Allan Maman is a junior in High School, serial entrepreneur who was featured in Forbes, and has a massive passion for innovation.
Allan is a successful entrepreneur who is proudly known for creating an application that prevents texting and driving. He is currently working on an anonymous posting application called "Nito".
In this interview, Allan expresses his thoughts as a young entrepreneur who sits in class thinking how he could change the world. When you are done absorbing Allan's insights, be sure to give him a follow him on Twitter - this guy is going places.
What do you typically tell people when they ask you what you do?
When people ask me what I do, I typically will say that I run my company & work on a few other things. Then, I will usually introduce myself as an entrepreneur. I explain how I’ve made apps that have saved lives and I’m working on a few new things.
If it's someone like a family friend or a kid, I’ll usually try to keep everything low key. I don’t think that I’ve built enough to a point where I can spend the next 30 or so minutes talking about it.
Have you encountered troubles or mishaps when starting Nito & Safe Ride? How did you fix them?
I have always encountered troubles with both apps. For Safe Ride, I had to deal with speaking to developers in another timezone & apple blocking 3rd party messaging. These weren’t huge troubles but a bit annoying. With Nito, I had to deal with things like school.
It was pretty annoying and hard in school to deal with creating the application while paying attention in class. Luckily, my co-founder Cooper Weiss and I were placed in the same 2nd period free. This allowed us to work on creating more design & making the overall application better.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? Is there something you are most proud of?
I mostly enjoy being able to work for myself and knowing that I am making a positive impact in the world. Entrepreneurship is the solution to global issues and just knowing that really helps me. I also enjoy the freedom and money that comes from it.
In America, money does equate to freedom. Moreover, there is an indescribable feeling being able to help people out through charities or just personal donations. Sadly, that cannot be achieved without the use of money.
"'Entrepreneurship is the solution to global issues.'
What is the most exciting moment of your entrepreneurial journey?
The most exciting moment of my journey would be to look into the future. I’m a kid that worries a lot about life & what my outcome would be.
I can already safely say that I will be miserable sitting at a desk job working for someone else if I don’t act on my own. This allows me to get excited for my future and know that if I keep on working hard, good things will follow.
What does your day-in, day-out look like? Is there any specific habit that has helped you become a better person?
My day in day out is pretty similar each day. For the summer, I get up at around 5 and head over to the gym. I workout then go to my office in the city where I work for the day. Head home a bit later and try to get all my work finished up there.
For a school day, I typically wake up at 6:30, get to school and dread being there :). I typically just stay on my phone/laptop working rather than paying attention to class. I head home, take a few calls then call it a night.
A specific habit that has helped me become a better person is that when you wake up, try to wake up with positive thoughts. It’s pretty annoying waking up early in the morning but if you wake up having a negative mindset, your day and your actions will be negative.
Who has been your greatest influencer along your entrepreneurial journey? How did they shape Nito & Safe Ride?
My greatest influencer would be Elon Musk. He’s just a great, genuine guy and I strive to be like him everyday. It’s amazing the things that he has done and is planning on doing. Not to mention, how sometimes people portray him and his companies in a bad way yet he is able to move along.
He shaped Safe Ride in a few ways. Safe Ride was an app that I created because I didn’t see any other better product out there. This would also help others by not texting and driving. A famous quote that I enjoy that Musk said is “ If something is important enough, you should try. Even if the outcome is failure.”
How do you balance life and work to remain connected and available for your loved ones? Any advice for me?
I currently don’t really balance it which is pretty bad. Most of the time, I enjoy being alone and I don’t really have any people that are close to me. If I have work to do, I will not stop working on that no matter what else is happening. I kind of tell myself “Listen man, if you work your ass off right now, you will have more time in life to do what you want to do.”
The other problem is that I would consider myself extra-motivated. For example, if I’m hanging out with my friends and I see a nice car pass I always ask myself “What are they doing that I’m not doing?”. Then the hustle turns on and I get right back on track.
So I wouldn’t recommend something like that, but I won’t give advice that I’m not taking.
Do you think being an entrepreneur has turned you into a better person? If so, how?
Absolutely. Being an entrepreneur has opened my mind to endless opportunities. It’s shown me that it’s always good to help people by solving problems.
Not only that, but it gives me a big hope for my future. Every day I stress about not being happy with my life and I know that helping people & making money will make myself happier than working at a desk job.
What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in New York today? Where should they start?
Generally speaking, they should start looking at how everything would work out. Things like cost, time and value should all be considered. Since this question is a big vague, it kinda depends on what you want to build.
Since I’m familiar with building apps, here is what I do. When I have the idea, I like to let it sit for a while. I want to make sure that I'm not just hyping it myself and that the idea is good. Then I will start writing out a google document of the layout and its exact purpose.
After that, I would contact a few developers to get a few quotes and kinda decide where to go. If it's a great app you can bring it to raise some money to help with things like marketing and really getting it to grow.