I ride my bike everywhere in Boston when the weather permits. I never get ‘credit’ for these rides. Apps like Chronos or iOS pedometers fail to recognize when I’m on the bike. I ride so often that I’ll never remember (nor dedicate the time) to launch an app like Strava every time I jump on the bike. So, the rides go unrecorded.
To solve this problem, I’d like a BLE Beacon that triggers Strava (or another app) to start recording. I’d put the Beacon under my seat. When my phone is within one foot, the app should launch and begin tracking.
Problem solved. Now I’ll just sit back and wait for someone to build it :)Tweet Vote on HN
If you haven’t heard of Drizly yet, I’m betting (literally) that you will soon. The company makes an elegant app that delivers alcohol to your door within sixty minutes. What’s beautiful about the service is that they take advantage of the existing, but underutilized delivery services of existing alcohol stores. The app just connects the order to the store, much like how Uber leverages underutilized chauffeur time without having to drive the cars themselves.
I invested for the obvious reasons: great team and a big market that’s largely been untouched by technology = great opportunity for disruption at scale. There were three other very specific reasons why I decided to invest.
Social nature of the product:
Again, I believe Uber is an interesting comparison. When two or more people are traveling together, the act of ordering a car can be very social and very viral. It is (and clearly was) a very effective way for early adopters to spread the service. I often had friends ask me, “You can order a car from your phone? In six minutes!?” From my own experiences with Drizly, I believe the same is true with alcohol. When a group of people are sitting around with nothing to drink, someone pulls out their phone to take orders, and the alcohol arrives 45 minutes later… it’s pretty obvious everyone will download the app for their own future use. “You mean I can order alcohol from my phone?!!! What’s that app called?” Drizly!
Industries that have largely been untouched by technology can be indifferent, antagonistic, or excited about new products. In Drizly’s case, no one is more excited about the product than the liquor stores. Drizly brings them net new dollars and it’s a win win win for the store, Drizly, and the customer. If you’re going to support a disruptive solution, best to support one that’s being heralded by the industry in question.
I believe strongly that it’s near impossible to get a consumer facing application off the ground without meaningful support. I like businesses that have strong strategic alignment with distribution partners. In this case, Drizly reminds me of Seamless and Olo, products that drive orders to restaurants. These services, like Drizly, are supported by the local businesses they partner with. I predict you’ll soon see “Download Drizly” signs on the counter of a liquor store near you.
I believe services with strong distribution allies are extremely compelling and am looking for other companies that fit this bill. If you know of any, I’d appreciate the tip!
It’ll be exciting to see how Drizly does. No matter what, I’m enjoying investing. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know Nick and I’m certain he will do great things at Drizly and beyond.
Congrats to the team! and go get the app: Drizly.Tweet Vote on HN
Baby + Pug + ChristmasTweet
Meet Edward. Born last night at 8 lbs 7 ounces. Hope you’re all ready for some baby pics!Tweet
Many entrepreneurs are embarrassed to demo their software. They worry it’s too early, too rough, and too amateur. They worry it will undermine their efforts and make them look weak.
If you’re starting a software company, the very first step is to develop software. As obvious as that sounds, many aspiring entrepreneurs have no ability to build their product and have made no progress toward that goal.* Thus, if you have anything built, what you’re demonstrating is a willingness to start and an ability to make progress toward the development of your product. Huge positives!
Anyone who has ever built or been involved in the development of software knows how ugly things look early on (and for a long time). You should never be ashamed to show these people your bits, it’s probably the single best thing you can do.
Just demo it.
If you want some early feedback, email me. patkinsel at gmail
*More on how to get started if you’re not an engineer in another postTweet Vote on HN
Yes. Yes it was (at PB&J Palace)Tweet