Startup Weekend is a phenomenon specific to the technology ecosystem, propagating the notion that a viable business can be launched in a matter of hours and days. In no other industry does this idea of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants planning exist. And though it is a bit uncanny, in this specific rubric, it often works. Brazilian startup Tableshare is on the path to becoming yet another case study showing just that.
Tableshare is an online platform for the fostering of relationships via food. The Tableshare team recognized the growing food trend on social networks (we’ve all been guilty of tweeting a picture of a meal at some point) and is now looking to capitalize on it, creating a website for all things food.
Through Tableshare, users can list, find, search and even order meals created by professional chefs, foodies and hobbyists, the objective being to democratize personal recipes as well as the gastronomical experience as a whole. Tableshare seeks to emulate the tastes, smells, colors, cultures and relationships surrounding food in the real world on the web.
Tableshare co-founder and CEO Ricardo Tadeu got in touch to tell us a bit more about the budding company. His passion for and dedication to the startup are undeniable, and his comments are telling of the processes and challenges involved in getting a business off the ground once the original idea is born.
Emily Stewart: Tableshare is largely a product of successful participation in events like Startup Weekend and Startup Farm. Would you describe your experiences there and outline how these events helped to shape Tableshare?
Ricardo Tadeu: Tableshare was born during the last Startup Weekend São Paulo. It was really a brand new idea, and the event was important in that it allowed us to test some of the assumptions around the problem to solve – how to give users a way to share food experiences. We have also participated in events like Startup Farm and Like a Boss (a reality show during the last Campus Party São Paulo). The most important thing that occurred during these events was the identification and entrance of new partners into Tableshare crew. We were in need of a developer and a designer to turn the idea into a reality. It’s working.
ES: Where did the product concept come from, and how has it evolved?
RT: We believe food is much more than sharing pictures and comments on social platforms. When we talk about food, we are talking about a real experience. We are talking about tastes, smells, colors, about cultural interpretations and a social moment. There is only a way to do that: putting people in touch for a real experience.
As I’ve said, we had some problems with consolidating our team. I have a business background, and Smice, Tableshare’s other co-founder, has a solid finances education. Now, with a complete team, we are working hard and changing our platform quickly, day after day, to find our product fit.
ES: What is your MVP? What phase is Tableshare currently in?
RT: Our MVP is a website where users – professionals, foodies, or any amateur – can create a kind of food portfolio with the following data: user background, food pictures and basic information about their dishes. We are also implementing a way for users start relationships through their social graphs, utilizing information from their social network presences and activities.
Prior to this plan, we offered a simple way for anyone to start an event by just inputting a date, number of attendees permitted, and style of cuisine. It was a great way to find people who want to cook, because we needed to find these individuals with the ability to deliver an experience to our users. However, our new approach will be different. We are now looking to construct a database with a wide range of dishes, users and cultural variations. With this second phase, people will be able to find a good dish of their own.
ES: What are your plans for the future development of Tableshare?
RT: Our biggest challenge now is to find the product/market fit. We are sure that Tableshare can be a new way for people to relate around food. And this isn’t an idea meant to stay in Brazil only – we are already working to reach a global market. I am very excited about all of the opportunities surrounding us.
Tableshare is currently in private beta and expects to receive about 500 users next month due to partnerships established with culinary schools. It will soon be launching an English language version of the site and have set a target goal of 5,000 users within the next six months.
The platform serves as a prime example of the exhaustive search for the answer to the dogging question most new startups face: What’s next? Based on a solid idea, Tableshare is a case study of the pivoting and evolving necessary to make it in the technology startup world.