Sorted provides users with access to a hyper local mobile marketplace where you can buy and sell literally anything. If you're after a gardener, football tickets or maybe even just looking to sell some of those old books then Sorted wants to help you. By combining an eBay come Gumtree service with a sleek app interface and a hyper localisation engine they hope they can connect buyers and sellers who want to meet.
James Pursey is cofounder and senior marketing director of Sorted and I posed a few questions to him to learn a little more about Sorted.
As CMO it's your role to get word out about Sorted - how do you do that?
At the moment its pretty much all down to networking and speaking. We are big fans of the 3 Beard events (Silicon Drinkabout, Digital Sizzle & Don't Pitch Me Bro) but also attend MiniBar and any other events that have ties to the tech community.
The tech community itself is brilliant at helping early stage startups get off the ground, all you've got to do is meet as many people as possible and simply ask for their thoughts & advice!
I have also begun speaking at events. I pitched Sorted at a couple of demo days run by The Founders Hive which was great, and was also a speaker at the big Location Location Location event at Google Campus run last Tuesday by Dreamstake.
The great thing is that Sorted always goes down well. We always seem to get attention from the main people in the audience, and manage to forge relationships with them!
But it's not just all about taking offline channels online - I have been working on building our online presence using Facebook, Twitter & blogging. I wasn't much of a blogger before but it's great fun to do and also a good exercise to pen down your thoughts. I'm running the Sorted blog as well as a business orientated personal one.
We also have a number of exciting activities in the pipeline for more bold marketing stunts. I can't divulge too much on this, but let's just say that it includes breaking some world records.
Finally I suppose the beauty of Sorted is that it's very much a crowd sourced platform - By that I mean that its in everybody's best interest for the platform to have as many people on it as possible, so that users can make money and get stuff done as quickly and as efficiently as possible - so socially integrated sharing will do wonders for the user base when the app goes live.
2) What did you think gives London an edge in tech sector?
One of the coolest things about the London tech scene at the moment is that everybody understands that it's not as good as it could be but that it is definitely moving in the right direction. People understand that the fastest way to grow a community organically is to look to achieve mutual gain, i.e. helping other people whenever and wherever you can, and them doing the same for you.
The whole community is growing and that's obvious just in the change in attendance at networking events compared to when we started Sorted a few months ago! Things are moving faster and that's enabling London based companies to build networks faster, get support faster and subsequently grow faster.
3) Do you think it can rival silicon valley?
My personal view is don't take anything on unless you think you can dominate at it, that's the attitude we take with Sorted and we hope it will serve us well! So in answer to your question, absolutely - I don't think the community would be putting as much time and effort into growth if we didn't think we could compete with our American friends!
I met Dave McClure at a Drinkabout event a few months ago, and he said that if you looked at a scale of 1-100 with Silicon Valley being 100, that London would be more like a 4. There's clearly a big difference but London is moving in the right direction.
Having said that, Milo made a great point on a recent interview with the BBC, saying that the issue is more the type of companies we are pushing out, saying that Britain is great at financial products, but we don't push out any big game changing tech companies like Twitter! The focus needs to change and ultimately a big proportion of that change is down to the support network and more importantly, the capital available. SF does well because it stinks of cash!
4) Any favourite parties or events?
Silicon Drinkabout - without question! Every Friday at a different location in East London, great people and a great atmosphere! For me it takes the 'awkwardness' of networking out of the picture, by plying you with alcohol! What a great plan!
5) Did your experience from your first business help you?
Yes absolutely, I think any form of experience is beneficial, regardless of the specific outcome, for me its all about learning and gaining advice.
So my business experience was a company I started at university that was a localised student discount card, it wasn't particularly elegant or sophisticated but we saw a problem, we created a product that solved it, and we put it out to market. It was a fantastic experience for me in how not to market a product, but also a great lesson in how to create one! It was also a hyper-local service, and given the localised nature of Sorted it has served me well to date.
I got a lot of experience in terms of how to actually run a company day to day by my experience upon moving to London, first working in recruitment, then for a student media company.
6) What's your team like?
Great, the best guys I have ever worked with - next question?
Things I have done in the past have fallen down because of the strength of the people in the business, not just in terms of ability but also how everybody works together.
The great thing about the Sorted team is that we all love what we do, and hate what the other 2 do - not to say we don't have an understanding and a say in everything, but it means that nobody is stuck doing a task that they despise. Working on stuff you love is always more productive and produces higher quality outputs, which is how we have come so far in a few short months.
We also vary considerably in experience, so I'm the fairly fresh graduate who loves diving in to things headfirst then working out how to solve them. Anthony is our operations guy and is so meticulous and analytical from his background in trade support at an IB, that he does his job brilliantly! And Jade is our CEO, he's built a number of businesses before and had considerable successes, he's seen and experienced a lot more so is the perfect person to keep an overview of everything and make sure we keep pushing forward.
You can visit the Sorted website and try ther service at for yourselves here: http://www.getsortedapp.com/
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