Today's Entrepreneur: Karim Guessous

Kristin Karaoglu · February 27, 2012 · Short URL:

No. 1 mistake: Not getting closer to their customers

Today's Entrepreneur is Karim Guessous, founder and CEO of Tradepal. According to his VEQ Karim is a thought leader and is good at  team motivation and negotiation.

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:

If you are an entrepreneur, why?
I love to build for the greater good.

My favorite startups:
Tradepal, Square, Twitter, Path.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?
The most rewarding part about entrepreneurship is seeing your product being adopted and helping others.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make?
The number one mistake entrepreneurs could make is not getting closer to their customers.

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

1- Be close to your customer
2- Don't worry about scaling in the early stage
3- Build partnerships

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

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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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Tradepal is a people-centric marketplace that helps users list, discover, share and trade unique items with trusted peers. The company develops technologies that facilitate the building of a proprietary interest graph leading to the discovery, sharing and trading of items among like-minded people.

Tradepal, the product, is made up of a core principle and multiple functionalities. Central to the experience on Tradepal is the social and interest graphs of the user, commonly called the Cluster of Friends, that includes both Facebook friends on Tradepal and Tradepal friends. The functionalities evolve around a User Profile that comprises the user’s Garage, the Friends’ and Friends of Friends’ listings, the user’s Wishes and individual Carbon Savings Calculator. Both Garages and Listed Items could be shared internally with Tradepal friends, or externally with Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Users can trade with peers by instantly buying an item using the Buy Now option or by sending an offer using either cash and/or barter. Users can also communicate with one another using messaging, item comments, or chat. The concept of Trust is based on both the use of Facebook identities as Tradepal identities as well as a rating system derived from all transactions conducted on the platform. All payments are conducted through PayPal’s Adaptive Payment and benefit from PayPal’s Buyer’s Protection. See  



Karim Guessous

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Karim Guessous is the CEO of Tradepal. Karim is responsible for setting the vision and product strategy for the company. He leads its design and its community development and growth.