Hi folks, I hope to shed some light on the world of ‘location based services’ (LBS) from my point of view. I apologize in advance if my grammatical skills are not perfect and if my typing skills are slower than my thoughts. I intend for this blog to share important news about LBS and my non-expert opinion on that news. Disclaimer: I am a co-founder of an Internet start-up that is in the LBS space in a slightly different way than Facebook or Foursquare. The company is called Guest List Nation and it was started in December 2009 by my long-time business partner of 12 years (Trevor Hewitt, CEO), a brilliant tech guru (Michael, CTO), our jack-of-all-trades (Dennis Petrou, COO) and myself as the CMO. Such lofty titles for a 4 person company but why not! Trevor, Dennis and I have been involved in the San Francisco nightlife space for 12 years, Michael has spent the last 5 years attempting to modernize the industry through his efforts with a website called eVelvetRope. As a whole we realized the nightlife industry systems are antiquated and we started Guest List Nation in response to the reality that a clipboard, pen and a clicker were the highest forms of technology.
Our vision was to create an automated system for people to RSVP to nightlife events. After 3 months of planning, designing and meetings we had our first version of the mobile application for the iPhone finalized and approved for placement on the iTunes store. The application is free to download and offers the user access to 70 or so free guest list offers in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The 1.0 version allowed the user to RSVP to the guest list offer of their choice and our system compiled the RSVP list and emailed it to the nightclub’s manager before the nightclub opened for business.
Wow, we did it…we modernized the old system used by a nightclub or did we? Wait, there is still a list at the front door, the host has to find your name and cross it off the list and grant you entry. Well it is a step in the right direction but we are not there yet. So we spend the next 3 months working on a GPS-verified redemption system. In August, 2010 we launched version 2.o for the iPhone application and the Android version is days away from launch as well. Here is where our location based service is utilized: the user clicks on a particular RSVP when they arrive at the nightclub, we check their location (check-in), we verify the person is indeed at the nightclub and we then deliver a free admission ticket on the application’s screen which includes their name, number of guests, the nightclub address, date, time, etc…
I’m calling this a moral victory as we eliminated the clipboard and the pen. However, the clicker still exists!
I do not intend to use this blog as a commercial for my application, instead I wanted to show you the experiences that shape my writing here. I’d love to learn more about your perspective on location based services via a few short polls:
Thank you for reading and your input! I look forward to creating a lively, informative and opinionated forum for all here.