BOSTON—After raising $1 million and being featured on Shark Tank, Kash Shaikh’s Besomebody has shut down its app, the idea behind which was inspiring people to follow their passions.
On Friday, Shaikh sent an email to the Besomebody community announcing the app would shut down on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m, according to Boston Business Journal.
“After that time, you will no longer be able to access any of your experiences, messages or information,” Shaikh wrote as reported by Boston Business Journal. “It’s definitely a bittersweet moment, because our team and thousands of users, supporters and Passionaries poured everything we had into making that dream a reality. We had a big idea and we freaking went for it.”
Shaikh, who had traveled to 43 countries for Procter and Gamble, started out as just an inspirational hash tag and evolved into a fully funded company. Besomebody raised one million dollars in seed funding without having a product, just an idea of inspiring people to follow their passions. The company’s app was trying to create an experience marketplace where hosts (known as Passionaries) make money teaching their passions to others who share the same passion, but need to get more experience. The company was also featured on Shark Tank, but failed to attract any investment despite #besomebody content reached more than 10 million people from around the world and from all walks of life.
Shaikh’s journey began while leading social marketing for Proctor and Gamble in developing countries, where he was on the road eighty percent of the time, traveling to 43 countries. The people he met on his travels changed the way he thought about thing, helping him realize that people are similar across cultures, and he started writing about it, and then sharing it on social media.
Shaikh needed a change of scenery so he left P&G for camera powerhouse GoPro, where Shaikh says he learned that content can build your brand for you. He became the first person to resign from GoPro leaving 75 percent of his stock on the table, to follow his passion. He went around to schools all over the country talking about #besomebody and hoping to inspire young people to follow their passions and desires.
Shaikh was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and attended the University of Texas, Austin. He says that since high school he has always enjoyed creating things. When asked who his biggest influences were he said “take advice from three people; people who love you unconditionally, people who are in the trenches with you, and people who have done what you are trying to do.”
Boston Business Journal said the the investors weren’t buying what Besomebody was selling. “They said the startup was more centered on attracting buzz than establishing a workable business model, and Mark Cuban told Shaikh he was full of “nonsense.” Nobody invested,” Boston Business Journal reported.
Boston Business Journal quoted Shaikh citing three reasons for the decision.
“Most importantly, the demand wasn’t there, especially when it came to repeat bookings. He said the business would only work if “tens of millions” of people were booking one to two experiences per year, and that just wasn’t going to happen,” according to Boston Business Journal. “ Second, people were using the app to book fun, one-time experiences, not to “truly learn” about their passions. And that led to the third problem, which was that the app only appealed to people who had expendable cash to put toward fun experiences, not to the full “multi-million-member community” that interacts with #besomebody content on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.”
Shaikh isn’t done yet, however, according to Boston Business Journal. “He’s hoping to rebuild Besomebody around Learning Paths – “vocational training programs that teach Candidates the specific, practical, ‘real world’ skills they need to succeed in jobs they are passionate about,” the newspaper said.