Unconventional Entrepreneurship With Jack Hughes

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Jack Hughes. Jack, welcome.

Hello Tom, how’s it going?

Pretty good. Thank you. What about yourself?

Yeah, pretty good. Ready to go. Absolutely raring to go.

Good. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Sure my name is Jack Hughes, co-founded a company called Simplify. Simplify is basically we’re trying to become a bit of a cheat sheet for podcasters. We’re going to be the fastest place which always get your podcast out. We’re going to be the quickest way to record, upload, monetise and build a community around the podcast. We’re textiles company graduated at the end of last year. I am a non-traditional entrepreneur. I have an English and drama degree and somehow managed over the course of the 6, 7, 8 years since completing, got nine years since completing now, I’ve managed to get into marketing and sales and worked at two very fast growing start-ups and managed to make my way to being a founder, which is really, really cool. And that’s me and I’m gonna answer all questions.

You asked me at about a million miles an hour and try not to get too excited about my answers. Well, one thing I was gonna ask you about was the non-traditional entrepreneur because in one of your profiles, it says you laugh at how ill-equipped you are to be an entrepreneur. Do you mind talking about that for a moment? Yeah, absolutely. so I’m, I’m so I got these in my science is when I was in GCSE and I dropped any kind of thing that revolved any kind of workings out way before university. So, I did English, French and history at A level and then the University of English and Drama and whilst I was there was doing lander courses and how to act from there, I went to a very generic sales role and at no point did I, because I have no and I, what I had had no understanding of basic economics or business studies, none of these things that ever come into my career plan. If you’ve ever looked at my career profile that I was meant to do, it would come out with something like me, Maybe linguist would be the closest thing to like a real professional thing.

And I didn’t start reading any of the, you know, start with why Simon Sinek books or you know Elon Musk’s autobiography or like venture deals or anything like that really, it’s a little like the last two years I think. but I just, it just seems to work, I guess my profile and what I’m trying to communicate to people, I just seem to be able to communicate it. as opposed to doing like the major graft and technical stuff behind it. so it does surprise me every day that I ended up being in textiles and the rest of it, It’s cool and I like, I like the non-traditional approach because it kind of flies in the face of what would you say, traditional thinking what would you say has allowed you to, if you don’t have that background, let’s say business and I have no success philosophy or whatever it might be termed, what has allowed you to get to this place where you are right now, insecurity I think and major imposter syndrome. So I felt that as soon as I left sales, every job I was therefore gonna get from there was gonna be fluke and I was going to have to work hard to prove that I had to be there.

So when I interviewed, when I left recruitment and I ended up being a basic consultant for a year, I had no idea about marketing other than I knew that I needed to get bums on seats in terms of eyes on the screen and I knew that I need to do that. I had to make something that was pretty and if I can make something pretty, people want to look at it. So that is how basically looked at basic growth marketing to begin with. And I started talking to people being like, look this is something you could do it for free, but this is something you need to do, this is this is like garages and things like that, like this is something you need to do to make more people land on your website and then they were like okay can you do that like yeah and so I do it and then I would go, I took that, I did that for a year, lots of different companies and I don’t grow my profile doing that and then when I got the job at sweat coin who are some of the hardest interviewers in the world and at the time where scaling to between 27 to 15 million or something users or people during that time I basically just accepted the fact I was done in marketing growth.

Marketing had no idea that paid social only of these kind of tools. and allowing myself to be to not fight the fact, I didn’t know what people were doing what people are saying and just let it go in. that allowed me to get better at it really, really quickly and I wanted to be a competitive person and I wanted to be the best at it. So being given the, for hardly any money between honest, being given the tools in order to learn how to go and do these things in order to be the best of it was really attractive. And so I went from having basically just creating spreadsheets to controlling the entire marketing fund or marketing budget within 69 months and that was a few million few million dollars that they cheaply handed over to me. But I was able to keep the prices of down is pretty cheap. Which is because I just liked, I liked it. It was fun. Well, it sounds like an achievement so well done on that on that front. Yeah, I guess so. I think, I think one of the things that people afraid to do is ask for help and I went and when I was working with Pinterest or ticktock or tumbler or Snapchat, I went and just ask the people who work there how to do it properly.

It’s like, well, I’ve got your sheet, I’ve got your, your thing in front of me. I want to spend money with you, but you have to make it worth my while. Otherwise I’m just gonna go to TikTok or I’m gonna go somewhere else. Just can you please show me how to get down. It was cheap, but it’s possible. And at scale. And they were like, yeah, of course, of course we can do that for you. And those people don’t ask. They just plug in and they’re like, I’m upset. No, no, they just ask the people because they want the account. Just send them my LinkedIn and send them a message and be nice to them and turn up to the stuff. They invite you to invite you to as well. Don’t just be an account to them. Be personal. Make sure you get their WhatsApp numbers, make sure you can, you know, communicate because that’s the whole point of market is communicating just because you plug in now, Just screen doesn’t mean there’s not someone else looking at your account the other side. So yeah, again it wasn’t so much as a genius. Marketer, I just like talking to people, I wanted them to help me because it would end up helping them. Well now that you do know how to do those things or at least you’ve gotten that achievement. Do you now reframe the way that you’re you refer to because you use the term dumb. And I also noticed where is it you consider yourself the least business partner, least business minded person that you know, do you start to reframe those things as you get more and more experience?

No, no, not till no because that’s not, it’s gonna help, it’s not gonna help me. If I start to think I’m like God’s gift, whatever like that. I’m not just because I’m absolutely not right. Like I know I don’t at all. I permanently think that allows me to, allows me to be really, really honest and frank when people ask me things about when I talk to investors or when I’m talking to people who are asking me, Okay, where do I where I think probably gonna be in five years, where do I think I’m gonna be, what do I think the monetary gain or how we’re gonna exit the company? Are we gonna exit the company? I say the thing that I want to, this truthful to me at that time, I’m not trying to curry favor by giving them an answer or anything like that. It’s just, I, I’m allows me to say things that I want to say that it’s that it’s true um, regardless of the potential consequence of it because at least if I do that and I, and they don’t want to talk to me or anything like that, at least I’ve kind of got that integrity. I’ve got that kind of, well, to be honest, I went in, not with without the answers and leaving without anything is completely acceptable word. So I go in and I’m trying like I’m the big dog and I know what I understand what’s going on here, Then the expectation of me to deliver its way higher.

If the expectation on you to deliver its way higher, then you’re gonna get stressed and you’re gonna, you’re gonna try and cut corners and that’s when major mistakes happen, especially if you’re on your own, your own company. It’s better just to remain major grassroots. It’s thinking all that all the time and I can imagine the best people in the business. I bet you they write out one line huge ideas and then they just try and work out how to get themselves, they don’t do step by step by step, they just have the one idea which is logical and then they aim towards that idea and they don’t try and like look at all the math and specifics behind the first wellbeing open and honest is definitely a good a good principle, what your kind of approach reminds me of. Have you ever heard of Tom Billy? No, I haven’t, no, he’s a successful business guy, but he sort of is not exactly the same, but he sort of said the same thing when he was starting out and he basically said that instead of trying to think of himself as smart, which he says he wasn’t he started to think of himself as the learner.

So if you if you’re trying to say that you’re smart all the time when you’re not smart, it kind of hurts your self-esteem when I think of yourself as the learner well, even if you don’t know something, then you know, you can just go learn it in the way that you explained. Yeah, I think not to push Tom. Tom Billy said his name was I think there’s this really kind of, I don’t have to say like hippie way of describing hips the tech way of describing, like I’m on a I’m on a learning path, like I’m just trying to like it all out and it’s like if you do that, you can to me, you can kind of sound that not pretentious, but it’s almost like saying, like, classifying yourself as a learner or a student of the game has just, like, pretence to, which I don’t really like that much, because it’s you are you’re making yourself void of criticism and void of avoid of these other things that are really, really used to being told off for doing something stupid, but if you are even more transparent than that and you go, okay, I’m gonna pretty bad at this, that’s fine, like, it’s okay to be really bad at it, then people then you kind of, you’ll get slapped on the way, and that’s better than just saying, you know, there’s no consequence to me getting this wrong and all the rest of us, and no, no, no, there should be consequences.

You get it wrong but being brave enough to be able to go after and make those mistakes and then going on again and again, it’s fine. If you learn, you could be a PhD of something right, and there’s no consequences to you, not six athletes for doing that PhD unless you want to go and use it in in life right, but like, there’s a study of learning in order to kind of become the PhD and you can just be never philosopher of whatever you, whatever you’re interested in, but it takes, you should also be a do er learners don’t need to just be learners, learners need to be doers as well and it’s finding that balance actually getting stuff done at the same time as learning. And I think if you classify yourself as a strict learner, you probably stop yourself from making those big steps you should take. Yeah. What’s the point in learning it if you don’t do anything with it. Right, okay, learn on the job. So you were just to go back to before you started simplify because you said that you were involved in a, what was the company called again? Sweat coin and healthier with the two. So sweat coin was a health and fitness app and healthier is a health tech map.

How did you get into those? So swat coin was I knew so I’m not, I used to really like the life of comfort basically. That means I would do enough work whereby I could just live happily and what I’d end up doing is I’d get a contract for consulting and then I would go and do it and disappear for four or five months for everyone to go and then I would come back and get more work and then disappear again and it worked like bounces. It was amazing. But I realized if I just carried on doing that, I would never do anything, I would just be this just keep doing that forever like four hour work week. But without the book and without the without the podcast all the rest of it. So I ended up just going that I need to I need to join one of the best tech companies because if I get on my CV I’m gonna be able to do whatever I want next five years and you know kind of achieve what I want to do. So I basically googled technique where I found out like what tech nation was technician base is the home of the 50 fastest growing started in the UK. And I was like okay well that’s a logical thing this is like the logical mind thinking right so okay fine best tech companies applied for jobs at the best tech companies so I applied for the few of them.

I ended up getting the sweat coin job. And when I was at sweat coin, sweat coin was also part of like the upscale program. It was I mean it is the fastest growing health fitness app of all time. Like we were top of the apps or charts in like seven different countries or something. And then from there I went end up going to these other meetings with these other companies with tech nation upscale and that’s where I met healthier and I just started to get pretty decent performance marketing. And they were talking about Facebook and we were getting people were telling us about how to do face at marketing. One of the things I asked like why are we using just why you can just use Facebook? And they said well it’s kind of the go to and I said what if you’re using Facebook? Why not? And your CPA or cost per acquisition for download is X amount. You know if you spread it across, these are three or four different platforms, basically just started like mouth like being noisy in the in the meeting and no reason at all just because I’m trying to challenge the status quo, shouldn’t just use Facebook. And then after that I met martin who was the founder of Healthier and I ended up doing some consulting for them just talking about different types of marketing, how they should set up where they should go about it.

So yeah, that’s how I got those two positions and how did the last one end? Sweet corn. Yeah. So I was actually house Record Healthcare. So I was away in Portugal with the company and covid happened and we didn’t know what was going on and we really needed to kind of restructure the company towards just like product because the marketing we’ve been going well, but to some extent the marketing head kind of got to the point where we were growing and the need to change the product was less because we were, it was just had a lot of onboarding members, lifetime value was, was, was decent and all the rest of it, so they basically didn’t need a marketing department anymore, like with the kind of, the job was done, I’d set up all the who to do what we’re and so they were like, look, we, we don’t really need the marketing anymore, Covid happening, we need to kind of tighten our belts a little bit, so thank you very much and we’ll be seeing you and I was like, oh cool. And then about two weeks later had this pretty much same conversation with healthier and they’re like, yeah, we don’t really need the marketing thing anymore. And I’m like, okay, I guess that’s, that’s two jobs done in a, in five weeks.

So I was, I was, I was at my own from there so upsetting or was it not really, not really attached to it? I mean, I’m attached to, was attached to team members, so remember who’s the, who’s the CEO? well he wasn’t, he was not CEO, who was VP growth or whatever you want to call it in a sweet corn. Like he was, he was my biggest mentor in terms of business, I’m sad that I was gonna be working with him anymore, but he’s actually gone and started his own app and he’s just raised a million dollars to since then anyway, and we actually both came up with the ideas of podcasts. Well my founder as well as I came with the idea for podcast apps at the same time whilst we’re sweat going together, we both gonna raise money is found as doing it. I was sad because I’ve never learned so much in marketing then I did the time of sweat coin and I love the people I work with, I was sad to be seeing those guys go but I knew it’s time to change and I knew having had a few interviews after that I was ended I ended up in these interviews where they were asking me so it’s going to be VP growth rolls, these heads of growth roles that these like Fintech and different tech start-ups.

And I ended up talking about restructuring during their entire growth strategy, like asking like you know if you had, you’ve got a budget and you say okay you do this for PPC needs the SSCO and need to do this and pay social or whatever. I don’t end up like doing presentations going like okay why did you need to grow? Like what are you, what are you focused on growing for and why are you growing and for what purpose? So my presentations ended up being to like what it was clear that I was angling towards like a founder position or like a C suite position and one of the interviews that had, which was actually for mushy sleep doing really, really well now they just said that I would be unhappy unless I was in charge and I was like, you might be right here, like you might, you might be right. So that was, that’s kind of the time where I knew along with that maybe my path is better now. Any, any resentment there regarding those two endings? No, no, not at all, no resentment whatsoever. I left both of them. I still speak to them.

Just great people. Amazing idea in order to revolutionize the way that pharmacies interact with people and just the prescription service was so broken in the UK. So I really liked what they’re trying to do in terms of the subscription model of getting pharmaceuticals to your door, getting them delivered, especially drink over. That was vital. I actually think sweater and the idea of incentivizing people to be more healthy just by taking a few more steps today. That idea in itself regardless of how executed is fundamentally better for humans. So I think any company that does things that are better for humans deserve to have everyone’s support and if their business decisions are going to make their companies more likely to succeed, you don’t have to take them. So I have no resentment whatsoever how long before you got to learn. Like I learned so much from them as well, like I so I’m really happy that I got the opportunity to do anyway. Yeah, I mean loads of skills in that time, right? So it’s a good way of looking at it. how long before you start thinking about launching your own company after going? So it was April or March, maybe last year, about a year ago and Sam had been, Markova had been angling towards starting his own company and sounds like a bunch of different cool stuff and he’s made quite a few angel investments and he was just super annoyed with the podcasting world.

He thought was broken, fragmented, he saw a load of failures that happened already. and he needed a co-founder with kind of expertise in a completely different area and so he said he approached me, it was like, look, I kind of need this and I think you should be doing this. And I said, I don’t like the idea, it’s boring. No, huh. And then about a month later, have to explain it and explain it again. I said, yes, let’s do this, let’s like give it everything and let’s just keep going and see what happens. So what changed in a month? I’m speaking to my dad, I’m very, very close to my dad, he lives in Spain and I often feel that when I’m talking to him – like he’s an old dude, he’s 77. And I often feel we’re talking about me because that’s all he wants to know about. He doesn’t have any other kids and he’s not married and his partner’s in the UK and he’s always asking about me and I was really getting annoyed by the fact that he only has me to talk to and like a couple of friends.

And I just felt like if I could get him more in tune with my life in one way or another then we’d have more to talk about. And I realised that there is actually like sink. I in a very like drift you are consuming outweighs the ability to see what your friends and family are listening to in terms of podcasts. Like just straight off like as a discovery feature or whatever on the app. My dad could see what I’m listening to and consuming. He would be able to talk to me about things that we are sharing together, despite being thousands of miles away. And I didn’t understand that could be a feature of sinker fight until I started speaking to him. And I realized this. And that isn’t like the MVP. Or like the most important thing about signify. But it is part of the product that we can do. Like if I see my dad is listening to something I can just tune in and listen to at the same time and then I will be able to catch up with him a later time about it. And I was like, yes, that’s actually really cool. So that was one of the, I was pretty the main feature for me. And so what happens after that? Tell Sam, I say, okay, well, because he kept kind of going with it and he was like, you know, how about this?

And how about that? And I was like, yeah, okay. I said, I’ve got, I’ve got about enough money to get, let’s just to do this now. I said, I am going to be giving up some pretty, I’m gonna be doing all the safety because you know, I said, I joined the other companies to get his career move. I was going to go like VP marketing or growth and I was gonna, it’s gonna be all the bells and whistles next job and you know, saving towards all the mortgages and all the rest of it. And instead I just start my own start up during Covid and pray that it is going to work out. So I kind of sign on the dotted line and go, all right man, let’s do this. I’m no sound for 20 years. So I was like, well, if I’m gonna, I was only gonna start a company with two people either Sam or Rambo and I’m like, no, I was not going to be my own Rambo with Sam no other. And the fact that SAM presented itself at first, I was like, okay, let’s do this, let’s do this, let’s go for it. So what happens after you sign? Well, I start trying to figure out if this, if this is, if there’s actually any kind of area or if there’s a problem market fit or even idea market fit or whether it was interested in this, whether this is going to be a billion dollar company, whether it’s going to be like a couple of couple of million, try and figure out whether this is going to be on the creative creator tool, whether this is going to be a user tool, whether people really care enough about podcast in order to make this a shared experience.

Try and answer as many questions as possible and try to answer as many like go through as many reservations as I can. Then we think about accelerators, then we think about funding, then we kind of make outrageous plans where we’re gonna go, who we’re gonna hire from there. We just started to get the ball rolling essentially like the idea ball, it starts rolling. I started to kind of try and move into a more kind of growth focus. Okay, Original users pr signing people up to something, build a website, just see if there’s any interest. So that’s what you just have to kind of do just to start iterating and building on whatever the idea was, you had to begin with it is that kind of like a business plan that you went through. I think it wasn’t even a business plan, it’s just, it’s just like, are we building a solution without a problem or we actually have, we found a problem and therefore we’re trying to build a solution to it. And uh, I think that we think to begin with it was a solution without a problem because we just really wanted to have some way of making podcast experience better. And then it was until fairly recently, the last few months we’re going right okay, we know where the problem is in podcasting now, but we know the problem is 100% on the creative side of it.

And it just took us a while to get there. It took us a while to realize that even throughout textiles, we were still saying things that wasn’t, that weren’t, there weren’t 100% like bang on the money. And I think it was until clubhouse came along that we really understood where like the whole of the market was for a company like us. I think since then we’ve really started to like, you know, pedal to the metal and start to really push to, to kind of make up problem solution fit. So what’s the main problem that you sort of settled on that you’re solving. So 1% only 1% of all podcasters make money, right? Like worth living 99% don’t, that’s ridiculous. And then the most, the most of the platform, the podcast is out there who end up on Patreon only between one or 2% of them actually make any money from that either. So you basically have 99% of all media creates in the podcasting space, not making any money. The other problem is they have is they end up creating bloody Instagram pages in order to connect with their audience, which is ridiculous. That’s the most stupid thing.

Going to a photo platform in order to communicate your audio product is kind of like going to a cricket ground to watch a rugby match. It’s stupid. So we realized that if we could just build a way that makes it, that could turn anyone who’s anyone who is remotely interesting podcasting into a creator and allow them to build and build an audience and a community around that podcast, that would in fact make it way easier to monetize as well. That is literally all it is. There’s no gloss to how simple simplify is the easiest place in the market to create a podcast, engage with the audience and monetise it. So how do you create as monetize it? So creative will be able to just come on first start, let’s say you wanted to, you wanted to join, join single fire, right? So you go on to the website and you claim your podcast, you just go on and you type your podcast in and or and you’ll be like claim this is my podcast. So if you have the app, anytime anyone commented, let you wanted to bring your audience on the next episode on this one, you go join me. I think if I I’m gonna be there commenting if you have any questions or you want to comment on how much of an idiot that Jack I was just interviewed come onto the, you could never say that come onto the app and you’ll be, we have to comment.

And so you will actually be able to see people whilst listen, commenting on the app itself or commenting on the, on the, on the episode and you’ll be able to engage with that. You’ll be able to build like that third, get rid of the third wall because I’m not sure if you’re using anchor, you have all the statistics, everything like that wants, you don’t know who these people are, you have no idea about them. But so what we’re doing is going to give you the opportunity to actually engage with them to see what they want to see these people are. So you’re gonna get closer with them and you’re gonna kind of really build that community and that way if you can actually end up getting too close to enough where you go, hey, do you mind tipping? Do you mind, do you mind, you know, paying £1.50 for this episode? That’s away. Easy conversation to have in front of people as opposed to like behind the dog and I, anyone going to give me an ideal, anyone, those conversations don’t happen. So that’s, that’s the, that’s the game and clubhouses, showing how, how you don’t need to be a professional podcast in order to have an audience, right? Just you just don’t need to, it sounds like, sink if I might be a social media platform, it’s a social podcast, but like that, that, that is it. It’s just, it’s so weirdly fragmented and isolated as an experience, like millions of assistance of podcast now millions of us and there’s a litany of failed social podcasting apps.

Breaker had an exit and I definitely case people just listen to that. I just did my inverted commerce, my fingers had an exit. I can’t believe the podcast space has remained as completely. It’s also the way people are going about trying to corner the podcasting market. It’s like you probably do you identify as a podcast that you like? I am into podcasting? I am a podcaster. I certainly, I know that there are people who just that’s all they do, right, They just want to make a living from the, from the podcast? I say I have a podcast and I spend an awful lot of time doing it. How much do you and how many do you listen to? A lot of podcasts? I did, I don’t so much anymore, mainly because I’m busy. Yeah. Yeah. Well it’s weird how like I know people who identify themselves as podcast lovers, like they love podcast and you love the whole idea about it, this kind of radio that you get to consume around your favourite people in your own time, right? And for something that is so unbelievably enjoyed by so many people. The fact that people have never been successfully connected around it is so mental.

Like it is, I just don’t I don’t I don’t get that at all and I think that the fact that hasn’t worked out before means that people are scared of trying it again. And that’s why you see the likes of Spotify doing land grabs in terms of joe Rogan deals and you see people buying out like likes a stitch or gimlet media, they are afraid of going and revisiting this model of socializing podcast, but it’s actually the way it was done before was to be just making people trying to social one another around the podcast. There’s no incentive for the creator to be social with their audience. But what we’re doing is, you know, it starts with a creator, the creator to get the benefits to get the monetization to get that kind of community feeling, they need to be the ones drawing the audience, the platform, They need to be the ones ready to engage. They can’t just put something out there and expect people just to come to it through Instagram, whatever, it doesn’t work like that. They need to, they need to be, they need to be the fire that draws people in and like the warmth and that’s where the community starts with the creator around the media is supposed to make the media about themselves all the time. That’s actually antithesis of what social media is interesting.

I will check it out. So thank you for sharing. Did you, you mentioned raising finance a couple of times. Did you have to raise finance for simplify? Yeah, so we raised 130 or 40,000. So to textiles, we’ve got an angel investor as well because they’re only a small team, We bootstrapped it and then in the next few months or so we’re going to raise, um, we’ll raise probably like a seed or precede around based on engagement. So we’re gonna basically, start, we’ve got a pretty gigantic wait list, which is one of the, one of the awesome things about a product like ours is you can, you cannot force product market fit, but you can get enough people going into the app and testing it. Where are you going to get a few daily active users sticking around to be able to ask them. So when we get to a decent level of engagement, we’re going to we’re going to be like 10 and investors go, look, we actually have something here, we have people who are coming back every day to use the platform and we have 200 202 150 podcasters, you’ve already claimed their profile, so they’re kind of ready to bring their audiences onto the platform as well, which is great. So we have numbers that are waiting pre-launch, that will help us post launch and then we want to raise and like being a starter, found it, it’s not, you don’t pay yourself properly, you just don’t, you pay the dev, you pay the designer and the growth guy and you don’t pay yourselves very well because you’re, it’s your company.

So I think we want to raise a little bit of money so I can afford a slightly better dog food than Burt is currently using. and be able to like maybe change, change a couple of things that have probably been falling by the wayside the last year. So what was the process like of raising money? Textiles? Which is insane. So textiles, about 0.5% of all companies who apply to textiles getting especially about the London accelerator. So you’re about 10 times more likely to get into Harvard than you are to get into textiles. and that was pretty gruelling, but a man who’s the M. D. Of textiles, UK. Kind of saw that we had a really good strong team founding team Sam and I were you know even known each other for 20 years but we’re also completely like yin and yang. We have the most different skill sets, the most different personalities. So we’re not just like two clones of one another walking in and around the room just kind of echo chamber we just end up screaming and shouting each other. And that’s the best thing you could have in terms of terms of like a team dynamic because nothing gets left unsaid. Everything is usually buy me two things. Things tend to get worked out very quickly.

So you have about five or six in two stages, then they give you an original once you’re gonna give you like 20 grand and they’re like okay here’s operational costs. And then if you want you can take a convertible note which basically converts based on you raising the next round. So if we raised evaluation of three million let’s say they convert that 100 K. Into stocks and shares of about 3% stocks and shares. Nature shares. So after that we approached we’re approaching a few angels and then it’s generally a priest and priest product stage like that is do you like us? Do you like the idea do you think where the people to carry on be able to do it? Do you wanna give us some money that’s it like that. It’s not it’s not as complicated people give you give like they give themselves too much credit, it’s not a direct thing and then you can, you show the term sheet and this is how much we this is how much we value the company. If you want to give us £100,000 that equals 3% of the company wanting company or if you’re freaking billion dollar company, like 0.1% company, they give us the money. Here’s the shares, fingers crossed, we don’t waste this money and we make it through to the next stage of fundraising and that’s it.

That’s really that’s really, it just take an awful lot of conversations and there is a lot of people who have said no, like a lot of people, which is fine because you are asking people to give up their money to support you. There’s a lot of news. The there was one other thing that was going to ask you about and I don’t know whether it correlates here, but you said you you’ve had some pretty immense stories about making mistakes getting up on stage. Is that in relation to this topic or not? Yeah, no, that’s what so heavy. Harvey did my matchmaker profile and then Harvey’s so how is one of the project managers think for that’s to do with I have a habit of getting on stage when I’m not a lot, not meant to because I did a drama and then chatting or saying things that are stupid. So for example, I, okay, I do that. Anyway, so if there is a company meeting, my old company or whatever and someone had to just kind of speak or do something, I’m always gonna put my hand up and just do something because it’s fun and I don’t care, I don’t care if I would make a fool of myself, but I think what he’s referring to is I did it stand-up comedy night.

I’ve never done stand-up comedy before. I was in Canterbury and I ended up getting really drunk and I ended up going on stage for 15 minutes where the, a lot of time essentially five minutes I went on stage for 15 minutes and just told the worst stories I could possibly think of in front of a crowd of horrified people. And I actually also did that when I was a holiday when I was about 22. I did that at a hotel where radio One’s big weekend was, and radio ones like what weekend? And I pretended that I could freestyle rap in order to get close to people like storms and Annie Mac and I ended up, I ended up basically standing over the piano player who was the rudimentary piano player and he started to play the piano and I tried to start wrapping, but of course I can’t rap. So I ended up just doing that and coming up with like, hello, my name is Jack and I’m from Cornwall, like that in front of a whole room full of people. And I didn’t realise that Harvey had put that in my profile, but that’s probably what he’s talking about. His probably put that in there because he knows he’s going to catch me out and that’s hilarious.

He’s done that so big kudos for happy for doing that. That’s fantastic. Like the example, it makes me think of how supposedly I’ve heard many times about the fact that people fear public speaking more than they do death. All right. It’s not the case for you. Apparently, I fear blood tests more than I fear public speaking or death. That’s my thing. I can’t have one yesterday. I cannot stand blood tests. They’re, they’re the worst things that ever happened. I think in life. That’s my fear blood test. No, nothing is probably speaking I don’t care about. That stuff doesn’t bother me. Like old Samaritans find any kind of sports thing. Find blood tests unacceptable. Well, there you go each to their own, I suppose. Yeah, exactly. What are your fears interesting fears? It’s a, it’s a lovely question. I fear I’m not going to, you know, that’s, that’s a cop out that uh, well, my emphasis in terms of my passion is my kids.

So I suppose I would say I fear being a terrible dad. Right. Well, I mean I’m sure that you’re not a terrible dad and if you let and if the fact that you didn’t scream at them for bursting on the school earlier would suggest that potentially right? If I imagine that, imagine they like come in and I used to you and you’re screaming at them. I’m like, oh my God, Thomas really aggressive, just like horrified. But you didn’t anyone who’s just listen tom was very gentle by the looks of it. He was very, very nice and calmly that his kid away thank you very much. Is there anything that you feel of the things that you would like to talk about, which was sales start up business? Is there anything that you think of which would be of value to the listener that you would like to share? yeah, don’t stress about things like that I did and don’t panic about how successful you’re gonna be in business because pianist most like 99% of the thing is going to fail anyway. So if you’ve got an idea and you love it and it’s something you want to pursue, pursue it without it potentially thinking and framing as a business first, like pursue as a passion and if you can make some money out of it fantastic.

But don’t think about like the noughts and crosses and the dots and the investment, all that kind of thing right down with like literally borrow and try and figure out if it’s something you actually really want to be doing because if it’s not then you’re going to quit anyway after a year and make sure the people that you have along the way are people you trust and trust and you trust me enough to say, hey, this is a rubbish idea, do not do that because if you are surrounded by people who are gonna say, yeah, this is a good idea, you should pursue this. Absolutely try and think about why they’re saying that because good people will say this is a bad idea, A lot of good people will say that. So that’s why that’s why I suggest interesting, would you mind sharing what your goals are? Honestly, it sounds so, so sad. Like I want to just be really, really happy like I feel that in the business world a lot of people struggle insanely hard to be happy and that they want to be happy. They try and put themselves further into business, but they end up making themselves more money. But then again, the happiness seems to dissipate and that’s that I don’t know if the Chinese problem, but people give up 80% of their health trying to get wealthy and then when they’re older they spend 80% of their wealth trying to get their health back and I don’t want to be living like that, I want to be, I want to be happy in the knowledge.

I’ve tried to make something that’s awesome for people to consume and use, um, and not like a, not like a disadvantage to a lot of other people. I think you can get wealthy and provide really awesome things without it costing people. Also think that’s the best thing that technology as well, because it’s a digital product, there isn’t someone at the end of the line losing out necessarily. Um, you can digitize something and not make it like someone is coming out of the earth, we have the massive advantage of not not pillaging our resources. So I think if you can go digital and tech in terms of the creator, that’s, you know, if that’s what you should be doing. Yeah, this is a compliment by the way you remind me of debt free. It’s a, I’ve got a really funny story. So you have this actually really quick when we’re going to your first, you remind me of the Innocent Founder a little bit. Have you seen the Innocent Founder story I’ve heard, I’ve heard, so I spoke to their investment become the other day, but I’ve not seen his story now. I think I see a lot of commonalities there and I think, yeah, I think you should check that out because I think that might be a good inspiration for you.

Okay, cool, you’re going to, actually, so I’m so I’m using dating apps a bit at the moment, which is, uh, which is which is fun and like I have locked down over and you have no one to be dating sites, like whatever, being a big new place. And my I matched with this lovely looking, lovely looking woman and she said – because I’ve got I’ve got shaved head obviously – she said so have you seen Prison Break? And I’m like, oh, this is gonna be like a compliment, right? It’s gonna be, you know, have you seen Prison Break before? There’s this handsome main actor, he’s called Maxwell Caulfield and I was like, wow, she’s gonna say like Maxwell Caulfield. So I said, I said, yeah, I’ve seen Prison Break, maybe I see where this is going. And she says, yeah, because you look like an escaped convict. I was like, yeah, that isn’t what I wanted you to say. What’s his name? Teabag? No. Yeah, exactly, exactly. That. But the thing is she phrased it like you did, she said, this is a compliment by the way before she said it. I it was like every people will say that is a thing and it’s like, okay, I’m sure the Innocent Founder guy is pretty epic.

Yeah, I think you look like the main character. There you go. Thanks Tom, that’s really nice of you. I’m going to put that on my dating profile now? Put it on your matchmaker profile. Yeah. And my LinkedIn. Jack Hughes, where is the best place for people to find you on the interweb? You can add me on LinkedIn. It’s fine. Instagram. Fine. email me at jack@simplify.fm. I respond to everything that is kind of related if I can help people. Yeah, get in touch.

Well, thank you for the conversation. I’ve enjoyed it.

Good. You’ve got one of those faces where, like, it’s understated, so I wouldn’t know if you hated the conversation.

I enjoyed it. There actually hasn’t been that many conversations where I’ve hated it. So you’re up there, you’re up there at the top.

Oh, nice. Good to know.