Tispr Origins: From Social to Professional in 4 Years and 3 Countries
Every Friday for the past year, we have set down with a freelancer or a small business owner following their dreams and navigating the tumultuous waters of making it on your own. But these amazing, courageous and greatly inspiring people are not the only ones with a story to tell. So it’s Tispr…
Our company and brand have gone through major transformations since inception in 2015. It is at our crossroads that we found inspiration to transform and motivation to go on, and we would not be here today without our crossroads. While we’re approaching a breaking point in our short history, we’re taking a step back to reminisce, ponder and share.
Our Tispr Inside Stories will take you from the very beginning of how our company came to be to the present day, giving you an inside peak at the paths we’ve taken, our highs and lows, our team, our growth and much more.
The Myth of “Re-creation”
Every epic story starts with a creation myth, but ours is a story of recreation. Before there was Tispr, there was BuddyHopp, started in 2014 by two of the company’s co-founders, Sebastian Gyr and Jonathan Ramos. Working from a den in LA and an apartment in Palo Alto, they put together BuddyHopp, a social concept that relied heavily on location. As the concept grew, the team grew as well, adding its first team members in early 2015. The headquarters also moved, to Venice Beach – a rapidly growing tech hub at the time.
In 2016, the first pivot happened, from BuddyHopp to tispr, a social business network aimed at connecting services and freelancers. The social and geo-location aspects were kept front and center, the team recreating the concept around these.
“We (Sebastian and Jonathan) were at a coffee shop and it was bustling with freelancers, all trying to do their work in this sort of half social half co-working environment. As we looked around we saw not just people, not just work, but all coming together”, Jonathan Ramos, Design Lead at Tispr, remembers about how the pivot came to happen.
Brand Before Business
The rest is history as they say, and the Santa Monica office opened in the beginning of 2016, with the Belarus office following shortly after. It was a slow process, Jonathan recalls, based initially on freelance work and independent contractors. Today, the Belarus office handles all of the development and engineering for Tispr, as well as part of design.
A second pivot took tispr to Tispr, and while it might not look it, that capitalization stands for a lot. A complete rebrand was underway towards the end of 2018. This iteration included an easy to use, all-in-one solution to manage work and collaborate. Tispr was not created from a Big Bang idea that just came from a vacuum. It was recreated from past concepts that grew, evolved and transformed.
We are not yet all we want to be. But the new Tispr is a promising vision that we are working hard for every day. A driven team that’s spread over 3 countries and 2 continents is working relentlessly to make other people’s work easier and less stressful. We think that’s a story worth telling. And every Friday, we will tell you a little bit more. Below, you’ll be able to read our 10 minutes with Jonathan Ramons, Design Lead and Co-founder of Tispr.
Tispr through the eyes of Design
Who are you for Tispr?
I am the Design Lead at Tispr, where I proudly work alongside a small group of talented and hard-working experience designers.
What is Tispr for you?
Home. Granted, a home away from home, but we’re like family here.
How long have you been with Tispr?
I’ve been around since the beginning so I guess you could say I’m one of the dinosaurs around these parts. It’s been a journey I can tell you that, but I am so happy with where it has led us.
How did the decision to completely change Tispr impact you?
It was a pretty positive impact actually. The old product just wasn’t sticking, and we knew that something pivotal needed to be done (pun intended). Of course, there was a lot of uncertainty. And maybe a little anxiety at times, but all coupled with excitement and drive to build something better.
How was the transformation so far?
It’s been great. We are slowly finding our product-market fit. Overall there’s just been more clarity everyday that the pivot was the right move. And the best part: we have lengths to go. We have so many plans and a great vision for Tispr and the place we see it take in the world.
What was a high point? What about a low point?
I don’t know if I’ve felt a low point, yet. You just learn so much when change smacks you in the face and you have to shake it off. I would say the high point is trying to figure it all out with such a great team — failing and winning together.
If Tispr was a movie production, what role would the design team play?
Probably the story boarders. We’re coming up with shots and helping to craft the vision of the director.
How do you see Tispr moving forward?
We still have a ways to go, but I see Tispr front and center when it comes to work or business management solutions. It’s not just about building tools, it’s about making an impact. We want to help people perceive work differently and support their needs, no matter how varied they are.