Meet Mike Montero, co-founder and CTO of Resy. Founded just recently in 2014, Resy is a mobile restaurant reservations app. Mike graduated from CAS with a major in Computer Science and Math in 1996.
Mike was always interested in computers, but never thought anything would come of it. By age 13, he was already hacking away on his Commodore 64. Much later at college orientation, he hastily and anxiously declared his major as Computer Science, not realizing that he still had plenty of time to decide. Yet, this was not a decision he grew to regret; after his first class, he knew he was in for the long haul.
Shortly after college, Mike founded Community Connect, one of the first social
networks on the internet and the largest at the time. However, he didn’t do it alone. Day in and out, Mike built Community Connect alongside Pete, his former high school rival on the volleyball court, later college teammate, and much later after that, brother-in-law. The two started Community Connect as a way for ethnic communities to interact online. The problem was simple: Asian Americans were already regularly holding parties and cultural events, but they needed a way to unite people online. The concept that had never been tested on an online medium flourished as it grew to a team of 120 members and ultimately sold for $38 million.
Towards the end of Community Connect, Mike itched to expand his interests in new technical challenges. Next came Fotolog, co-founded with Scott Hieferman, who later went on to co-found Meetup. The photoblogging site started as a side-project run on his home DSL-line and went on to sell for $90M in 2007. Later, he spent stints as CTO at CityRealty. com and CrowdTwist.
After many years of creating and innovating, Mike was ready for a break and to catch up on time with his family and travel. Ultimately winding up in the Bahamas, Mike found himself sending emails to 5 or 6 friends to set up meetings for when he returned to find out what was next. 3 weeks and 21 meetings later, Mike was on his way to working with Gary Vaynerchuk on what would soon be the fund that the two of them would build together.
This is Mike's day-in-the-life:
6:30-7:00am: Mike's day begins with preparing his 3 children for camp or school.
7:00-8:30am: Between feeding, dressing, and playing with his children, Mike finds the time to check his email, look at social media, and check his LinkedIn requests.
8:30-9:00am: Twice a week, Mike drives his daughter to tennis on Randall's Island. However the rest of the week, he can be found running 7 miles from his Park Slope home to his Madison Square office.
Mike identifies running as his number one method of relaxation. Without these morning runs, he wouldn't be able to focus for the rest of the day. On the weekends, Mike will up the ante and run 15-20 miles. This gives him mental time to assess: What did he do right this week? What's the current status of tech and innovation & what role does he play in that? It's a chance for him to get his life in order in a way that's critical for family and business wellbeing. Whether Mike is running or coding, he also has a playlist which helps him get into the zone. With a variety of songs from U2 to Avicii to Bruce Springsteen, Mike has been listening to this single playlist for over a year.
9:00-9:30am: Once he gets to the office, Mike sits down and plugs into his coding. He starts to identify his deliverables for the day and plan out his meetings. What does he need to get out of each of them?
9:30-11:00am: As the rest of the team rolls in, Mike plans out what he is going to build for the rest of the day.
11:00-12:00pm: The whole team comes together for a standing meeting to discuss progress and plans for the future. If he's not in a meeting, Mike makes advising calls and interviews potential developers.
Mike's life is often a bit frenetic. He fights for time in which he can concentrate, even if he just needs to get some coding done. With barely enough time to breathe, Mike still feels like he's not busy enough. Constantly restless, Mike is perpetually coming up with new ideas. In his words, there is no greater feeling than being able to say "Wow, I just coded for four hours."
12:00-12:15pm: At Mike's office, lunch isn't a stroll down Madison Square Eats. It's 15 minutes of food and social media at his desk before jumping into an afternoon of developing.
12:15-5:00pm: Mike has two different ways that he codes: with and without his headphones. Headphones off means he's open for questions but he would rather not be bothered. However with headphones in, he's "gone under" and will only focus on his code for hours.
5:00-6:00pm: Mike always takes the time to network on LinkedIn, respond to emails, and have calls with people he works with and mentors.
7:00-10:00pm: In the evenings, Mike gets dinner with coworkers and meets up with clients. If something goes wrong, he’s always on duty. If needed, he'll run back to the office to fix major bugs or crashes, especially since Resy's prime usage time is during dinner.
10:00-11:00pm: Once Mike gets home, the kids are already in bed, so he takes this time to wind down and get ready for bed. He gets in his last bits of email and social media before calling it a night.
11:00: Sleep! Mike always makes sure to go to bed before midnight so he can wake up early in the morning.
This is a part of the Day in the Life series featuring NYU alumni entrepreneurs and their day-to-day lives as they grow their startup.