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The New "Kiwi Dream"



Nigel Lewis – Director
28 August 2006

The New “Kiwi Dream”.

The success and consequent sale of Trade Me for 700 million dollars has given birth to a New “Kiwi Dream”. In a move reminiscent of Silicon Valley pre the bubble bursting, and in true Kiwi DIY fashion, budding online entrepreneurs are scrambling to launch “The Next Big Thing” – The Next Trade Me!

With boots that big to fill you’d be surprised to say the least if someone was crazy enough to even mention that they think their fledgling Start Up could one day top the $700 million dollar sales figure reached by Trade Me. But that’s exactly the claim that one Auckland based Start Up, or should I say Up Start is making.

Operating from dingy, over crowded offices in East Tamaki a team of programmers toil away over lines of code night & day, frantically preparing for the October launch of what has become there baby, a new online service lovingly named “Splurf”. In another room, the size of an average kitchen, a group of 20 sales people clamber around 42inch TV screen and DVD player ready to receive there daily sales Pep session from co-founder Patrick McPhee. “We call this the hour of power”, says McPhee “we’d like to spend longer with our sales guys but we have to limit these sessions to an hour because this room is also our office”, referring to the space that he and Splurf Co-Founder Nigel Lewis share.

“We get them in here in the morning, get them revved up, and then we’re into it”. Their morning meetings are filled with all the hype and hoopla of a Tony Robbins seminar, sales mantra’s like the Customer is King & we’re changing the way that Kiwi’s do business bounce off the walls of the make shift meeting room, however in this instance they actually believe it. “Our vision is to become the most Customer Centric online service in the world,” says Nigel Lewis, and if their sales figures are anything to go by that vision is starting to catch on. “We’re signing up hundreds of businesses a week, including some very large corporate organisations and we haven’t even gone live yet, ” says Lewis “it’s the businesses that are calling us the next Trade Me, we’re not ones to believe our own press but it’s definitely good for team morale”. “And Team Morale is definitely one thing that’s not lacking around here”, adds Lewis “most of the team have adopted Splurf names, I’m Papa Splurf, that funny looking fellow over there, he’s Happy Splurf, the muscular bloke is Hefty Splurf, and that young lady over there is Splurfette”. “We even have one guy who apparently turned down the job to run Trade Me Motors while Trade Me was still in it’s infancy, we call him, Yeah Right Splurf”.

However optimistic the team at Splurf may be the fact remains that they have definitely got a long way to go before they reach the lofty heights attained by Trade Me. “We’re definitely not even in the same league as Trade Me, but we do reckon we can give some of the big boys a scare, companies like the Yellow Pages & Ferrit are on the top of that list”, says Lewis “it’s amazing how a company with millions of dollars like Ferrit can get it so wrong”.

As if things weren’t frantic enough around Splurf HQ, the Splurf founders have decided that they’re going to make a real TV documentary that follows them on there journey to reach the New Kiwi Dream. “We’ve invested all we have into this project and we’re either going to win big or lose it all, either way, it’ll make great TV”, says McPhee “we’re currently in talks with a few production companies and broadcasters to try and pull a deal together, so stay tuned”.

So, just what is Splurf, what does it do, and why are people touting it as the Next Big Thing, to find out visit


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