The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Connor Strickland is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Connor Strickland, a Raleigh native and the founder of Dogwood Creative and DigiHome. Today, I want to talk about DigiHome, a technology startup working to streamline the homeownership journey. Currently, when you purchase a new home you receive a box full or if you’re lucky, a thumbdrive full of generic information about your home. However, with Digihome, you have the exact data and information about your home on the day you close.
What did it take / how did you get started?
I graduated from Appalachian State University in May of 2018 and started my first company, Dogwood Creative, a boutique style marketing agency. Around this time, my older brother was buying his first house. I witnessed firsthand the inefficiencies in the home buying process and home ownership. We live in a digital age and yet you’re “advanced” in this industry if you use a thumbdrive. DigiHome provides homeowners with our DigiHome mobile application that they have access to on the day of closing. From the app, the homeowner has digitized versions of all warranties, maintenance reminders, and a database of all materials used in their home. From paint colors to the shingles on their roof. Our technology pushes notifications and “preferred vendors” to the homeowner based on their intent to buy and recent activities within the app. Our goal is to provide a concierge service to every homeowner.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
We are gearing up for a Fall 2020 launch at the Wake County Parade of Homes where we are partnering up with local custom home builders to pilot DigiHome at their homes on the parade. Our launch market is Wake County, then NC, then scale nationwide.
What drives / motivates you?
At the end of the day, I am a dreamer and a builder. My passion comes from generating a concept, laying the groundwork for building a team, then seeing how our product makes our clients' lives better.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Grow your network, be genuine when asking for feedback, and don't be afraid of hearing someone tell you that your idea won’t work. If you’re a young founder, then leap. There is no better time to take the risk than now. Oh, one last thing - fail and fail fast. You are going to fail along the way. Learn why it happened and how you can prevent it from happening again.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
A few things. I think first off, the hardest part is hearing no after no. We have spent the last six months meeting with potential partners, both builders and vendors, to finetune the MVP and initial offering. However, not all of these have been positive interactions. But having a firm foundation and strong network around you keeps you going. Second, doing your due diligence and vetting the help that people offer you. If your idea is truly an industry disrupter, you will have all types of people reaching out to you to give their $0.02. While this can lead to great relationships and partnerships, you have to stay grounded in your MVP, business plan, and focus on the problem you are trying to solve.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
I am a big business podcast and book guy.
A few of my favorite podcasts are:
How I Built This with Guy Raz
The Pitch by Gimlet Media
Spectacular Failures by American Public Media
Build a Storybrand by Donald Miller
People Over Profit by Dale Partridge
Relentless by Tim Grover
Side or full-time hustle?
DigiHome is my full-time hustle while also running Dogwood Creative.
List the founders
Officially, just me. However I have been blessed with the support and guidance of numerous people.
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
20-30 hours per week.
# of Employees?
Myself plus two developers and two designers.
When did you start?
DigiHome became a concept in June of 2019.
How much did it cost to launch?
We are still pre-launch, but have spent ~$10k thus far.
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
Personal funds up until this point. We are now in the process of raising capital. This is, of course, prior to COVID-19. COVID-19 has put all meetings and funding conversations on pause for the foreseeable future.
Any call to action?
If you want to learn more about DigiHome or our technology, visit our website or send me an email at email@example.com. I would love to grab coffee and connect with you.
If you are a builder or developer, I would love for you to join our Testing Group to be one of the first to have access to our technology. If you are interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.