Big Red Car here. Nice cold morning with lot of cloud cover. The Boss took me out for a quick run to a morning coffee meeting. I love getting up early and hitting the road even if it is for some corporate coffee — that would be Starbucks.
So he was visiting with a friend and the subject of Voomly.com came up. The Boss is getting into Voomly.
So what the Hell is Voomly?
A friend of The Boss, Andy Swan, of Louisville, Kentucky has just stood up a website — Voomly.com — which is his third start up. Andy is a very successful startup guy with a couple of successful startups under his belt and Voomly is his next adventure.
It is not a coincidence that in the world of the Kentucky Derby you would be betting on the jockey — in this case Andy Swan.
So, anyway, The Boss decided to give Voomly a whirl.
Voomly is an “expert” system in which an individual — Boss calls them a “Vexpert” — hangs out a shingle to provide guidance to folks — Boss calls them “Voomers” — looking to tap into the expertise of the Vexpert.
Vexpert — guy providing information, expertise, counsel, guidance
Voomer — individual soliciting assistance from Vexpert
Go to Voomly.com and look at The Boss’s Vexpert page.
Voomly is a money making proposition
So Andy Swan is a great American — a very successful entrepreneur — but he is not in the business of wasting his time. This is a money making proposition.
The Vexpert charges for his services and the Voomers pay for them.
This is a monthly subscription service.
Oh, and Andy — Andy gets 10% of the monthly subscription fee. This is the “vigorish” for providing the marketplace in which these relationships occur. If the Internet is virtual real estate, then this is virtual rent.
The Boss’s experience
The Boss had absolutely no inkling as to how this was all going to work so, like he often does, he threw his hat into the ring as an experiment. At Andy’s invitation, The Boss became a Vexpert. Early adopter indeed.
The Boss had absolutely no idea as to how describe or price his services and thus he just winged it.
He decided to provide three services:
1. Question & Answer via email — a Voomer could ask him about anything within his 30+ years of business experience and The Boss would reply via email and try to assist him;
2. Skype conference — a Voomer could initiate a Skype call to discuss anything within his 30+ years of business experience; and,
3. Once a week, The Boss would get me — the Big Red Car — to write a blog post on a topic chosen by a particular Voomer.
Pretty straightforward package of services.
As to pricing, The Boss just arbitrarily decided to charge $25 per month per Voomer for these services. No real reason why that number was chosen.
In almost no time, a number of Voomers materialized and signed up for The Boss’s package of services. Enough to make a car payment on a monthly basis but not yet a house payment.
Who are the Voomers
The Voomers were a bit of a surprise moreso because The Boss had no idea as to what to expect.
They included a venture capitalist, entrepreneurs engaged with startups, real estate related enterprises, vendors to real estate companies and a couple of website developers (including Andy Swan).
What do the Voomers really want or need:
1. One of the Voomers was in the midst of raising a round of financing and wanted advice on his pitch deck. Together The Boss and the Voomer made some changes that seemed to focus the pitch a bit more tightly. The deliverable was a better, shorter and clearer pitch deck. Skype call, Power Point presentation, bit of cheerleading.
2. One of the Voomers wanted The Boss’s observations on a deal he was considering investing in and The Boss sent him a mid-size email which may have been useful because The Boss was actually using the service that was the investment.
3. One of the Voomers was based in England and wanted to discuss a very interesting ongoing business which seems to be ripe for growth and expansion into the United States. A very enterprising and well educated chap — haha, the Big Red Car can speak “English” — who has had a very interesting website development experience and who has a team of developers in the Ukraine. Next stop Austin, Texas?
4. One of the Voomers was trying to get traction for a website based in California that was engaged in the landscaping business.
5. One of the Voomers received a high level introduction to a broker-dealer firm who could be very helpful in future growth and development.
So, as you can see, the contact has been all over the board.
It may be obvious that The Boss does, in fact, look at this as an experiment and is more than happy to assist in the growth and refinement of Voomly.com. He does not see this as a career pivot point or an undertaking that will consume a lot of his time but he does take it very, very serious on behalf of his Voomers.
Thus far the marketing has been purely word of mouth but The Boss is going to do a bit more to see what kind of traction this creates. Initially it will take the form of the following:
1. Writing about the experience from time to time on The Musings of the Big Red Car — there is a premium oil change in it for me, the Big Red Car.
2. Distributing information on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn about the blog posts on The Musings of the Big Red Car.
3. Making an entry on LinkedIn indicating The Boss’s role with Voomly.
4. Asking existing customers for references.
5. Putting The Boss’s Voomly URL on appropriate emails.
6. Helping Andy Swan with any continuing development of the site.
All low key and “slow” marketing efforts.
Sources of additional information
You can learn more about Voomly by going to their website.
You can take a look at The Boss’s offering on Voomly.
Take a read of Fred Wilson’s AVC.com blog post about Voomly. Fred has an enormous following, is a world class venture capitalist in New York and is an all around great guy. Fred Wilson is the guy who inspired the Big Red Car to write The Musings of the Big Red Car. Fred is a champ.
And, hey, when you do learn something about Voomly that you like or think needs to be changed give me comment on here. I will pass it along.
But, really, what the Hell do I know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car!