Spotlight on Hojung Kim

Meet Hojung Kim: Founder of new social dining app 'gathr,’ Hojung wants to inspire connection and conversation.

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Tell us about gathr.

gathr is a "social dining" app for small, home-cooked meals. Home cooks host groups of 6 to 8 people over warm food and conversation out of their dining rooms. It's a way to connect over a meal for 2 hours with people who share your interests.

What is the best piece of personal advice you’ve ever received? How about advice you’ve given?

James Clear has a treasure trove of useful advice bursting out from the covers of Atomic Habits, his book on the psychology and method behind building better life habits. But I'd say that the most useful piece of advice in there is to "never compare yourself with other people, and only with your past self."

For advice given: seek out mentors, and check-in with them religiously. When someone is willing to help you learn and grow, they're in your corner for life. I used to think that meeting every week with my mentors would be a burden. Then I realized that the best mentors have the act of giving in their DNA. They were happy to provide constant feedback and lessons learned.

Who is a mentor that has changed your life? How and why?

My grandmother. She grew up with nothing in dirt-poor poverty in pre-modern Korea. Through sheer force of will, she raised three kids - my mom and two uncles - and sent them to college in America. One uncle became a doctor. The other owns a tutoring company. My mother became a math teacher.

To fund all of their tuitions, my grandmother built a wildly successful lunchbox business selling kimbap. Every opportunity I've ever had comes from her. I owe my grandmother everything.

Breakfast of Champions: Nothing till 2 pm
Idol: Giannis "The Alphabet" Antetokounmpo
Sunday afternoon nirvana: [redacted for legal reasons]

Alex Gordon