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Exploring Life & Business with Jose Acevedo of WhattaEat

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jose Acevedo.

Hi Jose, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a first-generation Mexican-American from South East Los Angeles. I am a first-generation college graduate in my family who learned to navigate the K-12 and higher education system. During my senior year (2015) at California State University of Los Angeles, my girlfriend and I could not decide where or what restaurant to go out to eat. Even if we knew what we were craving, we could not decide where to go. I would tell her “I wish there was an App that would help us decide where and what to eat”. We searched the App Store and could not find anything helpful. Therefore, I told her I was going to build one. I sketched the idea, created some wireframes (the navigation of the app), and noted its functionalities. I then knew I had to have a name for this App and started playing with the words “what to eat” in my mind, instantly decided on WhattaEat. My idea of WhattaEat was put on pause in my notebook due to finishing my college courses in Computer Information Systems and growing in my profession. In 2020, I decided I needed to take action and bring this idea to life.

I started to conduct more research on App development and the smartphone market in the United States. Then began coding the App for iOS immediately realized I would need help if I wanted to release the App. I looked for some developers online but felt they were not the right fit for my project. I was looking for someone who I could have constant communication and trust. Through Instagram, I made friends from San Diego and through mutual friends met Luis Calvillo, founder of Mighty Apps. I reached out to him and asked if we could meet in person to start developing “WhattaEat” App. I refined my original hand-drawn sketches and drove down to San Diego. After a few weeks, we came to an agreement and signed a contract. Then I began to look for a color scheme for WhattaEat. I wanted a color that was unique and different. After observing the color teal and white from a weekly newspaper in my mailbox, I knew those would be the colors for WhattaEat. Teal is a revitalizing and rejuvenating color that represents truth, clarity, faith, and open communication. Finally, after months of strategizing, multiple meetings, and beta testing the app, WhattaEat was released for iOS in June of 2021.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. A struggle I have faced along the way is time balance; due to time, work, and college, it took me five years to bring this project to life. Balancing time between my personal life, my profession, my family and my business is challenging. However, I believe if there is a will, there will be time. Another struggle or challenge is keeping up with technology, learning new skills, software and hardware since technology is evolving daily and iOS updates come and go in a blink of an eye. Nonetheless, I love technology the challenges and will continue to pursue my endeavors.

Although it was or is a bumpy road, I learned and adapted. I have met wonderful people that have helped me in marketing, creating content, managing social media platforms, and writing blogs for our website. Regardless of the obstacles that I have encountered and will encounter, I foresee triumph.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
WhattaEat – “Find a Place to Eat” is an app that helps individuals decide what or where to eat. People can select a food category (based on their cravings: Italian, Mexican, American, etc.), select a mile radius, and price range. Then, WhattaEat populates restaurants based on the filters. WhattaEat also saves people time instead of scattering and searching for food places on google. People can easily filter out their food category and find a place to eat. WhattaEat includes specific premium food-related categories, for instance, Food Trucks, Beer & Wine, Coffee, and Desserts. These categories are premium and need an in app purchase to be unlocked. Finally, I will work on an update that will benefit restaurant owners and customers. However, I cannot disclose too much since I am still in the planning stages. Maybe in the next interview, we can discuss.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I view myself as a risk-taker that analyzes the possible outcomes of my risks. I research and study other individuals who have taken similar risks. I analyze their processes and outcomes. I believe that if you take a risk, you have to take action so that the risk you take has a positive outcome. You can’t take a risk and do nothing. I believe risky experiences mature you as a person, give you the experience to take the next action, and/or help and guide other decisions. Whether these risks pay off or not, the risks you take will leave you with a learning and/or life experience, which no one can take away.

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