Interview APP Founder – Charly Harrison

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Name Founder: Charly Harrison

Name Company: Zone App Limited

Name App: WHERE

Category App: Social

Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: London, UK (just for the time being)

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Q&A:                         

As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
CH:
“I genuinely couldn’t understand why an App like WHERE didn’t exist. I wanted something which could show me ‘where’ people like me are doing either social or sporty activities nearby right now or later today. I want to know where’s best to be hanging out today based on the people who are there right now or who are going to be there later. I want real-time info on venues, activities and events from the perspective of the pepole who are enjoying them rather than from the businesses behind them (who will be biased).“

Why should Users download this App?
CH: “If you love socialising but…

  • You always go to the same handful of places because you know you’re kind of people go there and it’s your kind of vibe.
  • You would be more spontaneous and try new places if it was less risky because there was a way to see if it was popular right now, with the vibe you want from your night out.
  • You don’t necessarily want to meet new people but would like to be surrounded by like minded people in a buzzing atmosphere.

You try to be sporty for fitness and social reasons but…

  • You find it annoying when people drop out of games at the last minute and you struggle to find fill in
  • You don’t want to comit to one team and would rather be a fill in
  • You and your sporty mates would like to get more out of the social side of the game.
  • You often go to the same one or two pubs to watch the game for the fear of trying somewhere else and it being dead or not full of your kind of people.”

What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
CH:

  • It’s spontaneous and all about what’s going on right now or later today
  • It shows you where people are enjoying venues/events/activities etc right now on a live heatmap.
  • It’s not an App for ‘meeting people exactly but it it’s is a good way to do so if you are keen to meet new people who are interested in the same social and/or sporty activities as you.
  • It’s not an App for singles but if you are looking to meet someone romantically then it’s been proven that meeting a potential love-intereset while out with friends, doing the things you enjoy is the best way to do so.
  • It is a real-time feedback App… like a fly on the wall to the atmosphere of a place right now.

Can you tell something about the process, challenges, hurdles and time spent from the moment you start (The Idea) till the moment you launched the App at the AppStore / GooglePlay?
CH: “It’s taken 2.5 years to get to this point. I am not ‘techie’ at all so needed to find tech advisors, find recommended developers which I then had to learn how to work with. After a year I realised I was struggling and needed to bring on another in-house team member, which I did (a COO) and 6 months later we became a three by hiring a Head of Marketing. We are looking to employ a CTO after our next fundraising round (which we are in the middle of now).

I put in all of my savings initially and have since raised just over £500k in Angel investment. We outsourced the development to a company in India which was great to get started but we soon realised we needed to upgrade here. App developement costs 5 times what you think/hope it will.”

Once you launched the App in the Appstore / GooglePlay, what did you do to promote this App to your target audience (user group)? Do you think Applepies (as worldwide rating and reviewing Online App Magazine) can have a certain role in this?
CH:

# Facebook adds
# Social media
# Word-of-mouth
# Partnerships

CH: “It would be great if Applepies could help generate some new users for us, which would partly depend on the number of London readers you have.”

You as a visionary person, what is your view on the new technologies of the digital smartphone (App) world. Do you think that within 1 to 5 years App’s will be indispensable?
CH: “I absloutely feel this is the way technologies is progressing but ironically it worries me from a socil perspective. I think technology is amazing for connecting people and adding benefits to our lives in many ways but is also becoming very damaing in some ways as many social Apps aren’t actually ‘social’ at all and are causing physical and mental health issues due to our obsessive online behaviours. I think tech entreprenuers should be responsible for building more ‘social’ technology which helps us to get more out of our OFFLINE experiences before we all end up living in a virtual reality.”

Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalise or optimize your App?
CH: “We have just opened an investment round and are aim to raise £500,000.”

What is the business model of the App (how does the App earns money?) Think of advertisements, premium subscriptions in the App etc?

  1. A) User to user marketplace – users can sell tickets to events they are organising, sell sports game tickets they don’t want etc;
  2. B) Targeted advertising (depending on what we learn about each user). If John tells the app that he plays football on clapham common every week and goes for Gin & Tonics every weekend then Addidas could advertise to him about football boots and Sip Smiths could advertise to him with offers etc;
  3. C) Data – we will learn the social movements of a broad demographic. This information is valuable to brands.

Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other creators/founders?
o   Only create an App if you would genuinely benefit from & enjoy the product yourself.
o   Make sure you will be solving a big enough problem for enough people.

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