The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster — October 12, 2015

Coffee talk: Jordan Bishop, flight hacker and founder of Yore Oyster

He turned a love of flight hacking into a successful business; he crowdfunded a wildly popular mystery product; and he recently launched a beautiful content site designed to share inspiring travelers and their stories. Today, we talk to Jordan Bishop about his personal journey and how he turns ideas and dreams into reality.

How did you get to where you are today?

I think it’s important to first define “where I am today”, which I think is a curious person who refuses to accept the rules and self-imposed limitations that govern most of society. With that in mind, to get to this point, I try to do everything backward first, and then only revert to the norm when its opposite has been proven wrong. I think it’s an effective, or at the very least, an interesting, way of living.

What was the hardest thing about leaving Toronto in pursuit of life as a digital nomad?

I think my undying love for Toronto is what made it so easy to leave. I grew up in a small town a few hours outside of Toronto, so seeing how quickly I fell in love with the city when I first moved there at the age of 19 gave me the confidence that I would have similar experiences in other places, too. A few months later I moved to Manhattan on my own, and since then I’ve lived in a couple of different cities each year all around the world.

Toronto, Jordan Bishop

It sounds crazy, but sometimes I miss the cold, and more specifically, the fresh feeling of cold air running through your nostrils on a wintry morning. And I miss a few people, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m pretty good at living in the moment, and I try to keep my relationships of the moment as well.

How does your routine vary while traveling? Do you have tips for staying healthy, productive and focused while moving around so much?

I try to keep my morning routine as stable as I can, since that sets the tone for the rest of my day. I start every day by making my bed, followed by 21 minutes of meditation, and then a high-protein breakfast. If I’m in a good writer’s groove, I’ll also write for as long as I can before eating breakfast. Eating makes me think differently and often distracts me from my first few clear thoughts of the day.

I don’t normally go to a gym since I’m often in a place for less than a month at a time, so instead I do bodyweight exercises to maintain good blood flow and athleticism. Push ups and sprint training are my two favorites — the two of them combined make for a good full-body workout that requires no equipment and challenges both endurance and explosive power.

You turned your love of flight hacking into a business by founding Yore Oyster, a company created to help travelers get the best flight deals. What’s been the most rewarding part of working on it so far?

Helping others to explore the world.

Rio de Janeiro by Jordan Bishop

It’s extremely rewarding to hear from clients, many of whom become friends, how life-changing their trips were. I get nostalgic every day when I send people to places I’ve been and loved.

You also just launched How I Travel, a brilliant site that focuses on sharing travelers’ stories. What do you hope people will get from it?

As humans, we’re hardwired to learn most effectively when information comes to us through a story, so the obvious solution to accelerate our own growth is to document and transmit as much information as possible through highly compelling stories. How I Travel is my answer for current and prospective travelers.

Jordan Bishop, Yore Oyster and How I Travel

Columbia, by Jordan Bishop

How I Travel is also designed to inspire people to get out and take the trips they’ve always wanted to take. Travel is a gift that benefits you for a lifetime, and I want everyone to discover it in the ways that I have.

A man of many ideas, you’ve even tried your hand at crowdfunding. With your unique campaign, you got more than 1,000 people to buy something before they knew what it was! What was the secret to drumming up buzz?

I read, write, and think a lot about human psychology, and at that time I was curious to see if any of my friends trusted me enough to buy something I had created before I told them what it was. I never intended for anyone but my closest friends to get involved — but when others did and strangers started trusting me, I realized something much larger was happening.

We are witnessing an early indicator of how trust is quickly becoming a new global currency.

Strangers trusted me not because I had “won” their trust, but because they knew that with the way information travels today, I couldn’t afford to breach their trust. The Internet is no longer the place where you can betray someone’s trust behind a veil and get away with it, but actually the opposite; somewhere reputation is easy to discover and matters more than anything else.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as you continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone and experiment with ideas? How have you applied it to your life and work?

I was at a really low point when a guy I know told me, “Blow kisses to the haters.” The more you achieve and the higher you rise, the more people are going to try and break you down out of jealousy, a lack of understanding, or a generally negative attitude toward life. It’s not easy, but I try my best to ruthlessly eliminate any negative people from my life.

You’ve obviously done your research when it comes to travel; which sites and social accounts do you look to for inspiration, reliable information, and trip-planning tools? Where can we find you online?

My flight hacking company Yore Oyster, which has saved hundreds of travelers tens of thousands of dollars in the past year. I also love the Mike & Jay Explore YouTube channel; they always manage to perfectly balance beautiful cinematography with unique travel insights. I have a list of my go-to travel resources on my site. And I’m a huge Airbnb fan. I’m going to do an Airbnb tour of Asia soon — there will be lots of pictures from that on my Instagram account.

Jordan Bishop, traveler

Which global events, meetups, and groups do you love and recommend?

I’m a part of hashtagnomads.com, which is hands-down the best way to meet other digital nomads (people living abroad and working online). It’s how I’ve made my closest friends over the past 12 months.

I’ve been trying to push myself way outside of my comfort zone, and that’s how I’ve met skateboarding buddies in São Paulo, philosophical adversaries in Chiang Mai, and lifelong friends in Cartagena.

I’m a big proponent of meeting friends of friends (discovered through Facebook) around the world, as well as meeting others spontaneously — wherever you are. 

Last, how do you like your coffee?

I don’t drink coffee! But I’ve never turned down a cold chocolate milk. 🙂

Mapping the future of The Fetch: Kickstarter campaign now live — August 23, 2014

Mapping the future of The Fetch: Kickstarter campaign now live

Back the campaign now here:  http://bit.ly/kickstartfetch

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The past three years have been an exciting whirlwind of a journey, as The Fetch grew from its humble beginnings as an email newsletter and side project into a vibrant and diverse community of professionals from around the globe. We’ve proudly watched it evolve, and even outgrow itself. This is a good challenge to have, and one that we’re now tackling with all of our passion – but we need our community’s continued support to make it a reality.

“Since becoming the Melbourne Curator, my life has changed dramatically in a very positive way. It’s truly been an ongoing journey of personal learning and professional growth. The Fetch has provided me with the opportunity to meet an exciting network of people across the digital, tech and creative industries who are eager to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. ~ Kat Loughrey, Curator of The Fetch Melbourne

In order to build a true curated city guide for professionals across the globe, we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign. There, you’ll learn more about our mission and what you can expect from The Fetch if we get your backing. We believe that in this cluttered, crazy digital world, in-person interactions are more important than ever, and we want to be the catalyst to make those happen.

We hope that you decide to support the campaign, and help us mold the future of The Fetch. We can’t thank all of our community members enough for all of your support and dedication. To help make this campaign a success, please share it with your friends.

In case you’re new to The Fetch community, here’s some insight from some of our amazing community members:

“I regularly recommend The Fetch to people looking to get involved in their local startup scenes — it’s quick, informative and brilliant. As a weekly reader, I’m a huge fan.” ~ Kathryn Minshew, Co-founder & CEO, The Muse

and

“The Fetch has allowed me to invest in my own growth. I have been able to forge new friendships, develop skills and pursue unexpected interests because of what The Fetch has put in my path. As a result of the things I am aware of in my community, I have become better equipped at guiding other people towards the resources they need to fuel their own aspirations and endeavours.” ~ Jackie Antig, City Ambassador.

and

“To feel the pulse of a city’s tech scene, I recommend subscribing to The Fetch. Regardless of whether you’re making in-roads into creative communities, or wanting to attend a web metrics meetup, each issue will have you both scrambling for your calendar and reading up on new and interesting projects!” ~ Rosanne de Vries, Community Manager, Campaign Monitor

Thank you again and we look forward to building something great with you!

Back the campaign now here:  http://bit.ly/kickstartfetch

Interview: Wellington Local, Anna Guenther — May 3, 2013

Interview: Wellington Local, Anna Guenther

This week our community ambassador Katherine Field interviews Anna Guenther, the founder New Zealand’s crowdfunding startup, PledgeMeFollow Anna and the PledgeMe team on Twitter via @pledgeme.

AnnaGuenther
Photo credit: Guy Ryan

As the driving force behind PledgeMe, New Zealand’s crowdfunding platform for creative projects, Anna Guenther is one of Wellington’s golden girls. Passionate about building resilient creative communities – online and offline – she’s found herself as somewhat of a beacon of hope for creatives at that awkward junction where art meets financial reality.

Since their inception in 2011, PledgeMe has helped to raise over one million dollars in pledges – recently celebrating this success with three consecutive parties on one street in Wellington, complete with puppets re-enacting Pulp Fiction, fairy bread and a complimentary walking-bus to ferry guests.

Anna joined me to chat about all things crowdfunding, the end of bootstrapping and her potential career as a rock-star.

Congratulations on reaching a major milestone of raising $1,000,000 in pledges. What is the next big goal on the horizon? 

One billion dollars? But, no, honestly – we’re aiming for one hundred million in the first five years. So, one million is great – but now we need to multiply that by a hundred!

pledgemepeople31
Photo credit: Tess Brosnan

You’ve recently jumped ship to work on PledgeMe full-time.  How big a decision was this and what were the major considerations for you and the business before taking this step?

It was a massive decision, but one a long time coming. I’ve had some really smart people telling me that you can’t be half committed…. and, that’s right.

If you’re in start up world there really comes a time when you just have to jump.

For us, it was realising that there really was a huge market in New Zealand – hitting the one-million-dollar mark proved this to us – and that it was time to focus.

How does PledgeMe set itself apart from similar models such as Kickstarter and the new local addition to the scene, Boosted?

We see ourselves as a local version of the mighty Kickstarter. Having a New Zealand focus means that we’re not just an online platform, but also an offline community. People see that what they’re giving is making a difference locally -and that’s important.

We also see the rewards side of what we do as enabling creatives to be entrepreneurial. It’s a new model, not reinventing the patron model of old, and we think that’s pretty powerful.

It’s insider tips time! What are your top three nuggets of advice for prospective crowdfunding campaigns?

I think the three golden nuggets would be:

– Pitch your project (and you) well. People need to see you in it, and understand why the funds are going to help make it happen.

– Have a video. Really. Videos make you at least 117% more likely to get funded.

– Rewards are rewarding. People don’t want begging, they want value. So show them what you’ll give in return – and make it a mix of physical and experiential.

What does the future of crowdfunding look like in New Zealand?

I think crowdfunding is the next BIG thing. It’s a tool to give the crowd the power to decide what’s cool and what isn’t, what deserves to be funded to happen (and what doesn’t). The power of distributed decision-making is so 2013.

crowdsurfingthanksamillion
Photo credit: Kane Feaver & Bek Coogan

At PledgeMe’s ‘Thanks-a-Million’ celebration, you partook in some impressive crowd surfing! Are you a closet rock-star? Or is there another creative outlet up your sleeve?

More like a reluctant rock-star! I thought I was a bit of a fashionista back in the day, but now I’m just a massive supporter of the creative critters out there trying to do their thing. I’m really just a geeky fan of everyone!

About our Ambassador // Katherine Field is one helluva busy lady. In between holding down the fort as the Community Manager at the BizDojo, she is also back at university and helping to coordinate Startup Weekend Wellington. Find her on twitter as @kathfromwelly

News: Amanda Palmer’s winning TED 2013 talk — March 2, 2013

News: Amanda Palmer’s winning TED 2013 talk

Amanda Palmer has pretty much become a household name in crowdfunding – she raised over $1.1 million on Kickstarter (after asking for $100,000) to launch her new album. She’s just wrapped up speaking at this year’s TED conference in California, where the talk received rave reviews. She spoke about how her experience as a statue (aka street performer) was applicable to the future of the music industry. Ultimately, it’s about how we can connect with people in a way that allows them to help you. It’s the art of asking and letting.

The talk also encapsulate our explorer ethos at The Fetch with Amanda discussing her global roaming and couch surfing experiences.

Enjoy.

Interview: Melbourne local, Rick Chen — February 24, 2013

Interview: Melbourne local, Rick Chen

This week sustainability writer and researcher, Lara McPherson, chats to Rick Chen – the cofounder of Pozible about crowdfunding, starting up in Melbourne, coworking and the arts.

Rick Chen

Name: Rick Chen
Website: http://www.pozible.com
Twitter handles: @pozible & @rickchenn
Works: Co-founder & Director of Pozible

What is Pozible about and what prompted you to create it?

Pozible is a global crowdfunding platform for people with creative ideas and community projects. We have supported thousands of people and organisations to raise money to make their dreams come true. The idea for Pozible came about when myself and my friend and business partner Alan Crabbe decided we wanted to make a website to help artists to sell their art. The concept evolved from there.

Where do you think crowdfunding is at in Australia, in comparison to overseas?

Crowdfunding is still very much in its infancy in Australia. While we are starting to see people take crowdfunding seriously, it still has a lot of potential to become more mainstream both here and internationally.

Obviously, the US market is bigger and more mature, but there’s still a huge scope for growth in the States as well as in Asia and the developing world.

Does crowdfunding suit some industries more than others? What is behind Pozible’s focus on creative projects?

Crowdfunding really took off first with creative industries, because filmmakers, musicians, artists and others in creative fields were social media savvy, and people enjoy supporting artistic endeavours because it allows them to feel involved in the creative process.

Legal limitations which prevent crowdfunding campaigns from offering financial returns as rewards obviously makes crowdfunding less suitable for some industries, such as start ups and entrepreneurs. That said, we still see start ups and entrepreneurs using crowdfunding as a way to develop brand awareness in the marketplace.

pozible

You have a few businesses under your belt already – what similarities have you noticed in setting up each one? What new challenges have been presented with Pozible? Do you notice consistencies with the kinds of people Pozible works with?

With crowdfunding being such a relatively new concept, Pozible has presented some real challenges. Our business has been constantly evolving and changing since the very beginning, and I would expect that to continue.

The landscape in this sector is changing very rapidly so that is one of the biggest challenges, especially as we grow and expand internationally.

We work with a large number of organisations as partners, businesses as sponsors and a huge variety of people from different creative backgrounds, and we really try to be very customer oriented, and we really focus on trying to offer services that are customer-focused and value-oriented.

It seems collaboration is in your nature. You work from Hub Melbourne – how do you find the coworking experience?

We grew up in coworking spaces, and we started Pozible in a coworking space so really we’ve spent our whole time there. I really enjoy working at the Hub. I consider a lot of the people who work here to be close friends, and we always get together for communal lunch or a wine on a Friday night. I think the whole coworking experience really promotes collaboration, and stimulates ideas and connections you would’ve have had otherwise.

I think coworking is really the future, and I certainly can’t imagine myself going back to working in a corporate office.

Do you have a suppressed artistic side you’re honouring with Pozible? Will we see a Rick Chen film or exhibition one of these days?

I studied film and art at university, and I’m a designer by training so I do have an artistic streak. I wouldn’t say its suppressed exactly though. I get to do a lot of design work on a daily basis, and I find the line between creativity and entrepreneurship to be a very fine one.

Maybe in the future there might be an exhibition but for now my career focus is really about digital technology and the online space. We’re more like to see another start up in this space, than something purely artistic.

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Melbourne?

I live on the southside, but I work in the city and I hang out on the northside.

What else are you passionate about, besides helping funding great projects?

I’m passionate about the internet, technology and social enterprises businesses.

What’s next for Pozible and for Rick?

Next for Pozible is we are aiming to evolve the crowdfunding model, and spread our wings. For me personally, Pozible is really what’s next for me. I’m committed to it moving forward.

About our ambassador // Lara McPherson is a writer and researcher interested in how ethics and economics intersect. Communications Manager at the Centre for Sustainability Leadership and a Director at Lala Productions. Tweed Rider, farmer, yogi. Lover of travel, pretty things, big questions and cups of tea. Follow her on Twitter as @laramcpherson

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