George Lee, and Simeon Miighty; you are the co-founding masterminds behind Pi!NG. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Sure. Between us, we have been working in the property sector for close to four decades. Primarily, our main focus has been buying, renovating, renting and selling houses. As entrepreneurs, we always have our finger on the pulse of the business world, keeping an eye on the brands that make waves in their industries. Anyone that gets a lot of press coverage definitely captures our attention. A few examples would be Google, Apple, Uber, and Twitter, etc.
Great! So, you have turned your attention to technology. Has that been an easy transition? Tell us a little bit about that journey.
Yes. At our core, we are solutions people. We notice pain points in most businesses and always ask ourselves “what would we do?” As we progress further into the digital age, technology is becoming more accessible, easier to use and creates fantastic opportunities; especially when it comes to those pain points. We have great relationships with those that currently work within the industry, so we're excited at the thought of re-entering the tech world.
Your previous venture, "Commsplit", while a technology based venture, still falls within the remit of property. “Piing” is in an entirely different industry. How did the idea develop?
Since Uber launched in London in 2012, we have been loyal users. We have always had the usual small talk with Uber drivers. Over the last couple of years, we noticed that the drivers brought up the same common themes. They were tired of having limited work, an unstable job and high commission rates. Upon recognising these themes, we asked drivers what they’d need in a perfect world and how they thought their situation could be better. There in that back seat was the seed of the idea of Piing planted.
Fascinating. From birth to the launch in May to now, what challenges have you faced setting up Piing so far?
The main difficulty for us has been remaining patient. Very difficult for us! Knowing the strong proposition that we have in our grasp and the difference that we can make, to not only the industry but people's livelihoods. We have been so eager to get started, but it is important not to launch pre-emptively. The configuration of this business has to be actioned correctly for Piing to stand a chance of success and to provide a return for investors that put their faith in us.
Between you both, who has which responsibility?
As you’ll find with most start-up companies, Simeon and I are currently wearing many hats. That said we're about to appoint a CFO and CMO who both come with fantastic former glory. As I said earlier, we're solutions people and work best under pressure. We're quickly piecing the most fantastic Piing puzzle together which gives us phenomenal energy to push on and drive forward.
You both took the leap to go into business for yourself at a young age and became successful at it. What characteristics do you think it takes to achieve that?
Difficult one, many people excel in different characteristics, success in business doesn't come from a single formula. For us, we are very tenacious, have huge empathy and are smart. If you believe in your business, then research the hell out of it and be double sure it's as good an idea as you are convinced it is. Once you have got a solid business model and unshakable belief in what you’re doing -- go for it -- ignore the naysayers and let your success do the talking.
What are your Piing goals that you are working towards in the next 6, 12 and 18 months?
Our short-term goal is to penetrate London, then expand into urban markets in other areas of the UK.
This will start with us penetrating the London market in the first six months, with full saturation at 12 months. By month 18, using the momentum we'd have gathered through our marketing and brand presence, we will have started working our magic on the rest of the country.
How exciting. You are of course still in the early days of business, but what has been your highlight so far for you in your Piing journey?
That's an easy one! Without a doubt, the highlight for us so far has been that our initial hunch paid off; that drivers want an alternative company in which to partner. It is exciting as more and more drivers continue to register and we are looking forward to the future growth as we develop further!
To find out more about Piing read more at www.piing.cab/blogs
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