Coffee with the client – Samazing
Advantages of Nearshoring
It’s no secret that nearshoring is the new offshoring. After successfully completing phase one in developing his brand new mobile application (undisclosed), last week our dear client Sam Fischer came to visit us from Switzerland for the planning of phase two. In this case, the client was the one who insisted on coming to work alongside the team. Needless to say, face-to-face communication boosted the team’s work efficiency. We’ve sat down with Sam for a cup of coffee while he was here to talk about his experience of working with us.
So why have you chosen to work with us?
I always look for people who have some specific attributes of ambitions, people who are creative, who think differently and are willing to go the extra mile. In my country that’s sometimes hard to find because we grow up in an environment where we have quite a lot. We don’t always realize the potential we have to create something bigger. I’m looking for people who are willing to argue with me, who won’t agree with me right away or with my perspective. I want them to stress test my thinking and to make me think further and in a bigger picture. I like to look at arguments as challenges, like riddles, which we can solve. The reason why I’ve chosen to work with you is that I see this kind of ambition and drive to create something bigger and better. You strive to do more. And it’s important to be thinking in terms of “What more can we do?”.
What would you say is your vision and mission?
I have these three words or phrases. Learning to grow, to improve, so you constantly have something that is bringing advantage to the people, bringing improvement to people and improving their lives. And with this, I’ve already said the second subject, which is – Sharing.
If you have something that other people need or something that people can profit from, that will help them, then you have something to share and that is always of high value. So, I always try to learn and grow so that I have something to share, and then of course along the journey, I also try to live the experience. You can put it in any order you want to. For example, if you have the experience, you will probably learn something, which you can share.
It’s really refreshing to meet someone who is not money-driven or success-driven. There are not a lot of people who do their job because they have an authentic vision and mission. You don’t really have the chance to meet a lot of people who think like that in the time we live in.
It’s hard to say, but if we break it down we have to ask ourselves, what is success really? I think success is when you create or make something for the better and thus creating a better future, in this order. If you do something that improves people’s lives, even just a little bit, to me that’s a success. I used to be a dancer and teacher, and I still am. As an artist, you are always looking to redefine, recreate or even find yourself. Of course, I would say that I was partially doing that too and through it, I realized the two core motivations I have. There were opportunities that were given to me and there were opportunities that were not given to me on my way to striving to become a successful performing artist. I had my successes at competitions and whatnot. But it was only when I had a first, let’s say, breakthrough that I started seeing that all of this doesn’t mean that I will automatically get to the next one and the next one, etc. Especially in the arts and entertainment industry, and everything that sort of has to do with creative work or even in the fitness world, things are not always regulated as well as in other markets. I saw that there is a huge gap somewhere. I always thought that there should be better ways to connect people where they can find work, where they can increase rates and where they can improve working processes. You have to understand, the world of arts is based on communities, for the most part, and just like religions different communities sometimes tend to exclude one another. For example, if you are linked to this one community, chances are that some of the other communities won’t welcome you into theirs. So, it can be like a little world or a little bubble. I thought that we could break this chain in which you always have to go through certain people to get somewhere. For example, people who are seeking for the best possible match for their project won’t find them because other people within “the chain”, or let’s say community, won’t let people through. I think that we can create something that can help people to find each other, not based on who likes them or who doesn’t, how famous they are or not, but based on their skills, ambitions and their discipline.
So you wanted to create something that will make artists less dependent on others?
Yes. We want to make visible what people are able to contribute and what their skills are, not how they appear in some one-sided perspectives. Five to six months ago, when we were at the beginning of actually building the project, we asked ourselves, “Why are we doing all of this and why are we spending all of this energy, time and money?”, we got back to the conclusion of the two main motivations – The chances we’ve had and the chances we didn’t have. Now we can create them both for others. Because we believe that everyone deserves a chance to reach for their potential. Everyone should have the opportunity.
So this idea inspired you to make what exactly?
To create a platform, more precisely, an application to connect people who create art and people who, let’s say, are art. Let’s take, for example, a production company that is seeking to hire artists and then there are artists who are looking to be a part of different productions. Or let’s simply say dance- or acting teachers that are looking for substitutes because they need someone to cover their classes – something short term. Simply put, people will find people to work with. You’ll have a bigger potential reach through our platform. And those artists who will most likely be a fit for a certain job, therefore, will be able to apply for it. Once applied you can review the profiles and see if the artist meets all of the required standards, in the meaning of the candidate’s references, how many jobs he or she did in the past, and you are able to review their CV, etc. We are basically creating fast and unlimited access through connectivity within the community and industry. And this creates more opportunities, more potential, for people to create, share and experience work engagements and growth on a professional level.
So it’s like a freelancing platform for artists?
Yes. It’s a platform for artists, or say, the whole arts and entertainment industry. We understand that the world is complicated enough as it is, so we follow our rule to implement quality in simplicity, in everything we do, in reaching for advancement. The platform should be easy to use and nice and smooth to handle – user-friendly. It needs to be compelling for everyone.
Is the app live?
Right now we are getting ready for the testing phase.
So, when will you go live?
We are going into the testing phase in about two weeks and we will be actively testing the app for another month. We will go live after that, depending on the overall progress. We are going into the testing phase with our hand-picked ambassadors. The ambassadors we chose are the artists that have been around in the art scene for a while now. They are the ones that believe in all of this even from an early stage and they trust the potential of the project. They are the people I’ve worked within the past or which I’ve known for a long time. Or they are the people I’ve stumbled across because I saw that they are really active and ambitious. We took our time to sit down with each one of them, to invite them in person, as they will be the first-ever artists to enter the platform.
What would you say were the biggest challenges with starting an MVP?
That’s hard to put. The key is definitely not to think that one can do it alone. My partner Florence Sarbach and I are working hand in hand since day one when there was just a glimpse of a bigger picture. I think the biggest challenges were the ones that came spontaneously. Of course, we can’t predict everything and this is what was most challenging for us. Nevertheless, the most important thing is that we tackle challenges as they come. I don’t have actual advice other than get up in the morning and do what you have to do. Just get it done. Try to make the most out of every hour you have in a day. I can’t really name a specific situation because, in the end, it’s all do-able.
I think that’s rare to hear from someone who just started an MVP. Don’t you agree? What do you mean?
Because it’s an MVP! There are always problems of some sort… I understand that I am working with people and I understand that sometimes I can’t see everything that’s going on and so I can’t expect the same from someone else. But, I expect people to be down to learn and grow. And I see the people here and how they adjust quickly. They learn and they try to understand what I’m talking about, speaking from my perspective. I try to do the same. The key is to be kind and to be understanding.
I am really happy working with this team. They are always willing to go the extra mile. They communicate well and are proud of what they do. And that’s something really important, being proud of what you do.
What do you wish for the future of your app? Of course, I have a vision. In the beginning, we will start in Switzerland. But as there are artists all over the world we will have to expand to the global market to be able to connect people internationally. We have strategies that include different ways of approaching but mainly it means being very active in the community and industry. Once international, I think, we have quite a chance to become the most important platform regarding arts and entertainment.
Are you advertising already? Not yet. This is something on which we will focus on in future steps. The personal approach comes first. I’m not a big fan of ads. It’s too random. So within the platform, we plan on implementing similar algorithms to the ones that other social media platforms are using. For example, someone in the music section wants to see jobs that are in regard to music and our user who is looking to hire someone in this section wants to see applicants in this particular section too, and so on. Compared to social media platforms we’re trying to get the attention problem under control. And I’m sure that we can do better than what exists so far. I think there is no challenge too big.
I think it is awesome that we have a client that thinks like that but also, it’s kind of intimidating. Why do think?
When a client thinks that there is no challenge big enough that we can’t overcome, that puts a lot of pressure on us. Yeah, I understand. The pressure is good, but I don’t really carry expectations in that particular meaning, more like hopes. I always try to contribute to the process from my part. I like to think that I’m working WITH the team, instead of a team is working FOR me. There were situations where I came up with ideas and the team responded that it’s not doable at this particular stage, but in the end, we always figured it out together and we’ve found the best solution.
That’s why I enjoy working with you guys. We are really working together. I don’t see myself as a demanding client pushing to get stuff done with no questions asked. I’m involved in every step and I want to understand everything. And beyond that, I see that everyone on board is driven and resonates with our mission and that makes me excited to learn and grow together as we proceed.