By Joshua Burton
When John Gonzalez is in a room you definitely notice him. Stylish and slim, John is like an art gallery installation – meticulously put together. His hair is always in precise condition, his handlebar mustache carefully shaped, and his attire fresh and clean with the appearance that it was lifted from a men’s style magazine. To say that appearance is important to him would be an understatement. This is a quality of his that seems to have served him well, though, because his stress on presentation has been a large part of the success of myWebRoom, which he co-founded with his partner in crime, Artem Fedyaev. It’s this overarching desire to make the perfect first impression which has led to his success, both personally and through myWebRoom.
John is from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and it’s obvious the moment you speak with him. His impeccable English is thickened marvelously with his Latin accent. He is ever a showman, welcoming people with a broad smile and a joke. Mornings always begin with him walking around the office, loudly saying hello and giving everyone a high-five. His emails are all over our inboxes, either sharing company information, funny videos, tech breakthroughs, or soccer news. He likes soccer. He really likes soccer. It’s something the two co-founders have in common.
He and Artem have a long, cooperative history. They co-founded myWebRoom based on nothing but dreams and aspirations as they finished up college. John had been a classically good student, but had been feeling disillusioned by the time he got to the middle of his schooling. He had finally settled on Entrepreneurship after finding that his focus on business had exposed him to a lot of people teaching who had never actually been in big business. “Most of those professors who had been trying to teach me in how move supply and assets had never really done that before in their lives,” he explained, “and I found that very controversial.” He wanted something more hands-on. So when he and Artem started to focus on their idea that would eventually become myWebRoom, he made that his project for his Entrepreneur classes.
Ever since then, John has been in a position to be teaching himself how to do whatever he needed to succeed. Instead of simply being scholastic, he would put his studies into action. When he and Artem made the move to San Francisco he could feel the change in the air – and the open-mindedness of SF played a big part in his ability to grow as a person and focus on style. “MyWebRoom is a very visual, artsy, self-expressive platform,” John says, leaning forward as he speaks, “the whole aspect of the room is to not only connect you to your favorite things on the web, but to express yourself differently based on what you find. And San Francisco had a huge impact on me from that standpoint.”
There’s one thing you need to know about SF: it’s kinda weird. John describes it as a place where “no matter what your’e wearing, someone is out there, probably in a lime green suit, wearing something more outrageous.” He noticed that you could really try out different looks for your personal style and not get judged along the way. You could find your sense of style in a weird place. So he took a long while developing his appearance. From his hair to his ever-shifting rotation of clothes to his signature mustache, he hand-crafted them all. An initial investor myWebRoom sealed the deal based on the fact that he just “trusted that mustache,” which pretty much meant that John was keeping it for a while. Since anything goes when it comes to style, John has been known to go all-out based on the situation, as anyone who ran into him at TechCrunch Disrupt last year. Nothing completes a Super Mario costume like a good mustache.
As John dips into new territory, learns new skills, and further broadens his horizons, he knows he brings more to the table when everyone sits around for office meetings to brainstorm new directions for myWebRoom. To this day, John upholds the merits of expressing personal style, especially in the office. New ideas lead to better innovation, which is why he tries to make people comfortable enough to express their styles and ideas. As he moves forward, developing new features for the platform and thinking of new and creative ways to get the myWebRoom word out (he has a lot of crazy ideas), he is constantly tweaking his style and welcoming others to experiment as well. Essentially, this guy is the embodiment of the myWebRoom attitude.