Interview with Co-Founder and CEO of Stasher, Jacob Wedderburn-Day
Jacob is the CEO and co-founder of Stasher, a platform that is redefining the way businesses value space. Stasher unites customers who need temporary city storage with businesses that want to monetise their underused space. Already live in over 250 cities across 6/7 continents (it will be a while before they launch Antarctica), Stasher has made its name as the platform that helps tourists worldwide safely store their luggage.
Jacob graduated from Keble College, Oxford in 2015, along with roommate and co-founder Anthony Collias. Stasher was born the summer they graduated. Jacob loves sports, in particular, football, and of course travelling.
1. What is Stasher?
Stasher helps people find luggage storage wherever they travel. It’s a platform where people can find shops and hotels who can store their bags securely and free them up to enjoy their days. Booking is online and instant and we work with thousands of shops and hotels in hundreds of cities worldwide.
2. How did you come up with the idea of Stasher?
Ant and I were room-mates at University. We always liked the idea of starting our own business, but Stasher came to us kind of by chance. Ant used to live centrally in London (between Euston & King’s Cross, two of the busiest stations) – so he often had people asking to leave stuff at his flat. One day we joked we should charge people for it… and had this lightbulb moment where we thought we could build a platform that was like Airbnb for storage!
3. What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
The biggest obstacle is simply getting started. We spent a couple of months thinking about this before we decided to just make a website and do it. The original idea was a bit different as it was all around storage in people’s homes. The first listings were our two flats! When people started booking, we got customers coming literally to our front doors, so it was great for getting feedback. Through this we learned that it was really short-term storage that people were looking for – there weren’t many lockers left and they were so expensive, we could charge half the price.
Running a business is full of challenges – and especially considering we’ve not really worked anywhere else seriously before Stasher – I mean, I was still studying when we founded it. But I’ve always felt the best way to learn is by doing. So every challenge we come up against is a great learning opportunity and it’s been an awesome experience.
4. What makes you different from your competitors?
We’ve always been crystal clear on our USPs and I think that’s something that our team really channel every day.
First, we want to be the most trusted service on the market. People are nervous enough about trusting companies with their personal data, let alone their personal property! So trust is mission-critical and everything we do as a company, we put customer trust first.
Compared to lockers – and other platforms that have copied our model – we are normally more affordable. We try to have the best locations – like Premier Inns right by stations. We’ve also tried to design the best app experience – again, trust is key. There’s always work to be done and features to improve and build, but I’d say we’re on track to achieve that.
5. What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs?
I remember before I started Stasher, I always thought the key to success in business was to have a good idea. What I’ve come to realise is that the idea is the easy part. Once you start looking at the world through an entrepreneurial lens, you realise that all businesses exist to solve problems for people. If you can solve a problem faster, cheaper, or better than what’s out there already, then you have a viable business. It doesn’t have to be game-changing or original, but those things help.
The real challenge is in execution and like I said, you learn so much just by doing. It’s also so easy these days to build basic products online – people think you have to launch a perfect app straight away, but you can almost always start with a simple website to test your proposition. Get your first users, solve their problems. Once you’ve got a basic product and you’ve started to sell it, you’ll be in the flow of it
We would like to thank Jacob for speaking with us.
Jake Russell is the owner and founder of A Nibble of Business. Since its creation in 2015 it has been funded and operated solely by him. Jake is currently running the website along with being a student. View all posts by jakerussell