Eric Persha is the CEO of Mosey, a new online and mobile destination for curating custom experiences – and a 2012 Mix & Stir alumni. Over the last year, Eric and the talented Mosey team have been working hard to build their vision. They just recently launched a major product update and opened up Mosey to the public. In between investor meetings and the craziness of their first public launch, we were able to catch up and hear what the last year has been like for this growing startup.
Congratulations on launching your new platform! We’re really excited to see where Mosey is headed. Can you give folks some background on what Mosey is all about?
Mosey is our way of answering the question, “Hey, I’m coming to your town. What should I do?” It’s a place for people to create, share and experience their own custom adventures – created by friends for friends. Check us out at www.mosey.com.
People can use Mosey several ways:
Mosey can be “The best 4 hours in ‘your city’” – a timeline of places and fun activities curated by your friends, travel experts or even local celebrities or brands.
Mosey can also be a library of custom curated experiences where you can find Moseys that your friends have posted or completed, or explore the best activities in an area. Search by city and filter on your interests – then you can save the Moseys you’re most interested in.
Mosey is also a network of people connecting to share local knowledge and their worldwide experiences. It’s a place to follow friends, brands you love, people that inspire you and local trendsetters. We want you to come share your epic night out or a relaxing weekend afternoon with the Mosey community.
It’s a cool and surprisingly useful concept. Can you tell us a little bit about how Mosey got started?
Sure, Mosey came out of a grad school project at the California College of the Arts MBA in Design Strategy program and then, after graduation, we joined up with the Mix & Stir Accelerator. We were very excited to find an incubator that understands and encourages the role design plays in the product creation process.
By the end of the MBA in Design Strategy program the Mosey team had an MVP that barely worked, but was an excellent talking point for our vision of what we wanted to create. We took that prototype to a much more functional level in the first month at Mix and Stir. The prototype allowed us to validate the behavior that was at the core of the product, but it didn’t allow us to do much else. We went from 0 to 1000 users pretty quickly and used the initial user base to help create the product you see today at www.mosey.com.
Mosey was part of Mix & Stir’s first summer program last summer – can you speak a little about what that experience was like for you and your team?
We came into the Mix & Stir program weeks after completing the CCA MBA in Design Strategy program, and it was the perfect gel to keep the team together and working toward our vision of Mosey in the future. Without the organized Mix & Stir schedule and their timelines/deadlines, it would have been complicated to keep moving the process forward.
Mix & Stir also created critical relationships with Mosey advisors, legal resources and investors that would have been pain staking without the program’s leadership. Mix and Stir was our forcing function to get Mosey through the summer and the delicate steps of launching a prototype and listening intently to our customers.
You and the team have been working super hard this past year, what has surprised you most about what it’s taken to get Mosey to the point you are today?
It is amazing how naive you can be about time-lines when you are building something like Mosey, especially when user experience and design are so important these days. It has taken us twice as long as we expected, but whenever we shared our progress with people they are amazed by how much we had done. You must be realistic with how much you can do.
The most important element of our success now and in the near future are the relationships we have built. We have great relationships with organizations like SF Travel, The Bold Italic and The America’s Cup, all of which have lead to each other in some form. It is very important to realize that you must create a product that is not just beautiful and fun to use, but one that also generates significant value for the people and partners that use it. Because of the value that Mosey creates for our early partners, it is easy for us to build a long lasting relationship and easier for them to recommend and share Mosey with their friends, contacts, etc.
Looking back at all that’s happened this past year, what are the things you are most proud of?
Our First 500 users. Because of our team’s attention to design, detail and user experience, it was hard for our team to launch something that we were not incredibly proud of to start. We did anyway and we learned so much from the experience. It made us stronger, more intelligent and more aware of what we could do.
I’m also proud of how the team has morphed and changed over the course of the last year. We are now a full-time team of seven, but when we started Mix and Stir there was only one full-time member and the remaining 6 were still working other fulltime jobs. We all worked incredibly hard and took the leap of faith into doing Mosey full-time at the correct time for our role at Mosey, and to support the rest of the team.
It’s fantastic to see Mosey grow like this. Any advice for next class of founders?
Learn to listen. If people are not responding to your message, it is not because they don’t get it. If people can’t tell the story of your product to someone else better than you can tell it to them, you need to change something. Also, know the difference between a friend nodding their head and someone that is truly excited about what you are doing, they are incredibly hard to decipher.
If you have something good, it will continue to gain momentum. Sometimes you need to take a step back and recognize how much momentum you’ve harnessed in such a short period of time, and celebrate the small wins.
Where is Mosey going from here? And what can people do to help?
Get creative with how you use Mosey. We see the product as a platform for human creativity and story-telling and we are always amazed at how creative people can be with it. Also, sign-up for Mosey. Share Mosey with your friends. Oh, and make some Moseys!
Also, just reach out if you want to chat. It is important to take the time to talk with people because behind all of this technology it is still about people, and the best way to connect with people is by sitting down and chatting. We are always willing to take the time to do that, so don’t hesitate to reach out. You can follow us on Facebook, or find me at [email protected].