A Solopreneur’s Journey from Vision to Launch

EventSpot’s founder, Billy Shawn, is a serial entrepreneur – the kind who can’t stop the steady stream of mind-blowing ideas. He’s the quintessential solopreneur – an entrepreneur who acts as a solo visionary – but knows she/he needs solid support to propel and grow that vision into a sustainable reality.

Successful entrepreneurs learn early that “doing it all” typically translates to enlisting the right, multi-faceted team of people to take an amazing, custom application and see it through from conception, to launch – to goldmine.

A symbiotic relationship formed when Billy consulted with Troon. We paired our full-circle know-how with his vision. Together we helped EventSpot launch successfully, in-line with Billy’s original vision – and with a few desirable “extras” to optimize the UX.

The Idea

Billy’s idea was EventSpot – the first-of-its-kind, online marketplace that brings event vendors and customers together. There is no application like it – offering the ability for users to plan, book and pay for all of their event needs in a single spot – no need to keep track of multiple vendors’ websites.

He came to Troon with clear intentions of what he wanted to create:

  • A place where unique and inspiring event businesses are profiled in one location.
  • An attractive, user-friendly, online marketplace where consumers/future users could find and peruse those businesses.
  • An event-planning app that provides transparency, choice and ideas.

Since Billy was an experienced entrepreneur, he’d already worked on his idea. He came to us with some integral components already in place. For example, he had:

  • Preliminary wireframes (images which display functional elements of a website or page, typically used for planning a site’s structure and functionality).
  • A strong sense of the level of sophistication of the user-experience (UX) and user interface (UI) he was looking for.
  • A rough idea of software requirements needed for his application.

As we mentioned above, Billy was a serial entrepreneur; EventSpot wasn’t his first rodeo, so if you don’t have the above elements in place, that’s fine too. A clear vision is the most important thing, we can support you the rest of the way.

Beyond Development

Since Billy is a solopreneur, the Troon team also acted as a proxy business partner. This is one of the facets that sets Troon apart from other website and application developers. The development of any product or service is a lonely business and the road is often longer than you think. Collaboration is the key to building momentum, sparking new ideas, and manifesting support mechanisms required to keep things moving forward.

We’re not just a development shop; we’re a team of passionate and dedicated entrepreneurs ourselves – and we enjoy connecting with clients to create a more personalized partnership as we build your services/products.

Once he found Troon, he partnered with us to facilitate:

  • The weighing in on important business decisions
  • Go-to marketing strategies
  • Finding partners for media buying
  • Acquiring a PR team that was a good fit for the EventSpot crew
  • Establishing the right data collection and analytics gurus

Billy found that having experienced entrepreneurs, marketers and a CTO to bounce ideas off was an invaluable benefit, as opposed to simply hiring a developer to execute his app.

Bringing the Idea to Life

We’ve learned through experience that while a streamlined development approach is helpful – it doesn’t always work when it comes to bringing real ideas to life.
In the case of EventSpot, Troon’s traditional approach to creating an application – which moves through Discovery, Planning and Execution – was set aside due to the more organic nature of the project.

For example, the fragmentation within event vendors meant certain user cases couldn’t be verified ahead of time without significantly delaying the launch date. Thus, an agile development approach was employed – where functionality was added, and tested, within the varied user needs. Then functionality was adjusted accordingly.

What Troon Delivered

As a result of this more organic and “in real time” approach, the EventSpot project morphed and changed from what we were originally asked to deliver – into what it is today.

Our initial task was to provide a developer to build the application (something we do for a variety of clients). The designs were to be outsourced by Billy to 99 Designs and he also planned to handle project management, UX/UI and functional management. In theory, it sounded great.

In practice, the sheer volume of work and expertise for Billy to deliver what he planned was overwhelming for a project of this size. As a result, we worked closely with Billy to establish his priorities and budget, after which…

Troon Took Care of:

  • Design
  • UX
  • Project management
  • Development
  • CTO Consultation
  • Marketing/Business Consultation
  • Supplier sourcing/recommendations – Media Buyer, Data Analytics, E-commerce platforms, PR
    and

Billy Took Care of:

  • Product Management
  • Copywriting
  • Design/UX/UI feedback
  • Go To Market Strategy

This new , agreed-upon division of labour freed Billy up (slightly…) to focus on getting vendors signed up – a full time job in itself.

Experience Supportive, “Real Life” App Development

We’re not just computers, we’re people. Troon uses our expertise, experience and unwitting passion to bring your application to life – in a completely supported environment. Contact our team to put all of your initial, hard work into a living, breathing and launchable end-product.

Jeff Neasmith

About The Author

Jeff Neasmith is Troon’s digital marketing guru. His previous experience includes launching, marketing and selling successful enterprise and retail software solutions like Vivonet, Cayenta and Yodlee.