About our Newest team member
My name is Tyler, and I’m a new addition to The Third Place team. I found Vitaliy and Kseniia’s story and unique business concept like many of you did — through social media. Now I’ve seen the hard work behind the project, and I’m glad to be a part of it.
A little about me…
I’m originally from Kansas City, and I’m in DC to pursue my degree. I’ve always been interested in start-ups and business, and the chance to help with one in the early stages has always appealed to me. I just wrote to their company email, we had quick meeting, and now I’m part of the team!
My contribution is pretty straightforward. I read over most of the things The Third Place puts out to make sure the English is good. I also try to give some insight into how Americans think—what they want in a coffee shop/event venue, how they might react to new concepts, etc.
Another important thing that comes with adding a third person is brainstorming. It’s great, because you get another opinion, new suggestions, and a “fresh” mind for troubleshooting. There have been a bunch of times where one of us has pointed out a problem that the other two hadn’t thought of at all.
I’m learning new things too—for instance, “sell, before you build”. I would have thought that the simplest way to test the effectiveness of a new concept would be to build it and see how people reacted. In some cases this might work, but what happens if it doesn’t? It’s costly, employees lose jobs, investors get angry, and you disappoint yourselves and your customers. To avoid all of that, we are perfecting our concept first. We’re doing marketing research online and on foot with clipboards. We start by explaining our concept and then we ask some questions –“Would you go if this existed? How much would you pay? What’s a fair price?” etc. After perfecting our concept, we are now receiving positive feedback 10 out of 10 times. This kind of progress is a huge motivator because we know that success is more certain.
At the end of the day, this idea belongs to Vitaliy and Kseniia. If they don’t like my suggestions, they don’t need to take them. Everything we do is part of a larger team effort to make The Third Place a reality.
I’m not paid, and that’s fine with me. If you’ve ever played the board game “Life,” you know there are two things necessary to winning the game–money and Life Points. In my mind, by helping Vitaliy and Kseniia make their dream happen, I’m just earning some valuable Life Points.
So far, we have accomplished a lot in our weekly meetings. The business plan looks great, we’ve designed some awesome brochures, created a list for inventory and suppliers, commissioned 3D modeling for the interior, and now we are finishing our Kickstarter campaign video. I have the opportunity to see Vitaliy and Kseniia’s dedication and vision first hand. It is our hope that these blog posts will give you a window into that.
Thanks for reading,