What is your name, age, location?
Astrid Paramita Mochtarram, 35, Berlin.
What's your background?
I’m from Indonesia, living in Germany since 2004. I have a B.Eng in Informatics, majoring in Artificial Intelligence, and a M.Sc. in Digital Media. I am also a writer (fiction), and twindly is my third startup (first one in Berlin).
What inspired you to become a founder and engineer?
I knew I would be an engineer since I was very young. I love math, science, and building things. I went for Informatics because there are so many different applications you can do with it.
During my engineering studies, I found out I love to work with visual things and ended up starting a company developing mobile games. I wanted to learn more and expand my perspective so I moved abroad to Bremen, Germany for Digital Media studies.
In 1998 the financial crisis hit Asia. With so many layoffs, job security was more of a myth to my generation. It took me a while before I got around to founding my first company in 2002 and I didn’t realize it was possible to do it in Berlin. But I started to believe in the idea when I witnesed a fellow Geekette did it (Paula Laurel Jackson!). Now here I am, founding twindly.
What inspired you to found twindly?
I’m a makeup addict and I love to play with colors. However, it was not easy to find a good starting point and recommendations when wanting to either try something new or having a different skin type and color from the mainstream. Twindly is about connecting similar beauty lovers and making it easier for people to find and share beauty products and looks they love.
Please walk me through your day, what do you do at your company?
Right now I am the CEO (Chief Everything Officer). I am the product manager, designer, coder, marketing, fundraising, office cleaner and everything in between. That being said, I do have a co-founder/tech ninja who also does development and a PR person who helps me write press releases and contacting folks.
Can you see yourself in ten years doing the same thing you do now?
Most definitely! Either growing with twindly or starting another company.
What is the best advice you ever received?
We can be whatever we want to be, as long as we put our whole heart and soul into it, and are willing to pay the price of getting there (for example, if I want to be Spiderwoman I have to risk getting bitten by plenty of spiders).
What is the most important thing you’ve learned in the last year?
It has been quite a year. Starting up my own company, learning so much and challenging myself all the time. On top of that, my dad just passed away less than a month ago, and it’s really tough losing your supporter, mentor and role model.
Lesson learned: (1) You don't have to know everything, just the next step. (2) Talk to people, but you don’t have to do everything they tell you to. (3) If you love and care about someone, tell them and show it!
And what are your plans for the future?
World domination and becoming the first female self-made Indonesian billionaire (haha!). In smaller steps: simply keep learning and be the best version of myself every single day. And be happy! Happiness is contagious.
If you could do one thing differently, what would it be?
I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and whatever mistakes we made in the past, they’ve helped us learn and shaped us to be who we are today. To be honest, I do like where I am right now, so no regrets.
Any advice for your local/global Geekettes?
Apart from joining Geekettes and sign up for twindly?
Embrace who you truly are but challenge yourself to try something new.
If you are into coding, go for it. If you want to found your own company, go for it. If you want to be a PR consultant, go for it. If you want to be a full-time mother, go for it. If you think you want to do something, just do it! There’s no right or wrong on what you would love to do in life. You’re the only one living it; find a thing that makes you happy and go all out!