Amir Aghaei is a young successful Iranian-American entrepreneur. Graduating with two engineering bachelors from the University of California, Irvine, Amir Aghaei pursued his career in mobile app development and worked with many fortune 500 companies and giant tech leaders. Knowing the ins and outs of the social media industry, in 2018, Amir Aghaei founded People App with the mission of empowering people, not the greedy middlemen.
Please tell us a little about your background and your journey.
Well, my background is in software development and digital marketing and through years I have worked with many large, medium and small businesses and helped them with their digital marketing and software development needs. Every year I’m privileged to work with more than 500 people from different countries with diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages and races and this has helped me recognize some common global patterns and challenges.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Well I think through years I have seen most of the angles of the internet world and 2 years ago I stepped back and watched what’s happening on internet at a larger scale and came to this conclusion that internet is not really being fully utilized in favor of “the people” and that’s exactly why we founded People App. People App is created with 1 mission in mind, to empower people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the internet has not created opportunities for people, I’m saying in the big picture it has changed things in favor of companies rather than individuals. Platforms like Google have made it extremely hard and expensive for ordinary people to get found and seen. You need to have a website, you need to do SEO, you need to create content… Facebook and Instagram were easy and convenient for people but not anymore.
In the larger picture that I’m seeing, people are using the internet more and more and companies are providing services more and more; because when it comes to gaining visibility, companies obviously have more resources and therefore they have dominated the internet. When it comes to providing services, who do you think is squeezing the hell out of the internet? Of course, companies, because they can easily allocate a team for SEO, another team for social media management, another team for content creation for Youtube… and people simply can’t afford to do this on their own and therefore companies are getting stronger and people are getting weaker and weaker being left with their only option which is getting employed by companies rather than running their own businesses.
How much potential market share can you achieve in the next 3 years?
There are so many variables so no one really knows what’s going to happen in 3 years but we are hoping to have more than 1 billion users globally in less than 2 years.
What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?
I don’t read books, it’s too boring. I watch lots of TikTok videos and I have learned more useful things from TikTok than my university. The best thing I have learned in my life though is that theory is usually way off compared to reality.
Do you feel you have achieved everything you’ve ever wanted in life?
Yes and no. My needs and “wants” are evolving every day. Most things that I have achieved in life I never even wished for and most things that I wanted when I achieved them I realized I don’t like them.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
My best purchase so far is the investment I have done on the talents that I work with. I basically purchase their time and let them play and learn what they like and explore.
My worst purchase so far has been spending lot of money of People App’s website SEO. We have paid so many people for articles, backlinks, audits, etc without any results and that makes me think if I can’t make SEO happen then how other people and small businesses can?
If there was one thing you have to give up to get to an even better place than you are now, what would it be?
It would be more money and time.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
Working on People App and that’s not working. I really enjoy my time when I work with some of the smartest people in the world to build something that can connect people. What can be more fun?
What’s your favorite feature in People App?
So far it’s public geographic stories. We think we have revolutionised and unleashed social media stories. The main difference is that People App stories are public and as soon as you post a story on the map other users who are navigating that area will see it. Not only are you available to view people’s personal stories from all over the world while you explore the map, but you can also like and comment on your favourite ones too. By associating each story to a geographic location and also making the stories public we are unleashing a new and very powerful social media tool to be used by everyone to get seen without needing to have friends or even without needing to be searched.
What advice would you give to your younger self and to your fans who are reading this interview?
I just advise them to remember that most decisions in life and business are based on emotions not logic. I see that most people miss this, especially in business, and they focus on logic more than emotions and feelings.