J: – 30/05/1992
G – 13/03/1991
G- Mile End
Founders of Raffler
Free App. Free Play. Thousands Everyday
Did you go to university?
J- We both went to Trinity College Dublin, where we met. It was actually a dinner at George’s house, which I was invited to by a friend…An eventful evening…which has lived long in memory…
G: Yep, Joe and I went to university in Dublin. None of the English universities wanted me.
Was it a clear-cut path after you left in terms of what you wanted to do?
J- In the summer before my final year at university, I had been fired from an unpaid internship (an impressive feat which friends found amusing, but my mother less so) and then turned down by dozens of grad schemes. I always knew I had no interest in the companies I was applying to and dreamed of working for myself, but the mutual lack of interest made the decision even easier! It was still a bumpy path after that though.
G: Definitely no. I’m more than impressed by someone who knows what they want to do when they leave school or university.
What was your first job and did you like it?
J: I was a clerk at a law firm, which more or less meant carrying boxes all day. I can’t say it was much fun bit it ingrained in me an eternal lesson: everyone plays their part in a well run business and should be treated with respect, regardless of how prestigious their role might be considered.
G: I worked at a wicked company called 20LTD which everyone should take a look at. It was an awesome place to work, but being one of the least creative minds there may have ever been, I’m not sure I was much used to them.
What pressures do you think many twenty-somethings are faced with?
J: I think financial insecurity is at the root of most pressure, living in London at least. Anyone unemployed, or who loses their job, is usually unable to afford their rent within a month. When you’re so aware that your lifestyle is built on sand, it can make you scared of risk and anxious about the future.
G: Rent isn’t much fun, nor is Tinder.
What is Raffler?
Raffler is a free app that gives everybody an equal opportunity to win at least £1,000 a day. People can enter by watching two adverts. The adverts pay for the prizes. The more people who play, the larger the prizes will be. Raffler’s mission is to make a worldwide community of users smile, through prizes and engaging content.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced ?
J: Meeting the right people and getting taken seriously at the start felt pretty unconquerable originally. If you don’t have an introduction, no one wants to know and it can feel like an endless and embarrassing battle just trying to get someone’s email address. I was lucky that I had great friends (especially Grace Fitzpatrick) who never thought I was nuts and did their best to get me into rooms with people able to help.
G: Just about everything you can think of seems to go wrong at the start of a business. I think you’ve got to take it in your stride and accept that you’re not the first and definitely won’t be the last to go through it.
Was the prospect of setting up an app daunting and did you have any knowledge how to do this beforehand?
J: The prospect of setting up an app at first seemed simple and would have been made much easier if I had some money and technical knowledge but I had neither. The reality is, that although I managed to get a minimum viable product made, if I had found someone with technical expertise sooner, the whole process would have been made much straightforward- but then that’s part of the learning curve and I count myself fortunate to be friends with George.
Who did you seek advice from and who really helped you in the early stages?
J: Sean Fitzpatrick, William Frewen, my family and George of course!
G: My family are always there to give me advice, but I think I may have used up all my credit up by now. As Joe mentioned Sean and William were a great help at the start and continue to be.
Did either of you ever doubt yourselves that you could do it?
J: I think you always need to believe that you can do it, to have a shot at making the company work.
G: Not really to be honest, I think you’ve got to be confident in what you’re doing but aware of your limitations.
How do you market yourselves?
J: As ‘George and Joe’….(Like ‘Robin and Batman’…wait, is it ‘Batman and Robin’??
G: I don’t, Joe is the face and beauty of the company.
What do you wish you had known then that you know now you’ve done your first event?
J – You don’t know what you don’t know- you need to talk to people who have started similar businesses and you need to keep talking to them
G: There is always help out there, you just have to look for it
Any mishaps along the way?
J – Too many to list here! I’m like to keep everyone on their toes with a lot of spelling mistakes…
G – We had quite a few problems with the app in the first few months, but hopefully those are now resigned to the past
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in this field?
J- If it involves tech and you don’t know tech, find a partner who does- you can’t do it alone.
G: Concentrate on the product, make sure that its something that lots of people will want to use.
What do you think the next steps are for you?
J – There are lots of product development coming that I will get in trouble for putting here. The main thing is to make sure everyone wins regularly.
G –We have lots of things up our sleeve for the coming months. Our next goal is to increase the number of prizes dramatically, so we can have lots of winners every day!
What has been your best moment so far?
J – It meant a lot when my younger brother said he was proud of me- though I’m not sure he should be. He’ll probably be really embarrassed I’ve written this.
G: Topping the AppStore trending list was an awesome feeling.
What’s the dream?
J: One in which Raffler’s investors and players are filled with joy at the name of the company naturally.
G: To make all those that have supported or backed us happy with the decisions they made.
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