It’s not just about having a brilliant idea, but recognizing it.
When we chatted in January with Matt Scobel, Dandy’s co-founder and CEO, he was headed down to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to launch the crowdsourcing platform’s first app, Picture This.
It was described as “a scavenger hunt meets Instagram” by Niger Little-Poole, the app’s founder.
It’s five months later and Picture This is still the focus for Scobel and the team at Dandy, with the announcement that the app will be running a pilot program targeted at events.
“The goal was never for it to become an Instagram; it was to give people something that was cool and different,” Scobel says.
And just like the app was crowdsourced from idea to completion, the idea to explore corporate sponsorship of Picture This challenges came from a Dandy user, Derek Lebert, co-founder of Block Three Brewery in St. Jacobs.
“We started to talk to those companies with that idea to see what interest was there and we stumbled on events,” Scobel says. “We realized that events have three problems that we can solve.”
For events to be successful, they need to generate social media buzz, good photography from the attendees’ perspective, and interactive elements that entertain attendees, he says.
To address some of those problems, apps are created for individual events, and as Scobel says, “The challenge with most [event] apps is, the second the event is over, users delete the app from their phone.”
“What we did was integrate a white-label feel that you would normally get when you download an app, but keep it in the same app,” Scobel says.
A new tab called Unlocked was added to the Picture This app, which opens up and displays the different event challenge sets that can only be unlocked by typing an event specific code, or scanning a QR code.
“We’re going to run an intense pilot over the next two months in Kitchener-Waterloo, and then expand beyond that in August,” he says, “and hopefully try and show how this can really engage people and make events a more fun experience.”
Users can anticipate sponsored challenges for some of the events, including the one planned for In Running Colour, which will ask people to take photos of their running shoes during the run.
“Every person that submits a photo will go into a draw and one photo will be selected to win a free pair of shoes,” Scobel says, illustrating how event organizers can use the app to engage sponsors.
The update launches today on Android, BlackBerry and iOS, and although it’s still in the pilot stage, Dandy has event organizers who are now paying customers.
The crowdsourcing route has proven to be a successful model for the Communitech HYPERDRIVE alumni company.
“The crazy thing was is that Entrepreneur Magazine is releasing June’s edition of their 100 most brilliant companies and we are on the list,” Scobel says.
There are no immediate plans to release another app, but Scobel assures us that “Dandy is still a huge focus and we are definitely going to be building more apps.”
And as the revenue starts to roll in and be distributed among the Dandy community, there’s even more incentive to make Picture This a bigger success.
“I think what we realized is that for something to be really successful, there is a lot that has to go into it, in terms of really being able to identify the customer, and find a product that is cool and that people want to use.”