A couple of years ago, I was in a mode that Scott Belsky calls the Project Plateau. I would think of a new startup idea and get so excited about it, only to have it fade off over time and lose interest. To get back on my high, I would just get a new idea. As I'm sure you can probably gather, no idea would see the light of day. After a while I got so fed up that I just wanted to finish something. The majority of successful people tell you to work on something you're passionate about and that you love. Easier said than done.
After high school, I played Division 1 NCAA Tennis down in the southern US, and my friends always knew me as the guy who played tennis. I was constantly being asked what racquet I used, what gear I recommended, and why. People also wanted to know where the best place was to find the stuff I used, and I was constantly outputting a breadth of knowledge in an inefficient way. I then caught myself asking other activity enthusiasts what they were using when I was trying something new. It turned out I was asking them the same questions people asked me regarding tennis, so I knew this was a problem I wanted to solve. The real idea behind Dooers is figuring out how to go about solving it.
Growing up, I involved myself in a healthy number of activities - swimming, baseball, soccer, track and field, cross country running, skiing, badminton, you name it. I was the kid that had to know about most recent gear, so I was always in tune with the latest things to use. When I finally decided to pursue tennis, I would research the latest racquets, shoes, strings, bags, grips, clothing lines, and places to play. All the high performance players wanted to know what their competitors and more advanced pros were using, and what they thought about the gear they chose. The same quesitons kept coming up: what do you use? why do you use it? where's the best place to find it? After speaking with others about their experiences, and those of my own, it turns out people have these questions every single day. So I tried to think of a solution. What if you could answer all of these questions in one place? This is how Dooers was born.
To find the right things for your activities today, it can be quite the process. Sure you can do a google search and visit different online stores. You can also go to the store in person and speak to the store salesman about their biased opinion. You can even read reviews online which amounts to text under a product page and at the end of the day you have no idea who's writing it, making it very hard to trust. What most people end up doing is asking someone they know. I've read multiple stories and spoken to many friends, family and others that end up choosing a product because it was recommended to them by a friend, or an expert they trusted. Then I thought, how cool would it be to create a place where you could actually see what everyone uses, ask questions about it, see where they recommend finding it and actually find the right stuff for everything you do.
The question was how could we actually do this? You can't trust text under a product page online, and no one really knows if anyone is being paid to write the reviews. Remember the fake review problem on Yelp? So we tried to think of a way, which made the reviews credible, and trustworthy. What about photos of people actually doing the activities, using their items? What if everything was in context? So we thought of action shots.
Instead of selfies and snaps, action shots inspire. I don't know about you, but as soon I see a picture of my buddy playing tennis, I want to be out on the court right beside him. It's through action shots that we can actually see the person doing the activity, see the items they use, and get fired up about going out to do it. By creating a network of action shots categorized by activities, people can see the items others tag in their photos, ask them about what they use, and go find it or something similar at the place they recommend. At the same time, trendsetters like to be known for being the first. They love helping others with what they know and getting recognition for the trends they set.
So who are these trendsetters? The first thing that came to mind is my cousin who's routinely being dropped off by helicopters to hit uncharted mountain terrain on his skis. It's the one tuning their mountain bike before dawn, getting ready to hit the trails. It reminds me of the days in college where I would be up after midnight stringing my tennis racquets before my match the next day. These people eat, sleep and breathe their favorite activities. It's what they live for because it's what defines them as people. They are Dooers. They don't talk about it, or dream about it. They simply get out and start doing it. If we brought these dooers together into one community, not only could they educate others on what to use, they can also open themselves up to new things. This really is the essence of Dooers. When you inspire action, someone else will inspire you to take action.
For the last few years, my partner Miguel has been building Dooers in his spare time, and we are now finally ready to start testing it with a small seed community of beta users. Although it took us a little longer than we hoped, we really just wanted to finish it, and that alone would be an accomplishment. We didn't want to write another half written book. Success or failure, we won, because we are seeing our vision finally come to life.
Give Dooers a try and if you have any ideas or thoughts about it, we would love to hear from you. At this point we have no idea where Dooers will take us, we just got to the starting line. But up until now, it's been one of the most fun and inspiring journeys I've ever embarked on.
Dooers is a product discovery platform to exchange gear expertise, and find the best items from the world's trendsetters. We're a community of active enthusiasts coming together to learn from each other about our best gear and get personal, in context and genuine item advice for our favourite activities.
If you're a dooer or know any dooers who would be great to feature on our blog and website, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for more trendsetters to join our community.