Jean Charles Salvin shares an innovative idea he started with one page on Facebook, which is now set to conquer the rest of the countries in the world.
With more than 750 million users (70% of which is outside the United States), Facebook has not only made it easier, cheaper and more convenient to communicate with friends and family. It has also become a playground for innovative ideas which could earn the owners money, popularity in the world wide web, or drive traffic to one’s site or page (sometimes up to millions overnight). One idea that has potential to reach millions worldwide is Jean Charles Salvin’s “Find Your Way in the World” project.
While in Singapore working as a business analyst for trade finance in the banking industry, JC (as he is sometimes fondly called by friends), thought of starting the Find Your Way in Singapore page on Facebook. A month later, Find Your Way in the World came about. And within less than a year, JC and his colleagues created all the other pages for Find You Way for other countries.
A French national, Jean Charles is already a seasoned traveler at age 28. He is acutely aware of the challenges that go with say finding a room in Singapore that will not cost you half of your life savings if you do not know Singapore very well. The same is true if you were looking for a reasonably priced restaurant in Bangkok that serves authentic international cuisine. The Find You Way pages he started on Facebook is his answer to challenges such as these.
At first, JC tried sending out emails to incite interest from people, but he found out that nothing beats Facebook when it comes to viral marketing. “People find the Find Your Room in Singapore and Hongkong pages very useful because rooms there are very expensive and it’s hard to find a good area to stay in if you are not from these places”, JC explains.
What makes this project more significant than most other ideas, however, is that it is driven by the desire to share information for free, and part of the revenue gained from it would be used for charity projects and to provide education opportunities. One idea Jean Charles has for a charity project would be to hold an event in Singapore or in Bangkok, and then donate the proceeds to an old school in Nepal, for example, to buy much needed school supplies. Then photos of the students receiving the items could be published on Facebook for donors to see. “Then people could really see that their money has been used for something good (and not just to buy something expensive for those who organized the event).”
“Anyone can start a business in Facebook, and it will all depend on the people around you and if they like your concept. Doing this for money is important for me to survive”, says Find Your Way’s CEO, “but that’s not the main target. I could keep it for my own personal project.”
Future plans for Find Your Way is to find administrators in each of the other countries for which a page has been created for this project, to establish contacts with more key agents in the social media industry, and to link up with other people who find his ideas on his pages useful.
In the meantime, JC communicates and connects with the rest of his network around the world from the comforts of his condo in Bangkok. Thanks to the wonders of technology, it has become possible for him to skype, chat, send emails and/or messages from Facebook, broadcast an update on his YouTube page – all while in his pajamas.
So for EXL readers out there who also nurture a nugget of an idea, Jean Charles has this to say: “Start as soon as you can! And I would advise anybody who starts their own project online to ‘really listen to the crowd’. Find out what people like and what they don’t like. It is also very important to read a lot on the subject. And then, present your idea and listen for feedback.”