Making places come alive & talk back
A trio from the same school, different batches far and close, came together to create Max. "Max" the naughty chimp is from iFlit, an app that wants to change the way people are currently deciding to go out to a place. This is a story about Yash, Deepti & Hemant
Chapter 2: The Big Bang
The idea originated over drinks (coffee) when a story was doing rounds about one of us being in Goa and getting bounced (happens) from club to club on nights due to a place being too full or too empty or just having bad music and then It struck "What if a place could tell you things like ... what is going on there in real time or what kind of music is playing or what kind of crowd is there, what kind of mood is there, all this and more!
We realised none of the present apps were able to do that, either they are a big menu card, making you sit at home instead of going out, or deal finder apps getting you into the habit of just searching for deals which gets you in category for deal finders, (sounds cheap ...innit).
Chapter 3: The LSIE®
That was the start of brainstorming amongst us and led to the creation of "Live Scene Information Engine" or "LSIE®" algorithm, which formed the basis of our app. It works by matching your physical presence with a place and only then your mobile's camera can capture and upload the scenes to the “place page” in the app, important condition being no gallery upload possible.
Chapter 4: The Process
We started working on the app functionality, how it will happen, why it will happen, how much it will happen, privacy and safety studies, arguments till 4 am in the night, going out for coffee to cool down, being stopped by traffic cops for late night outings and getting encouraged by them instead of being fined!
Our search for development team led us to USA, Bangalore, Mumbai and then finally after enough research we found a developer team working for nice projects in the USA. We had a good match of vibes with them and that led to development of our basic MVP.
We are proud to share that our app is exactly doing what we had planned and scratched on a piece of paper almost a year ago.
Chapter 5: The Product
We have made this app as a perfect customer engagement tool for the Places plus as a community of mover and shakers who love going out, share their moments at places on other apps but non-curated limited information to limited people.
On iFlit we make everything happen only around a Place. We are also making ratings and reviews redundant, as these can be paid and sometimes fake, as on iFlit posting only happens when you are physically at the Place.
The best is yet to come, if you are sitting at home you request a “Place” (if any flitters or users are at the place) for a “Live Scene”. This request flows to all the users flitted in (checked-in on the app) at the place and they can respond to this request!
Chapter 6: Game of Flits
All of the above actions follow rules of our “Game of Flits”. In this game you earn “Flitcoins” on every Flit-In (Check-In) that you do at a place. You earn Flitcoins when you upload a live scene from a place and also when you respond to a “Live Scene” request from other users.
And when you request a “Live Scene” Flitcoins get deducted from your account.
Chapter 7: WTF
What the Flitcoins? These get you deals on the app. Every visit out to a place can earn you Flitcoins that in turn get you more deals from even more places on our platform.
We have signed up some of the best places in our home city, some of which are offering up-to 50% flat off against Flitcoins, and (just to show off) we signed them on beta test stage!
These Flitcoins will be your loyalty cards, loyalty coupons, deal coupons and everything else that gives you the benefits based on your moving out habits. The Flitter community would help its members to decide better, ask and get real-time deals from places and connect with each other where crowd is loving it.
Chapter 8: How to prepare for War
• Have a mentor: Period: No Discussions
• You Founders should be 125% clear about what you are doing before letting it go to the development team. They are developers, they might give you plausible seeming reasons that may confuse you from your main theme for particular features. But need to be focused with your vision. (You have spent many sleepless nights developing it)
• In midst of development we came across a couple of other app wanting to do what we were trying to do, that scared the flit out of us first, but it also gave us the confidence that people are looking for something like this to help them decide better. (Learn from others mistakes)
• It’s impossible to divide work initially, after a point, an understating has to be there on who is focusing on what broad category, so that you movement is not confused.
• Read: Listen: Watch >>>>
o Books about Startups like Hooked / Lean Startup / Beermat Entrepreneur / Zero to One and others. Just finish them fast and make your own notes.
o Listen to Podcasts of Seth Godin, Gaining Traction, The Pitch, Reboot Podcast, get these on any good Podcast apps you like.
o Listen to stories of Failures and Pitches that went wrong
o YouTube > Just use it. Get Good headphones and condition your brain with best videos about Startups.
• Tell your better halves that they will be secondary priority in this phase, till the business is able to setup its team. If they understand and contribute, you are lucky.
• Forget EGO. It’s the Project that matters, nothing else.
Chapter 9: YDH
Yash Bagga (youngest) has a family business background of Logistics Business. BBA from IIPM. Ran a restaurant once and loves to party well. From Zero IT experience, transformed self to have a Startup warrior mentality to take the project ahead.
Deepti Bagga, (the lady in the team), Single mother, designer background with various products. Zero IT experience, transformed self to an IT Product Curator.
Hemant Chauhan, (old guy in the team), caramelized entrepreneur, with passion for IT and systems implementation. IT admin of own family business and has seen failures and success with various ventures of his own ranging from services to training to trading to manufacturing.
We came together, huddled and fought to make it happen. The bond that allowed an IT product to come out from seemingly unrelated backgrounds. Luck has a role to play in making a super team happen, but will of making the efforts is equally important and to pick the guns up when your buddy is tired shooting down problems
Hugs & Tugs