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Danny Wen, Co-Founder

Tech-Savvy CEO of Iridesco Danny Wen

Despite the dotcom bust, the web is still very much a place for entrepreneurs. Now is the time for small teams and small applications to make a big impact–just ask Danny Wen. As Co-Founder of Iridesco, he and his team started off by doing consulting work and eventually morphed their experience into real-world applications. The first offering, SuprGlu, is a personal content aggregator to make managing social networks, blogs, and other sorts of information-sharing portals a snap. It was a quick hit and went live four weeks after the start of development, a great example of how quality services can spring up quickly with today’s technologies and talents. That success led the way for their more business-oriented offering, Harvest. But you’ll have to continue reading the Young & Professional Profile to learn about all the cool things Danny and Iridesco are up to.


Iridesco, LLC (creators of Harvest Time Tracking and SuprGlu)


January 2003



Name, Title

Danny Wen, Co-founder




Colonia, New Jersey

Current residence

Brooklyn, New York


Cornell University, BA Computer Science, 2000

Work Experience

Iridesco, Co-founder, (2003-Present);

Viant, Creative Developer, (2000-2002)



About the company

Iridesco is a design and technology studio in New York City. For the first 3 years, we operated strictly as a consulting business, helping clients from financial, pharmaceutical, and non-profit industries with their web and interactive marketing needs. About a year ago, we started developing and marketing web products for ourselves. Having gained a great deal of experience through consulting, we wanted to apply all that knowledge to our own projects.

Our first product is called SuprGlu, a personal content aggregator. The idea is simple: many people use various web services from bookmarking, to photo sharing, to blogs, to social networking site, and we wanted to create a way for them to unify and publish all the content created across those various services. The result is one simple site which re-publishes all the content in a “super-blog” view. This project was started as more of an experiment than anything else, but the response from the communities has been awesome.

After we released SuprGlu, we decided to put our heads together for another product, this time a business product focused on delivering revenue for our company. As a design studio, we had our own issues with finding a suitable time tracking package to track our projects and billable/non-billable hours. There was a huge gap in this software category as most packages were poorly designed, too expensive, or simply too complicated for small businesses. We focused on solving this problem with a fresh, web-based application which would work for any small service-based business that needed to track time. Our application, Harvest, launched in April of 2006 and we’re extremely pleased with how things are going so far.

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

Currently, the bulk of my time is spent managing the development of Harvest. This includes marketing, development planning, and customer support among other things. We’re a small company and all of us end up wearing many hats to fill in the gaps. Doing support for our products is important to me so I can “feel the pain” from the customers’ perspective. If we’re getting too many inquiries about X, it’ll nag us to the point where we make the change a priority.

We also have some plans for SuprGlu, so that will start to take up more of my time. We’ll eventually grow out of this hands-on everything approach, but for now, I find it enjoyable.

Most notable milestones

Launching SuprGlu was an incredible experience for us. We designed and developed the site in 4 weeks, and almost immediately after launching it, we were featured on some of the most visited sites around the web. For us, it was a testament that our team was able to pull off the necessary aspects of a product development from idea to launch, and it gave us the steam to move ahead with Harvest, a considerably larger project.

What’s the niche?

Being a web design studio is hardly a niche these days, but the focus of our products have managed to carve out their own unique mindshares.

Our products are simple to use and more importantly, feel good to use. People have come to expect software from us that’s well thought-out and which puts new spins to old problems. Right now, the majority of our Harvest customers are small-to-medium creative and technology companies, but down the road, we’re looking at acquiring more customers in other service businesses, too.

With SuprGlu, the niche has been the web-savvy, casual content creating, social-networking users. They have exactly the problem we’ve set out to solve, and they see the value in our solution.

What’s the biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge right now is reaching more customers who can benefit from our products. Harvest is currently aimed at the creative and technology businesses and we firmly believe that if more people who need time tracking can find out about Harvest, it will benefit their service businesses. It takes the pain out of time tracking, and people won’t have to suffer through any more bad interfaces from the existing software packages!

Iridesco Studios

What’s in store for the future?

We’ll continue to grow Harvest in terms of its functionality. Ultimately, it’ll be a small business companion addressing various concerns of the everyday small business. The easier we can make things for our customers, the more focus they can apply themselves towards what they’re in business to do in the first place.

Who would you like to be contacted by?

I’d love to hear from designers and developers who share our philosophy on simplicity. We’re looking for like-minded people to work with us on our projects.

We’re also interested in hearing from other small businesses and organizations who believe there is a partnership opportunity for either Harvest or SuprGlu!

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Best way to keep a competitive edge

Stay informed. Keep reading. Read up on what is being said about you and your competition. You need to keep a pulse on your marketplace. Respond publicly so people know you care enough address their criticism or comments. Listen to your customers, and understand what problems they are trying to solve, and figure out the best way you can solve it for them.

Guiding principle in life

I’m a strong believer in the ability to make one’s own luck. Focusing on what you want in life helps to bring those things into your life. As straight-forward as that may sound, I think it’s easily forgotten at first-sign when things don’t go as planned.

And I always keep this quote in the back of my mind: “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” – Oscar Wilde.

Yardstick of success

For me, this is simple. I ask myself: Am I enjoying what I’m doing right now? If I am, then that’s success. If not, what needs to change?

We spend too much time working that it’s extremely important that we enjoy what we’re doing.

Goal yet to be achieved

Our company is transitioning from a consulting business to a product business. We’re aiming to complete this transition this year so we can focus on developing more products and ideas. Now that excites me.

Best practical advice

It’s never a good time to start a business. But if you’re young and single, you have no excuses.

Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture

“Go for it!” – Mom


Friends, acquaintances, and other small business owners who I’ve come to know in the last few years. I enjoy talking to them about what we’re up to and listening to their feedback and stories to put things in perspective. Every time I meet someone, I look at it as a chance to learn something new. That keeps me motivated.

What motivated you to get started?

I met my business partner, Shawn Liu, back in college. The vision of running our own business, before we really knew what that’s all about, was seeded in the back of our minds pretty soon after we met. Thankfully, with the economy’s downturn in late 2000, it made us focus on what we wanted to do while we were young.

Our vision was simple: To go into work in an office of our own and do great work with friends and talented people we believe in, and make a living doing so. Motivation came easy with that simple visualization in mind.

Like best about what you do?

It’s constantly challenging.

Like least about what you do?

Repetitive tasks.

At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A pro BMX/freestyle rider. I spent a great deal of my childhood riding my bike around the neighborhood with friends–so much so that riding a bike and being a good rider was all that mattered.

What was your first job?

A paperboy. The concept of being paid to ride my bike was hands-down a dream job at the time.

Biggest pastime outside of work

Music. Working out songs on a guitar or going to see bands live has been a part of my deal for many years now. Playing and making music is just something I’ll be involved in for a long time to come.

Person most interested in meeting

From history, it’d be Ben Franklin. I’m drawn to renaissance people–people who are successful in many (and perhaps whatever) passion they pursue. Society today trains people to specialize, which is somewhat unfortunate, so getting some renaissance inspiration would be great.

Leader in business most interested in meeting

Gary Erickson of Clif Bar, Inc. He wrote a great book about his company’s journey to date called Raising the Bar. He has great stories of going against the odds and focusing on creating a business that’s more about life than just profit. And through the stories in his book, he’s inspired a few cycling trips for my friends and I for which he should know about!

Three interesting facts about yourself

1.Two days after arriving in America in ’86, I promptly went to school, not knowing a word of English at the time.
2.For the first time in years, I’m going car-less. Being in the NYC area, I decided to sell it and see how this Zipcar thing works.
3.I’ve got three bikes (of the pedaling kind) and would build more if I had more space and time!

Three characteristics that describe you

1. Fast learner
2. Determined
3. Friendly

Three greatest passions

1. Cycling
2. Music
3. Learning about other cultures

Favorite book

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I recently read Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem which I also highly recommend.

Favorite cause

Just say no to Hollywood-sensationalized diamonds.

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Interview by Sheena Singh
Introduction by Kaiser Shahid
Edited by Sumaya Kazi

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