My first entreprenurial adventure - and failure
I have always been someone who likes to give feedback.
The feedback might be about how it makes me smile when I get three marshmallows in my mocha or it may be about the lack of parking spaces.
However big or small that feedback is or how subjective it might be, the value of it to a business could be priceless.
It could be the difference between a product that sells a hundred items or a million. But the biggest issue here is channel between the customer or client who has that suggestion and the business who needs it too receive it.
How often do you go somewhere and you wish it was easier to tell them how you felt?
Where you could remain anonymous, avoid confrontation and not need a pen and paper?
It is these factors that stop people giving valuable feedback. And why we might not be the best at it.
Which is why I came up with the idea of the The Suggestion Box.
The Suggestion Box App replaces the old compliments, complaints and ideas boxes as seen in many businesses. Which are archaic dust collectors. And creates a free, easy to use and anonymous way to give feedback to businesses.
Wining the Entre apps challenge in 2013 meant that I won a day of development with Smudge Apps, Toby and Reuben, the directors, went far beyond this and helped me improve my idea and turn it into a real working app.
I then worked on it at the UC Innovators space with the amazing Dr Rachel Wright who remains a mentor and friend today.
It works like this:
You download the app for free, log in and then the app shows the places closest to you, you select the place you want to make a suggestion to and then are shown this screen, a simple form that you fill out . Decide if it deserves a sad face or a happy face. Then you have 140 characters to make your comment. You can even ad a picture ! Then submit!
The suggestions are then filtered and distributed to businesses.
The app has been developed and is up and running however I am still looking for further investment, to turn the app into what I want it to be. But with a few updates and some funding to market the app I could take this app worldwide.
It worked, I had businesses wanting to sign up and purchase the feedback that customer gave through my app. But I made a mistake. I didn't listen to the mentors or the books. I thought my customer/audience was the people who were going to pay me the moolaa. But no the customers and the audience that I neglected were the users!
Of course its seems so simple now. I put all my efforts into making sure the companies would pay me for the suggestions. But missed a huge important obvious factor that without people using the app and making those suggestion my app was useless.
After about 3 months of working on the app, I lost passion and drive and got distracted by other things. I wasn't really as passionate as I thought about customer feedback, and although the app could have been a money maker, that wasn't enough to drive me to keep going.
It was a great experience and I learnt heaps. I meet some cool people on the way and got my first taste of being an entrepreneur.