CROWD is an app that enables users to plan their leisure activities without having to switch between Messenger, Google Map, party apps, or calendars. In no time at all, and without any trouble, you can use CROWD to stay up to date on the events and activities of your city, share this information with your friends, create polls, and make plans as a group. This process is completely private and uncomplicated. And thanks to an intuitive user interface, no words are needed.
To try out this new app, hurry and sign up to our growing waiting list (bit.ly/1Ytt1Ak). In a few weeks, everyone on the waiting list will be given early access, weeks before the official release of the CROWD app. Don’t miss it!
How did the team at CROWD implement their app design? What motivates them? For answers to these and other questions, read here:
What is your background? How did you come up with this idea?
We were working in research at Walt Disney at the time and kept having the same problem with planning our leisure time: What movie should we watch? Where should we eat something before the movie? This always resulted in chaotic WhatsApp groups with endless messages. So we thought there has to be a better way.
What do you want to achieve with your startup? What motivates you?
Our goal was to use technology to make the planning of leisure activities more intuitive and more entertaining. The CROWD app helps you find leisure activities such as parties, concerts, movies, exhibitions, or flea markets that fit your profile. You can suggest different activities to your friends and then chat about them. Your friends can always see immediately what your plans are, and you can use the chat function at any time to do a poll to find out what your friends want to do.
How much time do you spend on your idea? Do you work full-time or part-time? How do you deal with the work??
CROWD needs our full attention, so we work more like 200% at the moment. Luckily, our time as PhD students has prepared us for this heavy workload.
Where do you plan to be in three years?
We would like to be able to help millions of users plan their leisure activities.
Why should someone invest in your new startup venture?
Using a smartphone to plan leisure activities sounds easy. It is, however, a highly complex process with enormous growth potential. We have exactly the right team to address this issue.
What exactly did you do to develop your app? Do you yourselves have any programming know-how?
Both Manuel and I have many years of experience in developing software. It was clear, therefore, that we would develop the app ourselves. Also, we set ourselves an ambitious goal: to learn from user behavior and supply intelligent algorithms to support them at every stage. For instance, in finding a suitable date, the app only indicates times that are convenient to all users. Similarly, in looking for activities and events, only suitable options are shown. We plan to keep this expertise in-house and to continue our collaboration with universities in future.
What proved to be particularly challenging in developing your app?
As we’ve mentioned before, planning leisure activities with a smartphone is a complex challenge. To plan an outing, you need large amounts of data (calendar, events, locations, etc.). These have to be simplified and prepared in a way that allows them to appear on a small display.
We realized from the beginning that we would need a combination of clever algorithms and a simple, convincing user interface. Initially, we used a freelancer to help us, but in the meantime we have hired a UX designer, and iterations happen almost daily to improve an aspect of the user interface.
What would you do differently next time?
That’s a difficult question to answer… We certainly made a few beginner mistakes that we could have avoided, knowing what we know today. On the other hand, we probably needed to make these mistakes to learn from them.
One thing, perhaps: We needn’t have hired an accountant to help us set up our company. Instead, we could have used the standard contracts and statute templates offered by the Commercial Registry and have these reviewed by a notary public and a registrar beforehand. This might have saved us a few thousand Swiss francs.
Would your business model also work offline?
Our business model has two main components. On the one hand, customers will be able to use the CROWD app to buy tickets for events or make restaurant reservations through external partners. We will receive a commission for each ticket sold and each table booked. On the other hand, we would like to promote culturally relevant content. Both these goals can be achieved offline. However, the CROWD leisure time assistant will only be available as app and desktop versions.