It’s no secret that rapidly progressing technology is completely changing the way we do so many things. Nowhere is this more true than in the music industry. With the advent of iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Pandora as well as a host of other music sharing platforms, artists now make little to nothing from their recordings. Instead, it’s all about the live performance. Enter Giggity, an online booking platform for independent performers and student groups. Giggity hopes to turn the music industry on its head once more by eliminating the hassle and fees associated with booking agents. Giggity is a DIY method for artists and performers to get more gigs, and keep more of the profits from those gigs.
Cody Breene ‘13, David Lederer ‘13, and James Barker ‘13 have always been passionate about music. Whether it’s a ticket to Bonnaroo, or a small jam-band in the backyard, they relish the opportunity to see live performances. Because the music industry has been turned upside down in the past decade and Cody, David, and James have always been enticed by the idea of owning their own business, the group spotted an opportunity, and thus Giggity was born. Steve Carey ’12, a former TIA participant with The Real Abroad, and a current TIA mentor, recommended Thought Into Action to the guys as a way to advance their idea. They applied, were accepted, and have spent the past semester working on taking their idea from just a thought into a real, live business opportunity. They will continue working this semester on refining the idea and taking it to the next level.
When asked how TIA has helped the group, Cody said, “TIA has been excellent in holding us accountable for turning our idea into a reality. It’s not enough to talk about your ideas; the TIA institute is about delivering tangible results. The mentors are all stellar, and provide us with excellent resources to deliver on our promises. Co-founder Bob Gold has been particularly helpful in advising us on how to make a sale. As co-founders, we never stop selling. Whenever we’re speaking to a customer it’s integral to know what the “ask” is.” The TIA mentors have also been there to advise as the guys work through the challenges, the biggest of which “has been adapting to the needs of our customer base, by constantly returning to the drawing board and making small changes to our product. Our biggest reward, however, has been the immediate feedback we get from our customer base whenever we make a change to our product.” They’re grateful for the support, encouragement, advice, direction, and contacts they receive from the alumni mentors who are all experienced, successful entrepreneurs themselves.
So what would the founders of Giggity tell others about TIA? “Apply! TIA is the best real-world training you can get. Nothing is more rewarding than acting on an idea and turning it into something tangible. Plus, the networking opportunities with the TIA mentors and your fellow founders are something you can’t get anywhere else.”
And in case you’re wondering where the name Giggity came from, if you watch “Family Guy” you’ll know. For everyone else, it’s a phrase the character Quagmire on the show uses and for David, who came up with the name, giggity had the word ‘GIG’ in it and for these college kids, is just too catchy not to use!
Check us out on Facebook.com/giggity!
Cody Breene ’13 is a philosophy major, former president of Sigma Chi, and proponent of the nimble pivot.
James Barker ’13 is a geography major, film and media studies minor, movie buff, avid skier, and former high school football star.
David Lederer ’13 is a philosophy major, computer science minor, philanthropy chair at Sigma Chi fraternity, and adventurer.