Scott Raymond, Co-founder and CEO CTO of Gowalla
Fun thought – someone is in their basement right now, coding something that will be huge in 3 months.
A funny thing – while building the first version of Gowalla, he had to actually code a bit, then go outside and check in somewhere, then go back home and code some more, etc.
He thinks location is fundamental.
Macroscope – a way to access the world at a social scale. Helps us see what the aggregation of many small actions looks like when added together.
Services like gowalla act like macroscopes.
Passports are cool, because they tell a story. In the passport view of gowalla, you can see a recorded version of a person’s life through his passport stamps.
Photos – you’re sharing with your friends … Like what the food looks like. But you’re also sharing with everyone else who checks into the restaurant or place. That’s huge.
Hotspots… Sort of like trending twitter topics. Places getting lots of checkins get put at the top of the list.
deals: during sxsw, they gave away virtual tacos … Then you could go to the real restaurant, and get a real taco. Gowalla was going to pay for it. The company, One Taco (I think), said forget about paying, because they sold 12 tacos for every one, and had a huge line down the block the whole week because of that one virtual taco giveaway.
Location based services can provide data.
A restaurant manager, for example, can see who his most frequent visitors are, then contact them via Twitter. It should be possible for that manager to be emailed when a loyal frequent customer checks in so they can go to the table, shake their hand, comp their wine. Wow.
The check in shows up on his facebook stream. Shows he was really there, had a good experience. It’s word of mouth.
What if you could infiltrate your competitor’s space … What if one competitor “owned” another’s Location-based space, and could leave messages there?
They made a game for a laptop bag company sold at Apple stores. You check into an apple store, possibly see an ad for a case … and you could get a badge. If you collected all 6, you could get a free real bag.
He sees gowalla as less of a game and more of a sharing experience. And the visuals are nice.