Now for part 4:
Traditional business methods would suggest that you decide on every aspect of the product before the name then make the name relevant to what is being delivered.
I opted for a different route… one that gave me a lot of freedom as long as I worked to deliver on everything the brand stood for and the concept wanted to enable users to do.
I compiled a full ‘stage one’ report (design agency speak for competitor, consumer, offer and brand research) on my concept mapping out the types of users I wanted to target, the features I wanted to have on the site and a rough schematic of how I wanted it to look like.
This is all very time consuming but sadly at this point Kirsty was travelling and had very little phone reception, meaning that I had more time on said bus to think and to plan.
I put together a rough brief and, on the advise of people I worked with at the time, and on very little budget, I hired a web designer from GetAFreelancer.com – this will go down as a massive mistake.
After a vicious round of pitching and many conversations with potential freelancers I had a punt on a chap called Punit. Against my instinct to go with someone I thought was better but wanted double the cash…
He was briefed, had great creds, seemed to have a free-thinking mind but sadly lacked that design element that I needed, lacked that inquisitive mind that would challenge me, push back and make me rethink what I wanted to do… he was a yes man. Sadly I only found this out three months later when he was nowhere near where we should have been and his designs were so complicated to use that it made no sense even trying.
The two of us had frequent Skype conversations to get updates and to chat things through but it became apparent that we really would not get anywhere unless it all started again – despite this, the developer was demanding more cash to redesign the site and to rework the database to fit my actual needs and wants for the site.
At this time things were going mental in the day job, I was jetting off all round the world for work, I had run out of space on my credit card and also lost interest due to the need for a complete rebuild… after all this work my first www baby was about to be dropped from my life prematurely and without mercy.
Only a couple of months after this I was made redundant from the job I loved and decided to pursue my career in New York for a few months so Phopus, and all the great thinking and work behind it was put on ice – I was truly gutted but had no time to think about or mourn it, I had a lot of work to do in my 9-5…
Greg Dillon, founder of http://Phopus.com, is a senior brand strategist by day who specialises in leisure, retail and sporting brands, but by night he is an entrepreneur who is setting out on his quest to be his own boss and build something that connects with people at their fundamental need for recognition for their great work. He is an exhibited photographer and sells his work through his site http://photographyby.gd and can always be found lurking on Twitter @Greg_Dillon
Category: Startup Advice