Take a peek into the mind of CEO and founder of Spots, Yanni Barghouty. Being an avid traveler himself, Yanni theorized that experiencing the world while the mind is still moldable is paramount in shaping one’s character and view of life. College is a time for individuals to find their place in the world, and Yanni envisioned the utility of an app that could provide students with affordable travel opportunities as well as insight into the people and events that define a city. He took this idea, gathered the brightest minds he knew, and developed Spots.
Emma: Okay, first we’re gonna start with overrated vs. underrated. Tide Pods
Yanni: I mean they look pretty cool, pretty squishy, very useful, I never tried to eat them, but I see why people have.
Yanni: Overrated. Just cause it’s a bunch of people looking at a camera with like this bland background not smiling.
Yanni: Overrated, unless its pita bread.
Emma: Why Pita bread?
Yanni: Pita bread is very good, very light, not too heavy.
Yanni: Pickles are underrated. See, I used to hate them, but then i actually tried them with the sandwiches whenever they’d give you it, not just on the side…
Emma: Like Chick-fil-a sandwiches?
Yanni: Like Chick-fil-a sandwiches and, you know, deli sandwiches, and it actually goes really well on most sandwiches.
Emma: Your middle school self
Yanni: Overrated, I was an asshole.
Emma: Alright, you’re on death row – choose your last meal.
Yanni: Crab…. King crab.
Emma: Is that all? Just a bunch?
Yanni: A lotta king crab.
Yanni: Yeah, yeah butter
Emma: If you could choose a trait – both physical and personality – that you don’t have that you could click a button and immediately have what would they be?
Yanni: uhh, that’s hard. Let me think, give me a second. Does like… energy count for a physical trait?
Emma: Uh, kinda boring, but sure.
Yanni: Ugh I don’t have any physical traits that… Uhhh –
Emma: “Oh, yeah. I think I’m so perfect.”
Yanni: I guess I could be more in shape. That would be nice… and for personality trait, definitely more energy.. Wait don’t say that, that’s bad for a CEO.
Emma: I’m definitely putting that in, but I want your real answer too.
Yanni: uhhhh, I guess, I guess I could be more compassionate.
Emma: Now you have to ask me a question.
Yanni: How do you feel about working in my office? Kidding. Umm, who’s your least favorite friend in your friend group?
Emma: God nooo!
Yanni: It’s up to you to answer!
Emma: I’m not doing that. I’m not doing that! I don’t have one… I don’t have friends. Okay, next question. A lion walks into this room on its hind legs, wearing a suit. What does it say? And why is it here?
Yanni: “Man you guys should check out my portfolio.” Because of the ING lion… God, that’s the first thing I thought of.
Emma: Perfect! If you had to narrow your life down to one moment that changed the way you thought or experienced life… what would it be?
Yanni: Damn, that’s personal. I’m gonna give you a bullshit answer because that’s too personal. I guess when I started the company [Spots]. That’s a good answer for a CEO.
Emma: How many slices of pizza could fit in this room?
Yanni: In this room? One million.
Emma: Describe your favorite color to someone who’s never been able to see.
Yanni: Uh, it tastes like orange.
Emma: When do you feel most comfortable?
Yanni: Explaining things to people.
Emma: If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Yanni: A bird because I like flying, but not in a metaphorical way… I just like flying.
Emma: What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends?
Emma: What cartoon character do you identify the most with?
Yanni: I don’t really watch cartoons… Umm, Snoopy. Because I like to sleep, and I have a bird.