Hello and welcome to a new Word of the Week podcast episode.
In today’s show you will gain access to something that you probably have never been part of before: a platform made of passions (and a free Google Hangout with the creators!).
Enjoy the audition!
In the podcast we discuss:
- 01:21 – Meet the brains and hear the story: Tom & Seb
- 05:44 – The birth of a new concept
- 10:00 – ShurDoo: create your perfect webpage… and more
- 12:05 – The 3 big pain points that Shurdoo relieves
- 13:28 – What can you do on Shurdoo?
- 17:10 – When & How will you be able to use Shurdoo?
- 21:33 – A platform created with passions
- 22:34 – What’s with the name?
- 23:55 – Getting in touch with Shurdoo
- 25:24 – Have Qs? Get your A’s directly from Shurdoo’s creators
Here is the podcast’s transcription:
Fiona: Hi, it’s Fiona Lewis here from Super Savvy Business with the latest podcast interview! Now, as you all know, one of my projects that I have a big space in, is Mumpreneurs Online and that business is all about helping mothers work from home and primarily use the internet as a way to get their business out there to others – so I always have a look out to ways to be able to help mums and to find people that I can bring into the community that are going to be beneficial for them.
Only a couple of weeks ago I was put in contact by a fellow entrepreneur with two other entrepreneurs who were on to something really exciting. They are in the middle of a project which, I believe, is going to be transformational for many mothers who are wanting to work from home, but are trying to find the best way to get it out there, and a really good vehicle to show other people what they are doing.
01:21 - Meet the brains and hear the story: Tom & Seb
I will introduce these two people to you…
The first person I would like to introduce is Tom Bass. Tom is in Project Sales Marketing in real estate by day, but he is also a budding entrepreneur by night. He has majored in spatial design at the College of Fine Arts, but he wanted something more engaging than staring at a computer screen all day and working on somebody else’s ideas, so he went into sales instead.
However, the urge to dream and create something of his own was simply too great so, with his 30th birthday looming less than a year away, he made a promise to himself that it was “now or never” and he dived in with his new project, which we are going to be revealing in just a moment.
The other person who is partnering with Tom on this new project is Sebastian (or Seb) Hulst. Sebastian is from the Netherlands and he has a background as an industrial designer. He has worked for small-size companies and at the moment he is working as a Senior Software Developer for a Sydney startup.
Like Tom, he has always wanted to work on his own ideas, so enrolled in a course to help him get started – and that’s where he and Tom met and they started working on this wonderful project.
So, guys, I am not going to reveal what this project is yet, because I would actually like you two to do that. But first of all, I would just like to welcome you both to the call today …
…and, yeah, this is the Super Savvy Business show and bringing you live to the Mumpreneurs Online podcast as well!
So guys, you know, I have met with the both of you and, as I said in the introduction, I am always on the lookout for ways to be able to help mothers, to support mothers who are wanting to find a leveraged way to be able to work from home in and around their families… and when I heard about your project I was really super excited.
First of all, before we go into what this project is, I have given you both a bit of an intro, but do you want to maybe tell our listeners a little bit more about yourselves?
Tom: I work in the real estate as Project Sales Marketing so we sell off the plan properties; it’s rather dull, but you do get to meet some really interesting people. But, at the end of the day, like Fiona said earlier, I really want to be creating something of my own.
I have got other passions as well, I have got several other hobbies, I do a bit of photography… I actually was part of a global street art project last year called, “Be The Change”, and we had our work on display as part of Art and About down at Barangaroo. I also do a bit of community radio DJ-ing on Radio Northern Beaches.
So, you know, just trying to find where my true passions lie and then trying to make something of them as opposed to just shoehorning myself into a particular career path. So that’s when I met Seb, we thought why don’t we say – take photography, for instance – create a platform where we can tell our stories as to why we are passionate about photography, put up portfolios, talk about various things, as how we do it, how we offer it, and then broaden that to encompass all these different hobbies that other people love to do and let them turn it into a product they can sell.
So that’s sort of how I got into it; how about you, Seb?
Sebastien: Well, I started basically, working for a software company and they wanted to start-up in Sydney and they have now moved overseas so they’ve gone to Silicon Valley and they’re starting to make it, which actually makes me feel like s**t. I have got all these ideas and I keep working for people who are yet to develop their ideas instead of working on my own ideas, which I have plenty of as well.
So I went to this course called “From Corporate To Freedom” and where Tom and me met. And we just had some ideas and we ended up with this idea called Shurdoo, which we will introduce in a second. And we just kept on going back like, “Ok, we need to find a way for all these people who have all these hobbies to actually have a simple way of putting it online, build a community and build a following”. That’s actually where Shurdoo started.
5:44 – The birth of a new concept
Fiona: So this whole idea, this business concept of yours, has really been born out of your own frustrations and difficulties around getting your passionate ideas out there?
Tom: Uh, very much so. We looked at existing platforms out there – places such as Freelancer.com, of course, you’ve got Gumtree just put classified ads, you’ve got AirTasker which is taking off here and then in the US you’ve got TaskRabbit and lots of similar places. But they are all centred around the job, the task at hand and the price. There is nothing that really lets you as a person, as a passionate person who loves doing what you do to really tell your story and start branding yourself that way so that it’s not about a race to the bottom.
So, this guy is charging $45 an hour to do this, I want to charge $50 because, you know, I would do a better job; I’m more passionate about it than he is, I can show that my process is superior, but 9 times out of 10 people just go “Oh, he is good enough”. You know? It is… it’s sort of like, it’s very salesy in a way, you know? You are sort of, you are fighting tooth and nail trying to underbid the next guy and we are trying to avoid that with the platform like this, to make it more authentic, and genuine, and put the focus back on to the person.
Seb: It also allows for – instead of having just the product out there and say “This costs $45” or “I’m having the service and I will charge $50” – it’s not focused on that; it’s much more like “This is my passion. This is what I like to do. This is how I work”, and that’s the thing that connects people instead of being like “Yo, I’m competing with this yo, because, doh!, he’s making the same thing!” – that’s not the theme.
In general, two people who are doing the exact same thing come up with completely different workways and completely different results, because one is passionate about it and the other one… he has been doing it so long and is bored with doing it actually that he will not give you the same result. So, it’s just… it’s very difficult if you only focus on products to show like “This is …” , “I’m generally better at doing it, because I have a lot more passion at doing it.”
…and that’s what Shurdoo is targeting.
Fiona: So, just to make it clear to our listeners today, what you guys are in the process of putting together is a platform for people who have a hobby, or a passion – whether it be in creating a product or delivering a service – it’s a platform for these people to come and to market this product or service, but coming from the perspective that it’s not just about the product or service; it’s about the story behind the person and why it is they do what they do, and why they are good at it. Is that right?
Tom: Yes, yes, that’s very much correct. And another very important part of this is actually the community building aspect because there are many, many people who are in the same boat as we are, who, you know, they don’t really particularly like their jobs or who can’t really work fulltime, but they do have something that they really want to make some income out of, or perhaps even as a safe test platform to see if they can actually move into a new career path. And in this instance, having a community of people giving you constant feedback or even having access to people who are actually further down your “skill path” (so to speak), or a particular thing that you are doing, that can be really helpful in terms of getting mentors or even just going up and pushing your own passions further.
10:00 - Shurdoo: create your perfect webpage… and more
Fiona: And there is some other pain point, some other challenges and difficulties around, you know, being somebody who has a passion or a hobby. What are some of those things that, you know… I know that when I first started, I was up against certain things, but you guys have obviously felt it yourselves, and there are lots of… you know, this podcast is going on to our Mumpreneurs community… what other main pain points, the main difficulties are surrounding people in getting their product or service out there?
Tom: One key aspect in the digital age is, uhm, you really need a proper website, a web presence to really get your name out there and then driving traffic to said web presence, like, uhm, it’s a very simple one page website that’s seems to be a bit of a hurdle for a lot of people in terms of quality control and how to actually tell the story. And what we are trying to develop at the moment is a system that lets you do all that almost semi-automatically. So you type in the things that you want, your story, and it will gradually guide you to arrive at a coherent story, visually and text that really sells what you have to say and what you are really passionate about.
Seb: But what we are really trying to do is to find a way, by experimenting ourselves, asking questions to mumpreneurs and people who already put up their website … we are trying to find out what is the way that would sell these people? What is the story they are trying to sell? And a lot of people, when they start building a website, they don’t necessarily know what they should put on there. You have a blank canvas and you need to start. And this is especially where a blueprint like what Shurdoo is going to give you the help with to fill in like “These are the steps, slowly go and you just progress into a better and better website”. And that’s what a lot of people are having difficulties with.
12:05 - The 3 big pain points that ShurDoo relieves
Fiona: Yeah, I mean, I know just through the community and the people that I work with that the pain points are definitely:
One - I know I need a website but maybe I don’t have the funds to get one up
Two – If I am going to do it myself, I have no idea about how to go about doing it myself
Three – Once I get it up, how do I let people know that it’s there? How do I get a consistent flow of traffic?
So, there are all of those issues surrounding, you know, people who are wanting to get, you know, a hobby or an idea out there, but the fourth one, of course, is time – you know, having the time to actually do this.
So it’s budget,
And it’s time.
The three big pain points. And that’s where I see what you are doing with this Shurdoo is really going to solve all of those issues for the people who want to get their product or service out there because it’s a bit like eBay in the sense that eBay is a marketplace where people know they can go to buy things and it’s driving traffic on its own, because people know to go there when they are looking for something specific, for a specific product.
So I would imagine that, you know, Shurdoo, once it’s off the ground and people are familiar with it, it’s going to be self-perpetuating, where it just drives traffic organically, because people know that is the marketplace to go to when you are looking for somebody who has a hobby or a passion within a range of different areas.
13:28 - What can you do on ShurDoo?
Is it going to be covering just about everything? Can it be a hobby in etching or a profession in photography, what are the things that can be covered?
Tom: I think just about everything is going to be covered, eventually. But at the moment we are focusing purely on the market side as opposed to the service category. We are targeting mumpreneurs at the moment because there are a lot of them out there, a lot of eager mumpreneurs who want to gain their independence again and, you know, don’t necessarily want to move back into the corporate jobs; they have a kid now, they have to work but “I don’t like to, so I might as well do something that I’m passionate about”.
So let’s target them first and a lot of their pain points would be quite similar to the paint points of the rest of the broader market as a whole, namely the ones you mentioned, like time structure and I’d like to say space as well, to test out their ideas.
So pretty much our next step… I’m not sure if I’m pre-empting you, Fiona, our next step we’d like to, basically, keep developing the design, do more design and development on how it is that we are going to tell the story. So on the basic profile sites, the one-page websites… and we are pretty much doing that through trial and error and we would love to recruit any interested mumpreneurs and mumpreneurs-to-be to be part of our early group, and then maybe we can even take three or five of them in a month or two’s time to a very early version of the [...] and see if we can actually sell their services or products on the internet and get them their first customers.
Fiona: So these are women in what sort of geographical area? Where would you be looking to recruit these women from?
Tom: We are currently operating in Sydney, so we are focusing on our hometown. So anywhere in the Sydney Metropolitan Area would be our target. Of course, we will gradually expand… I think this will be very, very popular in Melbourne, and then we will go infect all the other capital cities,k and then jump overseas… in time.
Fiona: ..Take over the world. Because, you know, it is the sort of thing…
Tom & Seb: Yeah, take over the world.
Fiona: Yeah. I mean, this is the sort of thing that really will have broad appeal anywhere in the world, and because it is internet-based, there is no limit, really, as to how far this can grow.
Seb: That’s true. And there is one thing as to why we start off with focusing so much on one area, and that’s because the whole idea with Shurdoo is that there will be a lot of services sold as well and in that case teaching somebody would only be possible if you actually can do it face-to-face or have the ability to actually come in contact with the other person. And if we would say right off the bat like the whole world is our market and guide them, we can see how it works, you will see that it is not structured enough and it is not going to be enough traction to actually get it going.
While if we … by focusing now especially on Sydney we put back like, “Ok, this is where we want people, this is to make sure that it is enough community out here to actually have people to pick from”. Otherwise it will just not have enough traction.
17:10 - When & How will you be able to use ShurDoo?
Fiona: And what sort of stage of development are you at the moment, guys?
Tom: Oh, well, as I was saying before, we are pretty much doing the design-development process, so designing the site itself, the usability, all sorts of highly technical things that I won’t go into at the moment… Seb is in charge of all the technical things back-end to make sure that the site actually runs as it should. I’m just looking through how to… I’m doing a series of mockups of how we can actually tell that story, how then we funnel the usage to actually create that story cohesively within the space, and also a little wizzard to actually help them achieve that.
So rather than having someone obsessed with how their page actually looks, all the pages will essentially be of the same structure (the same fonts, colours, whatever), but what you are in control of to a certain degree, are pictures, graphics, and various text that goes into each section as you talk about, you know, what it is that you are passionate about, why you are passionate about it, how you go about doing it, and a little bit about yourself.
And then at the very end, that’s when you get the product “Alright, I have got this passion of mine, it’s cooking, and alright, so I can either cook for someone at a party, give them a soiree experience, and then I can package that at, you know, several couple hundreds of dollars” or whatever amount you want to charge, they provide the ingredients, you show up and go there for three hours. And that’s what you do.
Or let’s say someone has actually sent a request saying “Alright, I would like to learn, you know, how you cooked that dish for me at that last soiree that you were at. Ok? One-on-one session, $100, at your place or mine”. So they can negotiate those things.
And then, you know, they keep making, ‘Oh, a kid, a toddler that actually really enjoys the food” and you just happen to be cooking organic food, so you can branch out to organic toddler foods. “Alright! Every Sunday I am going to cook a batch and then I am going to put it in the freezer and then sell it on this platform as well”. And you can do that.
So there is a number of different ways that you can “productise”, so to speak, what you are passionate about. And we are in the process of working out, “how do we make this all work?”, all very user-friendly, and that’s where we really need the feedback from mumpreneurs, as to “What do you like: working this way or do you like working that way?”, because some of the problems that you will see we arrange things like text.
Fiona: Yeah, so ..
Tom: That’s where we are at!
Fiona: So if there were women listening to this podcast today and they are wondering whether or not, you know, they might be the right sort of person that you are looking for… What sort of pre-record do they need to be ready to roll with their product or service now… you know, who are you actually looking for?
Tom: We are looking for people who are already competent at what they do. So to say, cooking – they can cook, or a photographer – they can take great photos… but most of all the only real qualification is that they are genuinely passionate about it.
Tom: So you can be an amazing dancer, or anything like that, but if the passion isn’t there.. sorry, wrong platform.
Fiona: Okay… so, guys, I mean, as you know, I’m super excited about this project! When I met you just a few short weeks ago through a business colleague I knew I wanted to jump on to support you, guys, because – being a mumpreneur myself, somebody who works from home and supports the family-friendly lifestyle that is flexible – I am always looking for other ways that I can support my community and the women within my community.
And the thing about this, I guess, is that, you know, this may start for some women as a hobby, something they are just passionate about, but the thing I also love is this also, I think you mentioned earlier, a great platform for testing an idea out and seeing how the market takes it; so if someone is wanting a safe way to go into the marketplace that is going to be low-cost, low-risk, and with the idea that maybe one day they want to build it into a much bigger business.
And this is a fantastic way to go about doing that!
21:33 - A platform created with passions
Seb: Yeah, this is indeed THE platform to go and try out different passions that you can really make money with it. And let alone, you might indeed go like “Ok, this is just hitting off, I’m making so many sells and then we’ll see.”
Shurdoo, at this stage, is very much a beginners’ platform. We are learning ourselves as well; we might very much go with the people and actually allow them to draft their own business. And look, at this moment, it’s purely meant to try out your passion, your hobby and turn that into a product.
22:34 - What’s with the name?
Fiona: Now, guys, I think we have given our community a really good understanding of what you’ve got on the boil here and the fact that you are looking for these women to start on this journey with you. And I think, what a fantastic opportunity! People were willing to stand up and take up on that opportunity.
One thing we haven’t really covered, though, we have been talking about this thing, ShurDoo… how did you come up with that name? Can you explain it to us?
Seb: Yeah, Shurdoo actually started off as a Share and Do name. Got the domain name by mistake and we have also been playing a little bit with, uhm, Share&Do – that’s not really what we’re into. We ended up with Shurdoo, which is written S-H-U-R-D-O-O and it is about a ‘Can Do’ attitude; that’s what it actually sounds: “Sure Do”, and “We Can and We will” – it’s positive, confirming action. So that’s what we’re trying to sell with the name.
Fiona: And once it is explained, like, I think when you hear the meaning behind it, I think it is a fantastic branding for what you are doing. Now, just to confirm, the website is www.shurdoo.com.
Tom: That’s right.
23:55 – Getting in touch with Shurdoo
Fiona: Now you guys also have a Facebook page, is that right?
Tom: Yes, we have.
Fiona: Okay, so ladies, if this is something that has peaked your interest, something that you would like to get involved in, please head over to the landing page the boys have already set up. There is a name capture in there, so you can put your name and email address in there, is that correct?
Tom: Sure do!
Fiona: (giggles) …and of course, ladies, the benefit of that is that if you subscribe to the website there, as this project progresses, you will be on the insiders’ community – you will be one of the first people to know what is going on, given the first opportunities to jump on board and then get involved. But also, the Facebook page, we will put a link on the MumpreneursOnline.com website and also SuperSavvyBusiness.com , so it will be very easy to just connect with the guys there as well.
Shurdoo Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shurdoo/247249235411387?fref=ts
Now, if anyone has questions surrounding what you are doing – I’m imagining there will be lots of questions – is the Facebook page the best place to go for that?
Tom: Yeah, yeah, that’s the best place you can go.
Fiona: Alright.. so, guys, thank you so much for sharing your time with us today, I am super excited about this project, and I will be following you very, very closely as you go along your journey and look forward to hearing about the stories that come about as a result of the women that you will be working with initially, and hearing their case studies and the successes which I am sure they are going to have.
25:24 - Have Qs? Get your A’s directly from Shurdoo’s creators
Alright guys, I am guessing that there is a lot of questions that people might have about what you are doing and wanting to find out how they can get involved in all that sort of stuff. So, we have already discussed before we started this podcast that we’d organise a Google Hangout at which people can come along and talk directly to you, ask you questions and get a little bit more of an idea about this project.
Would you like to share the date and the time for this hangout?
Tom: Thanks Fiona. Uh, it will be on the 9th of April at 8:30PM.
Fiona: Okay, now for those of you who perhaps have never heard of a Google Hangout or never been on one, I will be putting a link on my page to which you can request to join this hangout. You will need to log in with a Google account – that does not mean that it has to be a gmail email address, but it does need to be a Google account in order to access the Google Hangout.
On that hangout you will be able to ask your questions and to be able to meet Tom and Seb in person with the videos and also I will be online as well.
So just to confirm, that is on Tuesday, the 9th of April from 8:30 PM and the link to join the hangout will be available on the MumpreneursOnline and Super Savvy Business pages for you, so this will be your opportunity to connect with these guys and find out a little bit more about this fantastic project.
Seb: I will probably put the same link on the… on our webpage.
Fiona: Is there anything else you would like to say before we sign off on today’s podcast?
Tom: Oh, thank you, Fiona! You’ve been great!
Fiona: My pleasure, guys, I am just so happy that you have come into my circle and that I can bring you to the Mumpreneurs community.
My name is Fiona Lewis and I am from Super Savvy Business and Mumpreneurs Online.
Thank you for tuning into today’s podcast, and we will look forward to seeing you again next time!
Shurdoo’s official website: http://www.shurdoo.com
Shurdoo’s Facebook page: Click here
Google Hangout: 9th of April, 8.30 PM
NOTE: You will need to have a Google+ Account to join this hangout… Please make sure you have this set up well before the hangout starts.