Sarah Neill is the co-founder, CEO, and female travel extraordinaire over at tech-startup DOODAD (www.getadoodad.com). As a prime example of a businesswoman who saw a problem and found an effective way to solve it, Sarah is an entrepreneur on a mission to change the world of travel, as we know it.
“DOODAD is a data-only travel SIM card, that when in your smartphone or tablet will give you access to pre-paid data in 54 countries. You simply buy DOO-DATA, which lasts a year, and can be used in any of our countries,” Sarah explained.
Beginning her career in Australia by working in the telecommunications sector, Sarah made her way from country-to-country, and is now nestled in New York City where she develops the DOODAD brand. While she proclaims that she is not entirely “tech-savvy,” Sarah certainly has the business skills and travel know-how from receiving her MBA and a multi-faceted education stemming from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and Denmark.
As any regular traveler has come to realize, data in other countries can be expensive and intimidating. When you think about language barriers and currency conversions, it’s almost enough to deter anyone from dealing with the hassle of using a cell phone in another country.
DOODAD is the product of Sarah’s travels mixed with the observance of an obvious problem previously unsolved. She knew that there had to be a better way for travelers to stay online, and she began exploring (pun intended) how to solve this issue. Sarah explained that using data when traveling is more important than it is when you’re actually using it where you live. If you think about it, when you’re in your own town, you know where you’re going, you know where to find lunch, and you know the roads and popular destinations. But, when you’re traveling, you’re basically clueless and taken back to the pre-technology era.
“The industry warns us about using data roaming, because “bill shock” has become such a big issue. Standard data roaming is not just expensive – it’s ridiculous. People are so scared of returning to a massive bill, that they’re willing to go without mobile data, when they need it the most. 75% of travelers turn off data roaming, and rely on free Wi-Fi (when they can get it) or local SIMs when they travel. And this is the huge gap in the market we are set up to serve.”
Sarah knows that people in general are creatures of habit, and it’s difficult to change a learned behavior (in this case – reversing the idea that you don’t need to turn your phone off in another country anymore with the use of a DOODAD).
“It’s very hard for anyone to change behavior that’s become automatic –like relying on your phone for instant information and connection. You leave your phone at home for a day, and it’s a nightmare. Yet, if you’re traveling outside of the country, people are willing to fall off the grid. This is a pretty significant anomaly.”
With all of these realizations, the answer seemed simple: create a stress-free method of using data while traveling abroad.
“The ultimate goal was to provide international data that you don’t need to worry about. We set up a daily limit feature so people can control how much they spend. When you reach your Daily Max, we redirect you to our site, so you can add more credit, or wait till the next refresh. It’s always free to go back to our site, so you don’t need to worry about finding free Wi-Fi to add more data.”
Along with creating a simple solution to an obvious problem, the creative branding behind DOODAD is one of the most important and attractive elements.
“DOODAD: When in roam.”
Provided to Project Eve with support from DOODAD. When in roam, get a DOODAD! www.getadoodad.com.