"You may be one of the chosen lucky bastards, who will spend 4 weeks with us and participate in our magnificant App Campus in Europe!"This online ad attracted the mobile developers Shubham Goel from Lucknow and Ali Hafizji from Pune early this year to apply for this event called Pangalaktik App Camp:us, an exciting 4 week-long digital product development event, organized by one of Central Europe's funkiest digital agency, Carnation Group. Their idea was to bring some of the most creative talents from all over the world together to develop an outstanding app within four weeks. So Carnation was scouting for outstanding visual designers, geeky web developers, Android Ninjas and iOS Gurus and got a fantastic team with genuine people from Hungary, Russia, Korea, Poland, Estonia and of course India, represented by Ali and Shubham. So all of them came down to Hungary, to spend their summer hacking, designing and developing a great product called Crowdspottr.
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Crowdspottr is a personalized event planning app, using the data and check ins from Facebook and Foursquare to identify the best places to hang out. We asked Ali and Shubham to tell us more about their product and their awesome experience in Europe.
Give 3 tags to describe Crowdspottr!
Events, places, friends
Fine, so how does the app work?
After downloading Crowdspottr from the Android Market / App-Store, you have to login to your Facebook and Foursquare accounts. Then you can start to explore events, see check-ins, and check out friends and find what they are doing. Crowdspottr not only shows you all the events that your friends are attending but it also gives the user a list of nearby places where he can go and have some fun. Whether its catching up with old friends or exploring new places to goto Crowdspottr can do it all.
Who would be using your app? Who is your target customer?
Our target user is Marc Zuckerberg (as you can see in our promotion video). It's time for him and other geeks to go out and have fun with their friends, instead of wasting time in front of Facebook or Youtube, getting bored.
Some people may ask how Crowdspottr is different from Facebook and Foursquare and how it helps the user. So what are the features you offer?
Crowdspottr suggests events by popularity, event calendar, Boy/girl ratio tracking (very useful), event bookmarking, event filters and many more. Using these the user can easily narrow down the place that interests him the most and have some fun. It’s not a social network but a tool instead that helps you reconnect with your friends in real life, too.
What is your favorite feature?
“Friend stalking”: this helps you to follow people to know and alert you as to what they are doing right now. This helps you to catch up with this important friend and celebrity or even avoid that person if it makes sense. Apart from this killer feature, we love our “four cute birds” in the logo.
What is the status quo of the project?
We have build the product in summer 2011 and now the promotion of the product has started. Along with that we are also working on some more features and our users have requested.
What about monetisation?
Right now the focus is only in building a user base. We believe the product is really cool and will attract a lot of users. Userbase is more important than anything else.
How did this project actually happen for you?
We both (independently) applied online for the camp. The application form had some really funky questions like “Given a chance what kind of a Super hero would you be – you cant choose an existing one” etc. After submitting our form, we got a call from Andras the project Manager from Carnation. He asked us some general questions about mobile development and in the next call that we received he said that we have been selected. A few more days and we received our plane tickets and the journey started.
Tell us more about your experience at the app Camp:us
The camp:us bought together an interesting group of people all of whom were not beginners in their areas of expertise. We all worked together in a team of 10, there was no need for any sort of team management we just magically gelled together. Everyone was very open to new ideas and the best part was that all of us were extremely motivated to make something awesome during this short period.
Give us some more fact and figures!
10 people, 6 different countries, 4 crazy weekend outings, more than 2700 challenge hours together; 9,318 lines of code (iOS)*, 290 energy drinks; 2 mobile applications in beta state, 2 website alive, 2 promo videos
Share you most amazing experience from these 4 weeksThe most amazing experience, hmm!! That’s difficult since every moment was really awesome. But I think all of us had a lot of fun at Balaton Sound. We left for the festival at around 2am and we came back to the camp the next day at 9 or 10 in the morning. It was one hell of a ride.
Now you are back to India. Just give us a short background of what you are doing back home!
Ali: I am working for a small startup in Pune called June Software, we make fun/ educational apps for the iPhone and Android. I work there as a developer and I help them make 2D games and jazzy UI widgets.
Shubham: I am running an app development studio (What an App!) and we are building iPhone applications and Value added Services and having a great time doing so. Some of our apps are already on the app store and have received great reviews.
(in conversation with Wolfgang Bergthaler | YourStory.in)