See the first article in the series: Stage 00 – The Story Behind the Entrepreneur
The idea was not actually that simple… it required me learning new software and going out on numerous photography expeditions to capture amazing photos of my favorite cities… but it was an idea.
The initial concept was ‘design a book that not just showed readers great photography but actually showed them where it was taken, gave a little bit of a story and subsequently how to take the same (if not better) shot’… quite a mouthful. But a cool concept, and one that I still am pursuing… and even designed the full, 126-page NYC special (that led to a gallery show of selected images, online sales and a postcard series… not bad, but still not the grail).
At the time I was beginning to fall wildly in love with my now fiancé, Kirsty, who happened to live on the other side of the world in Melbourne – quite inconvenient – meaning that to speak with her, as I have done every single day since we became best friends midway through 2007, I had to call her on my way to work when she was on her way home – expensive and meant I had to swap my usual London Underground ride to work for the much grimmer bus so that I was above ground the entire way for our call.
During this time I also bought a really basic notebook and started carrying it everywhere with me, it had four color-coded sections which I used to divide up ideas and start to note down my thoughts to either work up into a concept or discount as plain fantasy.
Still, the photography thing kept coming back to me, time and time again, as I’m quite a keen photographer and love a challenge but it was not until sketching out ideas that I realized there is no organized way to feel challenged whilst getting the plaudits deserved – I had hit a mindset of wanting people to see my work and either inspire or be inspired by it.
Originally titled “Project 25? – as I wanted it fully executed by the time I was 25 years old, I started to build this idea into more than a line on a page, into a brand and into an offer that combined many things in one place… photography, challenges, collaboration, UGC and the ability for it to be scalable to have global appeal – it had to be a member site, that was where I believed the revenues to be, repeat, monthly subscriptions that did not break the bank and did not offend anyone but meant you were part of something cool, something unique and something that gave you the credit users deserved.
Greg Dillon, founder of Phopus.com , is a senior brand strategist by day who specialises in leisure, retail and sporting brands, but by night he is an entrepreneur who is setting out on his quest to be his own boss and build something that connects with people at their fundamental need for recognition for their great work.