Kevin Gibbon

Kevin Gibbon

CEO & Cofounder of Shyp

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON October 22, 2015

Discussion

Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
Hey, Im Kevin Gibbon, founder and CEO of Shyp. Ask me anything!
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
@kevingibbon thanks for joining us today! I'm a huge fan of Shyp and a secret logistics nerd. 🙊What inspired you to take on such an unsexy business? And when/how did you decide to make the brand so approachable and whimsical? Was that conscious or did it just happen?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@corleyh Hi, Corley! Once upon a time I was an eBay Power Seller. I was selling so much that I was even earning in the six figures doing it. The packing and shipping component was way to burdensome to continue though, so I ultimately shut down and thought to myself... shipping should be as easy as taking a photo of something and entering a destination. Thus, here we are!
Hang Zhao
Hang Zhao@sgzhaohang
Hi Kevin, I'm interested to know how you guys attracted the first few bunch of users to Shyp, any hacks you did?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@sgzhaohang Good question! Facebook ads. :)
Russ Frushtick
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
@kevingibbon What will revolutionize the shipping industry in the next 10 years?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
Pénélope Romand-Monnier
Pénélope Romand-Monnier@penelope_rm · Associate @Hardware Club
Hello Kevin! I'm a huge fan of Shyp, I admire the fact you chose to integrate your delivery teams as employees (bold but best strategic decision I believe). I have already done a 6-month internship in a tech startup in SF. I'd really love to join your team as an intern, would you consider a spontaneous application?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
Bárbara Costa
Bárbara Costa@bmartinscosta
Two more questions: 1) What do you think of the Universal Basic Income idea? Are you a #basicincome advocate? What do you think could help the #basicincome movement? 2) What do you think about bitcoin? Do you plan to integrate bitcoin with your business?
JB
JB@barkerja_ · Developer, ChapterSpot
Do you see Shyp ever moving beyond the larger metropolitan areas and into more rural "Middle America" locations?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@barkerja_ Of course! It's just about making the unit economics work. This is definitely something we'll solve.
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
Thanks for joining this, everyone! I enjoyed answering your questions. Don't forget to claim your username! I am running a fun contest - the first 100 people to submit their Shyp username in this form will get a Shyp branded Swell water bottle: https://teamshyp.typeform.com/to...
Ed S
Ed S@esark33 · Tech & Design, Huson Media
@kevingibbon That's awesome. Will I get a confirmation email if I'm one of the 100? Really want one
Joshua A. Brueckner
Joshua A. Brueckner@jabrueckner · Founder & CEO, Air Tailor
Hi Kevin, thanks for being here! Does Shyp have any plans to offer a more robust solution for ecommerce businesses? For example, instead of having to manually go through the app and submit information (image, weight, sending address, etc.) for each order, it pulls it from Shopify, let's say, and at the click of a fulfill button, Shyp will arrive. Wynd offers a service like this, but it's a bit pricey and dicey.
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@jabrueckner Absolutely! We are really focused on the consumer piece right now and we continue to chip away new barriers and points of friction to remove (such as today, eliminating the need for an address). The next big pain point we've got our eyes on? Businesses. The current experience is not optimized for high volume sellers, but that will change.
Divraj
Divraj@divraj · divraj.com
@kevingibbon shyp clones are popping up everywhere , do you intend to partner / provide them with tech like boxbee does for on-demand storage ?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@divraj We're hyper focused on what we're building at Shyp. The idea for a company like Shyp is simple, but what we have created on the back-end is extremely complicated, difficult to execute and bring to great scale. We don't get too distracted by clones.
Yoshi
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Freerance Engineer
Hi Kevin! I'm Japanese. 1 : �I wanna make like Shyp for 2020 Olympics. So I wanna make alliance Fedex Japan or Sagawa logistics and so on. How can you make alliance with FedEx , DHL ,UPS and so on? 2 : By the way , are you planning to have for 2020 Olympics?
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi @kevingibbon thanks so much for joining us today. I would love to hear how the AngelList syndicate ran by @tferriss came about? What value add do you think celebrities bring that VCs maybe do not? Would love to have you on @twentyminutevc and discuss further with you!
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@harrystebbings Our syndicate with Tim has been tremendously successful and helpful, particularly during our early days when we didn't have much traction. Someone like Tim brings a lot more experience that you don't get from a traditional VC. Tim is of course very well known, but he's also run very successful businesses and scaled them, largely on his own, from nothing into something. That kind of insight is very helpful for a young startup.
Sam Parr
Sam Parr@thesamparr · Roommates
@kevingibbon It looks like the people who you started Shyp with are no longer there. What causes that type of fight and how do you deal with it?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@thesamparr Good question. There's a natural life cycle that takes place at startups - individuals grow and change, as does the company. It's important to be honest with yourself and the needs of the business. Some people are made to be at a startup in its earliest of stages, and when it reaches a certain scale, it's time to move on - often, to another early stage startup. I'm extremely thankful for everyone who has helped build Shyp, whether they still work here or not.
Alex Ye
Alex Ye@yerokh1n · Growth Hacker and Digital Marketer
@kevingibbon What is your favourite automation everyday hacks that make your live easier?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@yerokh1n Like everyone else, I am obsessed with Slack, as is the rest of my team. I am also a big user of the Notes function on my iPhone - any time I have an idea, or remember something I need to do, I jot it down there. A lot of productivity apps out there are too complex, with too many features that in the end, distract you.
Alex Ye
Alex Ye@yerokh1n · Growth Hacker and Digital Marketer
@kevingibbon @yerokh1n any special notes organisation rules? Thanks by the way for the answer!
Yoshi
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Freerance Engineer
Hi Kevin! Last question!! What do you think of TPP? 95% tariff is off from now on so I think American is eager to aim for cross-border business more to Japanese. Especially rice and beef. So Japanese firmers are lament at this problem.
ryan kulp
ryan kulp@ryanckulp · retired
@kevingibbon I just used Shyp to move from NYC to San Francisco. Phew! Question-- when does Shyp stop relying on the Fedex's of the world and get their own trucks? We all see the writing on the wall. :)
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ryanckulp Right now, we are focused on the first mile of shipping - we pick up the items at your home and office and guarantee they'll be expertly packed and shipped to your preferred destination at the most affordable rate. Our overall goal goes far beyond that, so do we want to move into the last mile and execute delivery? Of course. But, focus is extremely important. So for now, we're going to continue what we're doing and make it as flawless as possible.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hey Kevin! Thanks for joining us today. How did you first start out with Shyp? What were the biggest initial hurdles to get things off the ground?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ems_hodge Shyp started in a garage via a Google form that I put Facebook ads behind. We executed fulfillment with a very small team. A great deal of interest came in, so we knew we were onto something, and started building an actual product. The experience that our customers enjoy is very simple, but what happens on the back end to create that, is very complex.
Zev Lapin
Zev Lapin@bbzeven · Cofounder, Parachute.co
Have you spoken to players like FedEx or UPS? Would these companies be potential acquirers or are they more likely to "pull an Amazon" and try to do this on their own?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@bbzeven We work very closely with the carriers, we consider them partners. We provide a new form of efficiency for them; they're able to pick up thousands of shipments at our warehouses that they otherwise would have had to pick up individually. We thereby save them money, and they return that in the form of volume discounts, which helps our margins and allows to offer such affordable rates to our customers. Our ambitions for Shyp are much larger than an acquisition, though.
Zev Lapin
Zev Lapin@bbzeven · Cofounder, Parachute.co
@kevingibbon but could they not potentially aggregate these packages on their own? What is stopping them from adopting your model and integrating it into theirs?
Alvaro Aranibar
Alvaro Aranibar@al_aranibar
when are you expanding to Texas?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@al_aranibar Starting today, you can interact with Shyp as a recipient no matter where you are! Download the app and create a username and tell your friends in our operational cities (SF, LA, CHI, NYC, MIA) to send you things through the app. We of course plan to expand Shyp across North America and internationally. Definitely sign up here to be notified when we're headed your way: https://www.shyp.com/cities
Bárbara Costa
Bárbara Costa@bmartinscosta
I developed a model for an international post code system using meter cubes, numbered, using 22 digits. The numbering of the cubes, their alignment, etc., are explained in detail at: http://earth-cubic-spacetimestam... Do you think you could be interested in this simple system, featuring it in on your business site, in order to attract some extra attention to your business/site? I would love someone got interested in this proposal and wanted to help making it popular. I see a lot of potential for this new geolocation system (using meter cubes) idea. What do you think?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@bmartinscosta I love thinking about ways to rethink logistics, but working within the current systems is really important and allows you to move a lot faster - versus theorizing things you could do in the future. We need to stay focused on what we're building now, before reshaping the next wave of logistics. In time... :)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Who would be your four fantasy dinner party guests (dead or alive) and why?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ems_hodge Trevor Linden, an ex-Canucks player; I'm a massive hockey fan. Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K., the two funniest men to ever live. Steve Jobs, because, of course.
Niki Agrawal
Niki Agrawal@10nikitaa · Founder + product lead, Proof Inc
Hi Kevin, thanks for your time here. How did you make initial customers into repeat customers?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@10nikitaa First, solve a big problem. Secondly, solve it with a product that people love.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@kevingibbon Shyp is transformational for anyone whose every used it within a month of visiting the post office -- how quickly do you plan on spreading that joy in more major U.S. cities, and abroad? :)
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@nivo0o0 We want Shyp to be everywhere, and it will be. But first, we need to make sure we are doing it in a way that's sustainable and we don't jeopardize the quality of the experience in cities we operate in. Scaling too quickly is a mistake many companies make. But, be sure to sign up so you are notified when we launch in your city (if we aren't there yet): https://www.shyp.com/cities
Andrew T. Ochieng
Andrew T. Ochieng@billionato · Interested in Products
Hi Kevin. Shyp seems like an amazing product (sadly I haven't used it yet because it's not available in Erie, PA). As an undergrad is there anyway I can get involved with Shyp like summer internships and so on?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@billionato Keep your eyes here, Andrew: https://www.shyp.com/careers
Dylan Smith
Dylan Smith@dielawn714 · Founder
@kevingibbon How long did it take shyp to get out of beta phase and ship its first profitable order?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@dielawn714 We stayed in beta for four months in San Francisco. Only when we were confident that we could scale the same incredible experience our early users had become accustomed to did we open it up to more customers. Our beta period has shortened in each new city that we launch in - Chicago, for example, was only in beta for 3 weeks, thanks in large part to our amazing operations team.
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
What one piece of advice would you give to anyone just starting out their own business from scratch?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ems_hodge First and most important - be original. Secondly, make sure that you are solving and real, significant problem - you and your employees will need passion in your blood to make a company work. Don't start a business for the sake of starting a business. If you're whiteboarding business ideas out of thin air, you'd probably do better at someone else's company to learn a lot more about yourself and the type of problems you want to solve.
gayathri
gayathri@ga_ya_thri
Hi Kevin, What would you consider to be the biggest challenges for Shyp (if any) in the next few years?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ga_ya_thri Scaling our operations to many, many more cities and countries is going to be a big challenge, but one we're excited about!
Erik Torenberg
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Kevin! Thanks for joining. How would you describe your hiring philosophy?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@eriktorenberg At Shyp, we hire for the roles we actually need now. We do not seek out people who are smart and find a place for them to fit. Many high growth companies focus too much on headcount for the sake of headcount, rather than on output. Output is based on the quality of your team - so, adding 10-20 more engineers is not necessarily going to make you move faster. Instead, we focus on constantly raising the bar of our existing team, and adding new folks as we need them. I also could not care less about what school someone went to; what matters is what they learned. It's important to be smart, but more important is how your background maps to our needs and if you are a culture fit. Shyp's culture is very unique - we have some of the smartest people in the world working here, but everyone is humble and empathetic.
Zach Kahn
Zach Kahn@zkahn94 · Lead Podcast Marketing @ Vox Media
Hey Kevin, thanks for joining us. What are some factors that you and your team consider when you're looking to enter a new market, like Chicago or Miami? And once you've thoroughly assessed those markets, how / when do you decide to move? Related: when are you coming to Washington, DC? I need you.
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@zkahn94 First, we look at where we already have a base of interested consumers - people who have requested us to come to their city; people like you. Secondly, at our stage, it's important the new cities we enter have a base of tech enthusiasts and early adopters who aren't just unafraid to try new things, but they love to. With today's new features around Shyp for Recipients, we're super excited to have even more data at our disposal to tell us where to launch next.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hi Kevin, What motivated rebranding Shyp?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@neeeharika the rebrand is all about having our brand reflect the sophisticated logistics engine that we've built to power Shyp. The brand that existed until this morning was something we didn't spend a tremendous amount of time on. You can read a post from our head of marketing about the rebrand, which goes into great detail, here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/w...
Alan Cassinelli
Alan Cassinelli@alancassinelli · Director of Marketing at Need/Want
How quickly do you plan on expanding to more cities? Will you be serving the top 25 markets within a year? two years?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@alancassinelli We'll expand as quickly as we can, without jeopardizing the quality of our service. For a company like Shyp, maintaining quality is way more important than the number of cities we're in.
Ed S
Ed S@esark33 · Tech & Design, Huson Media
Will Shyp be able to sustain only charging $5? How do you make a profit - using the difference in retail rates vs. commercial?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@esark33 The $5 is nothing more than a convenience fee to help us cover the labor of picking up your item and getting it packed and shipped. Our revenue structure is different - we get massive volume discounts from the carriers we partner with (UPS, USPS, FedEx, etc.), and charge our customers the retail rate. We then make the delta.
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Kevin, your collabaration with Goodwill to make donating easy was great. Do you think we will see more of such initiatives from Shyp?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@neeeharika Absolutely. We will always release product features, partnerships, and integrations that make our customers lives easier.
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Jacqueline von Tesmar@jacqvon · Community at Product Hunt ⚡️
Shyp is a life changing service! Thank you! What's the biggest thing you changed your mind about in the last year?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@jacqvon When we first began the exercise of rebranding, I was skeptical. I liked what we had built, despite how quickly we put it together. Where we're at now, though, is 100 times better. The value of a service's brand while building and scaling is extremely important.
Ed S
Ed S@esark33 · Tech & Design, Huson Media
How long until you're acquired by eBay? :)
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@esark33 We are building this company for the long-term. Our focus right now is on quality and building something really impactful. We aren't looking for an acquisition .
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Who are some of your biggest mentors?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ems_hodge Kim Scott, our incredible board of directors (John Doerr and Scott Stanford) and Hunter Walk. I'm thankful to be connected with such brilliant leaders. But, surrounding yourself with peer mentors is very important as well - for me, it's other CEOs and executives who either are or already have built enormous businesses. Never underestimate the power of a mentor with the same experience as you.
Hunter Walk
Hunter Walk@hunterwalk · Partner, Homebrew
@kevingibbon @ems_hodge right back atcha' Kev
gayathri
gayathri@ga_ya_thri
Hi Kevin, Do you listen to any podcasts? If so which are your favorites?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@ga_ya_thri I am obsessed with the Tim Ferriss podcast. I've also really enjoyed the podcasts from Product Hunt - I'm also waiting for them to release mine! :)
neeharika sinha
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Kevin, Did you get some pushback when you first came up with this idea? Did you have any background in this industry before you created Shyp?
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
@neeeharika Yes! Shipping is tremendously complex and so the idea wasn't worth anything without execution. That's why I set out to prove that this was something people wanted before building anything robust. My background is in engineering, but beyond that, I was an eBay Power Seller 10 years ago, where I learned first hand how terrible the shipping experience was for consumers (before Shyp).
Kevin Gibbon
Kevin Gibbon@kevingibbon · CEO & Cofounder of Shyp
I've got about 5 minutes left. Any questions about today's new product features? http://blog.shyp.com/introducing...
Tobi Rohmann
Tobi Rohmann@toomaime · Founder Teacherjobs.io
Any plans to go international soon?
gregoryfocker
gregoryfocker@gregspaghetti
Hi Kevin! Can you explain your new city roll-out strategy? Are you basing your decisions on which new cities to go into based off customers demand or just infrastructure/size of a city and whether or not the logistics make sense at the time. I was craving your service last week after I had shipped some things on eBay. I'm in TX by the way.