See parts 1-4 of the series: 

Stage 00 – The Story Behind the Entrepreneur
Stage 01 – The Business Idea
Business Stage 02 – From Idea to Brand
Business Stage 03 – From Brand to Product to Ice Box

So after a year of having ‘What to do with Phopus?’ on my to do list and ideas board I decided that I needed to take that plunge one more time, really think about it, write a proper business plan, work out routes to payback and beyond and think much more cleverly about how to put this idea into action – through competitor re-research it seems that there was one vaguely similar concept out there now but there would still be enough space to play.

On the back of this I met up with a mentor of mine who gave me the idea to change my mindset from ‘what’s the idea that will win’ to ‘what will earn me a million Dollars’  (no idea why but I always think in Dollars despite being passionately British).

Breaking the million down…  I wanted to have an idea for what 1,000 people would want to buy for 1,000, what 10,000 people would want to buy for 100, what 100,000 people would want to buy for 10… then I hit on Phopus again…  with a $15pm charge or $120pa charge to be a member, people would be interested in getting involved and also not be too upset as they were unlikely to miss that small amount per month versus larger fees…

So Phopus was back on the table and things needed to be kicked off again. This time, properly.

The whole business plan was built out visually so that anyone picking it up would get it, understand it and designed it to be on brand and engaging – just as the site needed to be.

Now was time to get another developer on board… I went back to who were again weak and filled with copy and paste applications despite my opening line being ‘you will be ignored if you do not pay attention to the brief and comment on feasibility as well and initial thinkings on how it will be developed’  – a fair request that was actively ignored by all.

Then I was put onto oDesk, a similar platform that seemed to have much better quality of freelancers / developers so I put the brief on there too… and got three great pitches…  such a hard choice.

The guy I went for was not cheap, but he was the one who was active in asking me about the project, who my visual references were, what kind of features I wanted, how I wanted things to work and had the stones to say ‘there is no point me putting together a mockup in a few hours when that should take about a week, sometimes two… if you are judging on that you are judging on the wrong thing’.

I liked this. He had expertise and also the stones to show that he was happy to push back, happy to question me and happy to challenge what I wanted for better or for worse for the end site we built together.

He was hired, and Phopus went back into production!

Greg Dillon, founder of, 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 and can always be found lurking on Twitter @Greg_Dillon