Connecting people by their favorite places, by Gus Kenworthy

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When I first moved to San Francisco from Colorado, I wanted find other people in SF that had been to Colorado so I'd feel understood and have a strong connection with the new people I was meeting. Later I wanted to find people in SF that had done some of my favorite things like skied Tahoe, biked Marin, hiked Yosemite, or been to SXSW, but there was no way to find these people, and that's why I decided to build Journey. Then I met Gus Kenworthy and we really connected around this problem. Having traveled the world as an Olympian and professional skier it's been next to impossible for him to find other people that have experienced some of the amazing places he has, or understood the places that have made him who he is. As a result he really understood the user and the problem, and had a lot to add to our team and vision. This is our humble start to what we think will be a fundamental shift in how we connect with new people online, by using quantified data as the basis for connections such as where we go "outdoors" and what we do there, rather than arbitrary statements such as "I like the outdoors". We'd love feedback on how to make onboarding easier, as we want to make it as easy as possible for users to get their favorite experiences into the app.
I love the app look and the concept - but after completing the 18 step (!?) setup it's taking me right back to "Create a Profile". Do I have to wait 24 hours while you churn through 8 years of Facebook photos?
@jamiewildehk Thanks for the comment. Early users wanted a walk through/tutorial when they first downloaded the app thus the steps (you can also skip the tutorial if you'd like to go straight to your profile). I'm not sure why your app is going straight back to profile, but if you exit the app and go back into it, it should take you straight to your profile. You should have some of your profile created, and we'll send you a push notification as soon as the facebook photos have been processed into the profile. Please do let me know if you have any other issues.
Really cool app! The landing page could use another explanation of how it works, though.
@yoavanaki thank you, was the video not helpful? Or do you think it would be better to have a written explanation of how it works....
@alexgrappo @yoavanaki I think it's best to have both :) I landed on your website during a lecture, and couldn't play the video.
@yoavanaki thats great feedback! We'll be sure to get on this shortly. Unfortunately its been a mad rush to get the app itself ready so most of our team's resources are being allocated there at the moment. We should definitely make the landing page more clear though, thanks again for letting us know and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other issues or suggestions.
I also love the concept. The setup process needs work. I hate going through steps. There's a balance between giving people what they want and asking them to do things. Right now the app is 100% asking me to do things and 0% giving me what I want. Maybe right after I log in you give me some feel good content like "Your facebook friend Mike has also been to SXSW, skied Telluride and has a dog. Click here to add your XYZ info to make matches more powerful." There are lots of examples of this problem being solved so you shouldn't have any lack of help out there. Also, I think the Gus Kenworthy spin is weird. He's a celebrity. Dropping his name doesn't help me connect to the brand; in fact it repelled me. It's name dropping. Your idea stands on it's own wonderfully. And in this case Gus's name hurts, IMO. I was also told you pivoted from a dating app to this social app. I think that's a giant mistake. I think Journey is a great dating app! It solves some huge problems like telling the world who are you, really. Journey builds the profile for you. Maybe consider NOT letting people change it. Journey--The dating app that presents you. The real you. Without you doing a thing. Just be yourself and we'll take care of the rest. Anyway - Just my two cents.
@tomerlikehomer I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback. Onboarding has been THE MOST challenging aspect of creating Journey. I'd say only 30% of users (at best) have GPS tags, and getting those GPS tags takes time due to API calls and such when we pull those from some existing places. Therefore we needed to come up with ways to get a lot of data in, data that many people don't have, and quickly. No easy task.... We've made some improvements to onboarding that will show up in our next major release but I'll be taking your comments into consideration. In regards to Gus, one thing I would like to make clear is we started working together because he had a lot to add to this company and shared our team's vision for what we wanted to create, not because he was a celebrity, so I'm sorry to hear you felt the way you did about this. To be honest I was completely taken aback by his insights around the product and the industry as a whole. He's also made significant contributions to the product in terms of design and strategy. One of the things I think is unfair is that people tend to pigeon-hole people for what they are most well known for, in this case, being a skier, which of course comes with its own stigma. After getting to know him I realized this was a person that had navigated an incredibly complex and competitive sport to emerge as one of the top athletes in that sport (which is one of the hardest to make a living in), which frankly takes a lot more than just raw talent. It takes a whole lot of intellect, creativity, damn good decisions along the way, marketing acumen, and frankly strategic insights. I wouldn't take my word for it though, seeing as how 3 of the biggest sponsors in sports right (all multi-billion dollar companies) have signed him when clearly they could probably have their pick of anyone they please. Having worked with a lot of A list celebrities and athletes I'm a big believer that a lot of athletes and celebrities don't get fair credit for how they combined these insights with their skill, to get to where they are. I frankly find the opposite to be true in business, where a founder or CEO often gets credit for being "genius", when in reality they are often the benefactors of great timing/teams/investors. Athletes often face the majority of their climb alone, surrounded only by the closest friends and family, and occasionally a great agent that often comes into play after they've already come a long way on their own. In many cases they made incredibly farsighted and tactical decisions around the age that most of us were making some of our most poor decisions.... A person with this kind of intellect (at 23 years old no less...) is someone I want to, and feel privileged, to be working with. In regards to dating vs. social, the dating market is completely over-saturated. In addition to being over-saturated, its over-saturated with products that simply don't do a great job of solving users' problems. Ask anyone about dating products they are using, and even if they're using a product regularly, such as Tinder, they'll tell you they hate it, at least thats what hundreds of people we spoke to told us. As one of the leading online dating experts in the world told me, everyone simply ends up on the product (or many cases the 3 products) that they hate the least, and they have zero loyalty to any of them. Upon conducting 6 months of user research and testing, what we found is that people don't want another online dating tool. They want a product that doesn't place pressure to obtain certain outcomes and can be used to find people for lots of reasons, such as basic friends, activity partners, local experts, and yes, even dating. Interestingly, this desire also transcended age, with everyone we spoke to from 18-19 year olds, to, late 20's early 30's professionals, to even 60 year olds looking to rebuild their social circles post retirement. Additionally when we looked at this problem, I've yet to see a company successfully build a dating app, which then expanded into the mainstream. However the largest dating site in the world is Facebook, which of course is not a dating website. Users also told us that they WANTED to use our product to find people for other than dating. In fact, even our own internal team, including Gus, all said we'd be more likely to use this on a regular basis to connect with the types of people we wanted to meet rather than using it for dating. Ultimately too the online dating world is a horrible business model. The better you are at solving the problem, the less money you will make as people leave the site. All of this is part of a much bigger picture of what we hope to create, but we have to start small and get the buy in on that before we can achieve the bigger things we hope to. Right now, this is still a testing exercise before we refine our product and expand our user base, and in 24hrs we've learned a lot. Stay tuned....