour guide and had planned out a bunch of sights to explore. What started as an idea walking throughout the streets of Dublin quickly grew as we registered the Roamli.com domain that evening and began the software development work once we got back to the U.S. Bane leads our technology team and wrote tens of thousands of lines of code himself to get Roamli to where it is today.
“Roamli 4 Image” is by Leslie Yu.