In 2006 i had an idea to create an “on demand” premium text service that would allow users to find anything they like via SMS Text , I employed a a friend who was self taught in web design and we came up with the idea and concept , we used Txtnation and created an Mpush account that allowed us to make an A.P.I to tap into the internet to retrieve and send answers , for example because we was from Boston i will use this as main example . If you wanted a taxi you would text Taxi + Boston to 60999 which was a Premium Rate text service our system would send details of 3 of the best rated Taxi firms in that area , we created a monetized system where businesses could be guaranteed to be in the top 3 if they paid , we chose to charge a rate of £3 initially and then later on £1.50 due to the high volume of users Nationally , we received about 2/3 of the Text fee and the other third going to TxtNation and the Mobile carriers , we used to get about 200 texts a day leading up to 1000’s after a few months . We was licenced by OFCOM the people responsible for premium rate numbers.
By using txtnation technology we built up a great relationship with them and the large network providers of Mobile operators including O2 – Vodaphone – Bt Internet – Orange . We learnt about how Virgin Giff gaf and other operators used the main service providers network for carriage .
This was my first invention and we advertised every day in National Newspapers and it was widely used throughout the U.K .
Looking back now i use the word ” on demand ” because this is what the disruptor apps use now like Uber – Air b n b – Deliveroo – Just Eat and all the big Technology apps , when we was creating our Premium Text Service it was solving a problem to find recommended services for people when they required something . Our Technology was limited in 2006 , the business grew at a rapid pace and and gave me alot of experience i still use today , around about late 2007 we noticed a massive decline in business because of the launch and rise of smartphones particular the iphone that allowed our users to search via the web themselves . We didn’t adapt or understand apps at the time due to our limited technology and resources , this as always prompted be to research and learn new technologies and take a keen interest in iOS apps.
But to take an idea from scratch and then for 1000’s of people to use weekly without us ever having the need to speak to them was amazing. Over 10 years on some of the biggest Technology Businesses and Apps in the World have used the power of Apps to create similar Ideas and i would like to to think we was Tech Innovators .
My Friend who built this with me worked on various other projects including directories -shopping platforms in PHP and various other projects but nothing come close to this initial idea that we was beaten by the ” Smart Phone ” and people having web browsers in their pockets , I actually didn’t get a smart phone until maybe 2010 so never realised the potential a phone could provide.
Lesson Learnt ……….. Apple Iphone was the distruptor in my business lol , not a good company to battle against .