Two tricks we’re using. Plus, the actual answer… (it’s the egg)

Goal number one at Spark is to create a user experience that’s unique and valuable — right from the start.

That goal is common but not easy to deliver. It’s harder at Spark because we’re focusing on location & real-time. That means, we don’t only need interesting content to share — we need interesting content near each user that’s also new.

Whoa!! Now that’s my kind of challenge!

It isn’t fun to discover what’s happening near you and either see an empty app or content that’s 100 miles away…


Hint: Let Early Adopters Steer Your Product

Our startup began with a vision. A vision of what we wanted to create, something we wanted to use, and what we wanted people to use it for. Our idea was unique, and by George people were going to love us for it.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen.

As we worked on our idea and started getting beta users into our app, our idea changed a little bit. And a little bit more. But with every change (read improvement, obviously), we were careful to make sure we remained loyal to our vision and the aspects that made us different from…


1, 2, 3, 4… if only it was as easy as counting to 5

As a co-founder, building a badass startup team will not only be one of your first challenges, but also the most important one to get right. Here are some of the tidbits we learned while forming our current, and (I think) extremely badass, team.

1. Identify your Weaknesses

The team has to start with me, myself, and I. We mean this in the most humble of ways. The reality is that nobody is going to put in more blood, sweat, and tears to execute your vision than you–although great team…


What we learned while drastically increasing the engagement on our utility app by adding a unique social experience.

If you’re trying to make a big splash in the app world, utility itself is simply not enough anymore.

A bit of background on our app

Spectafy connects people to location-specific answers, visually. It’s meant to get people moving, and get them information about locations in real-time without having to leave where they are – so that they can plan and move more efficiently. One of the biggest superpowers of our app is its focus on community, on togetherness, and helping each other.

It’s also the biggest thing we weren’t executing on at the beginning of our beta.

The funny thing is we were short-sighted at first…


How we are using lessons learned from our beta to shape our app before launch.

Real-time photos are going to be a huge part of how we gain information in the next year, and increasingly so in following years.

We are so connected technologically through our mobile phones and mobile devices that pictures are just an obvious commodity that we can use for more than just selfies. We can use them to plan, to be productive, and to help people. We can use them as we already do to engage in communities, but also to benefit communities.

We knew when we got started building our startup, Spectafy, that we would learn a lot about real-time…


Are you always trying to be more productive?

Are you always looking to get that extra hour out of your day, or make one footstep travel a mile? We are too.

We are constantly trying to optimize our time, our productivity, our output. It’s core to our company, but only because it’s core to who we are.

So in the act of trying to optimize every output we have, we would like to pass on some of the things we’ve learned. Check out the 5 ways we at Spectafy optimize our time and lives below!

1. Eat a quick and easy nutritious breakfast

Bonus points for pre-sorting!

It’s…


(And Some Free Resources To Help You Build Yours)

When every single second counts, the tools that give you those seconds back are absolutely priceless.

There are tons of tools that we use to get those seconds back, and we put them directly in to building our product.

We use a lot of startups to power our startup, they help us be more efficient and move the needle forward while building Spectafy. The tools we use range from design and development to simple task management and communication.

We love transparency, and we want everyone in our community to move as fast as they can, so we want to show…


The app that I believe is dying to exist.

There are photo apps out there for everything.

They’re one of the most ubiquitous app types in the market, apart from Flappy Bird remakes.

Why?

Why are photo sharing apps so common? What are the real unique problems they’re solving?

Well for one, it’s interconnectivity, but we currently just use it for selfies.

Is this really the best way to use the incredible power of interconnectivity we have today, available from the palm of our hands?

No, it isn’t, but here’s an idea that I believe is.

The Opportunity:

There are multiple points that attribute to the incredible opportunity for this idea…


Save money, be healthier, be more productive, enjoy life more.

We all want to be more efficient, more productive, to get more out of our day, and free up our time to do the things that are valuable to us.

The best way to do this is to break down the systems we already have in place, and to make them more effective.

Reduce the steps, reduce wasted movement, reduce time, and increase output per-time-invested.

It can seem pretty simple, but it is actually rather complex.

Usually this means completely re-thinking our habits, our common actions, and our unconscious routines. …


It’s about freeing up your time to do something great.

The point is not to be so effective that you free up time to simply do nothing.

It’s about freeing up your time to do something great.

The goal of increased productivity is to be able to accomplish more in life that is worth accomplishing in less time. This frees up more time to do things like building and maintaining relationships, staying healthy, learning new things, improving your skills, and otherwise fulfilling your goals and dreams.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, is a well known productivity guru. He often is criticized for his book title — which implies…

Eric Watson

Notes on life and its lessons from a space nerd, open data enthusiast, entrepreneur… follow me @EricWattage, check out @SparkNearby

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