He traded $1 TRILLION in BlackPools, Quit Seven Figure Salary for App Startup

Nick Sonnenberg The Top Podcast Episode 152

In Episode #152, Nathan speaks with Nick Sonnenberg, the founder of CalvinApp, a productivity mobile app designed to cut back on the amount of emails and texts sent back and forth when making plans. Listen as Nathan and Nick discuss the latter’s transition from making a seven figure salary to building his new startup.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book?—Less Doing, More Living by Ari Meisel
  • What CEO do you follow?— Jack Dorsey
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Slack, Trello, Evernote
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?—To get involved with web development and marketing instead of focusing too much on Engineering and Math.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:47 – Nick joins the show
  • 01:54 – For eight years, Nick used mathematical models and programs on Wall Street to trade stocks in milliseconds.
  • 03:50 – There were many parallels with business and finance with automation that Nick observed as a high frequency trader.
  • 04:50 – Nick was making seven figures before he decided to do his startup.
  • 05:29 – Like many people, Nick values the ability to work on what he wants whenever he wants.
  • 05:52 – Calvin App is funded by 200K of Nick’s own money and another 200K raised by family and connections.
  • 06:21 – The company is looking to raise around 750K.
  • 07:27 – CalvinApp stores the plans of a user and can compare it to those of another user to efficiently find a time both users are free.
  • 09:33 – Instead of making money, the app’s current focus is to improve and get users.
  • 09:45 – Moving forward, CalvinApp plans to make money through affiliate partnerships with services such as OpenTable and Fandango.
  • 10:08 – Nick discusses a second interesting method with CalvinApp that is further down the road. (integrating into brands)
  • 10:56 – CalvinApp has had about 400-500 downloads since coming out very recently on the app store.
  • 11:35 – Who is Calvin?
  • 13:07 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. As a high frequency trader, Nick observed the benefits of automation not only in finance but also in everyday life.
  2. CalvinApp allows a user to store plans and compare it to those of another user to efficiently find a time both users are free.
  3. Soft skills such as marketing and web development can be just as important as hard skills such as engineering and math.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Growth Geeks – The way Nathan hires growth hackers on a per project basis for things like info graphics, blog posts, and other growth projects
  • LinkedIn – Nick Sonnenberg’s LinkedIn
  • CalvinApp – Nick’s mobile app
  • Jack Dorsey – CEO Nick keeps up with
  • Less Doing, More Living – Book Nick stands by
  • Slack – One of Nick’s online tools
  • Trello – One of Nick’s online tools
  • Evernote – One of Nick’s online tools

Nick is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for solving problems. He spent eight years on wall street as a high frequency algorithmic trader. He’s currently the CEO of CalvinApp which is a productivity app designed to cut back on the amount of emails and texts sent when making plans. He’s also the co-founder of Less Doists, with Ari Meisel. He was the youngest person to graduate from UC Berkeley with a master’s in Financial Engineering.


Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives