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A blast from the past
SVB Fallout

As much craziness as the tech space has seen in the past few years, this weekend was something else

For all the makers out there who spent the weekend making sense of that craziness, you’re doing great. 

In some positive news, yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that “depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13.” HSBC also decided to buy the UK arm of SVB for a symbolic £1.

Product highlight
A blast from the past: Gowalla’s back

SXSW kicked off over the weekend, and SVB’s collapse wasn’t the only surprise. 14 years after its debut, Gowalla, the location-based social app, relaunched. 

A refresh: For those of you who aren’t familiar with Gowalla, it was a popular app back in the early days of mobile social networking. It allowed users to check in to locations, leave virtual items and notes for others to discover, and earn rewards for their activity. The app had a strong emphasis on exploration and discovery, with a bold, quirky designed interface.

Why now? Gowalla’s renaissance comes as a result of a few things. One, mobile is much bigger than when Gowalla first entered the market. That makes it easier for the team to figure out monetization. Two, Zenly, the social mapping app that got shut down recently, proved that people wanted to connect with others in that way – it had 35 million daily active users in 2022. A lack of growth wasn’t what led to its demise, but rather a change in Snap’s (its acquirer) priorities. 

What’s new? The app lets you post quick private updates to share with your friends and family, and you can send messages, whether directly to users or part of a group thread. Gowalla has introduced a new feature that enables users to browse through recent friend check-ins using a swipe mechanism. Additionally, the app now offers a fun gamification element, with users being able to collect stamps based on their activity.

When asked about lessons learned from running an “almost unicorn” 14 years ago, one of the makers shares that “the entire team has collectively ranked up dozens of experiences at other startups over the years. I think we did a good job of learning how to pace ourselves in making product decisions.”

Call us excited. Do you remember the old Gowalla? How does this compare? Let the team know

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Maker's corner
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Daily Digest
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