Do you have an idea, that needs tech to make it a reality?
Very often, we can be sitting somewhere, anywhere - whether it be with friends or strangers, and a conversation starts about a great idea someone has had (or over heard!) and they NEED an app. Love it. We joke now, everyone needs an app! However, the reality can be somewhat more daunting, challenging and very time consuming. The process of turning an idea into reality, so taking a concept and producing the application or platform, is widely under estimated by most people. Not only the time and preparation needed, but also the technical effort and level of collaboration required between a product owner and their tech team. It's a personal thing, building someone's 'baby' - and the differences between a creative (read product/idea owner) and the tech guys (who are actually building the thing) can be quite significant, it takes some management and lots of patience!
TMC's background is technical (Mitchener) and commercial partnerships (Tidey). So, when it comes to identifying a great partner with a cool idea, who we know we can work with (and who can work with us!) and who importantly knows what they want - plus a realistic understanding of the challenge ahead, we are well positioned to recognise this and are then good to go!
When we met Susie in 2019, she had a fabulous idea, tonnes of enthusiasm and knew exactly what she wanted - perfect! Here's Susie's story:
"The Family Home Swaps concept was first ideated in 2018 when my global family travel community members suggested that they would love to home swap with other trusted members. The idea remained just that, an idea, until summer 2019, when I met Charlotte and Dylan. They understood and shared my vision to create a family home swap platform, focusing on the environment and family activities in the area, over bricks and mortar. Highly organised and talented, Charlotte and Dylan have partnered with me to build a bespoke website that enables families worldwide to connect and home swap. The new website includes member logins and profiles, self-published home listings, search functions, private chat, booking, and a payment area. All of which require extensive tech knowledge and experience"
The financials are another tricky part of this process. Building an app is expensive. In the industry, people throw around the 1,000 hour build - this is not a myth, it's a reality. So, when you're having that 'I need an app' thought or conversation, make sure your idea is going to be revenue generating. Have a business plan, projections - and a very good idea of how you are going to attract user/customers, and keep them. A solid commercial model, both with your business partners (if you have any) and your end customer is essential.
There are a number of ways to go when talking about funding an app. If you're lucky enough to have the cash to pay upfront - happy days, otherwise there are alternatives. If you 'buy' the app, likelihood you will be talking £30k+, then it's yours to take away - and whether it's a success or not impacts no one except you. You will have the option to go for a maintenance arrangement with your tech team, which means they will oversee the app, ensure it stays live and fix bugs etc. You will then pay additional amounts for improvements and enhancements. Alternatively, there might be an opportunity to spread your cost over an agreed period, with a partial upfront payment. The risk here for your tech provider, is that your product fails/company folds and they don't get their payment - so you'll likely have to pay more in the long term to offset the risk they are taking. The third option is a partnership. It's not generally something most 'idea' people will think of initially, but - tech is your friend, believe me! This model is a little more complicated to begin with, whilst you work though the terms of the partnership - but if done well, can prove a great way to move forward. It's called 'skin in the game' - meaning that it's then in everyone's interest for a product to be a success. However, as the product owner, it's likely you will need to compromise a little on your original scenario and embrace the idea of having a longer term partner.
Here's a very nice quote from Susie on the topic:
"Partnering with Dylan and Charlotte has been an incredible experience. I am looking forward to continuing this long-term partnership and evolving the family home swap product as it grows and gains popularity across the globe"
familyhomeswaps.com is now very much a team effort. We have regular f2f catch ups, a Trello board, Whatsapp group and plenty of coffee! We brainstorm, laugh and cry (at the terrible timing of our launch during the global Covid pandemic) - but hey, as they say in the travel industry - it's not all about the destination, so let's make sure we enjoy the journey!
The family home swap platform is now live and gaining momentum, with homes listed in 15 countries, including Australia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Malaysia, Uruguay, and Ireland. Together we have delivered a unique, adventurous travel platform for families looking to house swap across the globe. Check it out, then sign up - some amazing destinations await!
If you have a product idea that needs some tech to make it a reality, give me a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org