Skyler Logsdon is without a doubt the single most inspiring 20 Something I have interviewed yet. He embodies everything that a 20 Something stands for. He wants to be the best at what he does, whether that be disrupting the hair industry with an APP or tying his shoes in the morning. He gives everything he’s got, and then some.
I’m getting ahead of myself, here. Let me introduce to you a name you should certainly remember, Skyler Logsdon, Founder of MyKlipsPics, a mobile application for all your favorite haircuts. From a small town just outside LA called Ojai, Skyler transferred as a sophomore from Santa Barbra to Drexel in Philadelphia, PA, leaving an impressive football career behind him to start over on the other side of the country and switch his focus from sports to business. He got himself a full ride to Drexel Universities LeBow College of Business as an Entrepreneurship Major. That may have just been the spark that started a fire.
“I’ve never been believed in, and invested in, as much as this University has believed and invested in me. I would have never applied here if it wasn’t for my high school best friend accepting a full scholarship to play tennis here. Crazy how life works. I’m really thankful I followed my heart and instincts, took a risk, and put my faith in God that he had a plan for me. Coming to Drexel University was the best decision I’ve made in my life thus far.”
But of course moving away from everything you know and are used to back home had to be hard, even in the little things. Like the fact that Skyler had his solid “go-to” hair stylist back in Santa Barbara, and he had to leave her with no real idea how to get the same cut in a new city.
“I never knew that hair was a big deal until I left my hair stylist. When I first moved here I really struggled, I would go pay $25 for a butch job, and just end up wearing a beanie or a hat until the next one. It sucked trying to find a good spot and wasting money at the same time . This happened for about two years, and every time, I was an unsatisfied customer, and wouldn’t return.
So when I went home over winter break last year and got a haircut from my hair stylist in Santa Barbra and I had that AHAA moment, and I decided to take a photo of my haircut, and take it to the next stylist I go to in Philly! That gave me the initial idea of creating an app, that would allow me to save a front, back, side, side of all my haircuts, with notes that tells the stylist how to replicate the cut. (For example: A 2-3 fade and thinned up at the top, squared off the back). I then decided to add a social media sharing capability where I could share my haircut with friends, and also save the barber/stylist information. I felt this would be a great product for the clients, and also the stylist because it would improve their business operations, and warrant themselves happy customers which result in return customers. If you are happy with your haircut, you are likely to return. In stead of walking into a salon or barbershop and having to try and explain your desired haircut, you now can walk in and say DO THIS!”
Skyler’s APP is attempting to make those disappointing haircuts a thing of the past with selfies. 4 images of the front, back, and sides of your haircut build a 2x2 collage. Simple but effective, and that’s what makes it brilliant.
On February 19th 2014, Skyler hit “send” to Apple and MyKlipsPics was launched. And in a big way.
Check out the VIDEO HERE!
He’s been written about in Technical.ly Philly, Philly Mag, Men’s Fashion Magazine in London, New-Startups in Toronto and more. Take a look at that date. It has been LESS than 2 months since launch and Skyler is seeing some serious press straight out of the gate. You’ll see how in just a bit.
First I wanted to know: How has this product grown and changed from your original vision?
“Originally I wanted to create a Barbershop management APP. I felt like those businesses were still stuck in the old days tracking revenue on pen and paper, using a physical calendar, etc. I was originally making an app for them to track revenue, utilize analytics, save client photos to build portfolios, etc. I brought on a developer and we started coding, but something just wasn’t working. When you don’t know coding, you just trust that person you’ve hired because to you those terms are esoteric. But six weeks went by and he had little to nothing accomplished. I decided to start over and go a different direction with Nick Pirollo, a Drexel alum who had developed and co-founded a scholarship finding app called Scholly. In 2 weeks, it was done. He created a simple but effective app that allowed for 2 pages, an upload for the cut and a viewing page, paired with sharing capabilities. “
In my opinion, the speed at which a professional can turn their product around speaks volumes. Pirollo did just that, but there was still a downside.
“The app was there so quick, but I still had tons more legwork to do before I could officially launch. I had to register as an LLC. That paperwork took 2 weeks. Then registering the status of my company’s standing with the government. Another 21 days. It was killing me I had this great APP but there was so much crap I still had to do. “
And here it comes. The big secret. THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
He used that time wisely. Very wisely.
While Skyler was waiting for paperwork to process, he started reaching out to blogs, fashion magazines, etc. to build the hype and get the word out BEFORE launch day. So when February 19th rolled around, on THAT DAY there was already content popping up to get IMMEDIATE coverage. He had those leads brewing for weeks before launch day.
He built anticipation. “Hey guys, a couple more days! We are almost ready!” speaks volumes louder than silence. Or worse, expecting the world to notice.
“Just never expect anything. People make the mistake of WAITING for press to find them. No, reach out to them and create your own wave.”
“There’s always going to be a wave around me because I am always going to create one.”
I put in the time and effort, searching for media outlets who’s subscribers/ viewers are my target market. I would reach out to them, follow-up once, twice, sometimes three times, and eventually, they would cover my launch… I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that if you hang around the barbershop long enough, you’re going to get your haircut! That applies in business as well.”
As with anything great, a smooth road is impossible: What are some roadblocks you have run into?
Getting people to sign on more than once a month, or less depending on how often they get their hair cut. I have to get creative in finding ways to get people to visit my APP more than once a month. That being said, it’s also an APP you never delete. I mean, that’s my haircut in there. If I travel to Spain I may not speak Spanish but I can get my cut there. Why delete it?”
Some solutions? Skyler is working on teaming up with salons and hair schools that will offer incentives for their clients to use the app. They are also working on an update to include a social inspired tab, similar to Instagram, where you can scroll through and see other users’ cuts.
“It’s a selfish persons app.”
“I mean, as long as it helps you get your hair cut, there’s no reason for you to tell your buddy about this app or for them to see it. I’m running into that problem where it’s not growing organically from the client, unless they share it via social media. “
But recently, Skyler met with someone who knew exactly what that problem looked like. Except take that frustration and multiply it by 10 years. Philip Inghelbrecht, Founder of Shazam.
You see, Skyler had the chance to come face to face with Philip and many other influential figures during his visit Silicon Valley with the newly launched Close School of Entrepreneurship, the first ever stand alone school for entrepreneurs, opened by Drexel just this year. It has never been done before where Entrepreneurship is the entire school, so as an entrepreneurship major about to graduate from LeBow, Skyler has been working closely with the 29 freshman students and administrators in shaping the curriculum of the future. He has been giving valuable input in things he believes students within The Close School should take, such as a basic graphic design course, and entry level coding classes, so non-tech founders know the terminology at the very least.
Skyler was invited to Silicon Valley as a mentor to the 29 Freshman students that the Close School took on a fully coordinated Silicon Valley innovation trip. It was during this time that Skyler found himself listening to the creator of Shazam at a Silicon Valley founders panel discussion. As soon as the panel discussion concluded, Skyler grabbed him and took a walk about the complex, chatting about some of the “off the air” information behind what it takes to launch an APP, and a selfish person’s APP at that. Skyler learned that Shazam was launched back in 1998. Great product, terrible timing.
Launching a great product, and being flatlined for YEARS, has to be a terrible feeling. Think about the personal aspect of it. You could feel like a failing entrepreneur when you look at your downloads every single day for a decade, and see that the only downloads you have, is your family and friends. There has to be some serious fear in this industry. But the confidence and belief in your product has to surpass the fear, if you ever want to succeed as an entrepreneur.
“I see entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. You can apply it to every aspect of your life. From dating, networking, hell, even getting a cab.”
"You need to find creative ways to do things and stand out in any way possible. How can I be different from the guy next to me’s thumb to get the next cab?"
“The target can be good, but it’s all about the aim.”
“Since I walked away from football, a lot has changed for me. I am picking and choosing what I devote my time to. Our generation has lost the skill of obtaining relevant knowledge, knowledge that is going to pay for you. Knowing which Kardashian girl is having relationship issues isn’t going to get you anywhere in life, but maybe reading a great book or the cover story of the wall street journal will. Information is not knowledge. “
And here’s why Skyler made such an impression on me. He sees the world in how can he better it.
“ One of my favorite things to do is to talk and observe successful people. I worked at a 5 diamond resort every summer in high school, and being able to observe and pick the brains of successful people in an appropriate manner has been the greatest lesson I was able to learn at a young age. I learned to ask great questions. The most powerful life lesson’s or business secrests I have ever received didn’t come from reading a book, they came from one-on-one conversations with people. I always advise young professionals who are looking to build their network, to be curious, be humble, and stop talking about yourself. Don’t waste your time talking about yourself. Ask as many questions as you can. Learn from others. Learn through their successes and failures as well as your own. And ask those questions that no one else will. That’s how you will never be forgotten. As an entrepreneur, I do the same thing, by observing the market as a whole. I am always looking for product innovation or process innovation that can improve the things that we do. “
Last week, Skyler walked into the room with a silent aura that I couldn’t avoid. He was quiet, but not timid. He was contemplative. You could tell there was something different about him. He saw the world through his own lens. A lens that only a few forward thinkers and innovators have, and you could easily tell, he has that lens. HE LOOKS AT THE WORLD AS IT COULD BE. HOW IT SHOULD BE. HOW IT WILL BE ONE DAY. Take the time to look at what you have and switch gears. Look at those resources not in respect to what they do, but rather how can we makes those resources work for us in a new way.