Season 2, Episode 3
Focus on a problem that you have experienced yourself - James Younger (TempStars)
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About this episode
James Younger was (and still is) a dentist who ran into a serious problem in his practice: how to get temporary dental hygienists and assistants when the regular staff calls in sick.
You can probably guess his solution: a marketplace, namely TempStars! In the episode, you might notice some parallels with episode 4 of last season, in which we heard Charles Armitage of Florence, a temporary nursing marketplace.
- How the first version was a complete disaster
- The benefits of educating yourself on the basics of web development & design
- Their use of an algorithm to maintain quality in the marketplace
- Their plan to scale the entire North America.
- And much more.
Resources mentioned in this episode
[00:00:00] James Younger: Welcome to two-sided the marketplace podcast brought to you by Sharetribe
[00:00:14] Sjoerd Handgraaf: thanks, James.
[00:00:15] James Younger: How are you? I'm really thrilled to be here. Yeah,
[00:00:18] Sjoerd Handgraaf: thanks for reaching out. Actually, you're our, I think the first guests who reached out personally to appear on the guests. So I think this sends something about the reach of the podcast. And after hearing your story, I'm super psyched to have this conversation.
So let's just get going. Sure. Do we always do is to give people an idea of who's talking so that people can put this information in the right context. So before we dive into the marketplace and all the cool things you have done for a Tempstars, could you tell us a little bit about who is James.
[00:00:45] James Younger: Yeah, absolutely.
I've been a practicing dentist for a little over 21 years now. And love dentistry. I've owned. Great dental practices and have really enjoyed it. And so I'm still currently practicing dentistry one day a week because I just genuinely love clinical dentistry. I love treating patients. And so I work one day a week out of actually a mental health hospital.
And I treat patients with, with mental health challenges there. And that kind of keeps me, uh, in the clinical setting, which I love. And then for the rest of the time I run Tempstars and it's been sort of like that for the. Five years or so, but, uh, yeah, thoroughly enjoy the profession of dentistry. The clinical aspect of dentistry loved owning a dental practices, leading team, that kind of thing.
So that's kind of where I'm coming from. So, uh,
[00:01:31] Sjoerd Handgraaf: prior to a Tempstars, so you were just a regular dentist or.
[00:01:36] James Younger: Yeah, that's right. Yep. General dentist. I won my first practice. I started from scratch and then I had another practice and I had purchased that from a dentist who was, who was moving on from there.
And even prior to that, I mean, the years before that I'd worked as an associate dentist at various dental practices and that sort of thing, but yeah, general dentistry in general. But also, I really like the more complicated high-end dentistry of implants and bone grafting and sinus lifts and the years and things like that.
So I really do enjoy the clinical aspect. Could you tell us
[00:02:05] Sjoerd Handgraaf: a little bit about what is 10 star.
[00:02:07] James Younger: Yeah. So templatize is a two-sided marketplace platform. And in the two sides of the marketplace, we have dental offices who want either hygienists, dental, hygienists, or dental assistants for short term or short notice shifts.
So temping, and then the other value proposition we have is hiring. So if a dental office is looking to hire a hygienist, dental assistant associate dentist, or admin receptionist, We have sort of a job board type of system for that. And then on the other side of it is, you know, we have dental, hygienists and assistants who are looking to pick up temping shifts on short notice, short term basis.
And also we have a lot of hygienists assistants, associate dentists and admin receptionist who might want to get hired permanently at offices. So we, we sort of offer those two value propositions of temping and hiring for connecting dental offices with available dental professional.
[00:02:56] Sjoerd Handgraaf: And so how this is.
Could you talk us through how this led into a 10 stars? Because I guess at one point you had the idea. Could you tell us a little bit about that phase at which point it started to come up
[00:03:06] James Younger: as an idea. Yeah, it really happened kind of organically where back in 2015, there was a, uh, maybe about a month where I was constantly a little bit behind the ball where I needed a dental hygienist, very short notice.
So I had somebody on the team who. Multiple times. I was kind of getting text messages at four in the morning saying I can't come to work. And I had patients booked for eight in the morning and it was really stressful because I didn't know, should I drive to the office at seven in the morning and get on the phone myself to cancel patients and things like that.
And their. Currently, and there were traditional agencies that kind of worked office hours were a bit unpredictable and that sort of thing. And I just thought there has to be a way you can do this on my phone, where I can connect directly with available hygienists. And at the time I was only thinking hygienists because that was my problem.
But at the time, Being from just outside of Toronto, Uber had not come to Toronto. So when I had this idea and I was bouncing it off people, they said, oh, so is it like Uber, but for dental office? And I said, I don't know. I don't know what Uber is, but if you say it's like that, then I guess it's sort of like that.
And. It was really, I didn't know anything about technology, anything about apps. I literally went to a staples and I got grid, paper and pencil crayons, and started drawing phone screens with arrows and things like that. And, uh, and the idea just really gripped me. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I'd wake up in the morning with a pen and pad beside my bed, writing down ideas and things like that.
And that's kind of where it, the idea came from.
[00:04:32] Sjoerd Handgraaf: All right. Yeah. That's clear. So you mentioned, uh, you got the idea, you couldn't stop thinking about it. You had this pen and paper next to your bed. Did you do anything to sort of validate the idea prior, like you made some drawings, how do you validate the idea?
[00:04:48] James Younger: I did what I think is very common and also a very common mistake where I took my sketches and I found a, essentially a full stack development house based out of Utah. And I said to, I took my, I showed them my drawings and said, could you build this? And they said, sure, we can build this now. Without going too deeply into it.
Looking back that was a recipe for disaster because I didn't even know what I wanted. I didn't know what it should look like or how it should work or anything like that. So I will just tell you that this is not the right path to go, but this is the path I went, where I paid someone to develop it. It took a year and a half.
The whole thing was a complete disaster as mess. I didn't even launch it didn't even tell anyone I was building it. And then, but I knew that it was going to be a mess about two thirds of the way through. So at that point I started educating myself. I took a full stack web development course, UI UX design, course, digital marketing courses, rapid prototyping courses, things like.
Not so that I could build it myself, but I knew that I needed the communication tools to talk to development professionals, to bring it to life the way that I was actually envisioning it. And as I learned all those things, I realized all the gaps in, even what I even understood about bringing an app to market.
And so. After that first development company. So I threw out all the code. I built my own prototype. I took it to a one full stack developer and in instead of a year and a half, the first person that next person built it in six weeks. And at least I had an MVP at that point. And so when you're asking about validating the idea, it was sort of like I had to go through all of those things just to get an MVP of a first working version that I wanted to show to somebody.
And then the validation came from. A small group of dentists that I knew a small group of hygienists that I knew and just gave it to, you know, said, can you install this and try it out? And that sort of thing. So I did some things right in that it wasn't a sudden giant big public launches though. Oh, it's ready.
And the world should use it. I knew enough at that point to do very small, soft launches and get the feedback and the learning early on. Kind of losing the social currency of doing a big public launch on something that really still needed a lot of work.
[00:06:54] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it took you about, let's say a year and a half on the initial one and then six weeks on the, on the second version, roughly.
Right. And then, um, so how was feedback or
[00:07:04] James Younger: early on. Well feedback early on was bad, but at the same time, I'm a really a voracious reader and learner. And so at that point I also knew feedback should be bad. Then I'm a big fan of that saying of, you know, if you're not cringing and slightly embarrassed at your first release, you waited too long.
Yeah. So I was prepared for that and it was more like I was releasing a conversation piece and a feedback mechanism then hoping that people loved it. And so early on, it was just, oh, this thing's, you know, not good. And I'd say, okay, well what's the worst part about it? What's the main thing that is the worst.
And so we kept just going back and iterating and changing and changing. And we did about nine months of that before the feedback shifted to say, oh, this thing's actually really good, but what if it did this? And what if it did that? And, and so. We're still just on a really tight, continuous development loop.
I think it took me maybe 20 updates before. Finally stopped thinking it was done because every release, I think, oh, finally, it's done. Oh, good. It's out there. We can just get it out there. We're done. We don't need to develop it any more, but yeah, 20, you go through that 20 times you realize, okay, this is never, ever going to be done.
Yeah. Welcome to
[00:08:09] Sjoerd Handgraaf: software development, I guess. Yeah. Yeah. And then, um, so early on, I mean, this is the question that. Put there, because I think this is just such a universal law, but did you constrain the marketplace in any kind of way? Like whether that's like geographically or through category? I mean, category, I guess we've covered somewhat because it's mostly hygienist.
[00:08:29] James Younger: I understood. Yeah, exactly. Essentially. Yeah. And it's funny at the time. And from 2015 to now the science and art and mechanisms of two-sided marketplaces are better known than they were at the time. So to ask if I can strain the marketplace, I did for sure, but I never thought of it as purposely constraining the marketplace as a strategy or intent.
I just thought, well, I need temp hygienists. That's a real problem. I live around Toronto. I'll do a small launch around Toronto. So initially it was only temping and only hygienist and only in around the Toronto, the city of Toronto. And again, going back to. Trying to read and learn about things as I was doing.
And I had read about the case about open table open table, tried to launch too broadly, early on too many cities. And they realized I had to dial it back and do hyperlocal launches to get the network effect going. And so I sort of, at least, even at that time had an appreciation for that, that I didn't make the mistake of just saying, okay, now we have an app that goes across the country sort of thing.
Yeah. Yeah. Of course.
[00:09:27] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Often I think with many of these lessons that are like, you know, they are retroactively pontificated as like, oh, these are the last. It seems to be like a recurring theme that even the bigger ones that people just forget that Uber Airbnb, everybody started like Mary X much, much smaller scale than then.
Smelts. And now it's the norm. So you mentioned with the MVP that you send that to some friendly dentists, and I guess you also knew a temporary hygienist or two, but how do you onboard the early, uh, supply and
[00:09:56] James Younger: demand? Yeah, and again, and this is all just really finding my way in the dark without really knowing the principles and practices of marketplaces at the time.
But it turned out, I mean, early on our bread and butter of go-to to get people to sign up was essentially paid Facebook marketing. And at the time. They have a few more rules about targeting now for employment based ads and things like that. But at the time I would just target the geographic area, target dental hygienists.
And I had certainly, I'm huge on AB testing multi-variant testing. So we really dialed in good images, copy headlines, things like that until we had a recipe that it was like a magic switch where we, I would just turn the ad on and we get a bunch of people signing up. And it was interesting because. I went in phases where I would get maybe 80 hygienists signed up and then I would stop the marketing because I knew those 80 hygienists were going to use it and they were going to have feedback.
And so we stopped marketing, waited for people to use it for a month and then worked on the feedback we got and then switched on the marketing again. So we went very step wise in the scaling up between marketing and product development. We did it very hand-in-hand, which looking back was, it was a great and solid approach to do because we just were able to stay responsive as we got more and more.
[00:11:09] Sjoerd Handgraaf: And so you started initially in Toronto. How quickly did you expand? Because I believe now you're across pretty much the entire Canada. How did that expansion
[00:11:18] James Younger: go? Yeah, well, at first, so we kind of expanded first service wise and then geographically. And so. If I'm trying to think back and essentially it was first, it was just temping shifts for hygienists and then that, so that was going well in and around Ontario and Toronto.
And then of course, dental officers saying, oh, great work with finding us a hygienist. Do you have any dental assistants? And then I would say, no, we only do. And then finally I got tired of saying no. So then we added dental assistants and at this point we had some word of mouth, so it wasn't as hard to get on initial dental assistants as it was for hygienists.
But then the assistants come on and now we're just doing temping, hygienists and assistants. But then of course, dental offices are saying, oh, those are great hygienists and assistants. Thank you. But now we need to hire someone. Can you tell us a good. And I would say, no, we just do 10 thing. And so I get tired of saying no about that.
And then it was, we had to build a job board because people really wanted that. So then we build out essentially a job board for permanent and contract hiring as opposed to the temping. And so probably around that time is when we started thinking we should probably go into other provinces and offer our service there.
So we started going west across Canada, from Ontario west to the provinces, out to BC. Our Canadian expansion was more of an ooze than a pounce. It was, you know, we just sort of made our way across and then just this week. We just launched in Pennsylvania, which was our first solid launch into the United States.
We did a very soft launch in Pennsylvania before the COVID shutdown. And of course, that sort of fizzled out. And so now that things are reopening where we're, we're working on, and at least now as we go into the U S markets, we have a much more targeted and focused approach to growing new markets, instead of just sort of trying to do it haphazardly as we kind of expanded across Canada.
[00:13:07] Sjoerd Handgraaf: And you learned all that from your Canada.
[00:13:10] James Younger: Yeah, exactly. We figured out what strategy is just a lot of trial and error, a lot of multi-variant testing and another really important thing that we do as well that we just genuinely care about as a team. And me personally is building relationships and supporting dental professionals.
And so we have dental hygiene, graduation awards, the Tempstars award of excellence for a graduating dental hygienist. And I'm on a program advisory board for the colleges. And I speak to graduating classes and things like that. So that just happened to be something I cared about, but helped with our expansion across Canada.
So of course we're implementing that because it's a core value of our team, but it also helps to build relationships and grow our membership as we expand as well. Yeah, because I'm
[00:13:47] Sjoerd Handgraaf: hearing, uh, all kinds of parallels with some earlier episodes we've had, especially, uh, to the one with Florence that you can be a temping agency
[00:13:56] James Younger: for.
I know that one really resonated with me. I can imagine a great episode and I can tell you that. I just want to say the idea of the Florence academy for training the nurses. I literally listened to that episode and went home and went on Shopify and spun up the 10 stars academy for dental hygienists to get their continuing education points.
That was a really great episode and it really resonated with me. So I appreciate that. Okay.
[00:14:21] Sjoerd Handgraaf: I hope Charles will be listening to this episode because he'll be very pleased to hear this. I imagine that's terrific. Actually we haven't touched on because now you, you to explain to how you grew, let's say the supply sites, the IGS, et cetera, targeted Facebook ads, and then the good network on your side.
How do you grow the dental clinics or,
[00:14:41] James Younger: sorry, what's the demand side? Dental offices and offices. Yeah. So how do you grow the dental officers? So early on, it was, uh, some Facebook marketing and some email, really some, sometimes some public Google email, scraping of dental practice emails that are just publicly on their websites at this point, especially in Canada.
The dental office growth is we've shut off all marketing to dental offices in Canada because our value proposition to dental offices is, Hey, we'll find you a great temporary hygienist when you need one. And as soon as you say that to a dental office, they sign me up. That's what they want. And so a lot of our.
Our growth and membership focus is building up our supply side of hygienists and dental assistants to make sure that we're building a community and have a consistent membership. Who's really engaged with what we're doing so that they're available to fulfill the increasing demand of the dental offices.
And it's, it is one of those spiraling network effects sort of thing, where as more and more dental hygienists and dental assistants are with Tempstars and booking shifts with Tempstars, they just end up not being as available for other parallel services. Sort of a it's a self-reinforcing cycle. And so just more dental office to sign up because they know we have more hygienists and assistants for bookings and things like that.
So it won't necessarily be that way. As we first go into the United States, we'll still have to do a lot of groundwork to build up dental offices and demand side and things like that. But a big part of our focus is just building community and a sense of, of, uh, for our membership, for dental assistants and dental hygienists.
[00:16:15] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Yeah. And so while you grow that side, like how I know that, uh, also coming from the episode from last year with, uh, Florence, I know that in healthcare and related services, like dentistry trust is probably the most important thing. So while you grow the supply side, how do you keep quality consistence or even like improve the quality
[00:16:35] James Younger: over time?
Yeah. And you know, we've done a few strategies with that and it's interesting because before. Launched. There was a lot of imaginary problems that we could run into about what if this happened and what if this happened. And some of them we addressed and some of them, we just didn't. And what ends up happening is when you finally, you know, we're getting to the point where we finished tens of thousands of temping shifts.
And so we have a real, we just have a real world. Sense of what are the actual things that happen. So if something happens once over 30,000 times, well, one out of 30,000 is not super risky and we can just find there's that type of thing. But if there ends up being a pattern of a problem, then certainly we would address it from the experience standpoint.
So we ended up early on, we just managed to find a technical solution to automatically pinging the dental hygienists licensing body to validate their certificates and things like that. And just to ensure that they were licensed as we scale up. We have to rely more on, more on automation and early signals and triggers.
And this is sort of what I had touched on earlier was we now have a neat system and algorithm that when someone first signs up, we have enough data to draw correlations to early behavior and early signals about whether this person is going to be a good fit for 10 stars. So hygienists, maybe they sign up and the first couple of shifts they do.
We get a certain pattern of feedback or a certain pattern of reliability and all of those sorts of things. And again, using. Over 8,500 hygienists and what their behavioral patterns are. We can actually use, I'm not going to say artificial intelligence or machine learning, but there's an algorithmic value there that we can use to kind of automate and, and balance and regulate our membership.
And so we have an, we actually have an overnight algorithm that runs, we call it the gardener because it literally gardens our membership and it detects the transactions that happened that day. What happened? What were the reviews? Did anybody cancel a shift? If they did cancel, what is their percentage of cancellations and things like that?
And we have. And then it sort of balances things because we have elite status and we've got pro status, but we also have probation and blacklisted and revoked and things like that. And we have this self-balancing algorithm that really helps to, to manage. And as soon as we implemented that, it was a long time coming and a lot of work.
And a lot of times. Literally the day after we implemented that algorithm, the percentage of dental offices that reported being very happy or happy with their hygienists jumped by something like 17%, just overnight based on, based on us managing the, the membership better. And it's important as it grows when it's small, you just deal with the fires, but I just start to scale.
The finer scale up to if you're not really mindful about it.
[00:19:17] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Yeah. And it's like, what you mentioned earlier that word of mouth is probably one of your most important referrals that you really, you really want to make sure that there's not too many of those fires burning that houses, basically. Yeah. All right.
Actually, now that you mentioned you talk a lot about the, you mentioned a lot, the word members am I to deduct from there that your revenue model is also membership based. Could you tell us a little bit about how does Tempstars.
[00:19:42] James Younger: Well, so I'll admit we use the term members. As a community driving term. So any hygienist or dental assistant that joins, we consider them a member of Tempstars.
It's free for them. They don't pay any membership fees. They don't pay any sign up fees or anything like that. And again, it, so there's, there's not an actual membership fee, dental offices pay on a per transaction basis. And so they'll post a shift or post a job posting. We have a neat little token based resin.
So for our job board where it's permanent and contract hires, We sell these what we call resume tokens. So somebody applies and we give them upfront information about the candidate, but not the contact information. And so if we tell them this is a five-star rated hygienist and they've completed 75 shifts and they have worked at your office before, and you really liked them.
Would you like to spend a resume viewing token to view their resume, to set up an interview with them? And the tokens are $18. So we don't even really charge that much for that. And we don't charge to hire so a traditional dental agency with. 500, a thousand dollars to find in the higher a hygienist. So we don't charge any finding or hiring fee that way.
And then from a temping standpoint, we just charge one small flat fee for a completed temping shift on a per day basis.
[00:20:56] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Okay. Oh, well that is really, that's an interesting, interesting model. How did you come up with the token?
[00:21:02] James Younger: Uh, to be honest, I don't know. I don't know if there was an inspiration for it other than I knew.
So the traditional dental agency of finding somebody for an office and charging an exorbitant amounts and then sending an invoice to that office to say, okay, you hired Jane for your office. Here's an invoice for $500, please pay us. But then the dental office says, well, you know what? She didn't work out.
We had to let her go. Well, what can I, I'm not paying this invoice. And then, so there's. That's not scalable and automated. So I guess I started off with the concept of, we have to be able to monetize on our job board in a way that doesn't require us to be back and forth, checking on things. No, no, no.
[00:21:39] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Yeah.
That makes sense. Yeah. I'm not familiar with the industry. So I'm wondering like maybe just a silly fought, but are you worried that at some point, or maybe not worried, but is there maybe some kind of conflict with your basic business model, which is really about temping and then the job. Have you, how do you, how do you see that
[00:21:58] James Younger: potential friction?
Yeah, well, again, we kind of operate on a scalable, automated, essentially high margin model where we go and volume and high margin types of things. So. When we think about maybe a hygienist works at a dental office and the office loves them. They say, oh, we want to hire you. We don't monetize off of that.
We get money for the tempting shift, but then that person just gets hired. So we're able to just kind of be happy for the match and ensure that, uh, our job board is making connections and the tempting is making connections. I'll tell you. And I know there's always that topic of disintermediation and you're right, that if you're thinking that somebody could post a job for a permanent hire, get a resume and then call the person saying, can you come in for a tempting shift?
So there's that, that could happen. Maybe that does happen a bit. We do work off of a lot of the honor system and also the hygienists are very, we have a system for hygienists to be able to manually enter shifts that have been through direct connection. So they do use that a lot. We probably get some leakage, but we really do kind of mitigate it by.
For showing the value of staying on the platform and that sort of thing. Yeah. I
[00:23:07] Sjoerd Handgraaf: wasn't, I wasn't necessarily too worried about that. I was just more thinking that coming back also to what we discussed about the quality of course, that like the, you have by operating a job board, you have a risk that sort of, let's say the cream of the crop of the attempt to supply gets hired.
And so you, you would have a sort of I cycle where you would always need to replace the good ones because they might get hired. If you enable hiring.
[00:23:32] James Younger: Well, a traditional agency would 100% worry about that because they would want to charge a thousand dollars for their top hygienists to get hired because that office is hiring a way a revenue generator for them.
But the way that we operate is it is just sort of more community based where people just join the users as much as they want. They're off. They have ways in our automated Gardner we'll give them their pro and elite status. If they earn it in Disney. Somebody might get hired away, but then it doesn't work out at that office.
Then they're back to Tempstars and they still have their release status and things like that. So,
[00:24:03] Sjoerd Handgraaf: yeah. And maybe it was also weird, like pre or is it called it like a weird premise on my side to assume that temporary workers are just workers who want to have a permanent job, but there might be many reasons why they wanted to remain temp.
So maybe that's true. Like I said, not familiar with the industry. It just immediately popped into my mind. It doesn't, isn't this conflicting, you mentioned earlier about a rapid development loop because I'm still coming back. You know, the podcast is brought by Sharetribe pool where we sell a marketplace software.
So could you tell us a little bit about how it went? Because we covered really nicely, your first. Well, you don't call them failure, but a mistakes, small mistakes, then the MVP. How did it, how did it grow from there? Like how did you move on? How did you take the learnings? How did you communicate with your full stack developer?
How do you decide on what's important? Because of course you already mentioned that, like initially it seems there's lots of imaginary problems. So could you talk us a little bit more still about the process of coming to a platform where you would kind of be happy
[00:25:02] James Younger: with. Yeah, for me, what was incredibly vital and valuable and serves me every single day was all of that learning I did about my own full stack, web development, database architecture, rapid prototyping, all of those things, because.
I'll try. I mean, as if I'm interviewing a new developer, a new coder, they can't pull the wool over my eyes because I know how our code system works. And I designed our original database architectures. And so I know how things work and if they, if I'm interviewing someone and they say, oh yeah, that would take me 24 hours to do.
And I would say, are you sure you understand what we're talking? And so it helps me vet and especially for. Freelance or gig economy type of coders or developers or things like that. It's really helped me steer clear of the land mines that you can run into, because if you don't know anything about coding or development, you will certainly step on a land mine somewhere.
The other way that serves me is I directly communicate with our coder every day. Andrew's our developer, he's in the Ukraine and I build our own prototypes. So if we're specking out a feature and we're very much of that, listen and respond. And so we're, we're always listening to the members. We have our head of member experience doing outreach calls to people who are using us to see how we can improve it.
We're always getting feedback. Then we come up with our product. I do the prototyping and I just really liked doing the prototyping. And I do a narrated video for our developer to say, this is how it should work, and this is what it can do. And I spec it out. So even, even now, I still act very heavily as product manager of the development.
And it's a really, it's a role that I'm really plugged into because I'm so in tuned with the people who are using our system. And also I have some technological background and I can have conversations with Andrew to say, Hey, what if we did it like this? He's like, oh, that's going to take long. We'll have to do that.
And I at least know enough to say, well, what if we just approach it this way? If we put a column in the database and you can do it that way. And he says, oh yeah, we can do that in two days. So that kind of thing helps because I'm not disconnected where. Talking to an account manager who then has to talk to the development team who has to get back to us next week to know if we can do that.
And it's going to cost this much and take this much time. So. We're so dynamically responsive. We, I think we released 12 updates since COVID only responding to the needs of dental professionals during the pandemic, because we have to keep changing and building trust. Yeah, of course, because maybe a dental office doesn't have the right PPE in place or the right protocols in place.
And we needed ways to help our hygienists and assistant members feel comfortable going into offices. They didn't know to know that they'd be saying. Yeah.
[00:27:32] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Yeah, no, that makes sense. Yeah. The rapid development looks like a really good strategy. Of course not feasible maybe for everybody, but how do you see that?
Because you can do a lot of this, like you said, because you know, of course you've worked in Canada as a dentist, you notice quite well. How do you see, uh, you mentioned already you've started in Pennsylvania if I'm just do it from reading a little bit about them. So do you have bigger plans for. Is there anything different in the U S like, do you, would you need to change anything on your marketplace to make
[00:28:01] James Younger: it successful?
Hm. I would say that the theme that we're aware of that's different than Canada is corporatization of dentistry in the United States is certainly. Broad. So if you can imagine, so dental companies owning say a thousand dental practices as well as one corporation. And so it is a movement in Canada. I would say that there's essentially two prime players in corporatized dentistry in Canada, but in the United States, it's sort of the go-to.
I mean, it seems like as we talked to dental professionals and manage office managers and dentists and things, and certainly corporate dentistry in the United States is more prevalent. And so. We will still 100% be helping and addressing individual dentists and practice owners and things like that, for sure.
But part of our growth will of course involve working with and building relationships with some of these larger corporations and. We ended up having a press release in a us newsletter. And just from that one little release and it was like one little byline in this newsletter. That's fairly prominent, but we got a lot of even corporate dentistry in the United States reaching out to us saying, when are you coming to our state?
We need this. This is incredible in that sort of thing. So we know there's a real need for it. It's just a matter of kind of building these relationships and navigating with corporatized dentistry as well as the individual practice owners.
[00:29:23] Sjoerd Handgraaf: All right. And finally, what else is in the future roadmap? Both business-wise or technically for a Tempstars?
[00:29:30] James Younger: Well, right now we're, we're in sort of this, our scale-up phase of doing more faster of what we're currently doing. So in the short to medium term, We're still be looking at fast, easy temping connections and great hiring and candidate matches scaling across north America. I have it down, pat, of course, to say that our overall vision and mission is to be the first best and default way that dental professionals find each other for temping and hiring connections in north America.
So that's, that's a, that's a big meaty goal. And, uh, that'll, that'll keep us busy and excited for the next year or two, for sure. So that's, as far as our horizon sees, I don't imagine we have any specific new product offerings or value propositions to offer. We're going to be. We have a big release coming out in about two months that reduces the friction between the matches.
That again, God inspired from the conversation with the gentleman from air who was, who was at Airbnb early on Lenny. Lenny. Yeah, because he had said. A big change for Airbnb was that Instabook feature that reduced the friction and allowed. And so that you didn't have to agree on it anymore, that you could book it quickly.
And again, that episode had a big influence on me. So we're, we're working on a system like that, where it doesn't have to be offers and acceptances, and then a lot of friction back and forth, but to have faster matches.
[00:30:49] Sjoerd Handgraaf: Ah, that's terrific. Yeah. Yeah. Actually I mentioned that I was talking to an under a marketplace or multiple operators from the same marketplace and we also were diving into that instant book feature and just sort of retroactively discovering how, how big of a deal that was, but also how much work actually, because maybe the way it came across in 97.
So it might've been my, my way. It sounds like, oh yeah, we just sort of like switched on instant book, but there's a really good blog posts. I believe. Johnathan gold, maybe you've come across or who was one of the people at Airbnb that actually a lot of other pieces needed to be in place before they could suites on Instabook right.
They needed to have the insurance. They needed to have some other sort of like trust, mitigating thing, because of course you need it really? I don't know. I just, I think that's the problem always right? With the way. Hacks delivered. Oh yeah. They just added a button, but actually, no, this was a really sort of like long-term strategic or I don't know if it's long-term but like a really well placed strategic initiatives will work out for Tempstarsts.
It sounds, I think friction in any of Margaret place, there's always too much. If it's still there, it's still a lot you can pull out or you can sort of iron out. So yeah, I hope it will work out for 10. Thanks. I'm going to add one more question. Uh, you can choose to answer it or not because actually meaning that, but otherwise I'll just say, because this was a good ending.
And we said goodbye after that. Just a question. How did you finance all of this?
[00:32:19] James Younger: If I can ask. Yeah, absolutely. It's completely bootstrapped. I built it up to a certain level. Now let me correct that a little bit. It was bootstrapped to the point where we were growing quite well and quite profitably, but at that point when I was coming.
Relatively confident of our future in this bright future that we've got. I do have a small group of dentist, friends of mine that I just went to and I said, I've got this great thing. I'd like to grow it faster if you're interested and you want to buy in for a bit. So I did a very, very small kind of friends and family round, I guess, if you will, it wasn't to get it off the ground.
And it was, and it's certainly, we don't even right now operate with any kind of runway or burn rate or anything like that. We're still growing profitably. And it was so at that time of the friends and family around, but it was more of this fire is burning really well, but I'd like to grow it a bit faster.
So if somebody was interested in investing, I kind of did that small round with friends and family and some dentist colleagues and that sort of thing. So that really did help. That was shortly before the pandemic shut down. So it really did help us weather that storm. And emerge on top because there was a lot, of course, everybody knows there's a lot of just any business and industry sometimes folded or certainly struggled through.
And so we were able to double down on our marketing and our support and really be there to offer resources to dental professionals and stay top of mind throughout the shutdown so that when it reopened, we were ready to, to really hit the ground. Right. It really? I mean, evidently it's paid off we're at an all time.
I mean, our bookings and postings and things are at an all time high, so yeah, it just happened to work out nicely that way. All
[00:33:53] Sjoerd Handgraaf: right. Thanks. Well, I, I, I learned a lot about Tempstars. Thanks for sharing this. Anything else you'd like to
[00:34:00] James Younger: add still? No. I mean, if anyone listening wants to check out 10 stars, we're at 10 stars.com and I don't mind giving my email.
If anybody wants to get ahold of me, it's just James J MES at 10 stars talking.
[00:34:12] Sjoerd Handgraaf: All right. Thanks a lot, James. Thanks for your time. Thanks for reaching out. And, uh, also thanks for listening to the podcast, all the
[00:34:18] James Younger: best for Tempstars. Oh, sure. Honestly, it's been a thrill to be on here and like I said, I'm a huge fan of the podcast.
And as I mentioned to you, I listened to the entire season three times back to back and I just, you're doing great work and the interviews are so helpful and useful. So I really appreciate being on. Thanks
[00:34:32] Sjoerd Handgraaf: is lovely to hear let's end on that.
[00:34:36] James Younger: Thank you for listening to two-sided the marketplace podcast.
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