Agriya Interviews Colin Fitzpatrick – Owner of QuidsIn.ie
In a new feature on the Agriya blog, we have started contacting our clients and asking if they would be willing to conduct a short interview to tell us about themselves, about the project developed by Agriya and their overall experience working with a company that is based in India. The interview is designed to be lighthearted, informative and give you a transparent insight in to what it is like to outsource to a web development company that is thousands of miles away.
In our second client interview we approached Colin Fitzpatrick (aka Colly Fitz) and fired a million questions at him until he could take it no more. Colin is a new generation web entrepreneur however he can sometimes be found loitering around the conference rooms in Oracle’s headquarters in Dublin. He has recently released QuidsIn, a new fixed price jobs portal using our popular FP Platform software.
We finally managed to track Colin down for a few minutes earlier this week and this is what he had to say…
Hi Colin, thanks for agreeing to do this interview! Can we start with the introduction, tell us who you are, where in the world are you from and do you have a real life job?
Sure! Well I’m 30 years old and I live in Dublin. I have a full time job working for Oracle in an area called “Enterprise 2.0“– I’m a sales specialist so I advise organizations on buying large scale portals and content management software. I have always had a strong interest in social media and anything “Web 2.0″ – which is why I jumped on the “Fix Price Micro Marketplace” idea when I saw it as I just loved the concept.
How many hours do you spend on the Internet? Be honest! Are you the first person everyone calls when they have a problem with their computer?
Too many. I’m pretty much always connected. I’m online all day in work, and then I’m online most of the time when I’m at home too. It’s a sign of the times – being always online is slowly becoming the norm rather than being perceived as an Internet addiction.
Do you use Apple or Windows and why?
I use both but I prefer Windows. I do have a Macbook, and I used to have an iPhone – but I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Apple. I have massive respect for them as a company and they are marketing geniuses – but they still bug me with certain products and how they do things. I bought a Macbook because I do a bit of DJ’ing using a laptop, software and a controller. Mac’s are way better as they rarely crash and installing drivers etc for audio is easy compared to Windows. OSX Still bugs me though – I think they try to oversimplify things. For phones I’m a huge Android fan – I love its open nature and I believe that in not too long it will dominate the market.
Do you get the point of Twitter?
Of course. Twitter is a fantastic tool for consuming information and also spreading it if done right. I’m not a huge twitter contributor – I don’t tweet very much, mostly interesting links and articles I find online I will sometimes share, but mainly I’m a consumer. It’s a great way to follow certain people or brands that you want to keep up to date with. It’s all about quick moving information and Twitter seems to break news faster than any of the news agencies these days. I think the Facebook pages and Liking is better though. There are some really great examples of big and small brands interacting with their customers better using these tools – and that’s what it’s all about.
Have you ever customized your Facebook privacy settings?
Yes, I have, but really I’m pretty open about my online profile. A lot of people seem to wear ‘Tinfoil Hats‘ about online stuff which I think is a bit silly. You just have to be careful what you put online, period.
Have you ever ‘digged’ anything in your life?
Yes, I think Digg is a fantastic site actually. If you look at it every few days and just keep an eye on the popular stuff, you can be pretty sure that you’ll be exposed to most of the main things that are popular on the Internet – be it funny or interesting stories, or actual real game changing news. I once submitted a blog article that I had written to Digg, randomly a journalist from CNET saw it and wrote a piece about it on his tech blog, and linked to my site. I got thousands of visitors because of it!
Do you remember life before Google? Which search engine did you use?
Do you think Yahoo will ever be a successful web company?
Yes – but there is no point in trying to compete with Google etc, their strengths are in other areas – they need to refocus. With their acquisitions of Delicious [Editor: Delicious has since been sold to the guys that started Youtube] and Flickr, its about Social and the wisdom of the crowd. Yahoo Answers is a great site that I think is underutilized.
Is QuidsIn.ie your first website or do you run any other sites?
I’m no coder or proper designer but i have always enjoyed building websites, I have a couple of blogs and have had a few other sites in my past, and like to help other people out with getting online etc. I have a blog www.colinfitz.com which I occasionally write articles on.
About Your Website
QuidsIn.ie is targeting the Irish market and seems to be different to other fixed price job portals out there in that people are posting offline jobs like cooking, dog walking and even horse exercising, what gave you this idea?
There are dozens of “Fixed price Micro Marketplaces” already which mainly focus online and mostly around technology and Social Media. I wanted to do something different. Most people by now have probably heard about the horrific financial difficulty that Ireland as a country is in – 13.5% unemployment and hundreds of billions of Euros in Debt. With over 400,000 people unemployed in Ireland, very many of these have real world usable skills that they are no longer utilizing. QuidsIn.ie gives them the opportunity to offer up these skills as a marketable commodity to a wide audience for a low price – and hopefully get them back working again. Ireland is such a small place that it’s much easier to get actual real world offline jobs too. Doing a small job for a few quid now might just leads to something a lot bigger and more lucrative down the line. I’m very excited about being able to help people in this way.
Doesn’t ‘Quid‘ refer to British pounds but your site charges in Euros?
Strictly yes, but ‘Quid’ is just a slang word for “Money”. When choosing a name I wanted something catchy with positive connotations – “QuidsIn” is a well known phrase meaning “To come into money” so it seems the perfect choice!
Your site has been live for a short time but there are already hundreds of gigs listed, can you share some secrets as to how you have promoted your website?
Well I simply asked the people I knew to put on a few gigs for me, and then to post it in their Facebook status to tell others about it. Initially it was just the ones I knew but soon enough word spread and lots of gigs started getting posted from totally new people! I have a several staged strategy for the site and right now I’m doing some more work in the background before I start pushing it further. Facebook is going to be pretty important so I’m getting some work done on a custom facebook page: www.facebook.com/quidsin.ie which will be ready any day.
I’m sure you researched other fixed price job scripts before choosing Agriya, but what was the deciding factor for you to choose Agriya’s FP Platform?
I wanted the best one, simple. You have to do these things right from the beginning – no point in skimping on it and regretting it later. I evaluated 3 other platforms which I’m sure were great, but they were not as good as Agriya – especially in the back end. I noticed that many of the top FPP sites used the same script and this is no coincidence. Of next importance was support: I had been in email communication with a few companies and Agriya were definitely the best for customer service. Since I bought the product I have been very impressed with the post sales support too. Your team really has gone over and above my expectations to help me when I need support.
What do your friends and family think about your new website?
The response has been absolutely phenomenal. I had been telling people I was working on a new project, mentioning it on Facebook etc but not saying exactly what it was. When I initially launched it the response was incredibly positive and supportive – I really was amazed and humbled. I’m hoping to get the same reaction from the media when I launch it properly in a few weeks!
Do you have any new features planned for QuidsIn.ie?
Many – I have loads of ideas as to how to grow and develop the site, but I want to stick to the basics for now. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, I want to stick with the proven model – make that a success and only then start to develop further after that. Localisation is the obvious one so that people can advertise and find gigs in their local area.
Outsourcing & Agriya
How did Agriya catch your attention? Did you know anything about the company before you paid us? Who did you speak to when you first contacted us?
I was looking at a number of other vendors but someone recommended Agriya as the best. One other vendor looked great and they had a large repertoire of other technologies but they were not as focused. Agriya do a few things really well instead of trying to cover too many bases. Specialization is very important
What was your biggest fear about sending money to a company in India? What gave you the confidence to go through with the purchase?
I have done plenty of outsourcing jobs before, I could tell Agriya were very reputable so I had no fears of sending money across.
Have you ever outsourced a project before? How was that experience?
I have got work done on eLance etc. a few times and generally it’s very positive.
Can you give three pieces of advice to anyone looking to outsource a project to another company?
- Detail your project properly – exactly what you need done and your expectations
- Choose your winner wisely – cheapest is rarely the best one to choose.
- Set clear objectives – process, outcome, turnaround time etc – also what happens if things go wrong.
Did you face any problems during your project with Agriya, and if so how were they dealt with?
I had a few small teething problems but all my issues I reported were fixed within a few days.
Do you have any future plans to outsource more work? Would you use Agriya again? Would you recommend Agriya to your best friend?
If I do further development on the site – I would be happy to work with Agriya again and I would of course recommend them to a friend.
End of interview.
Many thanks to Colin for taking the time to respond to all our interview questions. Check out Quids In for yourself and let any of your Irish friends know about a new way they can earn a side income at http://www.quidsin.ie. If you want to get more information about Colin’s website, also check out the Quids In Blog which gives details on how everyone can make a little extra money.
If you have any questions for Colin or thoughts on this interview, post them in the comments using the form at the bottom of this page. Colin has said that he’ll try and answer any questions when he has the time.
Incase you missed it, Agriya has interviewed another customer about his website:
If you are an Agriya customer who has customized one of our products or have done a completely custom project and would like to get featured on our blog please let us know in the comments and we’ll be in touch with you!