THE INTERVIEW: Farbood Nivi, GROCKIT Founder February 28, 2012

We believe that YÜLI Skincare has a diverse, real-world clientele of fascinating men and women.  We are launching THE INTERVIEW as a regular blog feature that highlights some of our friends and customers. In our inaugural post, we were fortunate enough to interview GROCKIT founder, Farbood Nivi. GROCKIT offers users a revolutionary online collaborative social learning environment that helps people learn from each other. GROCKIT placed in the Top 6 at the 2008 TechCrunch 50 conference, and was named one of the “2012 Hottest San Francisco Companies” by Lead411. Many of our staff members have told us personal anecdotes of the importance of GROCKIT as a resource for their friends and family in getting into their dream business school and graduate programs. Without further ado, we are delighted to present our interview with Farbood Nivi


Tell us about yourself and what you do.
I’m an entrepreneur and the founder of Grockit, a social-learning technology company in Silicon Valley.

What led you to start GROCKIT?
I started Grockit because I wanted to bring the peer-to-peer learning style that I used in my classroom, online. In my class a lot of the time, students spent working together, teaching and learning from each other and figuring things out together. I decided that going the Silicon Valley start-up route would help me access the talent, speed and technological edge that those companies often have.

What is the average day like for a startup founder in Silicon Valley?
Busy. My day doesn’t really start or end and neither does my week. I’m not only fine with this, I like it. I have a pretty good integration between my life and work and I tend to think about my company all the time so instead of trying to compartmentalize my day, I let it happen. My time is split between thinking with people and thinking alone. I’ve been lucky to be able to grow our team to people better than me at the doing part.

What do you do for fun?
I like eating and I happen to also like cooking. So, I cook probably five or six nights a week. Living in San Francisco gives you great access to fresh produce and quality fish and meat so it’s nice to be able to take advantage of that. I also like to play my guitar and piano as other ways to un-wind and take my mind off work for a bit. I’ve been a musician since I was young and I still love it.

How do you like to reward yourself? Any splurge items?
Food is what I splurge on and living in San Francisco makes that pretty easy. There is a strong local food movement and you can get pretty amazing stuff that you end up paying too much for but when you taste it, generally think it’s worth it.

Farbood leading a meeting for his startup, GROCKIT

Since you work in tech, we want to pick your brain a little:

iPhone or Android?
iPhone, then Android. I rock both because I’m a geek and I work a lot.

Favorite gadget?
iPhone. It has the apps I love.

Favorite tech blog?
Uncrunched and TechCrunch.

Daily reads?
Whatever the Google News aggregator tells me to read.

What are your favorite spots in the Bay Area?
The Mission in San Francisco is the food capital of the city as far as I’m concerned.

What was the destination of your last vacation?
Europe. I got to spend some time in Italy and the UK.

What was your most recent splurge?
Some white truffles over Christmas to splurge on friends and family.

What is your skincare routine?
I try not to use soap on my skin and use a non-soap cleanser without a ton of chemicals. I use the YÜLI Cocoon Elixir throughout the day, and YÜLI Skin Fuel serum morning and night. There’s not a lot more to it than that and some sun-screen.

What do you look for in skincare?
Quality of ingredients, non-irritating, effective. That’s why I’m into what YÜLI is doing. It meets those three criteria for me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Probably working on a start-up.

How can people learn more about Grockit?
We’re on the web so it’s as easy as going to GROCKIT. (ed. note, you can also follow Farbood on Twitter)


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