Not too long ago, DOODAD launched its global roaming SIM, and in just the last few months alone, the company has made a number of strides as it looks to continue improving and expanding its services worldwide.
While we are certainly interested in the future of the young company and will keep our eyes and ears to the ground regarding its future plans, it’s also important to look at the present and the past. We had the opportunity to discuss some of the company’s beginnings and accomplishments with DOODAD CEO Sarah Neill, who unveiled the company’s vision, including DOODAD’s unique approach to international roaming:
Why was Doodad created?
“We rely on data for a lot of things. Business, getting directions, finding where to eat, and staying in touch with the people who matter. So we found it odd that when traveling internationally, data was complicated, or inaccessible, or just really really expensive. Because of this 75% of people turn off data on their phones when they leave their home country.
So we started DOODAD, a simple, affordable and headache-free data SIM for reliable access all over the world.”
What inspired the name of the company?
“When we were naming DOODAD, we were adamant that we would not have ‘sim/travel/data’ in the name. We wanted something simple, easy and memorable – and not something descriptive/functional.
“75% of people turn off data on their phones when they leave their home country.”
One of the google definitions for doo-dad is: A gadget, esp. one whose name the speaker does not know or cannot recall.
So, when we chose DOODAD we were playing with this idea:
“IT’S A DOODAD FOR
YOUR THINGAMAJIG SO
YOU CAN FIND THAT
Add to that our tagline: WHEN IN ROAM – and we think we’ve achieved what we wanted – a fun, simple, memorable name.”
What makes DOODAD unique?
“Firstly, we are data only – this means no phone number. We made this decision for 2 reasons:
- When you add voice and text – you can’t keep pricing simple. You need to have a table for incoming vs outgoing vs premium for every destination to every destination. It becomes complicated and overwhelming.
- With data you can do everything you need when traveling. You can look up maps, find a good place to eat, and you can still make calls using VoIP, and send messages with WhatsApp, email, Facebook etc.
Secondly, we developed a feature called our Daily Max, that lets each user choose how much they want to spend per day. This is because, many people don’t understand how much data they use, but everyone understands their budget. Our number one goal for DOODAD, was to achieve “international data, you don’t have to worry about”. This is how we achieved that.”
VoIP and messaging apps complement DOODAD’s data-only approach perfectly, but was voice and text ever part of the original idea?
“Exactly! Originally, we did consider voice and text, but when we weighed up the pros and cons, it was a simple choice for us. I considered my own travel experiences. Before DOODAD I’d keep my phone on, but turn data roaming off – and use WiFi (when I could get it). I liked to be contactable in case of emergency, but then when someone would call me, I’d be thinking ‘please don’t leave a voicemail, because I don’t want to pay data roaming to listen to it’ which means that I’d just email that person anyway to find out what was up.”
Could there be a dedicated DOODAD calling and messaging application in the future?
“I think data is the way of the future. So we’re staying true to that. I don’t think phone numbers will even be around in the next 5 years. People don’t want to worry about which country they are calling, or if the number is up to date.”
As one of the few global carriers, what are some of the biggest challenges DOODAD has had to face, both in the beginning and now?
“[There are] so many variables when launching a product like this.”
“[There are] so many variables when launching a product like this. Device types, user ability, layered on to the various operators. That’s why we wanted to run a beta prior to launch, using real customers who were traveling to our 54 destinations. It allowed us to see what issues came up, and fix them before we launched. And we learnt a lot. We improved instructions, fixed up confusing codes, and a whole bunch of other things, as a result of the great feedback we received. We want to continue this model, when we launch new countries in the future.”
What would you say is the most rewarding experience of all as CEO?
“It’s been an incredible experience building DOODAD, the chance to start something fresh, and not be tied to any past legacy. And now that we are 2 months in, we’re refining our processes, and getting into a good groove. And just recently I’ve been able to take a step back, and really take some pride in what we’ve achieved so far. And now I’m just so excited for the great things to come. As you know (even if we’re not publishing it yet) there’s a number of big announcements in the works.”
Find out more about DOODAD here.