Posts in Life

Simon Tefula’s Startup Journey Episode 4 – More Networking

“If you’re the smartest person in the room then you’re in the wrong room.” Iron sharpens iron so it’s all about surrounding yourself with individuals that are on the same mission and will help you achieve your goals. In this episode I hang with some of my talented entrepreneur friends David Gogo (A rising Start in the Architectural World(& Aliya Dirie from my support network – The Iron Circle

 

Simon Tefula’s Startup Journey Episode #1 The Story Behind TRENDiPEOPLE

Episode #1

So this is Episode #1 of my vlog documenting the highs and lows of my Tech Startup Business Journey. I’m a very private individual so I’m naturally quite nervous about putting myself out here on blast like this. It’s completely out of my comfort zone however as Thomas Jefferson once said, “…if you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Life as they say begins outside your comfort zone, and I’ve just taken the plunge. Apologies in advance I didn’t realise I talk too much… I go on quite a bit but as I promised no filters. Thanks for supporting yours truly

 

 

The Story of how I developed an app: PART 1: What is TRENDiPEOPLE? & How it All Started:

 

 

 

                                                                                 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,

Simon Tefula 

Where there is no vision, the people perish – Proverbs 28:19

Many moons ago…

when I was about 14 or 15 years old, I had a vision, I was sat at the top of a table in a fancy boardroom somewhere in the City of London. I was flanked by 3 other people on either side (6 people in total were paying attention to what I was saying). I was wearing a burgundy turtleneck and a blue blazer.  At the time I had no idea where that vision came from or what it meant however something incredible happened four weeks ago. I found myself in a strangely familiar boardroom of a fancy Digital Agency called Modular. I had this sense of Déjà vu. It was only after I had left the meeting that it all came back to me. This is an experience that I’d had been through before.

 

What’s your vision of yourself?

All throughout my years at school, university and various job that I did I always had this vision. Although I didn’t specifically know what or how I wanted to do, I believed in doing and contributing something that makes this world a better place. I kept seeking for inspiration and setting goals while working towards them because I had a vision. I then came up with some ideas, most were disastrous but some worked out. I learnt and continue to learn plenty of lessons most of which I share in my workshops. To say that my path has been challenging is an understatement. As I continue to tell my story – and it’s a long and eventful one, one thing that I’ve learnt is this.

It’s never talent that holds somebody back, 99 out of 100 times it’s somebody’s vision of themselves and their idea of what is possible.

The book of Proverbs 28:19 says “…where there is no vision, the people shall perish.” Develop a crystal clear vision for yourself, see yourself in particular situations, imagine how you would sound and feel in those scenarios. Create goals, write them down, work towards them and in good time, you’ll find yourself living Déjà vu experiences.