Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Debbie Levitt

No. 1 mistake: Asking users the wrong questions or leading questions

Innovation series by Kristin Karaoglu
October 8, 2012
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Today's Entrepreneur is Debbie Levitt, founder of CheckInOn.Me. According to her VEQ, Debbie is a thought leader and is good at product management and thecnology design.

Vator’s community is the home to entrepreneurs who embrace their passion and follow their dreams. Our profiles allow members to express themselves by sharing their interests, lessons learned, as well as bits and pieces of their roller-coaster journey.

These profiles give entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase themselves and tell their story. So if you are an entrepreneur, a serial entrepreneur, or even an aspiring entrepreneur, we'd like to hear from you.

I am a(n):

Companies I've founded or co-founded:

Startups I worked for:
Various secret startups in stealth mode

If you are an entrepreneur, why?
I want to change the world.

My favorite startups:
eBay and PayPal back in 1998.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
The rewards are constant. I nearly cried when I found out a college-age female friend of mine was using our MVP when she rode her bike to and from work. I love knowing I made someone's life better. Frustrations... I lucky don't have too many of those. I think the main one would be when people assume that CheckInOn.Me is one of the many panic button apps out there. Our technology offers so much more, and with our API, ours will be the technology all those panic buttons should integrate!

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
Asking users the wrong questions or leading questions. As a UX person, I know that how you interview someone affects the answers you get. The trick is to have as little junk science as possible, and create a space where people can honestly answer open questions.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Don't be afraid to change. I thought our MVP would be perfection. Users loved the idea, and wanted to use it, but didn't like using a website to do it. They wanted smartphone apps. That was an executional pivot, and I was afraid of it at first. Now, I'm wildly excited about it!

(Want to be profiled? Just fill out your Vator profile and we'll find you! Or you can email


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Description: CheckInOn.Me is a proactive automated personal safety system designed for mobile phones. We'll check on you as often as you want, wheneve...
Bio: Debbie pioneered website development back when most people were wondering what AOL was. Her passions are in UX, interaction des...

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