Whether or not an entrepreneur starting with passion can achieve success?
Do you know which career will be the most likely to be chosen when online services and works become indispensable?
Based on technological and digital platforms, participants can earn income by sharing their passion for these platforms with a small niche market. Content creators and influencers (KOLs) are typical examples for that, or perhaps more simply, when people with significant numbers of followers post something on Instagram or Youtube, Tiktok, etc. to attract many more likes and views. These are new forms of work based on the "passion economy."
In Vietnam, the "passion economy" term is still a new concept. However, many people in the world embarked on this career and have had some success.
A few years ago, Squarespace, a founded website with the primary objective was to allow users to build their website with lower costs. This website was well-received, even became a source of inspiration for developing other similar platforms. Today, Squarespace is the choice of celebrities, photographers, writers, and other influencers.
Wix, a tool was built recently, even helping people create their website simpler by using "drag and drop", which everybody can do. This platform attracts lots of people to try it out and gets excellent evaluations.
In an upper level, we have Podia, Thinkific, Teachable, and Udemy; these platforms allow experts, who have professional knowledge, to establish personal "territories." In which, they can share information, do hourly consulting services, organize online courses, and, of course, turn their passions into livelihoods. There are also websites for many startups, undergraduates, and people who want to take off their careers with passion, etc. to learn pioneers' experiences.
According to chief economists as well as knowledgeable people, including Adam Davison, author of the famous "The Passion Economy" - this will be a career trend in the future, especially when online services and works are on the rise.
Except for foreign services, there are a few platforms for Passion Economy in Vietnam. LandedVibe is one of the few platforms which allow users to share whatever they have, from handmade goods, entrepreneurial stories, to life experiences, etc., opening the opportunities for millions of Vietnamese to join "the promised land" for startups and turn their passion into a potential business without significant seed capital.
Today, let’s meet startup Le Cao Tri, LandedVibe's CEO, and listen to his story behind the core technology applications which he figured out in the very beginning days, to see what "passionate people" have to trade-off for initial success.
To be a platform that focuses on user experiences, is there a difference between LandedVibe and e-commerce in terms of building ideas for product introduction, and selling nowadays?
LandedVibe is a startup company focusing on both product offerings and users' experiences. We considered following this business principle based on the two advantages we have: First of all, it is the background of the team cofounders and staff in product development. Besides, they came from different countries, exposed to different cultures, so they have a more flexible way to come up with an idea and operating model, and apply technology to each separate section.
Secondly, the platform that LandedVibe is building to optimize the experiences for users – "experience activities," which tend to be more "feelingly" than "physically." Advanced technology will help enhance and enrich these experiences, compared to a standard e-commerce website.
During the early phase, a Passion economy startup company like LandedVibe also has a lot of different from conventional e-commerce websites, mostly in customers' demands and in search results. For example, with an e-commerce website, shoppers will type in keywords about the product they want, look through the lists, and place an order.
However, in LandedVibe, searching is based more on people's feeling at that moment, there are no physical products on this platform, which will approach users differently. For instance, you are interested in "skateboarding," not only can you find anything about skateboarding, but also you can find other interests in the "new skills" category. Whether you are a skater, you can still reach a storehouse of ideas that you maybe need.
And to make sure users still reach what they want, LandedVibe staff had done various researches and searching trials to understand customers' desires before building a better search-and-replace filter.
How did you build that platform? What kind of technology that you adopted to it?
In 2008, I started LandedVibe myself as a personal preference project. Honestly, my very first lines of code to list fun-things-to-do for travelers and some friends in Chiangmai (Thailand), because I was there at that time.
I used the most accessible technology to build my project as fast as possible. I highly rated Laravel, VueJs, and Semantic UI, so I used them to begin with. One month after, my project was shifted to develop on Laravel Forge and online.
Were there any advantages and disadvantages when building the first platform? Can you tell about one advantage/disadvantage or the fondest memory when building LandedVibe?
It took one year to turn the idea into the actual platform, when I realized a growing demand for entertaining, discovering, learning, and studying. I expanded the platform not only for travelers but also for citizens.
I noticed many new demands for many new things at that time. And when the topic "Passion Economy" became more popular in 2018-2019, I decided to devote all my time and energy to building a platform with a priority of optimized interaction between people.
When implementing, this project also helped me touch the resources between "gig economy" and "professionals." This was a new challenge with the resources that lie in the middle. "Gig economy" slowly causes an imbalance in the ecosystem of labor markets, meanwhile "Professionals" gradually shift "nine to five"- a mundane job repeating over and over again to other flexible works.
Nevertheless, I acknowledged that Landedvibe has to face many difficulties. It was mainly the market reaction because of the too-new concept, many people have not understood yet, plus they have not recognized the demand for experiences in their cities.
When knowing LandedVibe, many people realized that their previous unconscious searching already has on this platform. Most people know and understand it takes time and specific, rational strategies and policies.
However, the fondest memory was also one of the difficulties initially, which was refused continuously by the investors, because they do not know what type of business to classify LandedVibe into. We were asked about problems and how to deal with it, but the early LandedVibe just answered: 50% was problem-solving, and 50% was a chance opening for tackling other people's problems. You are probably aware of what investors will say. They reasonably decline the new ideas which are not convincing enough for them to make a venture investment.
What is the difference in technology between LandedVibe and other platforms?
There are not many differences. LandedVibe can be called a market or a sharing economic base. And like other platforms, it also has essential criteria:
- To deal with the problem of which came first, the chicken or the egg.
- To balance providers and demands.
- To find the products that are well suited to the current markets' needs and requirements as soon as possible.
- Users can be both suppliers and purchasers.
- To use a two-way review to increase interactions and prestige.
The only difference may be that LandedVibe finds an answer to thirst for knowledge about whatever subject in the world. For example, LandedVibe imitates the way Sportify divided topics based on emotional themes for searching, in order of searching based on hobbies. Of course, we are not sure whether this direction is right; maybe it needs a bit of time because the trading volumes of LandedVibe are not large enough to estimate.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages in host and content management? What kind of technology you and your coworkers use to make it easier? Can you tell us about some issues you have to deal with?
Host and content management is not an easy problem, especially in the beginning. LandedVibe chose to be a market supervisor to keep hosts and activities under the best control. Therefore, most of the time will be spent on contents and hosts verify in an attempt to enhance prestige.
However, LandedVibe expects to design a received process for host files and their activities on our platform, which makes the management becomes more relaxed. At this moment, we are not good enough to design automated technology, so we take advantage of human resources who were selected before.
When managing host, there are many problems, but mostly not too bad. For example, a host joined but not booking. After a while, he forgets about LandedVibe. But when he was booking again, he did not remember to answer.
Trong tương lai, anh sẽ đưa thêm những ý tưởng tính năng hoặc công nghệ mới nào vào sản phẩm của mình?
In the future, will you add more features or new technology into your products?
In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, LandedVibe decided to stop offline experiences and explore the online market, also called Online Vibes. The new format is promised to remove geographic boundaries to take skills outside their borders. People can set up a meeting online and sharing experiences, learning, entertaining, and other exciting things.