Hello! My name is Daniel Yubi, but most people call me Yubi.
I’m a Product guy launching multiple apps, balancing life between work, traveling and creativity. My life started as a photographer, my background took me to Law, but my passion brought me to Product Development.
If you want to know my full story keep reading, or just stalk me on:
Para Español click aquí 🙂
The Full Story
I think that I would divide my life into 5 Chapters. Each chapter it is a stage of something that I could carry for the rest of my life. Every one of this “sections” has given me like little tokens or cards for handing them out as Jokers in the hardest game call life.
The chapters are:
- Chapter 1 – The Photographer: My 1st Camera
- Chapter 2 – The Nomad: My 1st Big Journey
- Chapter 3 – The Lawyer: My Career
- Chapter 4 – The Disaster: My I Have No Idea What and Where I’m Going
- Chapter 5 – Prepare for Takeoff
Chapter 1 – The Photographer: My 1st Camera
I was born in the beautiful city of Cancun, I know I know, people still don’t believe me that people are living and growing up in this Caribbean town. The truth is, there’s not much to do around here, so I learned Photoshop. I used to take pictures of my friends and photoshopped them into zombies. Not artistic at least for my friends and family.
It was fascinating to see how photography freezes time, it felt as an extender of time. Therefore I convinced my mom (my dad loved photography anyway) to buy me a camera.
My 1st gig as a photographer was in Carlos N Charlies, a small sprint break joint, yes, if you have come to Cancun, I was that guy politely persuasive trying to convince you to take a picture of you and sell it in a frame with cool logos and cool design.
I remember so well how on my 1st day, the “Photography Coordinator” told me:
“Look Daniel, if the image is too dark just move this dial to the right.”
That “dial” had a number 2000, and it was broken down all the way down to 1
“When you moved it, the image becomes brighter, I don’t know why but if you go too far to the right, the image get’s bright, but then it gets really shaky, so please be careful in not making it too bright…”
I learned that “the dial” my “coordinator” aka my boss was telling me about it’s called Shutter Speed. Then I learned about aperture, focal length, ISO, and in a blink of an eye, I had my 1st portfolio.
My 1st portfolio was a photo of my bathtub, a long exposure with my name on it, and my friends posing in a sexy way, and because I had a portfolio, that mean I could have a job as a photographer.
The 1st job I landed as a true photographer was ina Cancun Social Magazine call Cancunissimo.
1st Card – Job.
Photography is an asset that will never leave you be poor unless you decide to be one. Photography makes you rich in mind, body, and soul.
Mind: You see things in a different manner, you must creatively see things in unusual ways in order to stand out from the crowd.
Body: An image without movement makes you feel null, makes you feel nothing. You must always chase that photo. There’s no lazy in photography. If it means, you must be at 5 am to get that sunset, go there and chase it.
Soul: Each photograph it’s an extension of yourself, and you must learn to reflect on any failures, critiques, and success.
The main value I learned in this chapter of my life was that in life you must carry an asset, skill, so that it can bring you new opportunities, doesn’t matter where you are in the world.
Being a “Photographer” not only gave me an extra income, but it also gave me the opportunity to travel and find new ways to have a business. A Side Income Activity as my mother would say.
If I’d learned piano, then I would have given piano lessons.
Chapter 2 – The Nomad: My 1st Big Journey
With a Camera strapped to my neck, and after some photoshoots, my friends and I decided to travel to Europe for 1 month.
I was lucky, my parents travel a lot with us around Mexico and USA, but it was my 1st time in a non-America country outside, and man it was an experience.
Before the trip, Carlos and I did CouchSurfing for many years, so we hosted people from around the world before traveling:
The day to leave arrived, December 2008, one of the big mysteries is why everybody bought different flights. I was the 1st to leave and to arrive in Germany.
For context, in 2008 there was barely any iPhones in Mexico, and Blackberries were trending, and I had a Sony Ericsson with a sweet game call Snake.
Landing at Dallas airport, I received an SMS saying that Carlos lost his flight and that he will arrive later. At that moment it was fine, but when I landed to Germany, I realized Carlos was the only one who had the phone numbers and the contact details of our German friends…
8 hours later, I landed to Frankfurt Am Main, titles had weird characters, people were way taller and way more blonder, and my awesome Sony Ericsson said “No Signal.”
“¿So what that hell should I do?”
“mmm, ¿metro? “
“Ok. Good idea”
“but, Do you know where to go? “
I go down to the metro and fear kicks in, and I have nowhere to go, no one to call, and I had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. So I freaked out and went back up to the Airport, but then I heard
“YA WEEEEEy NO MAMES”
MEXICANS – We no mames, it’s like no freaking way in Mexican Spanish. So I ran towards them, and of course, without being a creep I asked: ¿SON DE MEXICO?!?
In the end, I found my friends, and we traveled more than 11 countries, we ate in the street, we slept on the street, and we basically become friends with all sort of people around the world.
2nd Card – Comfort Zone.
Traveling is a method that forces you to learn, adapt, and tackle new challenges. Living in a bubble is great, but as the saying goes “The cure of Patriotism is through traveling”, the reality is, that when you force yourself to leave your bubble, your comfort zone, you realize that everything you want to achieve can be achieved through sweat, work, and toil.
Chapter 3 – The Lawyer: My Career
At the beginning of my puberty, everybody said to me: “You should be a lawyer”. I don’t know if it was because I was good at talking, at making an argument, or just making a show of everything.
It’s in my nature that everything I participate, anything I begin, or anything I become part of I must bring my soul into it, and I won’t stop until I achieve my objective.
Being a Lawyer was an easy decision, I studied in Monterrey, and I took my 1st job as a tax attorney, and then moved to Corp Law, huge clients, banks, airlines, you name it.
The jump was brutal, from being a Caribbean Photographer to a City Monterrey IWearSuitAndTieForEverything guy.
To be honest, there were many times I wanted to drop out of college, I questioned myself if Law was the correct path, but I decided to finish what I started.
During my time as a Lawyer, the time was unique, my friends and I founded our own Non-Profit, and we helped in ways I would never think we would, I launched my mini Restaurant, which we had to shut down 1 year after because of lack of funds.
I believe I arrived at Law as “hi I’m from Cancun”, and graduated as “I’m Daniel Yubi”.
3rd Card – Introspection.
In this stage of my life, learned that we must go through an introspection process from time to time. To question yourself. To know thyself. Defining who you are and who you want to be.
I believe this has happened to many, when you travel abroad, or maybe when you’ve got a new job, or moved to a new city. This happened to me during my law career.
To summarize the story, one day I had to divorce a couple, the woman was unfaithful to our client, she was 20 years younger, and there was a minor in between. I had to lead this case, I was still an undergrad, but I can tell you we won the case, and I had to deliver, and successfully get the Mother’s signature for the minor’s custody papers.
I jumped into my car. Papers in my hand. Nervous I was, the tie felt as it was bringing pressure upon myself. I don’t know if it was the heats or just the fact that I had to tell someone that she must no longer see his son every day.
This is the irony of “You are just doing your job”, but that just taught me that in Life, there are things that either add up to you or subtract off of you; and the only way to be a better lawyer was by subtracting better to other people. In other words, my value as a lawyer was increased, by taking from others.
I graduated as a lawyer but decided to stop being one.
Chapter 4 – The Disaster My I Have No Idea What and Where I’m Going
For obvious reasons when you challenge yourself, everything crumbles. Nothing makes sense. In this period, my parents got divorced, my ex broke up with me, I had a full-time job, working on my thesis, graduating, running a photography agency, basically, things were going to explode.
When everything turns gray. That’s when you see the true color of life.
4rth Card – Compass
There are two learnings:
- Even though everything sucks, and looks bad. There’s always a way out, and everything will be fine. I know sounds like a cliche but it’s true as long you work smart, and keep yourself moving forward, you will align things in your favor; and
- You must establish your North Star, that compass that drives you to become that person you want to be.
At that particular moment I knew by exclusion what I DID NOT WANT to be, but I had a good idea and what that “thing” that I wanted to be.
So lawyer was my No Go, but Product & Tech was my true passion, I establish my North Start, my True North, but I then it was time to establish the steps to achieve that.
Chapter 5 – Ready for Take Off.
If you arrived all the way down here, first of all, thank you. Now you are part of the present life chapter, of continuous growth, and constant learning.
After “The Disaster”, now I’m Head of Product of a Fin-Tech Startup based in Austin disrupting the LATAM market, and Chief Product Officer of a Mobile Ordering App trying to disrupt the Bar & Night Club industry in Boston. I must creatively find ways to lead 17+ devs and designers to keep pushing things forward, and yes now I don’t work in the Court of Law, everything I do I do it through technology even if sometimes means being at Isla Mujeres playing with my drone.
This chapter is still an open book for the new endeavors, and new learnings; if you want to be part of it stay around.