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A Perfect Space: Becoming Google of Film Scouting with Kate Tiller - Episode 64

by Aerion Technologies
July 19th 2021
In this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony welcome Kate Tiller, Chief Brand Officer at A Perfect Space. Identifying a niche within the entertainment industry, this experienced startup... More
Welcome to the podcast. We're helping non tax bill better Tech today. We're joined by kate Tiller, who's the chief brand officer of a perfect space kate. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. Now, what can you? Just a bit of background about who you are and how he sort of came about. What a perfect place is really. Yeah, sure. So a perfect space is a marketplace to connect producers and content creators with locations and to shorten the time it takes to find and book a space. Um my background is advertising since, you know, since I left high school, since I left university, so advertising and media, Um I went from brand side to media side to sail side. And so for the past 20 years, um that was the first part of my career and in the past 20 years I've run my own business. I had my own ad agency in Sydney and then I started my startup journey about seven years ago, eight years ago and I started a um to a tech company, while was a website for sharing recipes called Love to share food.

And then we build a television show around that. So the reason that a perfect space was born was during the creation of that tv series, which we only built the tv show because we went out of money building the technology and um the Tabish was so successful, it crashed the tech and um finding I had to find their Shane kitchens in two weeks in regional victoria that had to have a different style and a different aesthetic and that nearly killed me. Making the tv show was easy compared to finding locations. So that was the, that was the initial come to jesus moment. And then I had a property in the mountains and so soon after that, six months later I had a property that was being rented out and I needed content created for that. And I had a contact from a blogger in Sydney, really high profile blogger and we did a deal and I said, you can have it, I want this. So I wrote a brave because my backgrounds creating content, I told her what I wanted.

So eight months later I got the content through it in the bin. The minute I got it, they broke my lamp, they turned up 10 hours like they didn't provide me what I said, they were going to provide me and it ended up costing me money. So I was driving down the mountain and I'm thinking there's got to be a better way to find locations, so that's how that's the genesis of the idea. And since then um it's been quite a journey, it's nearly four years um which is a long time in startup world, I realize, um but it's been, you know, we're solving a big problem and we are disrupting and I know that's thrown around a lot, but in our, in our instance, I've taken this around America and Australia and we're solving a big problem and it's challenging, really challenging. Is it challenging danger? That is a challenge because you're trying to break the norms of what people are doing at the moment. It's really, really good point Anthony. That's exactly right. So I kind of liken it a little bit to Uber's and the taxi industry that, you know, when you've got, when you're entering an industry that's quite, it's been around forever.

The traditional way and process that's been undertaken to find locations has never changed and that's universal globally. So, you know, whether it be film or an event or wedding venue or a photo shoot location, the same challenge exists all the way through and it's excruciatingly manual to the point where, you know, the first job that I did, which was with an international brand montclair out of new york, They had 30 crew flying in from New York, they booked it off a website because they needed to come to the snow and there was no snow left and they've literally blown in, picked up a photographer from Sydney, picked up a crew from Sydney who had never been to victoria and landed on the mountain where there was only a tiny bit of snow left down at the bottom of the mountain. And I'm like, so that was probably 200 hours for, of work, logistics, catering, location, scouting, transporting, housing.

It was just monumental. But it was really interesting because it was a lot of money involved and I looked at it and thought you know God there's got to be a more fluid pragmatic practical way of enabling people to scar and short list without making that journey and making all those errors and wasting clients money. What do you think? They basically book something in and fly down here without doing the scouting? Is it just because the content is not available? It's not knowing there. What is the challenge that in this instance to be? Honestly, I think they've got too much money. You know, I think they weren't thinking about it because they don Valdez there the year prior and decided to do I think they were just late on their content and they went, oh yeah we'd love to go to Australia. And they were young, you know, a digital team and I was just it was mind blowing what? It was an amazing campaign by the way. And then when we got all the all the P. R. On it, they re branded us as spelled as there.

They didn't credit Australia. That's really even more ridiculous than it's saying. But you know it's just that that was an extreme example. But I've also got other examples where you know uh the client, we've we've got a couple of clients and Sydney that are looking for a specific kitchen. You know by the time you go through google Airbnb stays you ring people, you go on real estate dot com. You know you're talking hours and then you don't, what I discovered really early. I'm a big researcher and I've put a lot of effort into testing and trialing and researching and what I discovered was the information on a real estate listing or an Airbnb listing doesn't give a producer the information they need logistic lay, it gives you bedrooms and bathrooms that gives you air conditioning, but it doesn't give you the detailed logistical information that's relevant to a producer.

I, how far from the CBD or how wide is the kitchen bench? How accessible is it for a boom operator to come in? So we've really built our product around that. It's very different on the listing if it's a ceiling. And meanwhile, you know, the other thing that I really know shit early on was I kind of assumed that, you know, people who are doing an Airbnb will just share their photos over. But what I discovered was a lot of the professional photos that are used on these types of listing websites we don't want to use because they've got fish bowl lenses or they're overexposed or they're not really showcasing the authenticity of the location. So we don't want, you know, uh, you know, we don't want really dark photos or photos that are blurred or whatever, but we also don't want professional, over cooked photos that are not going to give a true depiction of that particular space.

Because what we want to produce it today is click on our website and literally in three minutes they would open, they would be able to shortlist, they can click on a video, they can look at additional content. They can logistically decide whether that location fits their brave without going out there without making a phone call. And at the moment that doesn't exist. I find it's a fascinating problem. Yeah. So I can get the issue too because where is this content kept? I understand that locations are everywhere and if you don't, you're not aware of them, especially the very difficult, wouldn't it? It's really difficult. And the other interesting thing is like we pulled back with pivoted a bit since Covid, So we're now Focusing heavily on the Australian market, 70% of production is down in Melbourne, Sydney Brisbane. So I'm a Melbourne girl and I'm really, really passionate about regional Australia. So involved with the Bushfires family have been involved in regional Australia forever.

We've got farms, so I'm big on regional. So the biggest challenge is promoting Australia to the rest of the world. So whether it be Hollywood or the UK or India, there are so many productions coming in here. One because we have diversity of location and diversity of landscape. But to, we have great cruise, great unions were an easy market to for people to relocate to. And Covid wires are a bit safer than the rest of the world. Yeah. Right about now you can actually get into, It's interesting because if you think about this and this is the challenge I'm trying to solve at the moment, the, if you want to pitch a movie or you want to come to Australia and you've never been here before and you want to film an Iraqi war, um, you know, sand june's, um, with, you know, uh, an explosion in a mine type thing. How do you find that?

You can't, there is a lot of, a lot of old imagery, outdated imagery, You know, it's difficult. Right? So what we're building now is we're going to roll out around regional Australia, go by market and we're going to give access to assad's two members that can identify or they want to, they want a mountain range with gum trees or they want an island, um, asshole around smaller islands with turtles, whatever it might be. We will gather and create that library and then we will market that library as well as the local um freelancers available to work in those crews which doesn't exist at the moment. There are many different areas, you can book those freelance crews from but you cannot do it centrally. And if you think about it, location is the hero of every story that's kind of a tagline yet. So if you're going to Northern Queensland there's no point booking may as a location scout because I've never been there and that is probably the biggest challenge.

It's every location they end up picking. Then you need different people, different people, all the bits and pieces in between. We're trying to bring all of that together. We've started with really basic private locations. We've tested that with agencies, we're focusing heavily on the T. V. Say market with the view that we want to head towards streaming and film. Um As we go forward we've done a lot of research on our competitive set and the market and you know it's a big it's a big job but I'm confident you know we've got the tech now to get where we need to get in terms of who is the competition in your space? There are there's a lot, there's a lot so surprisingly um surprisingly when I started this I tried to list with location companies and there's a fair few Airbnb types. Um most people use Airbnb or they use stays or they use one of the other location companies.

What I have found is that there's a lot of fabulous location scouts have been doing it for a long time that happened in their back pocket. It's not database and there's not optimized. So most of the great location scouts that I've worked with and dealt with and learn from, I'm really keen always to make um and learn from different people that have been doing it a long time. You can't search their database is because their private, they're all just in a back book. The Blackberries. So really it's it's a challenging business, not because it's the most, you know, I'm not suggesting for a moment, it's the most sophisticated tech because it's really search discovering Bukhara. We're trying to engage with the different sides to this marketplace has been incredibly challenging and challenging in a good way because whenever you're disrupting, obviously not everyone is going to be placed. Yeah, but at the same time, that's right change. But at the same time we are getting more and more repeat business.

We're doing a lot of work with media companies, my backgrounds, media, so all my team are from advertising and media and production and we're tv producers as well. So we know how it works and it's really about proving this the process in our system and also then delivering on the check check hasn't delivered And fingers crossed in three weeks boys, it will do it. Let's talk a little bit about because a lot of exciting part. But there's a lot of from your perspective, I can see there's a lot of still manual work to get the locations for the right people and bring all this together in one place. Daughter taking photos of their relevant and getting the right information. You have to have someone to measure a bench and look um, you know, he's been, it's Covid gave us a really a really great break to be honest with you, step back and go, right, what what is it that? Where are we still on track to solve that problem? We pulled back from America because of Covid, which gave us a chance to then really review the backhand and go write something is not the search is working or the mapping, the logistical data is critical.

Shots were looking at Geo special technology to apply to our functionality, but more importantly, you need a really, really slick, easy search tool and it doesn't exist right now. So we're very big on our tagging and our Ai and were really big on this database. This idea of, you know, being able to go location like a photo shoot locations Melbourne with gum trees And it will give you a short list. So it's taken a lot of effort to sort of really look at how manual I did imagine in the early days of the tech that it was going to be automated, really, it's not going to be automated where we would absolutely, 100%. location scouts don't like doing automated stuff, but what we have, we're a hybrid marketplace, so About 30% of our, our business, I imagine we'll end up being automated, which is your photo shoots and you're sort of big retail.

So retail groups that were working with, you know, easy, you know, they just know what they want, they know their budgets, they know how we work. They're not our service. And we've also disrupted big time with our, we're very big on framing. Um, we protect both sides of the marketplace, so we're there to layer and a layer of integrity around how you treat a location, your insurance is making sure that it's left in the state to which you've booked it, making sure that you get equally paid fairly paid for what you are using the production for. Likewise, that the producer is protected as well from late cancellations and all those things. So we've built a lot of work, we've done a lot of work on that and that's really, really showing in our growth in the last six months. That said the technology hasn't held up. And to be completely honest with you, it's just been honestly that I'm finding locations was difficult.

It will have our own challenges. I don't give up, right. I'm one of those people that this is my third business. Um, and I'm a fairly tenacious person, but this is really broken down. I'm like, I, you know, you feel like you're right at the end, you're about to get delivered this amazing products where we find out it doesn't do anything they told you it was going to do. So I've been through for tech teams. Oh, well just on just on this product. Just, it seems like it, yeah, I like the fact that you can laugh at that because some people can't, because it becomes, it comes to impactful to the business. And the reason we talk to you guys, the reason that I'm really getting out there decide the truth of the story is, you know, you've got a, I think I spoke to a guy the other day, A guy rang that for a, for a reference from my previous developers who did the wrong thing, who put me on the front page of the website. And I said to him, no, seriously.

Um, but interestingly, this guy has got a great idea and I said to him is young and I just said I'm a lot older than him. I'm done, I'm beating around the bush and I've also run companies. So I think anything that we can impart on people building companies, the biggest challenge you will have is how much they tell you it's going to cost, how much it actually costs and then it doesn't work. And what your expectation is on something that works, it's like, it's an unregulated industry, in my view, it's a not to deal in with the industry because you do not know what you're getting and the quality of the service, You know, having run companies for 20 years, you know what we deliver is our service, right? And I worked in media for radio and you've got a product that's up there and you've got accountability. I can't see the accountability on this because I can't read code. And if I had the brains to do it, I go into a course on it, but I don't even have the patience to do that for a very long time to build it yourself.

But just just thinking that you're making the right decisions and trying to help people accountable to the dollars that you're spending and then finding out, you know, I had a great take off with the code at one point and you know, and I had paid all this money, so, you know, and I'm smart and I've been doing this a long time, but it's still got me. So that's why I feel like telling that story and being honest to people about those challenges. I think it needs regulation. I think the industry is just at it, in some instances, I've heard minds not that much for a horror story, but I'm also self funded, so I've lost a lot of money and you know, I feel people that have borrowed money to, you know, it puts everything at risk because you can't trust the product that you're getting delivered, you know, and I don't know how you solve that problem, that's not my problem. But I think it's not an easy thing to solve it.

It's a very technical. So you have to be in the know to understand, you can gauge whether it delivers on its outcomes, but not how it's delivering them. So, you know, it's failing. But I could tell you technically why it's failing and why it's not doing anything, it's supposed to 100%. And the other thing that I find is, I think because I'm, you know, I'm in my late 40s, right? And I feel like when you've got this age group that is under 30, under 35, they talk a different language and the old school language that I use, there's a lot of, a lot of confusion. So it took me a long time to realize that I'll hang on, I'm talking about that and I'm like, no, no, no, that doesn't mean that I go, yes, it does. Well, that's just because I've grown up in a different, you know, we didn't have that technology and we didn't apply. So it's just, there's some basic stuff that just doesn't exist. And I think, you know, you go into a quite blind because I can build a brand, I can build a successful product and I've done that to make it work the way I want it to work.

It's very difficult. And I look at this product has been quite simple. So that's been like a massive I o Connor massive. I right now I get why people give up question for you, conveying the message of what you want, How have you found that conversation with your teams? Um just sort of explaining it and how have you gone through that process to convey that message of what you're looking at? So that's a really good question and because of what I am a old school account service um sales person that grow up on email, so we were always manual and we're very detail orientated, were organized and everything is you know, covered off in writing, just contact reports and meetings. So working initially on this product, I was just astounded at the lack of accountability in anything put put into writing and contracts that are fulfilled or signed or milestones that aren't being met.

You know, I'm a big milestone Kpi person I work with really closely with my management team to implement, you know, process and system. So dealing with developers that are working processing system. And then I worked for your day at work in the mornings. Building processes and systems should be able to work with them the good ones. But also, I think also in fairness, I've had some great guys I worked with the term we're working with the money is amazing and it's interesting. Right? So what I realize is it's a little bit like the advertising industry going backwards to the old way that we used to service, right, Media and I and I. Advertising agencies. And I feel like it's doing that in tech at the moment because when I'm when I'm in a room with my tech guys now, I've got an account director in there who's a suit. So my way of talking is to her and they go, OK, you're not making sense, You talk too fast, this and that and they'll interpret me so that's really helpful and that's come from obviously learning the hard way.

But I think you have to build this stuff in teams. You cannot do it in a two way conversation with a developer and a person like me who is the founder. Because my idea also, I think I used to think that there was no accountability on it's my money and you're spending my money and you just don't see that. But they don't know that they're they're um their accountability is not on the dollar, it's on the delivery to what they think the interpretation is. And I found I found a lot that's really incredibly frustrating for me and I think I'm a really a strong personality. I work at 100 miles an hour and they find it hard to work with me and I find it hard to work with them. So I brought in a team between us now because it's just, you know, that's not conducive to a good working environment for them either. You know that it's taken three years to find my feet on how to make it work and it doesn't mean we still don't have, you know, the same, some of the same problems when you're on boarding and you know, I would got, you know, little things going on with the functionality, but now I am more educated on how to work better with the developers.

So they understand my language and they understand me uh, something that we talk about a lot um, is all about clarity and you mentioned interpretation in that, in that, that sharing just in, in in terms of one party is not interpreting what the other party is saying in the right way. We can go off and build something completely different and uh release the curtain and it's completely opposite of what you expected doesn't serve in the right way. So, um, it's it's pivotal that you have every party on the same page um that you're back testing that you're repeating back. This is exactly what we can also try. You know, it's interesting. You say, that just reminds me a lot of some of the really, really challenging times that I've had with it. Um, exactly that. So you sit there and you go through the wire frames and having this presentation and they're so excited and they're so technical, right? So they really blow my mind. I love these smart guys, right?

I'm impressed with how hard they work and how incredibly smart they are. And then I get the product and its nothing that I thought it would be because of that. But then when I make a change they'll just go, okay, it's done okay. No, no, no, can we talk about this? We need to talk about it. It's done. I've done it's deployed so you know, the whole get on to a staging environment and stop pulling my website. So there's just so many things that I was naive to and I, you know, I studied and read 1000 books when I was putting this together, it makes no difference. Like I was still made every mistake in the book and I still do, but I've got a I've got a really great team now who who challenged me more I suppose, you know, one of the challenges with the developers with me is they won't say no to me and I'm really strong willed and you know, I'm really, this is what I want and you're going to give me this is not going to pay this. So when it doesn't happen, so I know I'll be difficult to work with you if you ask anyone with me at the helm.

So I think stepping into the brand role and moving away from the ceo, it's probably a breath of fresh air for everybody to be able to focus on what they're good at. You know, I think from what you said earlier, where they're accountable to what they interpret as the delivery, not what you expected to delivery that key from that interpretation problem, but that's got to be honestly, that's got to be on my side. Right? So, so the way in which we brief these developed aims and the way in which we decided to build a technology has to be challenged and it has to be questioned and there has to be a process and there has to be an architecture around that. It's a give and take. I wouldn't say it's on you. It's a, it's a partnership. You have to be able to work with a team because you're gonna be working with him in a long term relationship, You're going to be with them. So if you're going to have a product that can survive 20 years, you should have the same team working with you for 20 years, ideally. But at the early stages, I'll just say if they can't repeat back to you, what you've explained to them as a tip is what we tell people, then there's a problem already in your communication.

That's just one thing that we try and tell people this is a red flag. If you're working with the team, that's a really good point, a really good point because I never did that. And I have to say that one of the biggest lessons last year was realizing that the person that was working on part of the products had no idea, no idea what we were talking about. And I went, wow, maybe, how did I not say that? You know, how did I not identify that that was the child? You know, that was an issue. But again, you know, working at 100 miles an hour, says all the right things in a meeting, get really excited and then we go off and we go, oh, that's not right. Yeah. It's like if you're building a house, sorry, I just say if you're building a house and you're saying all right, I want timber floors and they just go and do whatever they want, you're gonna get the engineer floorboards. Are you going to get some nice Tasmanian oak of you guys are going to get you get a couple of things that you're sharing? One was about brief providing brief and then expect them to do what you want.

But I think when you frame it and I have this conversation with a lot of people in the space is if you're not tech you should really not be briefing your technology or tech providers and how we should put this thing together. That is not your, that is not what the customer or client or person that's the creative or the person behind the idea in a business. That's not the role. I think what we found in this space, it's all about co creation. You have a business model, a business business idea, some business expertise. Now then you need a tech person that has tech creative tech challenge. I can't afford the tech person. I have been looking for a tech president for a long time and we did decide that, but in hindsight, all the money I've wasted, I could have put into the tech person and what I've done. So you're exactly right. And then that person isn't, if you're talking directly to a developer there to low level, that's not who you need to be talking to, you needs to be in our business.

We separate developers from uh, from this company. You know, I've been looking, I really want a co founder Ceo person and on what I have found, because I have had a few conversations with people. So if there's anyone out there listening that's interested in this type of, well, this is what I mean, I know time that understands the market. You know, I'm a big one on um, the market that we're in is a really um, it's an old traditional market that doesn't have a lot of technology around it. Um You know we're doing some big working blocked ain't and big work in a, I that's going to transform and the tech person, I really would love the tech person to be someone that's like, you know, being in film or television or production or understands the problem we're solving. And often, you know, again this is my naivety is the people that I've worked with.

I had never, they didn't even know what a location high was. You know, so I think that's also something and that doesn't wouldn't apply to every business. But I think in my business I would love someone that's had a background in understanding the market. They don't have to work in it. They just need to understand what is the problem we're solving. Media is the same. The media industry has been slow to adopt technology. Um, and I see a lot of people in moving into the media space at the moment that are really adding that, you know, that technology play into areas that we've been screaming for it for years. You know, this is the same. It's were all encompassed in this huge entertainment sort of media space. Um, my part of it's one tiny dot on the radar that it's a big space and it requires big thinking and I realized to your point Andrew shouldn't have been made briefing that I think I've got to do something come up just to say in terms of, um, when you share just early stage question, when you originally shared, your concept was about this is what I need or did you share the business case, the business story, what the opportunity looks like, what the industry looks like?

Is that something a good question? Good question. Sorry, I'm the opposite. So I built the brand in my head First, I wrote, I knew there was a problem. I researched it for three months right into a deck and took it straight to Hollywood, flew over day with a mate of mine went and met with four producers and then when evaluated 100 competitors globally and looked at every single thing they were doing right wrong and in different, and I'm still on exactly the same track, exactly the same track. So I knew very early on, even when I read that death the other day, I'm like, oh my God, you know, it's not that different to what I started with. But the application of that, I think probably mean moving so quickly. Um, and the way I engage with people. So I write, I wrote a brief for the website um and being losing the last company website that we had and knowing how that happened and how much money we lost on the which is millions.

Um I like I'm not gonna do that again, never gonna do that again, I'm gonna know everything there is to know this one and and what I did was I went out and briefed half of us and agencies by researching the agencies and looking at what they want and the types of products are working on and you know, it's still the same problem. So it's just a, I think to your point had I started with the Ceo probably wouldn't be having these conversations at the level I am, you know like a really good grip on the business model and what's required. I think I know the business. Yeah, that's what I do have a grip on the check. I don't, the tech is up my biggest gap briefing. Were you going into like very low level detail on how they should be putting all together? We're helping them drive direction. I'm just saying to them, I wanted to do this. Here's an example. I wanted to do this. I love see I'm such a research and I'm such a think are strategically and architecturally. I go right here, here's six sort of creative executions I think look really good.

I think that we're moving away from this type of CMS um, from, you know, when you're on board, why are we doing that? Why do I have to keep entering on my details? And then by the time I kept building, you know, technology was moving and mapping and all that and I'd say, hey guys, this is a really good one, What do you think about this? So I leave it with them to make the call. But you know, I even that was a problem because I gave them too much autonomy. I'd give the baseline um in fact, show me what you can do and then I find out that half my products being built overseas in a market, I had no idea it was being built, I was being fed something that I wasn't and they held on to it in the end. Um so And then that went out, I went and did a huge launch in L. A. A couple of years ago, 2018 and went to launch the website which we've already paid for and worked really closely with this change to find out that it fell over because the back end had been attached. So effectively we ended up with two websites of funding in the back end that didn't talk to each other.

So, you know, there was, it's interesting, it wasn't that brave. It wasn't that I was telling them how to build it because I didn't know how to build it. I was just saying here's some examples of what doesn't work for me. Here's what I think as all the people I've spoken to in the market, this is what they want to see and here's how I want it to work. Were the agencies you're working with, were they after you invented them and you picked your short list, you want to program where they once had built something similar or they like web developers who then were in over their heads and decided to try and take this on tonight. Um I'm not really sure, to be honest with you. I worked with one of the top agencies in Australia and that was the biggest disaster. I've worked with Direct with some kind of consultants that didn't work. I think universally if there's one thing that's consistent is they also they can do it and they will give you examples of their work whether they did that work or not, you know, sometimes questionable, I guess.

Um and I suppose being in an industry like, I mean where transparency is okay to what we wanted to do, I didn't have that transparency and I kept, you know, the problem is you can't I can't I can't hold them accountable if I don't know what's going on and that, you know, they can just keep telling you what you want to hear all this, you're telling us these stories things we've heard time and time again with other startups and they've worked with, I thought I was the silliest person in the whole market because I got into this situation, this is the whole reason. Yet we're starting the podcast. So in 2019 we had five businesses approaches who had lost $1 million dollars in development, collectively, people getting the wrong thing to build. You know what I've been thinking about, because I had a friendless money recently on something and I looked and I said, well how do you, how do we, how do we avoid doing this again?

You know, do you have an industry body or do you have a group of people from all sides of the market? You know, you've got the health of the tech, you know, the Fintech, whatever it might be, and you have some sort of robust system that people can pass through to, someone, going to just say to them, hey, that doesn't look right, we're going to mentor you through this and we're going to take 5% of your business. That would have saved me a million bucks. I think part of the problem we say so trying to regulate development spaces, that is the area that is innovating everything because if the technology and things move so it's very hard to regulate it and allow it to move at the pace that moves up. But I agree there are a lot of dodgy agencies out there. There are a lot of people that say they can do it and they can actually deliver these people that were just, they're taking their also, you know, they're very unscrewed, unscrupulous. And you know, I've found one point that someone sent me an inter correct document that had my code being pitched another client.

Um you know, there's no amount of confidentiality or you know contracts that you can sign. Now I don't even know what that means. But it wasn't good because all my stuff was on that document. All of my I pay and I thought God I've paid all that money. How do you avoid that? Well I didn't want to expose. We're in the middle of something be and I'm like more for me. But how do you stop that? How do I stop that? Because I've got people say to me all the time you should have people internal well to build the team internally I need you know and the challenges in this space. You spend so much money trying to get it right. And then where do you put your money? Do you get the 250 K. C. Cto Or do you put it into building the database? Which is what we know because you need listings before you can actually go to market. Um And do you outsource your developers because they cost all of them cost money and who's going to look after them?

Because I can't recode, there's no point in sitting next to me. I think that's the biggest issue that most people have in this world. That's they don't understand the output. But and I think we used it that started conversation, building a house came up. You can see what a house looks like and get a feel if the thing is going to fall down you can physically tangibly have a better but it'll look and feel and understand where it's at. But when you're looking there's no if you don't understand code, you don't know how it's been structured. If it's going to hold up at scale, you have no real clue as to if the picture right technology to build this in, You don't know this is the other thing. You know, it's the early stage stuff where you just go, oh my God, and even investor conversations, um, and conversations with consultants who want to charge you 30 grand to evaluate a code to then tell you so you can do this or you're on the wrong CMS or, you know, too late to find Just the 30 grand to evaluate code. There's a big problem. It takes I hand something over to Anthony, take him two hours to tell me these things.

A piece of garbage, difficult. You don't have to look at every single one. That's yeah. How do you know when you're, when you're a young startup company and you've just put a mortgage on your house and you're putting in 100 and 50 grand just to start just to get a product up in place and you find out you're told this is the way it should be built to only find out seven months later That that was not the case. Meanwhile you spent another 100 50 or so and then you're chancing yourself and then you're nervous and then you're making emotional decisions. So I think there's a happy medium here. Um you mentioned get a seat here on board. Some advisors around you would be great, especially from at least the top level just overseeing some decisions or just just guiding it down a bit of a path and asking, yeah, I need to check for us. I need to take we've had people come and go and, you know, right literally and again, you know, to advise advisors, tech advisors in, you know, I don't even know how to evaluate them because I hold hold a couple of tech advisors and clearly that doesn't.

Um But that said I've got a couple of the moment, I've got some really good senior people that have come in and you know, we're sort of, you know, we're about to start scaling and we're getting some really good traction. So finally things are turning around. Um but as I said, the journey could have saved a lot of heartache and a lot of money. I did that, but I got the speeds by so I would be the first attack me and put the showing okay. It's interesting when you say that because everyone is afraid to spend the money, but oh my God, why was I that's why I didn't do it. But now the amount of money I've wasted that could have been so for having a Ceo co founder. So, you know, I only know that now, but also I think, and I'm sort of, when I say ceo, in my view, I've done a lot of research on the CCO space and I really wanted someone that was innovative, that was really forward on the mark.

You know, I really on the ball with technology and then the trends and the pace at which is changing. You know, I I and image recognition technology and 3 60. There's a lot of stuff I want to do and I do a lot of research. So I'm like, I really want to do that. I really want to do that. One of the things that we're going to do is you scan your photo and it tells you where to find that location. Um, but how do you evaluate that? I see. She. Oh, that also has a really solid business um background with a financial hat on because you can do all this stuff which everyone tells me to stop. You can't afford that because all I want to do is do go there but I can't afford it. I've gotta I've gotta break it right down to the basics to get the basics right to prove the product and then scale. So it's a unique mix to find the person that has what you're sort of asking for. Because the traditional route would be he started as a developer, you become a team lead senior developer, then you become potentially architect.

And then at some point it needs to be from a startup. Maybe I'm asking too much. You mentioned a little bit there. Um Other things probably some takeaways people can take from this conversation is you can have a big picture in mind but they picked big picture doesn't mean you have to build it all at once to I think we need to evaluate from a feature set a delivery perspective the value and I know what you're going to get any stuff too. And that's what you might mean, put the financial hat on because yes, a tech will say they can build it, but is that actually going to deliver a lot of value to users to product business that needs to be assessed. And that's what my ceo, she's been with me for a year now and the team are very, very accountable to the dollar and what it's going to mean. So it might be nice featuring kate, but it's not going to do with revenue. It's not going in and I can scream in the black cows come home, but I've agreed that she can make those decisions so we can get this thing off.

But this thing because you're right, I would like to do everything at once and you know, I have a tendency to go really big and breaking it down has really made it far more manageable as a business, but also as a technology. So the tech has to apply to the business that we're building, you know, the features. So at a very basic level, we just need such short list and look at the moment, that's it. The rest of it. You know, image gallery tools and all those additional things can come later because they're not going to impact the revenue right now. Yeah. And you can forever, you can forever be sitting there tweaking and trying to perfect that idea. We've had clients do that on projects as well. It's not easy to because you've got an investment in it and you got an emotional attachment cause it's your business and your idea. So it's hard to say, all right enough is enough. Let's get it out when you want to go. If I just add this little thing, and this might be the thing that makes it succeed, or this might be the little thing that gets it across the line, or this one or this one, but that can never stop as well.

Also, I think on that point that recently there's been some new people come in and have a look and someone that come to jesus moment, you're like, oh wow, because new, new people that have never been around the business before, bring things up. Hello. Mr I can't believe I we start because I'm so close to it now. I have no objectivity, and so I have to really let people are just trying to delegate and let the team make more decisions. They're using the product every day, um and enabling them to have the autonomy to help get it, get it to the place where they can use it because they're using it more than I am. I think new voices are important in any business, new perspectives. We can all get sucked into a little bubble and be within our own four walls and just bringing in different opinions along the journey is or can add so much value and just a different appetite and different experience. People always say this, but I'm terrible.

I don't, I've realized, you know, everyone said facebook wasn't amazing when it launched and yeah, I'm terrible at the heart. Yeah, but also just the way it looks like all that quite, it doesn't look quite right on the front page. Can you change that? And it's six hours of work? But I don't like that for, it's got a pink hue on it. Can you remove that? So they must look at me and uh, but you know, I do get caught up in things. So again, I've had to really step back from that and go, okay, what, you know, when I'm paying the bills each month point, it's all this additional work? Well, that's the UK as you change your mind now in terms of a perfect space. Obviously you've been playing around with tech and trying to get this right for a long time. What's the vision for the business? Where do you want to take this in the next, what is trying to achieve within the context? Google the google of location scouting for the go through. So we're going to license it in each market. I've always, it's interesting from the very, very day that I wrote it up. I wanted to license the Brain in all the other territories.

So We've picked out 20 markets in the us are key production markets. We've picked New Zealand Canada and the UK and France um, and Budapest, which were all the key production markets around the world, um focused heavily around filming longer term. It's really around, we want netflix and stan and prime to use us as to go to and we build a direct relationship with them. So the bigger plan really is to have, we will market will create the technology and the marketing engine. We'll run that out of Melbourne and we'll license it in h market and each of those markets become the expert in those markets and I imagined it to be, you know, location real shows in America really interested. So we've spoken to several of those old location scouts that are manual in tradition that I think what will end up being, it will end up being, um, sales people, film people, people that are in the industry that just go, hey, this looks awesome and all they do is just turn on the tech and then start onboarding.

So yeah, that's exciting where you're going to. And I think, um, that can be a challenge to being in a founder in a business. That's, that's the vision, that's the direction. But this is where we're at one step at a time type thing. I think one of the biggest challenges you have to is it's just not attack a tech play. You still need people on the ground pulling together in the right people. Right? So there is a bit of a mix. Yeah. And it becomes what comes first and I think you need to bring the people on board to drive. You think of it similar to how google maps is, that's not a purely tech please, because they have to have cars and people driving around capturing everything for you, correct? And I think it's been challenging talking to tech people about that and you write that you know, the big scalable unicorns these days are all about automation. Um I feel like and you know, correct me if you disagree, but I really feel like a lot of those huge automated technologies have also lost their way with customer service in many instances and my experience with, you know, dealing with some of those big tech, it's great, but you know, you end up going, hang on, we're not even in the we're not even getting responses here.

So my intention from the very outset was to make sure that people were able to connect and be serviced and build the technology in in a marketplace that enabled people to still be serviced. So a little bit like I look back at my radio days, I was in radio for a long time as a salesperson and we had small, really small chain looking after multiple millions of dollars worth of business. And I see the same kind of interesting, the same model for this, that there's only a certain amount of agencies in each market. There's only a limited amount of films and Tv productions and you don't need a massive chain because the technology will do the most of the grunt work. What you do need is the ability to speak to someone, the ability to have a conversation, the ability to have someone. So we've built chatbots and lots of helping people through the funnels. I've done a lot of work with the communication structure around the business and being able to really refine that so that we're not having those conversations all the time, but we certainly will enable that for the top 20% of business that need to be serviced, you're not going to have the top level executives looking for locations for 30 films in the next 12 months in asia pacific on your technology, they'll want to talk to someone.

So we feel like that's where that service model will come in like in any business if you're a top level going in at last year and they're going to get serviced. So we're really segmented. Our audiences are very segmented. So there is a real automated area down the bottom, but there is also a membership area. It's good to see that you're extremely clear on how you should approach to your market is what you're going for, and just just hear the stomach block of getting there. Yeah, yeah. Look, it's, um, you know, I think with my last business that we lost the website, it fell over. The biggest lesson I had was that I didn't challenge that and didn't get involved and didn't test it and didn't look at the data by listening to them and they were the experts. I went, great, it's going to look amazing and it didn't work this one. I probably overdo it a bit, but I'm also, you know, when it's your money and, you know, I've got a, I've got three kids, I've got to put food on the table and you know, I need to feel comfortable that I'm not putting my team at risk and you know, I don't want the product fall over if I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm not I'm not going to delegate something, I don't know, and that's the biggest challenge I've had with the developers.

I'm delegating something I don't know, and I can't do anything about it, I can't fix that because I don't know how to recode. So it's always going to be that challenge, You know, and you're like, I'm sorry, that's where that co creative word comes in because delegating something you don't know is it's quite difficult in any industry, doesn't matter what it is, right? So I think it's not easy, but we need the people that understand the business. And I think you mentioned it earlier, understanding the direction the business where it's going, so you can actually mold the tech and the business together because it is all encompassing. It's not just technology here, do this job, it's not about that. It's really interesting. It's interesting on that that in Australia, just some basic basic stuff, it's just quite interesting watching the technology catch up in this spice of, you know, search and displays in many different areas, you know, real estacion stays and short term vacation rental, hotel bookings and so forth.

So it's really, people know how it works, yet you cannot search for a studio in Australia. You can you can go to 100 different places and get that information, but there's no uniformity on that, you know. So just at a basic level you go right, the tech isn't that hard, it's not this tech exists. So the challenge really is how do you apply that? Like he was saying before, Anthony, you know, how do you apply that to solving the problem in your sector, in your industry and for my industry. And I've spoken to many players about this because Studios is a big one. All they want is the ability to find out where can I get soundproofing studio in Melbourne 10 minutes from the CBD and where can I find the cyclorama that is in the same studio, How hard can that be? Do you know how hard that is? It's crazy to think Mr nice to think that that doesn't exist and it's not just it doesn't exist, it does exist in many different forms but it doesn't exist in just being able to compare apples with apples in a uniform way to see a price and go bang book, can I ring that person?

It's not, you know, so it's funny how you balance that. It's a simple proposition but it's not that easy to solve. I think the technology shouldn't be your problem but from sitting back here, I don't think the technology, the data collection, it's interesting. I find that it's more from what I'm seeing is more collecting the data, bringing everyone on the same page on the journey, Getting all information in the right place and then it's a searchable database. Yeah, I think you're right and it's looking bad decisions in that sense. You know, going back to the Ceo but I think your point is the challenge is educating the industry that this is a better, faster, more pragmatic, easier process to use than how you're currently doing it. Yeah. And that's generally the challenge. Startups disrupting his education is the key thing. Yeah.

For sure. Down on the education and doing things differently. I think everyone's used to just pick up the phone talking to joe down the road around how do I get access to this or whatever they do in their part. We did we get it every day? Every day? Oh no, we don't do it that way. You know, and it's and it's a it's a really fine line to tell them well, you shouldn't be doing it that way. Or would you consider looking at this way of doing it? Why would we, you know, we've always done it this way. That's what technology does. Technology saves you time and saves you money. It still doesn't necessarily click. Okay. It's been a absolute pleasure getting to understand a little bit about a perfect space and your, your direction and vision for the business, his journey thus far. And I think there's plenty of information for people to take away from this. It's technology is not a, not an easy road to walk, especially if you're not technol technology, not savvy is not the word, but don't have that background from a delivery of technology programming. It's a very different beast getting You shouldn't have to be a programmer really.

You're running a business. You're not programming. It'd be really good to have a community that has people just sitting in a room going right. It's like speed dating where you can go and talk to a ceo. Do you reckon I should do? What do you think I should do now? The next business? A perfect this is it. I gotta get this one right. Um, Yeah, thanks guys. It's been great to chat to you guys and we'll share a little bit about perfect space. If anyone is interested in this particular piece of technology and want to learn more about what you're up to. So thanks a lot capable. Thank you for joining us. See you later.

A Perfect Space: Becoming Google of Film Scouting with Kate Tiller - Episode 64
A Perfect Space: Becoming Google of Film Scouting with Kate Tiller - Episode 64
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