Well-traveled, new to Fort Lauderdale, and currently working for a very unique company, get to know one of our newest members, Cesar!
You are one of GP’s newest members. Can you tell us what kind of work you are doing here?
I work at an edtech software startup called Appsembler. Appsembler empowers organizations to deliver better online learning experiences to their employees, customers, partners, and students with one, easy-to-use platform. I serve as the VP of Marketing – my role is to help craft Appsembler’s narrative, scale the marketing team, and drive new customer acquisition and existing customer retention. At the present moment, we’re 18 team members total — and we’re fully distributed around the world. Also…we’re hiring!
You recently left a larger company to join a tech startup. Can you give us the inside scoop on the move and transition?
I recently moved from Andela, a Series B startup based in NYC and Africa, to Appsembler, a bootstrapped startup that is globally distributed. The transition has been a blast, and the new role aligns with what I enjoy most — building early stage teams from the ground up, solving complex problems, testing and learning, and defining a path where none has been forged yet. Also, I’m super passionate about edtech and the opportunity to transform how people approach online learning, and joining the Appsembler team was the perfect opportunity to pursue that.
Thus far, what’s the most challenging part about your work?
We’re a lean team moving extremely fast, and there’s so much to do. The most challenging part is being able to identify what is absolutely essential, and then focusing your energy and resources on that. With limited time and resources at an early stage startup, you can’t do it all. You have to make tradeoffs and sometimes, very difficult decisions with little information.
And the most rewarding part?
Seeing our team learn, iterate and grow everyday. The Appsembler team is moving at a million miles per hour, and we’ve got each others’ backs, and we’re always finding new ways to improve with each day.
Any productivity tips or secrets you are willing to share?
To be productive, I try to stick to a few of my own rules such as turning off Slack notifications on my computer and phone. I’m pretty notorious at that. I avoid morning meetings and block those periods of time off to get my best work done. Other “secrets” — I never eat lunch in front of my computer to remind myself that life exists outside of my laptop. I work out a few times and try to squeeze in a bit of sun each to keep my mood and energy levels high. Those small things make all the difference for me.
What do you wish more people knew about you?
Traveling is one of my greatest loves in life. For example, in 2015 I quit a job that I loved, booked a one-way ticket to Bangkok, and traveled solo without a plan for 6 months around SE Asia with nothing but my backpack and rock climbing shoes. To me, that was the ultimate challenge, a dream come true, and in my opinion the greatest form of education. So if you’ve got the travel bug, love exploring new places, or want to do something like that as well… let’s talk 🙂
I’m a super open-minded person that loves to meet people, toss ideas, and share stuff in general. Also, I love good food but suck at cooking, so feel free to shoot over any recommendations for local eats!
I know you recently moved from New York down to Fort Lauderdale. What brought you here, what were your first impressions, and do you think you’re here for the long haul?
My wife and I relocated from NYC for her new job – she recently started working at one of the big tech startups out here, while I’m working remotely for Appsembler. Needless to say, it’s a big change for us – especially for me. I used to commute by walking 25 mins each way to my company’s office in downtown Manhattan. Now, I don’t have a commute at all!
To be honest, my first impressions were mixed when we arrived here, as I felt a huge sense of FOMO. I lived in NYC for 8 years and worked there my whole career, and I believe that no other city quite matches New York’s culture, food, lifestyle, and vibe. That said, I’ve come to appreciate the terrific weather and more relaxed way of life (especially the lower levels of stress) out here in Fort Lauderdale. Also, I’ve discovered some local gems (General Provision being one of them) and have met some pretty awesome people already.
In terms of being here for the long haul, I have no idea. I’d like to be here at least a couple of years. A lot of it depends on where my wife’s career takes us. I’m a big proponent of a nomadic lifestyle, so who knows!
What’s your take on the coworking infrastructure? And more specifically General Provision?
Coming from NYC, I had already seen my fair share of coworking spaces and was a big fan of them. I love coworking spaces because they have the potential to bring together a bunch of like-minded individuals — people who know how to hustle and who care deeply about their craft — and create a real, vibrant community. That is something really cool. General Provision is a great example of that. I already sense the unique character of GP, the presence it has on the local area, and I’m psyched to be a part of it.
When you aren’t working hard at GP, where might we find you?
My biggest hobby is rock climbing, so you’ll usually find me sport climbing the walls at Coral Cliffs. I love the outdoors (although I hear the summers here are brutal), so you’ll often find me kayaking or standup paddleboarding during the weekend. Also, I love a good BBQ so I’m always down to grill up some food 🙂
Click below to learn more about the unique and groundbreaking work that Cesar’s company is doing!