A few years ago, Duncan Gough co-founded a startup in San Francisco called GameLayers, and that made him realise how much he “enjoyed the responsibility of starting and running a company.” He says, “After working in London for a few years I was ready to make a move and start my own venture again.” Duncan wanted to move to another interesting problem.
Duncan then started Somewhere, “a place to share your work, find inspiration, and see how different people are working all over the world” in Berlin. Duncan had a “good team of young people” in Berlin. He says, “The city has a lot of different people who are passing through and looking to do interesting things. Plus, it’s inherent in Somewhere that we discover passionate people who we’d like to work with.” He adds, “Since moving to London we’re a much smaller core team, but we scale up and down depending on the demands of the business.”
Duncan felt that people didn’t know how to talk about what they do. CVs and job titles don’t really help in understanding what people are really working on. Somewhere aims to provide a platform for people to share what they are upto. “I became fascinated with the idea of digging into our work lives, because what we do all day is still hidden from view. After playing around with the idea of time-travelling game and then a documentary about the nature of work, Somewhere was born.” Duncan tells us. Somewhere believes that a great way to learn is to watch someone at work, to see how they got there and to hear from them on what they think is important. “It’s already clear that people want to do so” says Duncan.
Somewhere has a mission , which is to mean something to a lot of people. The biggest challenge for Somewhere so far has been to stay true to that ideal and ensuring that it doesn’t “run out of steam”. Duncan also says, “Starting a business is hard work, the problems you solved six months ago can come back as you scale up and grow. It’s a lot like spinning plates so maintaining a healthy lifestyle is hugely important.” Somewhere find its energy and motivation by watching people find them and share their thoughts and work.
The fact that there are plenty of competitors out there is “a sign of how broken and entrenched the recruitment process is.” Although there are many startups that are focussed on technical recruitment, very few engage with the wider community, “where all the digital disciplines are.” Duncan sees LinkedIn as a long term competitor.
Somewhere has an extensive reach. “We treat it like a wide ranging community. There are many, many different professions on Somewhere and you can really get a sense of how different people work already.” Duncan tells us. He adds, “I personally don’t think about how big Somewhere will be, I think about how we can grow without losing our culture and our values.” Currently Somewhere has users from London, Berlin and Copenhagen.”What works in Europe for sure works in the US, so we’ll start to be more visible in America this year.” Duncan says when asked about the expansion plans.
Somewhere is already making revenue. Realizing that people and companies “are desperate for better solutions”, Somewhere’s commercial model was built from day one. “There are multiple paths like recruitment, branding, engagement, internal communications.” Duncan says. The bigger problem for Somewhere is to choose which one to pursue at each stage of its growth.
Please visit https://www.somewhere.com for more information.