Photo by Grainne Quinlan – www.grainnequinlan.com
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It’s been a busy 12 months for Ferris. The circular economy app has not only grown more than ten fold in the past year, they have a blossoming relationship with a number of local and city authorities, and they’ve managed to conclude 2022 securing their first revenue-generating brand partnerships. 2023 is looking promising to say the least.
We’ve heard a lot about the metrics, and the relationships that are ticking up so let’s focus on the two founders behind these early successes – Nick and Phil, and their relationship as both best mates and founders at Ferris.
They have written down their top 3 reasons of why not to go into business with your best mate:
1. People refer to you as ‘an old married couple’
“Yes it’s true we spend a LOT of time together”, says Nick. “Since quitting our full time jobs last year we’ve spent 2982 hours together, but who’s counting!”. Luckily even though the founders both have marketing and commercial backgrounds, they have very different skill sets and strengths – opposites attract right?!
Phil’s hails from marketing at national and international brands, to running a startup, and on to strategic partnerships at BT (British Telecom). “During my time in BT, I built a toolkit that allowed BT to partner of the world’s largest businesses (think Google, Amazon, Adobe, Oracle among others) to build a competitive advantage in some new spaces it was operating in, like adtech, data & AI. Much of that toolkit has been utilised in rolling out successful partnerships for Ferris with both government authorities and businesses alike. Excitingly we are now beginning to see these turn into tangible commercial opportunities.”
Nick has spent the last 10 years managing commercial and retention teams in top UK businesses. He has launched and optimised retention strategies leading to record low churn. Nick is utilising the same techniques for Ferris to maximise customer lifetime value. In particular, Nick’s 5 years spent at Sky optimising email, push notifications, SMS and gamification will keep customers engaged and regularly returning to the app.
2. You take holidays together, and talk shop
“We talk a lot about work, even on holiday. But it’s because we genuinely love it” Phil says. “It’s incredible to see first hand what Ferris can do for helping to reduce landfill, but also helping our neighbours during the cost of living crisis”.
And they’re not wrong. The UK has a major issue with waste – taking clothing alone, 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill every year. At the same time, 86% of people in the UK are concerned about their day-to-day living costs.
“It sounds cliche, but I love using our app!” says Phil. “I’ve had so many people tell me how much I’m helping them by giving things away I no longer need. The look on their faces alone make all the late nights totally worth it. We can’t wait to get even bigger this year and spread the word of Ferris and the good it can do.”
3. You copy each other’s phrases
Nick and Phil both grew up on farms, albeit in different countries – Nick in Somerset, and Phil in Southeast Ireland. “This has given us a real love for nature and the outdoors from an early age”. According to Nick, he now uses the word ‘grand’ in most sentences and swears that he heard Phil saying ‘lush’ once when describing a company report.
Nick and Phil met six years ago in the media world, where they worked together for a short spell. Their friendship really came to life after they had both moved on. “We discovered that we had a huge amount in common that we never had really explored in the office – in particular a love of backpacking, nature and all things sci-fi. We’ve shared dozens of hikes, a handful of backpacking trips and an embarrassingly high amount of sci-fi blockbusters together” says Nick.
According to Phil his love of nature started from a very early age: “Surfing and backpacking exposed me to loads of beautiful settings throughout my life. As well, my mum has always been miles ahead on sustainability so I was being exposed to a zero-waste lifestyle before I even knew the phrase existed!”
Nick’s interest in all things sustainability developed from school. “I have such a vivid memory about first learning about sustainability and our planet in primary school – since returning home that day (and forcing my family to recycle), I’ve been obsessed ever since! There is no place I’d rather be right now than working at Ferris, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store as we improve the app and expand our membership into 2023 and beyond.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Ferris, and Nick and Phil a little better. Ferris, the Zero Waste App, is a great opportunity to make the circular economy fun and rewarding. Check out the campaign page.