Full Steam Ahead – From the Jungle to Silicon Valley
It’s already one month into 2017! The saying goes time flies when you are having fun, so I guess Ricky, the team and I had a really fun year.
Our journey just keeps picking up speed as we go. During 2016 we hit our milestones, adjusted when needed, learned a lot and engage many intelligent, interesting and very supportive people. InstantLocal has moved from something we talked about and we worked on behind the scenes to now being live on both app stores with over 70 businesses signing up for our beta launch in Austin.
It doesn’t get better than that!
We also feel vindicated. Our approach has always been that consumers need real-time information that is location relevant. We feel strongly that the key to a profitable local digital marketing strategy for businesses is to be present at the moment a consumer is making a purchase decision, no matter where they are. Now as we enter 2017 this approach has its own term and is attracting attention as “moment marketing”.
This is exactly as we hoped the market would unfold, today we are local wherever we are with our smartphones. And InstantLocal is the tool local businesses can use to ensure they are at the forefront of this shift.
Some notable highlights from the past year:
- Finished our test prototype in April
- Engaged a near shore dev company and redeveloped the app for market release Jun-Nov.
- Accepted for release on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store in December.
- Signed up 70+ local Austin businesses for our beta launch (to test and get feedback).
- Grew our team including Nat on social media, Cassandra on sales and customer success and Gabriel on business development.
- Connected with 1000’s of business, advocates and locals outside of Austin who are eagerly awaiting our expansion to their communities.
- Met with many supporters who have helped shape our direction and strategy.
- Delivered sales to several local Austin businesses over Christmas from some of our test users from around the world, who cleverly used to app to discover local Austin businesses and went on to buy gifts.
This year is already shaping up to be incredible. Already we have kicked off new campaigns in Austin and started meeting key contacts in Dallas. We have updated our logo, app icon and tag line “Discover. Engage. Promote.” to respond to feedback we received and to more clearly target our brand.
We have an ambitious agenda ahead of us, and we are confident we will achieve our goals. Our team may not be in the headlines everyday, but we are all doers who focus on what really matters – getting the job done.
With that in mind here’s what’s on the agenda for 2017:
- Post beta, public launch, in Austin in Feb.
- Dallas rollout with the app live for DFW locals in March/April.
- Bringing in new investors into the company.
- Launching the web version of the app.
- Rollouts to Houston and San Antonio.
- New app releases every 2-3 months with new features focused on ensuring local businesses, advocates and users realize the maximum benefit.
There is a lot more on the schedule, we will continue to write about our journey “From the Jungle to Silicon Valley” as we grow InstantLocal in 2017.