As the world changes from day to day, we are consumed by the situations around us: school, work, our family and friends, and even parties. But do we really take the time to think about tomorrow? To think about the future? Not always.
I’d like to introduce you to someone who is doing something to make a difference in the future of our world. Some of you may know him as the previous president of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., as an Owl Radio talk show host in 2012 for the show “Ro-Sham-Baud,” or from working at the Department of Fraternity & Sorority Life.
His name is Joshua Guilbaud. He was born in Miami, Florida but has lived in Georgia since 1999. At the age of 18, Joshua worked as a pharmacy technician, got married, and had a daughter. He was divorced soon after and realized he needed a change. So Joshua set out on his journey at Kennesaw State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology in May of 2015. Joshua has moved around a lot since graduating college; he created a pop-up ad agency, 15 Hertz in Dallas, Texas, and worked in San Francisco, California, where he was exposed to startups and realized the value of our ecosystem. He has worked for companies like Coke, Apple, Beats By Dre, CA Technologies, and at Publix as a marketing strategist.
Joshua recently moved back to Georgia where he works as a self-taught developer doing freelance web content, and he has also started a business called Tydee.
Tydee is an on-demand trash valet service for trash collection in apartment-style housing complexes. It’s a simple solution to one of the most annoying problems everyone faces. Trash valet to most is a luxury service, but also a big selling point for many apartment complexes. Having the ability to simply sit your trash by the door and have someone else retrieve it is a highly desired commodity, and those who have experienced the service swear by it. Currently, many upscale complexes offer trash valet services through third-party companies. Tydee gives all people the ability to have this luxury service despite where they live, and they offer the service at a fraction of the cost.
The other founders of Tydee are Desmond McCain, accountant at YP and treasurer of the Camp Dream Foundation, and Clark Williams, manager of one of the top-performing sales teams at First Data.
I had the opportunity to meet with Joshua for an interview to talk about his life experience, personality, and some of the ins and outs of Tydee.
Brittany Rosario: What do you like to do in your free time?
Joshua Guilbaud: I am such a nerd, haha! Just last night I was watching speeches from Stanford on YouTube. I also like to cook as a way of creative expression since I can’t really draw. The most I could draw would be stick figures.
BR: So you’re not really an artist. How would you describe yourself?
JG: Well, actually, there’s this quiz that I’ve taken, it’s called the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, that breaks down individual’s personality types. I’m an ENTJ (“Commander”).
BR: Okay, that’s pretty cool. I want to find out what I am now.
(Here’s the link for those interested: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test)
BR: My next question for you is, what are you up to now, outside of Tydee?
JG: There’s not anything I’m actually doing outside of Tydee. That’s the nature of startups. You literally become the company. You can try to do other things outside of it but you can’t really do both and be truly invested.
BR: That’s a valid argument. So, how/why did you start Tydee?
JG: Well, when I was at KSU there were students who would never take out their trash; I lived at U Pointe and would have to walk down the stairs and across the bridge just to throw out my trash. Out of all my roommates I was, somehow, always the one to do it. But my walk wasn’t too bad. It sounds farther than it is. Other people had to walk almost a quarter of a mile to the dumpster. However, West 22 had the kind of service to pick up trash. So I found myself talking to one Clark, one of Tydee’s eventual co-founders, about it and he said, “Why don’t we do that?” But how? So I suggested, “We can put it on an app, offer it to anyone with a smartphone.” We started the research and found that having a contract with any third-party entity will make the prices skyrocket to about $30-50. But it doesn’t have to be a luxury service, it should be convenient. That’s how we started Tydee. It’s not only trash either, we are also getting people to recycle more by making it easier for them. This is one of the steps in cutting back on the amount of trash in landfills because landfills are actually worse than CO2 emissions because they are mass producers of methane gas, which is 20x more detrimental to the environment.
BR: Wow. That’s amazing. So I’m curious, what’s the process in how the company operates? Are there any sanitary company partners?
JG: There are only five people on the team, two are developers for the Tydee App. The process is simple though. People have the ability to create an account or login with Facebook. Right now, we’re also looking to partner with some complexes in the Atlanta area.
BR: What are the service’s days and times?
JG: The service days and times are Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. We want people to have their trash out by 8:00 p.m. for the service people to gather it all by 10:00 p.m.
BR: Makes sense. So how do you benefit from this? How do the customers benefit?
JG: Well, long-term, as we expand, the people picking up could work… let’s say 500 Units, and in that time make about $1,950.
BR: Whoa! So the money people could make working at Tydee is practically like getting a scholarship.
JG: Exactly. And we want to give people their time back, not only for the environment but in their own lives. We want them to make the money and have the time to be a student.
BR: That’s great. Truly remarkable. Is there anything else you look forward to doing for/with college students?
JG: To be honest, innovation is stifled because of politics, money, pride, and ego. So I want to start developing ways that students can get involved in understanding the nature of startups and corporate versus entrepreneurship.
BR: That’ll be really useful to any student, especially those in majoring in business and looking to do something new. So does Tydee have any competitors?
JG: No. Basically, we are to the trash companies as Uber is to the taxi industry. We’re the frontier man of this specific kind of service. A first mover of sorts.
BR: Right. So as the frontier men who are setting an example for potential competition, how do you plan to stay at the top? What is your profit? What are your prices like?
JG: Well, we’re not in this to get rich. We’re in this to make a difference. Our profit margin is 55% right now, whereas our competitors (local trash companies) have a 15-20%. People only pay $9.99/month.
BR: That’s it?! People pay that amount for a Netflix account. I can’t believe that something so useful is so inexpensive. I’m looking forward to seeing the Tydee service on both KSU campuses. However, what are some of the possible obstacles that you think you could face in doing this?
JG: Hmm, that’s a tough one. As a preventive measure I would like to only see KSU students servicing other students. Other than that, my foresight doesn’t see anything but I’m keeping my eyes open, just in case.
BR: That’s a good idea, giving jobs to students who need them. I can see this company going very far. With that in mind, what are your short-term goals within the business, since you’ve only been launched for a little over a month?
JG: I’d like this service to be used by the critical mass in the city and suburbs. “Silicon Valley is a mindset, not a location” (Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn). Atlanta has all the resources to be the next Silicon Valley and I want to do my part in that.
BR: I love that mindset. I tell people that all the time. As a New Yorker, I have the mentality to stay focused and motivated. That’s good that you have that. So, what are your long-term goals?
JG: This is actually the beginning of an energy company. Long-term, I want to take the trash and convert it to energy. I’m concerned that people are not thinking about the lapse in waste management and the massive inefficiencies in our waste management system. I want to create zero-waste cities and, ultimately, a zero-waste nation.
BR: What do you think I should know about Tydee that you haven’t already mentioned? Business ideas or promotions that might be coming soon?
JG: We’re building a referral program where every person you refer who subscribes will earn the both of you 50% off a month’s service. So essentially, it becomes $5/month for every person you get to subscribe and they get 50% their first month as well. We’re also looking for something easier to develop than promo codes, so stay tuned.
This interview was absolutely inspiring. Joshua is certainly a pioneer in his lifestyle and ideas. He has started a company in the technology community that spreads the word of our alma mater and positively impacts others to venture into entrepreneurship and make a difference for the environment. So let’s join together to make the world a better place by Tydeeing up.
Interested in using Tydee? The Tydee App can be found on the App Store & Google Play.
Interested in becoming a partner with Tydee? Or want more information? Visit the website at: http://www.tydee.io/
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