New Startup “What Contract?” Aims To Shake Up The Mobile Comparison Market
Adam Taylor recently left University and started up a technology company which aims to shake up the mobile phone contract comparison market. His company “What Contract?” can compare offerings from networks including 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin and Vodafone, in this article Adam tells us a little more about how he got started.
Starting out in the tech industry is no easy task, even Bill Gates will tell you that! But I knew this was the industry for me from an early age, ever since I got my first mobile phone at the age of 13, an all singing, all dancing Motorola..well I forget the model, but ‘brick’ comes to mind. Back then I was the coolest kid in school, taunting the teachers with my A Team ringtone (don’t judge me).
Before I knew it I was off to the University of Hertfordshire to study marketing degree, much to my Dad’s displeasure who had always labelled marketing as ‘professional bulls*it’. I guess some might agree with him on that, but I persevered anyway as much of what I tended to contribute to class in school was bullsh*t anyway, so figured I might be pretty good at it.
As my final year of study approached, I soon forgot about the copious drinking games and girls that came with University life (ok, so there weren’t copious amounts of girls, but maybe 1 or 2..ok just 1, but she was a looker!) and I started to think about what I was going to do afterwards when I was forced to enter the big bad world. Instantly, I reverted back to my passion – technology, and mobile phones in particular.
After applying for various graduate positions with various mobile networks and manufacturers for jobs usually somewhat falsely titled as ‘Junior Executive’ this or ‘Trainee Manager’ that (tea boy in other words) and still getting no-where, I figured I’d try and make it on my own.
I knew I wanted to do something with mobile phones, but what?, and more importantly, how? I had next to no money! I figured if mobile phones were my thing, my first port of call (excuse the pun) had to be the web, and comparison sites were becoming popular, so why not marry the two?
Thinking I had the mother of all ideas, I fired up my laptop and searched ‘compare mobile phone deals’…..58 Million results! Doh. Arrogantly (and possibly stupidly), I stuck with the idea anyway and figured if all fails, at least I’d have something for the CV that might help me secure a job that went beyond asking ‘did you want milk and sugar with that?’.
But all wasn’t smiley in my new world of mobile contract comparison. I needed a website, some copywriters, and a designer. It was then that I realised that my problem of not being able to find a job, was actually my solution. Every other student was in the same boat as me (the cruise ship a la no jobs). I figured if I could convince other students studying at my university that building, designing and writing for my website would give them the hands-on experience that employers love, I’d be on to a winner and more importantly, it would be free.
After 6 months, much bribery (beer) and begging (them begging me for more beer), What Contract was born, and fully developed for the cost of around 30 crates of Stella. Where is it now? Well it’s only been a week since it launched, so I’m not rolling in commission money quite yet. However, after I tweeted about a few of my mobile phone reviews on Twitter, the UK divisions of Nokia and Orange of all people are following me, an ego boost if nothing else.
Summing up, I’m certainly not saying you should go and build a mobile contract comparison site (trust me, I don’t need any more competition). But for any tech start-up on a tight budget, my advice is to head down to your local university and reap the rewards of a massively competitive job market. Whether its development, research, graphic design or even just for advice, students will do anything to make themselves stand out to employers, so take advantage and get some free work! All you have to give them is a reference (and maybe a few crates of beer).
What do I ask in return for this frankly great advice? Well nothing, but if you are by any chance looking for a new mobile phone, compare mobile phone contracts at What Contract before you buy, I’ll buy you a beer in return.
For more information, and to compare mobile phone contracts, pop over to What Contract?.