Tell us about your business: What do you do? What did inspire you to start?
I’m co-founder of Tastebuds.fm, a free dating site which matches users based upon their taste in music. I had been fascinated by the question of “What do the things you like say about what you are like?”for ages. One day while chatting to Alex, the other co-founder, the idea for a dating mash-up around Last.fm kind of popped out. We had a look at a few other dating sites, thought that we could offer something different and refreshing and decided to give it a go. I guess having a shared interest with someone, particularly something as personal as music makes it easier to break the ice. From the feedback and reception we’ve had so far our users seem to agree.
What are the main challenges maintaining your business and how are you overcoming them? I’d say the most difficult challenges we face lie in the realm of branding and market positioning. It’s important that what we do gives out the right message to the right people so that they feel comfortable about using the product and telling others about it. Overcoming those challenges is really about sticking to the original vision as closely as possible, prioritising what’s important to our users and mostly following our gut instincts.
What would you say has been your most memorable experience while developing your business? What were the most successful projects? One Sunday afternoon, during which we were being featured by BBC Click on rotation, I was walking around Cambridge looking for a pub to watch a football match. I stepped into one at random only to see the Tastebuds logo splashed across the big screen! It was a pretty surreal thing to see. Getting a call from a panicky-sounding Alex the week after the site launched telling me the site had been featured on Mashable.com and had gone down was definitely up there too.
What were the funniest moments that happened while setting up/running your business? We’ve had a few tongue-in-cheek blog posts get a lot of attention on the web. Examples of some of those are “Coldplay fans are the least likely to go all the way on the first date”and “Nickelback are the number one musical turnoff” I later found out that Nickelback knew about the article which was pretty hilarious. They haven’t sent anyone to extract vengeance upon us yet though!
Tell us about DO’s and DON’Ts when running the company? If you’re based in Shoreditch there are a plethora of startup events where you can learn about all the various aspects of running a company and network with others doing the same. It’s absolutely worth your while making the most of those, particularly in the early days. However, remember that at some point you have to step back and deliver.
Why do you choose Shoreditch to run your business? Being based in the eye of the storm that is “Silicon Roundabout”it’s impossible for some of the enthusiasm and creation that’s in the air not to rub off on you.
Who/what are your favorite CEOs/Businesses in Shoreditch? We’ve been lucky enough to share with some great up-and-coming startups in our office. They include Mixlr, a cool platform for live audio, Tripbod, a place to find local tour guides on your travels, and Pusher, a tool for building real-time apps which has been pretty invaluable to us.
What are your favorite places in Shoreditch? (Where do you hang-out/ dining/ going out?) So many to choose! There’s also a little locals pub called The Prince Arthur beside our office which we slip into for a pint from time to time.
What does the future has in store for Shoreditch? With the likes of the new Google Campus opening and the famous “Tech City”on the way I’d say the future for Shoreditch looks pretty rosy. As a hub for creativity in London it will continue to attract an interesting blend of talented folk across technology and the arts.