welcomeshort

The Art and Science of the Long Hold

The long hold is half art and half science. This puts it in the same very special category as the three finger track pad swipe and the basketball finger roll.

With that said, it’s actually really easy and intuitive once you get the hang of it. To a lot of us it’s already completely normal to do on our phones thanks to selecting locations in Google maps, copy/pasting in text editors, and many more apps. But – it’s an acquired action and not 100% intuitive. So, let’s jump into how it works and why we care so much about the long hold!

In both the Android and iOS Spectafy apps we take advantage of the long hold in the map to select a location anywhere. Once a location is selected a request is created so you can see what’s happening there! (more…)

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Spectafy Beta is here!

We are excited to report that Spectafy Beta has arrived!!  We launched in San Francisco at the beginning of October (for Android), and the response has been incredible.  A huge thank you to all of our Beta users for helping us get the bugs worked out and building the foundation of what we hope will be an incredible community of users!

As we expected, the last few weeks have been a serious learning experience.  We have gained tons of insight on design and usability, and have been thrilled to get a better feel for what the community wants to use Spectafy for.   (more…)

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startup lessons learned market research

How We Screwed Up Doing Market Research

At Spectafy, our Team members come from a pretty diverse background of education and career types. One thing that none of us had any particular education or training in was doing “market research” or marketing. I put the term “market research” in quotations because it sounds really formal, and when I hear it I picture being at a big table in the middle of the night with bespectacled and bloodshot eyes, stacks of spreadsheets and financial reports spread before me.

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Startup Team Train

5 Steps to a Badass Startup Team

As a co-founder, building a badass startup team will not only be one of your first challenges, but also the most important one to get right. Here are some of the tidbits we learned while forming our current, and (I think) extremely badass, team.

1. Identify your Weaknesses

The team has to start with me, myself, and I.  We mean this in the most humble of ways.  The reality is that nobody is going to put in more blood, sweat, and tears to execute your vision than you–although great team members may get close.  Remember, in the wise words of Mark Suster,

“Shit happens. Great teams handle adversity better.”

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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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Ads

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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sciencesmaller

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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