Over the weekend, I came across this article – Squire, a barbershop tech platform, triples its valuation (again) with Tiger Global. Squire is a tech platform specifically for barbershops. It’s a 175-person company now valued at US$750 million.
The first thing that came out of my mouth when I saw this was, “What!”
To me, this was such a niche product and simple solution. Coming up with the idea is one thing, but what process did they go through to figure that this was a good business to get into?
It shocked me more that they’re not the only players on the market with a similar product. Boulevard is another platform that caters to salons and spas, and Mindbody, which was recently purchased for US$1.9 billion.
Of course, this is happening in the US, which has large markets and many chains and franchises for barbershops, salons and spas. The economies that could allow that exists there. Doing something in the Caribbean is going to be lots more challenging.
But still, how does one look at situations, think about possible solutions, and then go about executing something like that?
In a company, we’ll do some research, do a business case for some funding, do some more market research, and maybe a pilot in a year or so if we get the budget. Then, in maybe two years, we can get money to build something more extensive if the pilot works out.
Of course, this is not happening here—these startups and doing things a lot faster than that. And with the cloud, people could start up small. But still, they have to take that risk and spend that money, hoping that things may work out. That’s a heck of a chance. Then push the product while supporting and building/improving the platform.
I want to do that so badly. There are so many ideas floating around in my head.
The only thing that’s stopping me is fear.
Fear that the idea is not going to be all that great. Fear that I’m going to fail gloriously. Fear that all that money will go down the drain.
How do those early startups and entrepreneurs endure that?
When I started my consulting business, there wasn’t much to put out. Some call cards, a good laptop, an internet site and voila, business started. Less than US$1000. But these businesses have to put out a lot more than that.
These are some of the missing pieces that I need to fill. Once I have a better idea, I’m so doing this. If someone can fill me in, please reach out to me.