Fresh back from his whirl-wind, Servcorp funded overseas jaunt, I caught up with Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin (aka Sebastien International) to find out how his entrepreneurial adventures panned out. He offered to provide a video.
I said (kind of jockingly), ‘Only if it’s an exclusive.’ Well, he stuck his head into what I can only guess was the ‘outtake files’ and provided this rambling description of his journey, filmed in New York, on day five.
It’s a bit boring without the back-story, to be honest. This is because what this video doesn’t explain is the evolution of Sebastien’s business concept throughout the trip.
So, I’ve left the video to last.
The TOMS Shoes Model
If you are new to the adventures of Sebastien, the international traveler was recently hand-selected by serviced office company Servcorp to take part in online marketing campaign that will follow his plans to create the world’s smallest multinational.
Servcorp funded the 10-day international trip, to film Sebastien create a business from scratch.
Interestingly, Sebastien commenced his travels with the idea of creating an international ‘endorsement’ brand, like a ‘heart-tick’, but for ethical businesses. The plan was to provide official endorsement to companies that are willing to apply the TOM Shoes model.
If you don’t know what that means, with every pair of shoes sold, TOMS donates another new pair of shoes to a child in need.
Sebastien’s plan was to present that model to the likes of Donald Trump and convince him to donate a portable shelter every time he builds a condo (for placement in areas struck by natural disasters). And convince Richard Branson to donate a flight to Doctors Without Borders every time a First Class ticket is sold.
But like any entrepreneurial adventure, the universe had different ideas. Before Sebastien had even departed his first foreign continent, the business model had moved onto… wait for it… condoms.
Condoms and Resellers
When talking about the one-for-one model, Sebastien made reference to condoms as an example, in one of his earlier conversations, in the nation of Japan. The business-contact was intrigued and an introduction to one of Japan’s most popular bloggers ensued.
This led to a meeting with a trademark attorney and then a UK pharmaceuticals distributor.
By the time Sebastien had landed in the UK, he’d found himself in the international condom business, with an international network of resellers and distributors to meet, all excited about the ethical (and marketing) implications of a one-for-one condom brand.
To get the full story, I suggest that you visit the official site, here.
However, what’s interesting about this tale is the often misunderstood truth that business is all about change. And those who succeed and the ones who realise… shift happens.
Now here’s the video. (Happy Friday Anthillians.)