Categories
Startups

Celebrating Encore’s 3rd Birthday

Last week, we celebrated three years since James and I took a train from London to Cambridge and officially launched Encore to a small community of student musicians.

This launch was a funny one. We had pulled many all-nighters to ensure we were ready for launch day, and everything seemed to fall into place just in time.

The first musician we met signed up without a problem, and we were jubilant. Then the second one tried to register, and our whole site crashed…

Last week, we celebrated three years since James and I took a train from London to Cambridge and officially launched Encore to a small community of student musicians.

This launch was a funny one. We had pulled many all-nighters to ensure we were ready for launch day, and everything seemed to fall into place just in time.

The first musician we met signed up without a problem, and we were jubilant. Then the second one tried to register, and our whole site crashed…

Categories
Startups

Intentional Culture in Startups

Intentional Culture in Startups

I met a founder at a party last week and we quickly got onto discussing company culture in small teams.

Though he was older than me, his company was significantly younger — Encore is nearly three years old! — so I found myself sharing a lot of advice, lessons learned and educational mistakes with him.

He was often asking me to repeat things so he could take notes on his phone, and towards the end of our conversation I noticed he had written a small essay’s worth of notes!

Categories
Startups

What do you wish you’d known before joining Entrepreneur First?

Yesterday, I received an email from the EF Team requesting advice for founders about to embark on the EF programme.

“What advice would you give to someone to help them get the most out of EF?”

It’s hard to believe that, this time three years ago, I was beginning my own entrepreneurial journey as part of EF3, and there are plenty of things I wish I could tell my twenty year-old self.

Here’s a small selection:

Categories
Startups

Interview with Fat Lama

Fat Lama are an exciting marketplace startup enabling the borrowing and lending of just about anything.

I’m absolutely obsessed with marketplace businesses, and I think Fat Lama is a fantastic example of a true “sharing economy” startup: helping suppliers make money from under-utilised belongings, making it easy to borrow from trusted neighbours, and facilitating fast transactions through a secure and safe platform.

Musical instruments is one of their most popular categories, so we’ve been having some interesting discussions recently about how Encore and FL can team up…

An offshoot of those conversations was an interview on their blog this week where I discussed how Encore differs from music agencies, the highs and lows of starting a business in London, and more…


Why I Use: Encore

Published 18th May 2017

https://fatlama.blog/2017/05/18/why-i-use-encore/

Encore Team

Categories
Startups Uncategorised

Designing for Generosity

Plate with tip money

Earlier this week, I ordered an Uber to take my family home after a pleasant evening in a Japanese restaurant.

When the taxi arrived, my Dad launched straight into conversation with the driver and didn’t stop chatting until the moment we arrived at our house. The journey was smooth and quick, and the driver was incredibly courteous.

The jarring moment of the trip came after we had left the taxi and were approaching the front door of our house, when my Dad asked:

| “So, did you give a tip?”

I was stunned as I realised that, within the confines of an app where every payment is seamless and invisible, I wasn’t able to tip the driver.

| “I don’t think I can, Dad”

This jarring confusion led to a feeling of guilt. Our journey had been much cheaper than if we’d taken a people mover with a traditional taxi company, and if I ever take a taxi and pay with cash, I always tip. It’s something I subconsciously learned from my Dad.

As we move further towards a cashless economy where every transaction takes places in the cloud, I think it’s important that we design systems where customers are able to exercise generosity.

Should the platforms enabling these transactions take a commission on these tips? Probably not. This might explain why Travis Kalanick and his merry band of world-conquering growth hackers are yet to build it into Uber…

Admittedly, we don’t support tipping in Encore yet. If I’m honest, I would consider it more of a “nice-to-have” than an essential feature, but it’s something we discussed in the office this week, and we may roll it out later in the year.

I don’t have a strong conclusion to this post, but wanted to air my musings and invite discussion.

Are there any marketplace platforms that already support gratuity? Am I being old-fashioned? Have I missed something?