Does the world need another location based social app? That’s where this episode starts. I really wanted to understand what would motivate CO Everywhere co-founders Tony Longo and Dan Adams to build product in perhaps the second most crowded mobile “vertical” (next to payments) with arguably the largest competitors vying for supremacy in Facebook, Twitter, Google and Apple. This is a tightly contested, supremely valuable market full of thriving, dying and dead companies. So why them? Why now?
Without a doubt the location market is emerging in the shadow of big data and the reality is that this will be one of the most influential industries if the data is applied to the right context. This is where CO Everywhere comes in. What started as a highly local company called Block Avenue, CO Everywhere takes a unique approach to location data from the world’s social networks and adds a different layer of context to the stream. Dan describes what they are doing as a “real-time unfiltered reality show” – and he is not far off.
In fact, this episode is really an unfiltered mobile startup reality show that demonstrates the finesse required to be an entrepreneur in the mobile era. You’ll hear about the struggles in finding a niche and then that niche being too limited, the painful decisions on when to release product and what their views are on the definition of an MVP (minimum viable product), why they focus on value and let the features come from that (HUGE!) and the challenge with their biggest nemesis of all – time.
This is the type of episode I love doing because we get to dive into a business as the business is being built. Not sure that you can get any closer to the ground than what you are about to watch!
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. Does the world need another location based application on their smartphones? 2:43
2. The CoEverywhere differentiator is… 5:15
3. What is the problem CoEverywhere solves? 9:00
4. Why leave the niche of Block Avenue? 12:00
5. What do you want people to achieve using CoEverywhere? 15:00
6. Why build this? What inspired you? 18:00
7. By shifting away from Block Avenue, have you sacrificed revenue for downloads? 24:00
8. How do you find the value in the company that leads to revenue? 32:00
9. What have the big challenges been in building the company and product? 38:00
10. How do you approach the big companies when you are a small startup? 43:00
11. The truth about pitching VCs 45:30
12. Why the best product possible is the new definition of “minimum viable product” 49:15
13. What’s next for CoEverywhere? 56:15
14. What is your ONE metric that makes your business? 58:20
About Tony Longo
Tony is the Co-Founder & CEO of CO Everywhere, a new startup that lets you follow the social activity happening in a specific location, anywhere in the world. CO Everywhere was formed in early 2012 and formally launched in August 2013. Prior to CO Everywhere, Tony was the Founder & CEO of CondoDomain, an online real estate brokerage which grew from Boston, MA to 16 cities (acquired by Better Homes Realty in 2012).
Tony lives in the Waterfront neighborhood of Boston and the company is headquartered out of the PayPal Start Tank in downtown Boston. Tony is an Information Systems & Technology graduate from Syracuse University, is married to his lovely wife Courtney, loves startups, skiing, and has a small obsession with motorcycles.
About Dan Adams
Co-Founder & CTO of CO Everywhere (formerly BlockAvenue). Previously a consultant building web and mobile apps, teams, and companies. An unusually productive, creative, versatile, and passionate software engineer with a proven ability to translate ideas into software. Dan’s goal is to build something beautiful while being challenged as an engineer and working with awesome people.
As a consultant, Dan played an interim-CTO role with early stage startups helping them define, design, and build their initial product offering while heading up Cantina Consulting’s startup and training offerings. This included work in iOS mobile apps, hybrid HTML5 mobile apps, Rails, Grails, REST APIs, user experience (UX), product design, hiring engineers, and cloud deployments.
Before consulting, Dan was a Head of Engineering during aggressive company growth and architect for the PubFactory publishing product acquired by O’Reilly Safari Online in 2012. He also served as a technical lead for numerous client projects based on the product.
Dan also has experience as an engineering manager, mentor, product architect, and project tech lead. He blogs regularly at http://mrdanadams.com on the software engineering craft and was the founding organizer of the Emerging Business Tech meetup: http://www.meetup.com/emerging-business-technology