Advertising is expensive, m’kay? I should know—my work as a copywriter is largely around advertising businesses. That’s why when Miles Garvey told me about his idea to create a social advertising, or social referral, network I thought, “oh, cool!” and “shit!” at the same time. What could this mean for the future of small business advertising?

And he’s built it all in his after-work hours, which to me says he’s really serious.

In this podcast, Miles explains the platform a little more, including why he decided to create it.

You gotta want it, because if you don’t want it you won’t really do it.”—Miles Garvey, or rather his dad.

I’m fascinated by entrepreneurs, by people with the entrepreneurial mindset. Before a couple of years ago, I had met a few, but not many. And then all of a sudden they flooded into my life. As you may have noticed, most of my podcast guests could be considered entrepreneurs, or on the cusp of becoming entrepreneurs. They think for themselves and when they don’t like how something is done, they do something about it.

A few years ago (maybe four?) I met Miles in a startup we both worked for. He was in sales and I was in marketing. Once in a while, we’d meet up as a team. I recall going for buck-a-shuck oysters once with him and another co-worker and being blown away by all the ideas he had. We lost touch when I left the startup and when we reconnected at a workshop I was hosting about a year ago, he had started building Swapitti.

Swapitti is a peer-to-peer social referral network where you join groups of complementary businesses and exchange ads on your website. For example, as a copywriter I could share advertising space with a social media expert and a graphic designer. Someone starting a business or building a new website could easily find and hire all three of us.

There is no middleman. No ad agency or broker. The business idea is coming at the perfect time when other peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb, Lyft and even decentralized cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are gaining popularity.

This article isn’t meant to be an advertisement for Swapitti. Moreso, I think what Miles has done exemplifies what you can do when you find a problem and figure out a way to solve for more people than just yourself.

A lot of us complain. Hotels are too expensive, university is too expensive, I hate having to pay for car insurance when I only drive a few times a month. Some of us complain, and some of us do something about our complaints. We now have Airbnb (cheaper accommodations!), Udemy and (cheaper school!), and car-sharing services. While these platforms haven’t come without secondary effects, they’re good ideas that solve problems.

If you aren’t satisfied with something in your life and you think there’s a way to make it better while also making it better for other people…why not try to figure out if it could work? You usually don’t have to invest thousands of dollars to test an idea. And that idea could lead to something else. It could fail, but it could also succeed.

If you want to learn more about Swapitti, check out the platform online and follow them on Twitter.

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