Outside your friend group, it’s not exactly a snap to discover and communicate with those who share similar passions, especially quirky ones like concrete furniture, duct tape art and disc golf. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a destination where you could select your unique passions, connect with people all over the world and seamlessly communicate with them via an intuitive social app?
Meet Pepo, the app that’s on a mission to connect people that share similar passions.
In 2016, Serial entrepreneur, Jason Goldberg, the master mind behind Fab, Hem and Jobster, recognized a problem while trying to find good avocado toast in Sydney. So random, right? In an interview at TechCrunch Disrupt, Jason elaborated on his aha moment:
“The idea for Pepo was derived from my own experience trying to pursue one of my passions: avocado toast. Last Christmas, my husband and I were walking around Sydney and we had a craving for avocado toast. We searched Google and weren’t satisfied with the static results. We posted a question on Facebook but our post got lost in the stream and didn’t reach anyone who was in-the-know. It hit me that it should be possible to instantly connect with and message with other avocado toast enthusiasts around the world, instantly, via a messaging platform that connects friends, friends of friends, people nearby, people with unique passions and expertise, indelible, always searchable — and that avocado toast was just one of gazillions of use cases for such a service.”
In the app, you can quickly scroll through a bunch of groups and request access. Before access is granted, you’ll be presented with some community rules, which has been put in place to improve the experience and deter self promoters and spammers. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been a member of the “Arsenal Daily News” group created by Peter Wood. Who the heck is Peter Wood? I have no idea, but I know he’s passionate about Arsenal, a football organization in the English Premier League. I now listen and collaborate during live Arsenal games via Pepo instead of following a hashtag on Twitter. The app is distraction free, more organized and feels like a community.
Q&A with Pepo Founder Jason Goldberg:
Why is it called Pepo?
Pepo connects you with people who share your passions. We wanted a short, friendly, easily-remembered name, that instantly makes you think about people connecting with people. We think Pepo is perfect.
Was it difficult to acquire the name Pepo?
We actually got quite lucky as Pepo was available on BrandBucket for a reasonable price. The entire transaction took less than 5 minutes. In the past I’ve been involved with some pretty complex, lengthy, and expensive domain transactions. Pepo was quite painless and relatively in-expensive for the brand we are hoping to build.
How important is a brand name?
I’m a big believer in short, easy to remember names that are related to the service/product you are building. If you can get all three of those (1) short, (2) memorable, and (3) brand relevant, that’s the jackpot in naming. There was a time when I thought that names didn’t matter — that you could name your company something like “purple frog” or whatever and simply succeed because you had a strong product. That can work, but it’s sorta like starting a race with an injury or one hand tied behind your back. It’s a much stronger position to come out of the gate with a great brand that speaks for the product.
How many potential names did you generate before picking Pepo?
We considered about 10 different names but really only Pepo made it to the final round.
What’s the best startup advice you’ve received?
The best advice I have ever received was: People will willingly do exceptional things with you because they want to, not because they have to. Invest your energy in your people — in motivating them, inspiring them, empowering them, learning from them, and bringing them along with you.
I’ve already started using the app to solve another intent- simply scrolling through groups to see what others are passionate about. I can’t think of a better way to recognize a new passion. Besides Pepo, what app, group or service do you use to connect with like-minded people? Comment below!
Thanks for reading Why is Pepo called Pepo?! #WhyitiscalledPepo
Adam Lang is the founder and editor of Rewind & Capture. He is passionate about creative marketing, design and brand etymology.