Making the move… A year later

sketchperez | 12.26.2014

Last year I wrote about “making the move” to NYC. I talked about trying new things, meeting new people, and getting a change of scene. That was accomplished. Working for one of the coolest startups in NYC, appfigures, has definitely been an amazing experience. By my own definition, a startup is a small group of intelligent people coming together to solve a problem they all feel passionate about. Perhaps that may not hold true everywhere, but it surely does at appfigures. That made it all the more difficult when I recently made the decision to leave the team. After a year of working with this incredibly intelligent & talented team, I’ve been motivated to continue growing and investing in myself and my own brand. I’ve chosen to go back to school, take on consulting contracts, and pursue my own ventures.

Working at appfigures

When I was hired, the position called for a “do it all” designer, and that’s exactly what I was. With time, along side one of the cofounders, Oz Michaeli, we standardized the design language, created a structure, and set design principles from which all future decisions could derive. This type of thing is rare to find beyond a startup. Usually, you are put into an already structured environment and you have constraints to work with. Having absolutely no constraints can be a nightmare, and finding them is no walk in the park.

These challenges were faced head on, and because of it, it made me a better designer. The limits at a startup are only those put upon by ourselves. There are many issues that arise in startups, it is up to us to step up, and take action. With that, we’ll see things in ourselves that we didn’t even know we had.

Nothing motivated me more than the environment of great people I worked with. It was never a dull moment, and that is one thing I will miss the most. The thought of leaving my team behind was a huge barrier that I had to cross when making my decision to leave. Ultimately though, I had to continue exploring and moving forward.

Moving forward

All of the things aforementioned served as motivation for me to continue growing on my own path. I made the extremely difficult decision to leave the team to continue pursuing and developing my own brand. The next level of appfigures called for exclusive dedication on a huge part of new things with the company. I wasn’t ready to let go of my own exploration. I don’t know what the future holds for HelloMrPerez or the potential brands that may spawn from it, but what I do know is, I want to exhaust every opportunity I have to continue pushing it forward. Seeing the motivation and passion of Ariel Michaeli, Oz Michaeli, and the rest of the appfigures team has served as inspiration for me to find my own path.

I’ve recently booked my first huge contract as HelloMrPerez. In 2015 I will be working with NYCEDC, the government organization behind the “Made in NY”. This whole journey is extremely exciting. I couldn’t be happier for making the decision a year ago to “make the move,” and I couldn’t imagine not moving forward with all of this.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t hold yourself back
  • Continue exploring
  • Make hard decisions
  • Take Risks
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