Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, friends! It's Spiffy, back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Gabriel Isserlis, the founder and CEO of Tutti. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Gabriel! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your startup?
Gabriel: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! At Tutti, our mission is simple: to unleash creativity across the world. We want to make it easier for anyone in the world to create content, whether it's for TikTok, YouTube, Spotify, every other site you can think of, or just for sharing with friends. That goal could take many shapes, so our focus for now is space. Our site helps people find and book amazing places for shoots and recordings, like studios, churches, homes, warehouses, clubs, hotels, boats, and so much more.
Spiffy: Very cool! What motivated you to tackle this challenge?
Gabriel: I understand the power and need for creativity. I've played cello since I was five, studied film at university, worked as a photographer, and am a massive nerd when it comes to movies. Watching TV and/or movies is how I relax when at home and how I spend my time when on a long trip. Listening to music is how I focus while working (soundtracks and classical only—words in music distract me). Also, I'm a nerd when it comes to technology: I'm constantly fascinated by what is coming next and how it helps people. And importantly, one of my favorite pastimes is helping people do what they love. So, combining those turned into a tech company that helps people create.
Spiffy: How are you all at Tutti working towards a more equitable world?
Gabriel: In an equal world, the phrase “It's not what you know, it's who you know” should not exist. But unfortunately in today's world, some people will get access to resources because they know someone who knows someone. We're working to unlock space for everyone so that it won't matter who you do or don't know. All you'd need to do to use any amazing space you want would be to sign up to Tutti.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organizational initiative. What impact does that make on your community or audience?
Gabriel: Along the lines of making space available to everyone, we also want to make company ownership open to everyone. So, we're about to launch a “crowdraise,” which means that almost any person in the world can invest money into us for £12 of more, and buy shares in the company. If our company does well (which is in no way guaranteed as companies are extremely difficult undertakings), people who buy shares now will be able to sell them at higher value five to fifteen years in the future. This sale of ownership in our company will enable us to build our technology faster and to find and unlock more amazing spaces.
Spiffy: A win-win for all! That is excellent. Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Gabriel: Startup life is not for everyone. I face failures and mood swings almost every day, because things will be going brilliantly one moment, and then some plan will change, the website might break, or someone I talk to won't be so impressed by what I'm building and poke loads of holes in it. But, I've learned to look back on the days and times that did go well and reflect on what I've achieved in the past. I remember that there will always be people in the world who won't agree with me. What matters in the end is that I'm happy with what I'm working on, and how I'm growing as a person. And if I'm happy with that, I can normally get myself back into a good mood. It's not easy, but over time I'm learning to get better at this.
Spiffy: Thank you for sharing that. Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Gabriel: Earlier, I talked a lot about equality and giving everyone the same opportunities. This concept has been built into Tutti from day one. As a startup founder, you have to choose what you believe in, and make that clear everywhere: in what you say, what you do, and all across the company. Beyond treating every customer equally, and regularly trying to help people equally, we chose a name that quite literally means "all together" in music. If you’re a musician reading orchestra sheet music, you'll see "Tutti" written every time the orchestra comes in together. That is where the name comes from.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Gabriel—it’s been an honor!
Gabriel Isserlis’ expertise lies at the intersection of creativity and technology. With degrees in filmmaking and software development, as well as a decade of work in music, theater, and photography, he has a unique set of insights. These have inspired creative technical solutions to problems in the arts he has experienced firsthand. He invites readers to follow Tutti to see those ideas become a reality. (Nominated by the Ladderworks team. First published on the Ladderworks website on September 26, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.