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By Mike Williams
Success stories

One evening in March 2015, Mike Williams set himself a simple rule.
The time spent building a fully functional prototype of his marketplace idea
should not exceed one evening. "I'm going to cancel dinner plans
and instead build", he decided.

"It was quite an ambitious concept: "An AirBnb of record studios"

Mike didn't have any idea if this would be possible. After all, it was quite an ambitious concept: "An AirBnb of record studios". He felt that comparing different record studios and booking studio time from them was too complicated, and studios would likely be interested in getting more visibility. Mike did some online research, and to his surprise, he didn't find anyone who was trying to solve the same problem.

As the founder of a fast-growing startup, Codeity, Mike knew that Studiotime would need to be a passion project. That's why he set the time limit for himself.

After deciding to skip the dinner, Mike found Sharetribe. Amazingly, he was able to achieve exactly what he had wanted: the site was up and running the same evening.

On Sunday of the same week, Mike purchased the domain, and minutes later he launched his site by posting it to Product Hunt, an online community for discovering new products. What happened since surprised him completely.

It turned out that Product Hunt users loved Mike's concept. In a matter of hours, more than 1000 users signed up for his site. His artist community was growing, and studios all around the world were contacting him, asking to be featured on his site. He even had people asking to volunteer to become ambassadors, and asking for jobs! You can read more about the launch from Mike's article on Medium.

After the successful launch and initial validation of his idea, Mike focused more on the development of the site. He started emailing his users and asking them questions: what problems were they having, what could be improved on the site, and so on.

Mike also started iterating on the business model. His initial idea was to charge a commission from each booking, Airbnb style. However, he soon discovered that studios had their own, complex invoicing processes that were not well suited for this. He decided to lower his commission and add a subscription model. He already had hundreds of studios listed, and figured it would not be a big deal for them to pay a monthly fee for visibility on the site. This prediction turned out to be correct, and most studios were happy to pay his fees.

Less than a year after the launch, Studiotime is profitable and growing steadily, raking in thousands of dollars every month. More than 1000 studios are featured on Studiotime. That's quite an impressive feat—according to Mike's calculations, there are around 20,000 studios in the world, meaning he already has more than 5 percent of them! Studiotime has been featured in key music industry publications like Hypetrak and Fader, and even on the BBC news. Convincing new studios to join is no longer difficult. "Whenever I contact a new studio, I usually don't even need to explain what we're doing", Mike says. "They have all already heard of us."

Mike has since hired a team to manage the site so he can also focus on his other projects.

Studiotime is providing him with a steady income without him having to put that much work into it. At the same time, he's constantly thinking about how to grow the site and offer more services for the studios.

Excited about Sharetribe's potential for many aspiring entrepreneurs, Mike decided to start offering customization services for Sharetribe customers through his IT consultancy A good example of the work Thinkbox has done is the clean look and feel of Roamer, another Sharetribe customer who focuses on student apartment rentals.

If you would like to build a custom landing page for your Sharetribe site in Studiotime style, convert your mobile web app to a native mobile app, or add a membership pricing page or other custom pages, don't hesitate to contact Thinkbox to ask them for a quote.

› Check out Studiotime

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