Dave van Beekum: 0:00
You almost have to tell and explain to people that are not understanding your 200 hours, 500 hours, a thousand hours into the project, what the vision, what the goal is, because not everybody understands what Zappier is. They just don't.
Tim Bourguignon: 0:18
Why do I need it? Why do I?
Dave van Beekum: 0:19
need it, you can save time. I don't need it. Yeah, it's hard to explain, but you have to come up with those bigger size not goals, but it's like a vision of what you want to build out.
Tim Bourguignon: 0:33
Hello and welcome to Developers Journey, the podcast bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host, tim Borghigno. On this episode, I receive Dave van Beekum. Dave is the co-founder and creator of Tweeva, the world's first social TV network for small businesses and influencers. A digital marketing guru, startup and TDS and tech expert, dave is a man of many talents. He lives in Florida with his wife and three girls and enjoys the beautiful outdoors. Well, do you say Florida? Yeah, when he's not bound to one of his many computers. Hearing the geek in there already. Dave, welcome to Dave Journey, hey thanks, Tim.
Dave van Beekum: 1:18
Yeah, oh man, I am a geek from a long time ago and Florida is beautiful, but it's hot during the summer. It is really hot. It's hot and sweaty. You got to put a t-shirt on. You can't wear one of those cool silk the Hawaiian shirts. It's just hot and sweaty, that's what I've heard.
Tim Bourguignon: 1:37
Been there only once, but it wasn't a winter.
Dave van Beekum: 1:38
deep in the winter, oh it's nice in the winter, yeah but, I'm originally from New Jersey, so you know it's that cold weather, the snow in the winter, the shoveling. You know you get down here and people say it's hot and heavy but you don't have to shovel it. That's like. You know the snowbirds language.
Tim Bourguignon: 1:55
We'll see if it stays this way. We'll see yeah we'll see. Yeah, but before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show. Every month you are keeping the Dave Journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests than editing audio tracks, please go to our website, devjourneyinfo, and click on the support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable Dave Journey journey. Thank you, and now back to today's guest. As you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape their own future. So, as is usual on the show, let's go back to your beginnings in New Jersey, new Jersey or somewhere else, dave? Where would you place the start of your journey?
Dave van Beekum: 2:49
Oh, that's definitely back in the days of New Jersey. That's almost 18, 19 years ago now. So if I go back way, way, way back, my dad is an electrical contractor and he loved to just fiddle with anything. So he would, let's say, working at a clean room in New Jersey, he would say, oh, are you throwing out that switch over there? What about that air pump over there? And he would take home you know, a grommeted switch for a clean room and then there'd be an air pump over here in a three phase four 80 volt motor over there on the counter. And so this, this progressed for quite a while and he had amassed three bays in the garage just full of different electronic equipment. Well, not electronic in the form of what we would say today, electronic, but electrical contracting things. So when me and my brother were, you know, bored, we would go play in the garage and there was just technology. There was an air horn off of a boat and my brother had to connect this to a 12 volt battery. One time, you know, scared to be Jesus out of us, but just the most random thing, like I remember when I was a kid taking a part of microwave. And then we did that. Oh, my brother, don't touch those capacitors. Okay, you know, we'd get a rubber glove out or something so we could disassemble it and then we take it to the, to the desk and we would use a soldering iron to pull off certain capacitors and chips. We didn't know exactly what to do with it. But you know, that was kind of my really really early years, and I think it might have been six or seven, when my uncle worked at Dunn and Bradstreet in New Jersey and he was the computer technician. So he would have to upgrade a hundred or 200 computers. And this is back when you would upgrade a hundred or 200 to 86s, 33 megahertz computers. And so he would say hey, you know, if anybody wants one in the family, and I would, you know what's that, you know? Oh yeah, I'll take one. My dad got me one and it was just an old one, two, 86, 33 megahertz monochrome screen. But that really started the journey into the tech field of computers, versus the, the, the wires and the technicals and electrical contract in which my brother really loves, my dad really loved. But something about sitting in the chair and working on a computer and seeing those things come up on the screen, I think. A few months later he gave me a dot matrix printer and I started playing with that with a parallel port, and that's really got me hooked. So between the computer that was in my room and then my dad's audio video connectors, mixing board, we had a 16 channel Mac Mac keyboard and I put that underneath an L shaped desk, underneath my hanging bed, which my dad hung off the ceiling so we didn't have any posts. So I had a video, a mixer, two VCRs, a reel to reel, you know, total geek out. And so my computer on one side, I had this studio on the other, and I must have been 10 at that point. And so we went on vacation and I saw this little toy thing saying transceiver receiver, fm transceiver receiver, you know, broadcast to your sister's, brother's room. I was like, oh, if I could take a headphone jack into a 1.5 millimeter, I could broadcast what I have to the other people in the house. And so I did so. Then I had a little mini radio station and check out, play my music, and you know, and it was crazy, but I had such a weird upbringing of technology that it's just this broad view of many different things and you know it's weird. You have those experiences but until you really build a project that you use them in, you kind of forget what you did because you don't need that memory. But yeah, so that's a little overview of the past history and how I got here, how it started, and this is awesome.
Tim Bourguignon: 7:01
I love what I'm hearing in terms of not being afraid of the technology, not being afraid of tinkering putting it out, maybe not putting it out, maybe not putting back together, putting your hands in there, with gloves or without, and also on the computer, really doing stuff with it and going deep in there and trying to make something and not being afraid to break it. This is absolutely.
Dave van Beekum: 7:25
Yeah, once I, you know, my dad figured out that I like computers. He had an old 8088 that was, you know, his kind of office computer and we'd play a couple of games on that. But once I got mine, he I think he might have said, okay, now we can go to the computer shows. And so way back then, you know, in New Jersey I don't think it was on the edge of New York, but KGP computer shows, I think I believe it was called and he would love, every once a month or something, we would go there and I used to work with him, you know, on the side, and when we'd go to the show I'd say, hey, can I buy this CG, remember CGA graphics card? It was like four colors, you know, or 16 or something. Dad, can I get this? $45 was a lot back then. Yeah, you can work it off with me at $2 an hour. Yeah, okay, yes, yes. And I got to play my little commander keen in four colors instead of, you know, black and white. And so, you know it was then going to find the card and, oh, I don't have a PCI slot or I don't have an ISA slot. You know, it was, like you said a lot of learning get the cables out, can I get an upgraded new hard drive deleting things and then figuring out. That was the system. You know, it's like where I started way, way, way back then. But I always had that passion. I just I don't know why, but I loved it. It was not, it was my sports, it was my comic magazines, it was all computers and technology, maybe because it was available, Maybe Maybe because it was just sitting there, I don't know, but it just progressed from there.
Tim Bourguignon: 9:05
One thing I'm not sure I got right. Did you enjoy the technology for the technology, or did you have something in mind to be doing with it always? And we're searching for that through technology.
Dave van Beekum: 9:21
I don't know if it opened up. I remember thinking I loved music. My mom was a choir director, my dad did audio video for church, so I was always around audio and sound mixing. So maybe the maybe I loved the music, so I would then get the Mackey board and connect all the connectors so I could adjust the bass. I don't remember that young if I had a reason, but the technology almost gave me opportunity. I think that's more the way that it went is once I had it in there and I could dream about it and think about it. Oh, I could create a broadcasting studio. I wonder if dad has a camera downstairs. And he did. And then, because the mixer had chroma key. So hey, what's chroma key? Oh, that's for green screen background, you know, like they have in the news.
Tim Bourguignon: 10:09
Okay, oh, all right.
Dave van Beekum: 10:11
Well, how does that work? You know, tried it on a bookshelf, didn't work. So, hey, mom, do you have a green piece of material downstairs? Yeah, I think I got something and but it led to opportunities to hey, sis, can you sit in front of that? And you remember those Omegles you could connect two blocks, they call them now and it's like this kid erector set. They're huge, though, about a foot long. You should build things out of them. Well, my parents at a young age bought these two huge, massive sets and so we built out a stage for like a desk, like a broadcasting desk. So I don't know, like I'm thinking, maybe the technology gave me those ideas which presented them as the opportunities to build or do something. I didn't like start off saying, okay, I have all this stuff, what would I want to do? It was more fun to just play and connect and build.
Tim Bourguignon: 11:01
And that leads into my next question, which is kind of always the same Was it obvious to you that you would end up doing something like this afterwards?
Dave van Beekum: 11:13
Well, everybody would say you know, you got to go to college, you got to do this, you got to do that. I think they really told so many different ways that I could go. It could be audio engineering, it could be video engineering, it could be computers. At a very young age I networked my house before the internet was really out. I figured out I think it was like Microsoft Enterprise, outlooker, outlook, what do they call it? Exchange, right. And so I networked the house with CAT3 or CAT1 cable. So, mom, I'll send you an email. She's like what's that for? Just walk down and tell me. I was like I don't know. But it's. This is this program in Windows 311, and we can send each other messages. What's an IP address? Why do we need that? So I had so many different, I just didn't know which one I really enjoyed, you know. So I didn't know at the time, but I knew I wanted to do something like this because it didn't feel like work. It felt like I get to play with this and build it and then listen to it and change it, make sure it sounds good. Once it sounded good, everyone's like it doesn't sound any different. Yes, it does. This other one doesn't have enough trouble in it, you know.
Tim Bourguignon: 12:24
So we shouldn't get into discussion if you hear more on a wave file than on MP3.
Dave van Beekum: 12:30
Oh yeah exactly. Napster's great, but it sounds like crap okay.
Tim Bourguignon: 12:35
No it doesn't.
Dave van Beekum: 12:35
It's the song yes it does.
Tim Bourguignon: 12:39
So how did you choose on what to do next in this broad spectrum of opportunities?
Dave van Beekum: 12:46
It really came out of what opportunities arose, out of the connections that were built by me or either my dad involved in those situations. So I kind of chose the routes that were available. So if somebody, he would say, oh, you know, we did some networking here, then we networked the church, and then somebody would say, hey, can you network my business? And so then I would be brought out and, oh my goodness, now I got to talk to people I don't know, can you tell them how much you know? And so he kind of did a little bit of that in there too. But the opportunities at a young age started that way. It's not until really, I guess, I moved to Florida when I just said, okay, I'm going to incorporate what I do into a legal business and then progressively go out and look for different customers that are in that specific industry, and so there's a few years in there. But that's kind of pushed my way into. I like to work on the computer. Websites are great because I only have to interact a few times with the customer, but I get to use the design, the audio, the video and build that into a projection of what the business is, their image on the web, and so nobody was telling me this was right or wrong. I get to look out onto the web and figure out what it is and then do it a little bit better, and so it took a little time to get to that point. But that was about 18 when I started. You know, the legal business piece didn't work off of underneath my dad and then built it out.
Tim Bourguignon: 14:20
So, until you were 18, really navigating whatever opportunity there was, grabbing the opportunities to learn even more and do something in this regard, but not necessarily pushing on your own in the direction of another, just grabbing what there is.
Dave van Beekum: 14:32
Yeah, I kind of grabbed what there is. I wasn't really into the marketing and advertising piece of it. I threw a couple web design stickers on my car Weirdest thing like from the littlest advertisement. I remember one person hey, can you meet? I see I'm driving behind you right now. Okay, yeah, you need a website. Yeah, yeah, we do. Can you meet me at my private hangar at the executive airport in Orlando? I'm sorry.
Tim Bourguignon: 14:57
Dave van Beekum: 15:00
Private hangar. Why would you call somebody with a sticker on their back window? You know like the weirdest things happen from a little bit of advertising and you learn that over time. But especially in our geek world, I think in the software side, we always have this idea of, hey, if we build a really great product, if we build something that's better than anyone else, everybody's going to love it and I don't have to go, yeah, and they will come and I don't have to talk about it, I don't have to this, they'll just realize what it is. They haven't had 150 hours of thought into it. You know, we just think they're going to get it and it's a mistake. And I think a lot of devs have. Oh yeah, but you got to do some evidence. So after that piece on the back window, I just wrapped the whole entire car in my company colors blue and orange. It was bright. It tracked a lot of bees. I'll say that they thought it was like a big flower. My wife's like so I'm going to go. My wife's like so I'm going to waste. She's like honey, your car, all these stripes and the break, they just. There's bees all over the car. But it worked really well. It worked well, but I learned a little bit in there. It's like you got to do. You can find your correct customer, you can find new people and do what you love at the same time.
Tim Bourguignon: 16:19
Did you learn this all on the fly? While doing it, Did you pose at some point and say hey, I need to go grab the skills. It's going to take three, four months and do that and then come back or go through a formal training. How did you approach this learning?
Dave van Beekum: 16:36
I just kind of said, ok, let's, let's try this. On the back of the car and I was doing some SEO at the time, so I was getting a little business from the web, from Google, and that worked. But I just figured she's driving the kids around all day, that could be like a billboard, and it is, and people would call me, I'm driving behind you. I'm like, yeah, and I'd be sitting in the office just going like, yeah, yeah, I'm out there somewhere. I'm in Orlando now, because I didn't know where she was. But no, I didn't really sit down and plan it, I just said, ok, let's try this, let's, let's build that, let's do this, let's design my car. And I would sit down in Photoshop and say this is the way I wanted to look. I wanted to look better than the other truck that I saw for like a food truck go by, and so I don't know if it was better or not, but to me, I've always had that. I can see the design, I can see what looks good and what doesn't look. I could hear things to, you know, in the audio. So so I just use it to my advantage and it worked until the Florida Sun killed that, that rap.
Tim Bourguignon: 17:42
Also, it was just burning the paint, so it was it would just peel.
Dave van Beekum: 17:47
you know it was like eventually it was just bubbling up. You know, this is years ago, before I had the high quality stuff. But I always thought, like, can I pay people to do this? And so I asked a friend hey, let's build a little startup where we can find cars to. You know, pay them a couple hundred bucks a month and then they will be all driving around. You imagine what kind of a company you'd have five cars were driving around. People would think you're busy all the time. Right, and again, that that. But. But you hear it in in that idea is I don't really have to go find it, just try this and it will work. And it's almost like the wrong way to do it. Like you're saying, to plan it out is a lot better to sit there and say, hey, this is the plan, moving forward, let's get this many cars going. In the first month you do one and then by the fourth month you have to. It never got to that point because it was just off the cuff Try this, try that.
Tim Bourguignon: 18:41
Which is also valuable in itself. It could be experiment based and just trying to see the return on this month. Just sometimes, the return on this month is very hard to measure. Yeah, yeah, it definitely is. Yeah, at which point did you did you start focusing on your activities and how did you decide on which activity to focus on?
Dave van Beekum: 19:01
So once I became busy enough, where it was so much work to do and the car was working so well and I had some SEO going locally, I think it was at like 12 or 15 websites or there were pretty big jobs and I finished eight of them in a month and I go, I just I mean I work a lot I went and got a boat so I could hit things with hammers, because it was an old, used boat. And I'm like I just I'm sitting in front of the computer all the time and my wife's like what did you just buy on Craigslist? I was like I just got to hit stuff with hammers, I'm so frustrated and so be cutting out a piece of rotten wood. And she's like, what are you doing in there? I'm like I don't care, it's not programming, you know it's not doing else. And I realized at that point I go, this is not working. I have to be more organized. I have to have a project management tool. I can't just drop things in folders and you know right out a, you know right out the to-do list or what I have to do on the invoice. You have to become very, very organized with what you do. And so that kind of made this turning point of the boat was a frustration of doing things wrong and we have to change into something that's very organized set meetings, set schedules of sitting down and talking to clients. Ok, this is what we're going to work on for the next 30 days, and no, I can't get this done in two weeks. We have to understand these timelines, and so I learned a lot at that point and started becoming organized with an internal database where I could put tasks in and build out the project before it was built.
Tim Bourguignon: 20:44
But it was still only with the air quotes, only web development. So websites building, or were you doing something else still?
Dave van Beekum: 20:54
It was still a mix of databases, web networking. For the guy that called me to his private airport place, it was I have 20 exotic cars, can we take them out? And I want to do a video shoot. And so I was like, yeah, I'll go get a camera. Ok, yeah, I could do that because I could do video editing. So we, oh, and I have a bus, I have a pre-vose bus, we'll take in a mansion over here. Can we do the mansion too? And so we built out a DVD to hand out to other investors and when people visit before the days of Airbnb and Turro, to come down to Orlando and rent this stuff, enjoy. He had four aircraft, fractional ownership and 200 properties. So it was what are we going to work on? How can we build this and then maintain the website and can we put this in a database? So it was a lot of mix, but it was probably a lot of. I wouldn't say it was the best time of my life, but it was a lot of fun to jump and be part of those different pieces. The problem is it's not focused on that one thing, so I could see myself losing a little bit in video development, because unless you're constantly in video development, working in Adobe Premiere or Final Cut, you kind of lose the edge. And the same on the Photoshop side. You kind of had to relearn it on the week that you were working on it, so I was getting my head going. Ok, this works so well, but for only so long, and eventually there's going to be people that grow up that will be professionals in all those specific areas. I think I don't know if that was in days of like Joomla and Mambo, where they had the CMSs, the relational database CMSs, and so that was working. But every time they do an upgrade, something would change. I'd have to go in and figure out OK, what changed over here, what changed over there? That was before the days of WordPress was so popular. But yeah, I had to learn at some point to let go of the reins a little bit and find people to do those things.
Tim Bourguignon: 23:04
So you still kept this multiverse of activities, just not did them on your own. So your company was still unfocused or focused on all those things I'm not sure which terminology you would use, but you yourself were doing just the subset over there.
Dave van Beekum: 23:19
Yeah, I was doing little pieces of that, but I was tending to say, ok, I did that little video thing here, I did this, I did that. But that's really not as much fun as sitting here and focusing on coding and developing, because if you code and develop something, you can scale it. I can't scale taking a picture of an aircraft or getting inside of a private jet with a 20 millimeter wide angle lens and doing a back out shot Like what are you going to do with that after it's done? So it was fun, it's unique, but it's over the next day. It's like, ok, it's gone. So was I able to take my time and scale it? No, ok. Then what are you after? Fun or scale? And I said, ok, I have to think scale the family, the what? Ok, how do we get rich? How do you build? How do you take a break from the craziness is build something at scale. So that started to work in my mind as find other smart people, find other people to partner with.
Tim Bourguignon: 24:22
And was that fun as well for you? For what? To find other people, to find them and then have them do something else for you no, because it's hard to find good people.
Dave van Beekum: 24:32
It's really hard to find good people.
Tim Bourguignon: 24:35
It doesn't need to. Yeah, how did you manage that scaling then?
Dave van Beekum: 24:39
I didn't scale as far as I could have. So I would scale the few people here or there and then the economy would shift or the jobs wouldn't come in, because the marketing wasn't perfect. If it was based upon, if the car was being driven or whatever, it wasn't as perfect as it could have been. So it never got to the point of full time. But it was take this job piece here, subcontract there and get the jobs done. But it was always reliant on the next big project that came in.
Tim Bourguignon: 25:09
OK. So when did that phase of your life end, or is it still running?
Dave van Beekum: 25:14
It's a little bit running here and there for past clients, but eventually I figured out. I said I just want to work on a project. So when I was doing those 8 to 10 projects I was like, ok, can we just build this out into one piece where all of the time and effort let's take the video and the audio and the development and the coding and build this into one project with a partner that is maybe good at sales and marketing pieces, and then they do those and I can do mine. And so I found a few partners that wanted to build and scale a big food ordering service, but not for retail to retail. This would be business to business. So let's say, a small restaurant would look at multiple distributors in their town and they would say, where can I get 50 pounds of chicken this week? Where can I get 100 pounds of this or 25 pounds of mozzarella cheese? And there would be multiple different sources. So then I got to use not the video per se but the pictures and the coding and the database development and the mobile app development all into one project. And that took several years where we patented this project. But then we never got that one to market because we didn't have the right connections. But I liked the idea of building with that team of people all focused on one thing. In the startup world, and that's really where I had that change of OK. You could do 15 different projects for people, but unless they're doing their own marketing, you can't scale that. You built that little piece for them, but it's really reliant on them. So under a startup world, you have a lot of control to say what are we doing today, what are we doing tomorrow? What's the next six months? Look like we don't have to say, hey, are you going to do marketing? No, I can't do marketing right now. I just wanted a website, I just wanted a video. Ok, well, what are we doing now? I don't know. They'd go and just disappear, right. So I loved the idea of building that one project and it kind of from then on it was more one or two main projects that I was focusing on.
Tim Bourguignon: 27:27
OK, but still in a co-founder role in all of those projects.
Dave van Beekum: 27:33
Not all the projects. The food one was not a co-founder, it was just a coding expert. It was probably eventually going to be a co-founder because I was one of the main people behind it, but that project gave birth to actually Tweeva, which is what I'm working on now, and that's same partners but co-founder. And that's where I loved using all those ideas, sure.
Tim Bourguignon: 28:00
Do you want to tell us how Tweeva came to be?
Dave van Beekum: 28:03
Okay. So Tweeva was built out from those same partners that were in that food distribution industry, but they were restaurant tours. So we were sitting in one of the restaurants and I just looked up at the TV one time and I said how dare Pizza Hut Do they not know who you are? How dare they advertise their pizza in your restaurant? And we kind of chuckled a little bit. And you know, we sat there, we saw Domino's and a few others and I just thought I think we all kind of combined together, is there a way that we can create a TV channel for small businesses, but kind of like their own TV channel, where they can select what they want on the TV and give their opinion? Hey, I don't want to see that commercial or don't show any other food commercials in my business, but have it also a way that small businesses can advertise? And that came from my partner saying hey, there's a plumber sitting over here, he's eating food. Okay, I just talked to this person. They have a leak in their house. I love to connect them. So he would say go, put your business card up at the front. And so I said, you know, we could put something on the TV. He said great, great, let's just take a picture of their business card, put it on TV. I said no, no, no, it can't be. Can't be this like low quality business card. It has to be something, something nice. And so you know we could go with a slide. You know, call me, I'm the best plumber in the city. And that might be nice. But it evolved into more infotainment, like why don't we show the plumber working on a job in the city? Like you know that popular TV show, this Old House where they go in and fix the? You know they fix a plumber pipe and they spend 10 minutes doing it. We could spend three, three or four, but it's advertising who that business owner is to that person. And so it kind of changed from just the advertising screen to a little bit of businesses, a little bit of news, weather, their social media, right. So the business, when they would post something on Facebook, it would automatically get added to their TV. So if you walked in and you didn't follow, them, you might say oh cool. They just I didn't know they were active on Facebook, New follower, right. So it builds their audience. But this is now unique to every single business that you walk in. It's not streamed down one channel. Every business has the ability to say, yeah, I want to show this at my business or I don't want to show this at my business. So that's kind of how Tweeba works. But oh, I missed. The main part is this is also a community TV, so you and me can walk up to the TV and add our own piece of content or an advertisement on the TV. So let's say that there's a parade going through town, right, and I take a picture of the parade, I can share it onto the TV. So now this can be shared to all the TVs in the community or just the one TV. But it kind of gives everybody a chance to see it. But it kind of gives everybody a little bit of view of what's going on. Now that could be the parade or a Christmas event or maybe something, a ballet event that's happening, you know, oh, come to this show, or a high school musical, who knows? But major cities have this. It's called, like Orlando, channel 11, channel 12. I forget what it is, every major city has one, but around every major city there's like 500 small cities that don't have a TV channel. So that's what we wanted to do is give back the business owner the ability to advertise on different TVs. And it can't be, you know, cross competitive, but it would be food to doctor office, doctor office to food, right Lawyer to food, food to lawyer. That works, no food to food, no lawyer to lawyer, no dentist to dentist. But it gives the ability for us to create a little network for small businesses and influencers.
Tim Bourguignon: 32:15
That makes a little sense. Is this the original idea that you just described, or is this what it became?
Dave van Beekum: 32:21
It definitely became that In the beginning it was a slideshow of pictures that were dynamically created based upon if people were there or not, but semi, you know, slideshow Like just pieces of like little ads. It was weather. What I really think we grew on is the influencing side. That's really taken off, I don't know the past couple years. The influencing side is huge because you can give a business owner a lot of these tools, but they're not necessarily going to do it. Like I jokingly say, back when I grew up, if I had a shoulder camera which my dad had, you know and I plugged it in and I'd be like all right, record, and I'd hit the big red button, if anybody saw me, they'd be like, wow, he's shooting something professional, right, yes, now you could take an iPhone 4K or an Android 4K, lift it up and, with the right lighting, they could be potentially shooting professional, yeah. And so the problem is not that we don't have the camera, the problem is that we don't have a place to put it. That seems valuable to us. So, yes, a business owner could put it on social media, but he doesn't know if he should, if the lighting is correct, if this is that. So there's this whole different industry that's created called influencers, where they know how to use the video piece and the audio piece and the media piece and they know what looks good on each network. And so for Tweeva, influencers are very powerful, because you could be an influencer with 500,000 followers and be sitting in a cafe and no one would know who you are, especially if one town over Now with Tweeva TV, if your face showed up on the TV while you were sitting there on a show like, oh, okay, who's that over there? I think that's a person on TV. Right, that's him. That's him. Yeah, that's him. That's him. Okay, cool. What about the plumber? When's the last time you saw a plumber or a lawyer in the same restaurant that you were in? You wouldn't, because the ad is going to be $50,000 and he's eating at a different place. But if I can make the ad five cents, I can allow anybody to advertise that content on TV. But you still need that a little bit of help from those influencers, because they know how to frame the shot. Take this, no, no, don't wait until the sun is down a little bit further so you don't get shadows underneath your eyes, and they do a really good job of that. But yeah, this is a long-winded answer too. It's grown and evolved with the technology. I think, like I did before, is you play with the technology, you see opportunity and then you kind of lean in that direction. Okay, let's take that piece and keep working with this and keep moving forward, okay that makes a lot of sense.
Tim Bourguignon: 35:23
We don't have that many TVs in Europe in restaurants. It's kind of low-key compared to the US, but I remember my time in the US and it was really the presence of those TVs everywhere and really part of the ambience. It makes a lot of sense in this context. That's really something that brings a lot of bells.
Dave van Beekum: 35:38
Yeah, we don't want it to be TV as far as distracting, we like the whole bring whatever that restaurant is to the TV. So, instead of like for the Italian restaurants that we were testing and building in the first phase, we sat there like how do we bring the Italian view into it? Oh well, let's go find some drone footage of Italy. You know some of the popular destinations, play that, play the chicken, parm and this, and some employees that are in the kitchen. Tell the customers who the server is. And does the server have a dog at home? And does the server drive a motorcycle on the weekends? Because what we're trying to do is not just be focused on oh, this technology is the best, we could do everything. Oh, we'll design it and they will come. It's, how do we integrate that technology to help a little relationship between just somebody sitting at a table and then talking. You've been there before, I know it. You've sat at a restaurant right with another person, your wife and you look over and you're like those guys don't even talk to each other. It's so weird to just like look around and the server comes over. I'll have this, thank you, and they put it away. What's missing there is a little bit of connection of information, something that matches. So it might be. Oh, I saw you drive a motorcycle on the weekends. Oh, that's so cool. Yeah, it's my boyfriends, but we'd love to go out here. And oh, my nephew drives a motorcycle. Now we have a connection between those people and if you think about it, where are we going next Friday? You're gonna go to a brand new place or you're probably gonna go. Oh, let's go see how the nephew's doing. Or I heard they went to college, or the kid went to college. Let's go talk to them and it becomes more of that relationship. This is more like it was without tech, but we're using a little bit of that tech to stimulate those little pieces of information. So I don't wanna be a TV channel, I wanna be a connection into the community where we can help people, right? So yeah, it has definitely morphed from this advertising screen into how do we integrate and help people connect more.
Tim Bourguignon: 37:51
So that means there is a possible future where that TV would not disappear but take way less precedence in your business, because you found a different way, maybe better way, for some context to create those connections. In the context of restaurants, yeah, it could.
Dave van Beekum: 38:09
If it's not part of the TV, it could be something else a QR code that connects people, or a game right, it wouldn't be TV per se, as we think TV is, but it could be a game on Friday night that we're using the TV to get a clue and we respond on our phone, but it's something that's happening. Or a scavenger hunt around the communities where the TV is not showing news, but it might be showing an Easter egg and you have to go to all these different businesses and find the golden one. You know, it could be anything but just being a little digital screen that's not given away to a soap opera. Or like I was sitting in this one pizza shop waiting to talk to a manager and he was on one of these cable channels Discovery or something and it was this man who murdered his girlfriend. And I'm sitting here at like my two slices of pizza going, okay, I'll give you 30 seconds, see what happens. And he's like he drove to the darkest side of Arizona where there's no cell phone, and I'm like, okay, and then he took duct tape. I'm like what are we going with this? And then he went to this road and made a left. I'm like you guys are just, what are you doing here? You're giving people instructions and I said you really don't have anything that's going on in the community that's better than this. Okay, there probably is, but there was a disconnect into what should I show at my restaurant. Some people like this channel. Okay, maybe it started off at the cooking show, but by three pm in the afternoon that station has nothing left, so they're playing that. Could we benefit the person sitting there? Okay, in my town we have a nationally recognized football team, high school football team. I've never seen a catch or a touchdown anywhere on local TV because it doesn't exist. So can that be shown? Can somebody be sitting there? Or are you with a professional camera or their iPhone, be shooting a couple of highlight clips and sharing that to the community? Absolutely. Then we have a tennis, we have a basketball Of all these things that could create what people are missing today. I want recognition. I want recognition. People will take a lower pay at a job for recognition because they think, oh, to get me somewhere. How many kids are looking for this? Let's get them on talking, developing their own little TV spots. This is all possible, but the network has to be built out. So yeah, this is again a long-winded answer, but the vision, that's the forward vision of what can you do with it.
Tim Bourguignon: 40:43
And I love that. I love that your vision is not defined by the technology, but really by what you aim to be creating with it. And if that changes I mean if the technology changes well, so what? The vision is still valid, it's still what you're after and that is gorgeous. That's what you want for business really.
Dave van Beekum: 41:01
Yeah, we have in the patent some piece for AR goggles that if we're looking either at a screen or an indirection, can something pop up and we can talk about that thing, something local, and we're always looking forward to that next piece in that nerd world where you literally have to be 20 years forward and looking in that direction. But yeah, doesn't matter what it is that end goal is and I've learned this is not. It is very technology, but you almost have to tell and explain to people that are not understanding your 200 hours, 500 hours, 1,000 hours into the project what the vision, what the goal is, because not everybody understands what Zapier is. They just don't why do I need? it. Why do I need it? You can save time. I don't need it. Yeah, it's hard to explain, but you have to come up with those bigger size not goals, but it's like a vision of what you want to build out.
Tim Bourguignon: 42:04
It's an either vision, it's a vision. Yeah, yeah, fantastic. That's exciting. I wish you all the best of luck with SWIVA for the future.
Dave van Beekum: 42:12
That's really cool. Thank you, thank you.
Tim Bourguignon: 42:15
For the advice piece I usually end up on. I'd like to come back to one thing you said, where you were describing yourself as a technologist and saying well, you didn't say I, you didn't pronounce it this way, necessarily, but you say something like hey, if you build the right thing, people are gonna come, it's gonna work. No need for marketing, and I've seen this so many times, being guilty of that as well. What would be the best advice you would have for the listeners? To start stepping out of this mindset, Start dabbling a little bit on marketing, Start making a little bit of noise about what they do and not only relying on the inherent qualities of the products that are definitely there but nobody knows about.
Dave van Beekum: 43:00
So we went through a business accelerator and they had talked about in the very beginning of when you were trying to build your startup, and this was a $10,000 course. And then they bring you to VC capital and they had said they've looked at our project and said where's your press releases, where is your Facebook groups, where are your emails that you would send to potential customers? And we said, well, we're focusing on development, we're focusing on building the product we're focused on. And they said, you know, that's called a development loop, where you just keep saying, oh, I'll build this for this person and I'm gonna build this for this set of groups. And so I think the piece that we missed in the very beginning and I've missed for quite a while because I was in behind the scenes is talk about your product. Even if you get five little customers in the very beginning to be interested about what you do, they can bring you to five or 10 more. And that's the way that you wanna really scale in the beginning, because when you have a problem, something doesn't work. If somebody doesn't know you or doesn't understand that long-term goal, they just say, oh, it doesn't work, it will never work, and they just cancel the subscription, whereas if they understand that goal for the longer term, oh well, this guy has been working in tech for so long and this is one of the things that accumulation of. He used to do video and he used to do audio and now he's building out a TV network. Give him a week or two, that bug will be fixed. See, that response is completely different from someone who understands you can't get that from somebody just hits your website from a search. They don't understand what's going on. So when you have those first customers not even customers, let's just say the first people that are really looking at you or you come up with an idea, you wanna build it. You have to build that vision and the goal and back it up with what they refer to as media, which is a press release. Or this is what we're developing. There's a team of engineers in restaurant and tech building out a small business TV channel, blah, blah, blah and that's a press release. And then you'd send out emails, right, and talk about what you're developing this week or this month or the next six months. If you're serious, right, if you're building a little baby product, you wanna just get it out to a couple hundred people. It's not gonna be that big of a deal. But what we're trying to focus on is something big, and I think most people when they get into a startup, they want to build something big. So you don't have to do that a hundred times. I think maybe five or 10 in a year would be plenty. Right, once every month, once every two months, you just send something out and you start building a wait list. That's a very important thing, too Is if you have a product you talk to people out. Hey, give me your email. Because when we got to the venture capital, they said oh man, this is such a great product, you must have 50,000 people waiting for you. And we said, well, no, probably. Yeah, no, we can't lie. It was like no, we don't, because we went through. Well, we actually had a co-founder pass away too, so we didn't get to where we should have been and there was a little pause in there. So we had a couple of issues. But that first piece of advice is if you are in the tech world, please focus a little bit on that marketing outside. And what you can do much easier than what we could have done previous to ChatGPT is oh, I don't know how to save this in the press release. I don't know what kind of title to write Use ChatGPT, train it to what your product is and then say, hey, I want to not give away a lot of information, but I want to give enough away to peak interest. Give me a title in the description for Facebook Group or Facebook Post or something. And just learn that if you can acquire five emails a week from average people that can understand what you're trying to sell, you'd be in a much better place than 98% of startups.
Tim Bourguignon: 47:16
Amen to that, Dave. Thank you so much for this advice and for sharing your story. That was really cool. Where would be the best place to continue this discussion with you?
Dave van Beekum: 47:25
So you can find me and Tweeva on all those social media platforms. So you can go to twevacom. That's our website. My email is daveatweevacom, and just we're on all the social media so you can hit me up on social media. You can email me or just visit the website.
Tim Bourguignon: 47:46
And we'll add links to the show notes in the show notes. So just scroll down, click on it. Everything will be there, Dave. Anything else on your plate?
Dave van Beekum: 47:55
You know, I'll say if you're a small business, you know, if you have something a little foot traffic business, a restaurant, we'd love to have you join the network. And if you're an influencer, same thing, we'd love to have you join the network. You heard it you have a mobile app too, so you can download the apps in the iOS and the Android store.
Tim Bourguignon: 48:15
Awesome. Well, I'd link to that as well, Dave thank you so much.
Dave van Beekum: 48:18
Thank you so much for having me. It was a lot of fun going back in history and talking a little bit about how we started the whole thing.
Tim Bourguignon: 48:25
It's real to hear that, and this has been another episode of DevPost Journey. I will see each other next week, Bye-bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share, rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms the show appears on on our website devjourneyinfo slash subscribe. Talk to you soon.