Ultra Light Startups

Ultra Light Startups

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Startup advice please...

I started a company earlier this year that has developed an app that is a better way to share local restaurant and bar recommendations between friends (rather than relying on strangers on existing sites/apps). Its called LocalSpin (www.localspin.com). Would really appreciate people's thoughts on the app (positive and negative), views on how to get broader adoption and views on how we pitch the app on our website...thanks everyone!

LocalSpin is where you & your friends can recommend restaurants, bars, & cafes directly to one another & share your favorite places. Good Friends...

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  • September 20, 2012
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  • Steve M.

    Steve

    Steve M.

    CEO at DeadEye Marksmanship, Inc

    Attractive and clean app but how do you plan to differentiate yourself from Yelp? Nothing in Yelp limits friends from sharing information. Have you researched what the real overlap is in restaurants among friends? Allowing for differences in locations? Budgets? Tastes?

    T Web site doesn't do enough to convince me to use this instead of Yelp. And the restaurant reviews on the Blog are OK but need more details, better categorization, and an easier way to search.

    Not trying to dismiss your app but tossing out some devil's advocate points that you are likely to hear from investors.

    Good luck. It is an interesting start but I think you have a long road ahead.

  • Andrei K.

    Andrei

    Andrei K.

    CTO at Siine Ltd

    I would suggest you start local and create demand in one city first.
    You will need to introduce teh candy yourself - like revies, menus etc.
    I know someone who has a "Daily Menu" app - quite succesfull in a smaller city - he got initial traction by introducing content for users . calling the restaurants by phone each day to see what's cooking :-).

    If yu manage to get on ecity take a look at the KPI's then you MIGHT have a chance for financing. However will be tough to replicate.
    If social does not go viral by itself it is tricky.

    For other cities you might try to reward early adopters somehow - give them some badges or something.

    As Steve was saying you might also be to close to Yelp - however I don't know it that well to see the small details. I think it is important to be different though - no matter if better or worse hard to tell.

    It is a crowded space investors aren't very enthusiastic about it.
    Foursquare is shifting towards discovery too.. I am quite bearish about them though.

    If you manage to resist for 6 months - one year you should have enough data to take a decision. Hope it helps.

    Andrei

  • Tudor F. C.

    Tudor F.

    Tudor F. C.

    Attorney, Owner of Tudor Law P.C.

    I personally really like the idea of the app. Its main point of attraction is that you get recommendations from people you know (unlike Yelp, and that's a big difference). That's a very nice feature because you can make a better decision on how to rely on that review. If I think my friend is too picky, then I won't put as much weight on that review. If I know that my friend doesn't like Japanese food in general, then I know that I'll take his or her rating with a grain of salt. If I know my friend and I have similar tastes in food, décor, and atmosphere, then I'll pay more attention to their review. It's just like movie ratings: if you find a critic that has similar tastes as you, then you go to the movies they recommend knowing that you'll probably like the movie. GREAT STUFF!

    Regarding monetizing, you don't have to reinvent the wheel. Once you have a great product, you protect your IP in it, have a solid corporate structure, have solid contracts, make sure you and your collaborators know who owns what and how each gets compensated, do a lot of marketing, and have a lot of patience (things don't happen overnight). This may sound more like a pep talk than specific advice, but these are tried-and-true methods. I wish you the best.

    Tudor

  • Steve M.

    Steve

    Steve M.

    CEO at DeadEye Marksmanship, Inc

    Tudor... Great feedback, especially since it helped make my case. I played devil's advocate because they failed to make a case for their app. You did a better job selling it than either their blurb or their Web site. They need more marketing to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack.

    It may be a great app but only if people realize it. At this point, it's up to the prospect to speculate that question rather than be sold on the app.

  • Jules L.

    Jules

    Jules L.

    Digital Marketing Consultant

    I love it!

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