There’s movers, there’s shakers and then there’s Kamil
Szybalski and Arthur Miyazaki, the entrepreneurs who went
straight into CBC’s Dragon’s Den, had their pick between four
Dragons, and came out with a deal, all for a website. I’ve been
surfing Dudepins.com the entire day and it’s making my top 10
sites with a bullet. It’s like they figured out what was wrong
with Pinterest, and they fixed it. Szybalski and Miyazaki have
managed to mix a genius alchemy and from the sounds of
things, he’s just getting started.
Swagger: What inspired you to start up Dudepins?
Kamil Szybalski: We initially came up with the idea for Dudepins about
two years ago. At that time, there was no single place where people could go
to easily discover cool manly stuff. Sure there were many individual places that
catered to specific male-verticals, but that still wasn’t convenient. For us, people
are innately comfortable and most don’t really like to think to much if they don’t
have to, basically, we all enjoy convenience. We created Dudepins with the goal
of bringing a wide-array of male content into one place, thus allowing people to
easily browse the things they already enjoy (convenience), while also discovering
new things they didn’t perhaps even know they were interested in.
SW: Why do you think Pinterest has generally appealed to
women so much more so than men?
KS: I think that can be attributed to the early years of Pinterest, i.e. who
their core-users were that first adopted the platform and helped it go viral. I
also believe that there is a distinct difference in how Men and Women use the
internet. In my opinion, most Women do enjoy scrapbooking and collecting.
I think Men are different in a major way, most of us look at things we find
entertaining, share the things we find value in sharing and buy stuff we like;
there’s a reason Men outspend Women online.
SW: How did you get on Shark Tank (Dragon’s Den)
KS: We originally auditioned for Dragons’ Den in Vancouver. Naturally,
my partner Arthur Miyazaki and I did a great job presenting our startup to the
auditioning panel. We received an offer to come to Toronto, the rest is history.
SW: In Hindsight what was the experience like?
KS: We are extremely pleased with our Dragons’ Den experience. The
producers did a great job preparing us for the pitch, specifically in helping us
coordinate all the props, etc. In the end, we aired to almost 2 million people for
approx. 6 minutes. Arthur did an incredible job of preparing us for significant
traffic, that allowed us add a mass of users to both our website and iOS App.
Finally, Vancouver’s own Donnelly Group hosted an airing party for us at one of
there venues, we had almost 60 people come out and watch the episode with us.
SW: What sort of team have you built around Dudepins?
KS: Simply put, Rockstars. Longer answer is that we have a solid team
with varied skill sets. Arthur Miyazaki is our CTO, Vincent Ly is our front-end
developer, Ben Wu is our mobile developer, Trevor Molag is our marketing
rockstar, Marc Ho is our junior dev in training and I play the role of CEO.
SW: Where do you want to be, in turns of your market, in terms
of what your website can do?
KS: We are going to be the place where anyone can come to discover, share
and buy all the most interesting things for Men. Our goals are to help people stay
intimately connected with the things they are already interested in, and also to
introduce them to new things they didn’t even know they liked. In this sense, we
can be the single place that people go to, to see the information they want to
see. Aside from that, we are focused on evolving our iOS mobile app, building
on Android and expanding the presence of our Shop.
SW: What’s the car you want to be driving?
KS: The one I’m driving now. A 1983 911sc.