Thomas Monson approached me to co-found & CTO a platform for hot-spots and lounges to sell their bottles online to birthday party revellers, celebutantes and high rollers; all at a discount. The idea was sublime, but why had so many nightlife leaders failed in the space before?
Seeing both the challenge and the potential, I discovered a surprising parallel between consumer needs in nightlife and the travel industry. We re-conceptualized BookABottle (BAB) from a discounter to an online marketplace that introduced transparency and consistency (and discounts) to nightlife, like expedia had done for travel. Giving customers what they want has attracted the president of the NY Nightlife Assoc to our board and prepared BAB for multi-city expansion.
When my architect approached my company about building a website to promote and manage her 20 vacation rental properties, I suggested she purchase an exising software package rather than undertake a costly custom project. Unfortunately for her, all of the existing quality software had enterprise pricing because they took entire teams to customize for each client.
With 4 million vacation properties for rent by Americans and sky high software pricing, this market was ripe for innovation. FutureStay brings vacation rentals into the web 2.0 sphere with procedurally generated websites and CRM/CMS systems. We let owners create and customize their own websites both aesthetically and functionally and add APIs marketing and booking management tools.
Jonathan Fabio, the director of GoOutGiveBack (GOGB), had a vision of crafting a drink rewards program that benefited everyone from customers to venues to distributors, and most of all, charities. His partners at Allied Beverage (NJ's largest liquor distributor) wanted measurable and scaleable results.
When one of the largest liquor distributors in the country wants real-time metrics and rewards for a drink program, hand-stamps and wristbands simply won't do. I helped GOGB by consulting on and researching SMS implementations, then building a text messaging platform that helped customers request discounts and receive rewards in venues, in real-time. With its new SMS platform, GOGB has now received additional backing and is deploying statewide.
When I'm not coding, designing or conceptualizing, I frequently spend time organizing events and meetups. One of the key challenges of hosting public events is sharing them with interested people. Meetup is my first choice to build or find a group, but it's not geared for sharing one-off events or finding your interests locally in real time.
I concieved NYCWKND as a platform to help people quickly share and discover local events that they're passionate about. The NYCBigApps competition was the perfect opportunity to quickly create a fun protype (3 days!) and kickstart it with a bit of exposure. Within 2 weeks of entry, NYCWKND was contacted by two of the top 10 publications in NYC and is in early-stage talks to develop a fully featured local content platform.