Helping Baltimore locals create the perfect night out
Philip DiMuro is the CEO and co-founder of Loople. Loople is a free app for iPhone and Android that helps users find local drink and food specials. With Loople, users can create the atmosphere for their ideal night out by filtering restaurants and bars by drink types, seating availability, live music, and more. Philip came up with the seed of the idea while working for the Boston Beer Company, and launched the app last year with the help of his co-founder Dave Phelan. As of September 2016, Loople is only available in Baltimore, although the team plans to expand if the app proves successful.
Philip DiMuro spoke with citybizlist publisher Edwin Warfield for this interview.
EDWIN WARFIELD: You mentioned that you studied entrepreneurship in college. After starting a real company, do you believe that you can teach what it takes to successfully go through the experience you’ve had?
PHILIP DIMURO: I think it’s a great question—whether you really can teach entrepreneurship or you’re born with it. I think it’s a mix of both at different times. I think you can teach it by inspiring it. I think if you don’t have good role models growing up, or you can’t find mentors or resources for you to use, it’s hard to develop entrepreneurial qualities even if you have them. Then, conversely, if you have entrepreneurial traits naturally but you’re not willing to develop them, you are never going to be the fullest of an entrepreneur you can be. One common trait that I recognized after I had fully quit my job and we were doing this for three months and we were getting new downloads, but we weren’t getting weekly active users on Loople—or daily actives—we knew something was wrong. That was the point in time when I realized I was just way too close to the project and when I stepped back and really thought about it and I surveyed our users, something as common as not the fact that we didn’t have a list to view on the application was keeping 75% of our users from ever opening us up again. I went into that with my mentality of “I think I know the product—people are going to want to map you” and I couldn’t have been more wrong and we were willing to adjust that. By being able to recognize that as an entrepreneur you are constantly wrong and if you can adapt quickly enough, that’s the way you will survive. I think that’s a trait that I’ve had to develop more and more in the last few years since this, fully.
Q. Did you have entrepreneurial role models of your own growing up?
A. My grandfather was a lead entrepreneur in the family, but no one from the generation directly above me was. My parents were both teachers. They were excellent role models for me and taught me the value of just education and that’s not in the normal set of going to school every day and going to college—that was much more on being willing to learn in every aspect from everyone out there. I credit a lot of my openness to learn to my parents. I was always the kid that I felt like was trying to tag along with other kids that were older than me—or my brother for example—and trying to act older than my age sometimes was how I saw what it was like to be more of a leader in the community. I also credit my parents by allowing me to go to some leadership camps when I was younger. Some of them were free, some of them cost a little bit of money, and they were incredible. I highly recommend anyone to encourage high schoolers to go these things like Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week.
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