HeyLets (relaunched)

Pinterest for experiences. The ultimate social travel app.

Reviews

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Dean Kelly
Dean KellyMaker@dean_kelly21 · Co-founder, HeyLets
Hey all (when you build an app called HeyLets it is customary to start all greetings with "Hey") The HeyLets team is proud to share with you, HeyLets. Our app inspires you to try new things and go to new places. Explore a personalized feed of fun experiences, recommended by people with similar interests. Wishlist the experiences you'd like to check out, and share your own adventures with a photo and up to 200 characters. HeyLets is about recommendations, not reviews. Existing apps aggregate ratings which results in little differentiation, with most places attracting 3.5 stars. With HeyLets, you post the experiences you love, so that like-minded people can enjoy them too. We created HeyLets to be a more positive and social way to explore your world and re-discover your city. We would love to get your feedback and answer any questions you may have! Either here or on dk@heylets.com and justin@heylets.com Cheers!
Marc Anthony Rosa
Marc Anthony Rosa@marc_rosa · Product Manager @ Getty Images
This is an interesting new angle to the location-based recommendation genre. First impressions, I really like how you recognize different social groups (classic, hip) and the activities associated with them, letting users self-select. I think there's plenty of opportunity here with organizing and rewarding users around their self-selected preferences. @dean_kelly21 what's the one ideal user flow for users of the app? Is this letting me react to my immediate surrounding when I'm in a new environment? Is this for locals who want to try new things? IMO the biggest problem with location apps is that they evolve into broad utilities and lose focus on solving a super-specific pain point. Excited to see what the future holds from the team!
Dean Kelly
Dean KellyMaker@dean_kelly21 · Co-founder, HeyLets
@marc_rosa Thanks for your thoughts and your comment! We are finding the ideal use case is more for "inspiration" versus "immediate tips". Over 10% of our users are in the app for longer than 30 minutes at a time, usually while they are on their way to and from work, scrolling and looking for inspiration for different experiences that they can add to their "wishlist". And, we have both locals using the app, telling us things like "I didnt even know this existed in my city" as well as travellers who are looking for local recommendations. I think one of the larger pain points we are solving is getting the users to tailor made recommendations without them having to scroll through "average" and untailored reviews - typically of places. And, we are trying to make this discovery more social, which is currently lacking from products out there. By putting experiences first, and user content, we believe this is the magic sauce!
Marc Anthony Rosa
Marc Anthony Rosa@marc_rosa · Product Manager @ Getty Images
@dean_kelly21 awesome response, so cool to hear.
justinparfitt
justinparfittMaker@justinparfitt · CEO HeyLets
There are 3 key principles baked into HeyLets, and together they're responsible for driving the high levels of engagement we're seeing (DAU/MAU is 44%) 1. HeyLets is about experiences instead of locations. Everyone's experience is unique, and experiences are therefore more personal. A feed of experiences is more interesting than a list of places. 2. HeyLets is about concise recommendations instead of reviews. If you're on mobile looking for things to do then reading lengthy reviews about places to avoid is a waste of time. 3. HeyLets is about personalization instead of one-size-fits-all star ratings. Something that appeals to you may not appeal to someone else. HeyLets shows you experience recommendations from like minded people.
Thibaut Davoult
Thibaut Davoult@thibautdavoult · Growth Engineer at Livestorm
Clean and simple onboarding. The only thing I didn't really understand is why I couldn't just pick 1 style and 1 occupation. Currently I just really want to head out to a bar so that's the only kind of suggestion I wanted to get. I know your app is more of a "ongoing discovery tool" so I'll be sure to keep using it and complement my choices of activity to get better recommandations. I like the straightforward design as well. Weird thing: It suggested a McDonalds in 2nd. I mean...I don't need an app to tell me about McDonalds :D Other than that the results I saw seemed fresh and new to me so I'm excited to discover new places in Paris thanks to your app.
justinparfitt
justinparfittMaker@justinparfitt · CEO HeyLets
@thibautdavoult Hey Thibaut, great questions! We did think about allowing people to only choose on interest, but our machine learning algorithm needs more to go on to match you to recommendations from like minded people, it needs some sense of what kind of bars you like and we're better able to do that with some context. If you like fine dining and good wine then you probably will be more interested in high end cocktail bars, whereas if you're into tattoos and piercings and music festivals then you might be more into dive bars. I hope that helps explain things! Re McDs, I agree that's not a very useful post! We did think about hiding posts at Starbucks and McDonalds etc, but decided against it because if someone's having a great time, they should be able to share it, wherever they are. Thankfully these types of posts are very much the exception, the vast majority are using HeyLets to post more interesting experiences.
Tom Krones
Tom Krones@tkrones
@dean_kelly21, great app. I just installed it and am looking forward to playing around with it over the next few days. As a fellow entrepreneur I have a couple of questions about your failures and successes. First, why the relaunch? What changed from the last version to this version? Second, I'm impressed at how many recommendations you have for my home town, what have you done to acquire users and content? What's worked the best for you and what hasn't worked at all? Thanks for the great app and congratulations on the funding. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. :)
Dean Kelly
Dean KellyMaker@dean_kelly21 · Co-founder, HeyLets
@tkrones Hi Tom, thanks so much for your thoughts and questions. I will have a go at answering, and my- cofounder Justin may have some more thoughts. We initially launched HeyLets in Australia, which was our beta market. Both Justin and I have experience building successful companies in Australia, and on top of that, it is a GREAT test market - 25 million people, high discretionary income, and most of all, they love getting out and doing fun things. We wanted to make our mistakes there, learn from our initial users, iterate and refine the product based on this feedback, and then launch in larger markets. The whole team was so proud of our beta version, but looking back, wow, was it beta... In regards to our content, we knew that as a user generated content app, we needed to have content prior to launch so people could see utility in the app if they downloaded it for the first time and were looking to be inspired by people's shared experiences. Justin ( my co founder and HeyLets CEO) and Adam Tierney (our superb CTO) started LONG before launch with marketing outreach programs in an attempt to generate content - approaching bloggers, meet-ups, category influencers etc. Something we didn't have to ever do was pay people specifically to generate content for us. We explained our vision for HeyLets, and how it could be a useful tool for them, and they believed in the product enough to get on board prior to launch and start sharing experiences. After launch, it was a little easier. We knew certain people or groups were already sharing everything under the sun, so we approached those people and asked if they would share their "experiences" on HeyLets - bloggers, influencers. Some influencers are more influential than others and less influential than they claim to be... I can write a whole book on this! We knew that businesses were having a hard time with Yelp for various reasons, so we started reaching out to them letting them know that people were saying great things about their business on HeyLets. We had some community events for some of our early adopters, which worked really well. We are experimenting with ambassador program as well. However, surprisingly, what really sparked the content plunge at the beginning (we have about 500-1000 experiences uploaded every day) was when we started hiring for positions in our marketing team. We asked candidates to get to know Heylets before they applied, and some candidates posted over 200 experiences in the space of a few days. We are still testing what paid acquisition channels will work best for HeyLets (I just got back from grow.co Mobile Acquisition Unlocked) and at what price. But we believe that growth should come from having a great product, so the product team is working hard on delivering a seamless end to end experience for the user... One thing that didnt work as well as we had hoped was our PR - we partnered with a company that didnt work out so well for us in terms of exposure they were able to achieve. We learned a lot though, and will not make the same mistakes again. There is a long way to go, but definitely very exciting to be on this journey!