Below is the full interview that we have conducted with both Mr. Szybalski and Mr. Brown regarding their start-up “DudePins.com”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “DudePins” is all about?
Dudepins is all about sharing manly content. We wanted to create a community around male values and interests. We are well aware of what others are doing in the online social inboard industry (I think we coined that term) but felt that Men were not well represented.
We want Dudepins to be engaging, fun and nsfw content free, we decided to exclude any female imagery primarily because we see a lot more value in growing the community around valuable, rich, content that is informative and interesting by nature. We received a lot of feedback form our users, fans, etc and believe that there are significant negatives attached to that type of content, despite that fact that it will drive ten times the amount of traffic primarily because of it’s shear viral nature; so, cars, cigars, scotch, news and how-to’s for us.
Both my partner and I are not developers, we actually enrolled in some online programming courses in a brave attempt to increase our ‘tech-appeal’, but we like to think we’re biz. dev, online marketing entrepreneurs by nature… so we’ll stick to what we do well and source the rest.
Tag line: Dudepins is all about fast cars, tailored suits and scotches that are older than dirt. Dudepins is a website to discover and share the coolest stuff for dudes. We at dudepins don’t discriminate between dudes, sirs, dukes, bros gentlemen and other men of honor. Dudes like sharing stuff. Man up. Sign up. Pin up. http://dudepins.com
2. When has “DudePins” been founded? And what stage is “DudePins” currently at?
We launched Dudepins about two weeks ago now and, to be honest, can’t keep up with invite requests and traffic demands. We are in a very ‘pre-beta’ phase, so seeing all the buzz around Dudepins is really an exciting, and honourable, experience. We are committing a lot to the site right now, making changes daily and increasing our user base incrementally as we move forward. Our concept is working, so press forward we shall; it turns out that scott and cigar brainstorming can actually output positive results..
3. So what is really the main reason behind building “DudePins”?
Well if you gleamed any knowledge from the above, we love Pinterest and we feel the company has done, and continues to do, an absolutely amazing job thus far. That said, we, as Dudes, feel that having a social sharing service, or pinboard, strictly created, developed, and geared towards dudes, men, sirs, gentleman, males and all the other synonyms of the type, is absolutely essential. Dudepins is all about fast cars, tailored suits and scotches that are older than dirt. Dudepins is a website to discover and share the coolest stuff for dudes. Dudes like sharing stuff and we know that, so we are trying our darn hardest to build a suitable community for men.
That said, we recognize that the adventure we are endeavouring on is, just that, an adventure. To put it in common terms, we feel like Frodo ready to take on the unknown and begin a mission that, without any exaggeration, has “chosen” us; that’s right, call it beef or bologny, doesn’t make a difference to us.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Kamil Szybalski – Co-Founder
Colin Brown – Co-Founder
We have been friends for sometime, so casual nights eventually led to friendship and friendship led to business; that’s usually the nature progression of things.
5. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
There are obstacles we face every day and I would say we solve most by quick & clear communication, open minded brainstorming and then a commitment to detailed execution.
6. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
I think there are 2 sides to this question users and business. Users who are new to Dudepins have yet to discover how fun sharing images are in community of like-minded individuals. Also, how is it is to share images with a tools like our Pin Up button. The other side is for business the referral power of image sharing sites.
7. Why are you going to succeed?
Because failure is not an option. We are extremely driven individuals who truly believe that Dudepins can add value and be successful. It’s a dangerous mix when passion, drive and ability meet.
8. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Fingers crossed only champagne ones. If demand continues on the growth trajectory that it’s on scaling effectively and efficiently will be the major focus.
9. What’s the benefit for the user?
Amazing content, close community and mind-blowing customer service. We are build Dudepins around what the users want, need and wish to have.. so that makes for a pretty good experience.
10. Who are your current users? Who are your target users?
The only criteria we have for users is that they enjoying looking at and/or sharing male oriented content. This means they can be a man or women from anywhere in the world who have a computer with an internet connection.
11. Where do new users come from and what makes new users try you? How did customers and/or users find out about you?
New users come from everywhere. We’ve had exposure in multiple countries through many different channels which has put Dudepins in front of a really diverse audience. The individuals who stay are the ones who find the content interesting, funny, cool, awesome or plainly the best thing they have ever seen.
12. What do your users say about your product and/or service?
My favorite is “Dude-tacular” but we’ve also received “man-erific”, “awesome” and a tone of other compliments. Much of the feedback is appreciation that we have created a place where people can share dude stuff because dudes like sharing too.
13. How are you going to scale?
This is a big question so for now I will say with a lot of hard work.
14. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers keep asking for?
The answer to this question will be ever changing which reflexes our iterative style but right now I would have to say a mobile app.
15. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
The great thing about Dudepins is that its image based which is a form of communication that is international. Eventually, we will translate the text into other languages other than English but we already have an international audience.
16. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
We can get as big as our utility/functionality and cool factor will take us. Dudepins will appeal to anyone who likes looking at and sharing male oriented content. We’ve have yet to figure out how big that market is but plan to find out.
17. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
We are not currently looking at making full time hires but are willing to give young entrepreneurs startup experience through internships. We currently have a development internship posting up and will soon be posting a marketing intern position.
18. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We are always looking for strategic partners and are open to all conversations of this type but we are currently not looking for funding. If potential partners who see synergies between Dudepins and their current business and/or skill set wanted to reach out to us they can email us firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet at us @Dudepins or post on our Facebook page.
19. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Most ventures are founded on passion which means you rarely hear people complain about how hard they are working because they love what they are doing (and its really their own fault if their stressed). What I would encourage entrepreneurs to do is reflect on accomplishments and failure so that you learn to work smart and not just hard. The ability to be efficient in time management is crucial especially in competitive market places.