How it all Started:
In the next series of posts called ‘How I developed an app’ I’m going tell the story of how I fought tooth and nail and never gave on a dream of developing an app/mobile platform that actually solves a problem, empowers people and makes the world a better place. I will ge into the detail of how I was successfully able to build a team, secure partnerships, develop the prototype plus live updates of the day to day grind and hustle of developing a tech startup.
In an old post (What is TRENDiPEOPLE), I wrote about how I came up with idea for TRENDiPEOPLE. However I now have to admit that at the time of writing that post, I was being economical with the truth. At that moment in time, I was not yet comfortable enough to reveal everything because I was still in the process of refining the idea plus I wrongly believed that keeping the idea a ‘secret’ would give me an advantage however I was wrong. In a later post, I will write about the issues with keeping ideas a ‘secret’ particularly with reference to tech startups and in the context of Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The time has now come for me to reveal all. As we all know in the world of startups, times, things and people change. The only thing that is constant in the startup world is change.
By way of a quick recap, I came up with the idea for TRENDiPEOPLE in 2010. At the time I realised that the fashion and beauty industry in particular the media in its current state mainly promoted and to this day still promotes a negative & distorted image of beauty. I believe that everyone is a unique and beautiful individual. I wanted to do something that empowers people. The initial idea was a simple website that enabled anyone to upload and tag brands plus items that they were wearing. In doing this I wanted to create an equal playing field where anyone could kick-start a real time trending fashion look. Essentially the platform was meant to be a place where anyone could kick-start and discover real time global trending fashion. However there were two massive issues with that idea. In 2011 the costs of developing social platforms was extremely expensive, having only just completed university at the time it was a challenge to secure funding for the idea. Despite that I was actually able to develop a prototype which we tested however I decided to park the idea due to the enormous costs that were required to make it work. There was also the potential challenge of developing a viable revenue model. The main source of revenue was meant to be advertising, however as we all know, in order to make any sort of decent advertising revenue, you need to have a massive audience. The biggest challenge is two fold. Firstly how do you develop that audience and secondly how do you fund and sustain the operation while building the audience and more critically before you become profitable. I decided to park the idea for a while.
Fast forward 2013-2014 I lived in Cardiff City for about a year. During that time I had a massive Afro & beard. At the time, the nearest black barber shop was 45 minutes away from where I lived. Meaning that a round trip plus time taken waiting for and having a haircut and beard trim would be on average around two to two and a half hours. This was obviously an inconvenience that I could do without. One day as I was wondering around the shops in Cardiff City centre I bumped into another ‘brother’ i.e. black dude with a sleek hair cut. I stopped and asked him where he got his hair cut. He then proceeded to give me a number for a mobile barber that would make his way to my place. When I rang this mobile barber, he turned out to live only a couple of streets down from me. He was at my place in less than 10 minutes and in less than 30 minutes he had got my fro and beard looking sharp.
Light Bulb moment.
It was at this time that I noticed that there was a problem which needed to be solved. This is when the idea for TRENDiPEOPLE was resuscitated. That problem being that there are plenty of people with skills in beauty and fashion i.e. Hairstylists, Barbers, Makeup Artists/Beauticians, Nail Artists & Fashion stylists. They have skills however in most cases do not own a saloon and/or do not have a job moreover they need a way to find clients and earn revenue. On the other hand, there are clients like myself and other busy professionals that would love the convenience of having these sort of services on demand. In a nutshell as of today, TRENDiPEOPLE is an on-demand app for Finding & Booking Mobile Freelance Fashion, Hair, Nail, Beauty, Stylists that come to you. This is done based on location and reviews. The updated idea is still consistent with our original founding values. We believe in empowering people, simplifying things and making the world a better place. We promise to remain true to those values as we continue to evolve and grow. The first version of the platform will be launching in 4 weeks. If you have any skills in fashion and beauty or have any friends that do and would like to set off with us on an exciting journey then lease help us spread the word. Leave us with your email address here (www.trendipeople.com) and we’ll contact you as soon we are ready so that you can test and give us feedback of how we can make TRENDiPEOPLE better for you.
In Part two I will explore how I was able to build a team and the resources required to get the Mininum Viable Product(The First Version) of the platform out of the door.
Yours (i) truly,