Utility Isn’t Enough, How Social Should Compliment Utility to Drive App Engagement

If you’re trying to make a big splash in the app world, utility itself is simply not enough anymore. 

A bit of background on our app

Spectafy connects people to location-specific answers, visually. It’s meant to get people moving, and get them information about locations in real-time without having to leave where they are – so that they can plan and move more efficiently. One of the biggest superpowers of our app is its focus on community, on togetherness, and helping each other.

It’s also the biggest thing we weren’t executing on at the beginning of our beta.

The funny thing is we were short-sighted at first in bringing this vision of our community to life within our app.

We had the utility and the mechanics wrapped up nicely, but something was missing. People were able to request images, ask for information, take photos and get their information – but it just didn’t feel like enough. It didn’t “stick”.

The breakthrough

Early in our beta we learned a fundamental truth, that in this socially connected world, utility alone just wasn’t enough. We had to make it social, we had to ramp up the interest, we had to make it interactive. 


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Photos And The Future of Real-time, On-demand Information

Real-time photos, we believe, are going to be a huge part of how we gain information in the next year. We are so connected technologically through our mobile phones and mobile devices that pictures are just an obvious commodity that we can use for more than just selfies. We can use them to plan, to be productive, and to help people. We can use them as we already do to engage in communities, but also to benefit communities.

We knew when we got started building our startup, Spectafy, that we would learn a lot about real-time photo sharing and boy have we ever! Just to give you a bit of background, Spectafy is an app that enables people to engage with and help the community with real-time information and photos from people who are already where you want to see. If you want to know what the park is like before you get there, you can easily get that information in a picture from someone nearby.

We learned quickly (and still are learning) what people really want to share through our community. Some were pretty expected, but some where very unexpected, and actually helped us shape the interface of our app to help facilitate those use cases.

We’ve learned that people mainly like to use the app for:

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Why NYC Desperately Needs Real-Time Info Delivery (And How We Want to Help)

I have never been somewhere that needed what we’re building at Spectafy as badly as New York City!

Recently, I made a trip out to NYC to meet with one of our visionary, connected, and helpful investors. It wasn’t my first time to the big city, but it was my first trip there with the Spectafy vision planted firmly in my brain – that made it my most eye opening trip to New York yet!

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san francisco basketball courts

The Best Places to Play Pickup Basketball in San Francisco

At Spectafy we like to keep moving, we like to have fun, and we love basketball.

Naturally as people who love basketball, finding a place to play pickup basketball is essential knowledge. We thought we would solve that for our native San Francisco friends by giving you the lay of the land with a few of our favorite places to play, as well as what’s been said about some courts online.


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How Real-Time Photo Sharing is Being Utilized Around The Web (And Our Vision For It)

Photo sharing is huge, it’s exploded on to the scene as one of the biggest mobile markets in the world.

Instagram alone has over 150 million users on the platform, 16 billion photos shared, and 1 billion likes happening every day. There are now over 2 billion photos uploaded every day, so surely there is a method to this photo-sharing madness


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The End Goal Of Increased Productivity Should Not Be More Time For Kitten Videos

The point is not to be so effective that you free up time to simply do nothing.

It’s about freeing up your time to do something great.

The goal of increased productivity is to be able to accomplish more in life that is worth accomplishing in less time. This frees up more time to do things like building and maintaining relationships, staying healthy, learning new things, improving your skills, and otherwise fulfilling your goals and dreams.

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Get Things Done – The Spectafy Team Motto

Great startup teams consist of hustlers, hackers, and designers – we certainly have those bases covered.

The Spectafy team was built from the ground up to steer and build our community based business. The steering comes primarily from founders Eric Watson and Mike Kokorich. The building is mostly done by Cal Doval, Scott Kirkland, and Jim Wilson. However, our complementary and narrowly overlapping skillsets lead us all to be both steerers and builders.

I’m excited to introduce our team!

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Story Background

Connecting Our Community with the Information They Need – The Spectafy Story

This is a description of Spectafy and our story that originally appeared on Superb Crew. Big thanks to Milan at Superb Crew! I realized, we haven’t shared a lot of this on our own blog, so here you go!

Have you ever wanted to know how packed the park is before you head there with your dog for a picnic? Have you ever wanted to know how many people are at the bar before you get in a cab to go there? Have you ever wished you could see how many people are playing basketball at the park before you head down hoping you can get a pickup game going?

We have too, and these are some of the many reasons we are building Spectafy.

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