Today, we are proud to launch Shout. It is a mobile application that allows any individual to place an offer on, or sell, their “spot.” These “spots” can take all forms, physical or virtual. Let me give a few examples and then we can dig a bit deeper. Physical spots can include a spot in line for a no-reservation restaurant (looking at you, Ippudo), the new iPhone, or even a blanket-sized piece of prime real estate in Sheep Meadow, one with just the right mix of sunlight and shade. Virtual spots are for those that can only be reserved in advance; examples might be a restaurant reservation or a ticket to a show.
The process is fairly simple. If you want a spot, simply make a request and see if the community can satisfy it. If you have something that you think others would want more than you do, offer it up for sale.
At Shout, we believe in the sharing economy (woah, buzzword). We believe that anyone should be able to take full advantage of what they come to own throughout the day. The tricky part is that these values fluctuate, and before Shout there was no way to communicate that the value you placed on something changed. A reservation at ABC Kitchen may have held little allure before the in-laws showed up at your doorstep unexpectedly. Thats an example of an asset that increases in personal value based on a sudden change in circumstances.
On the flip-side, what happens to all the unused assets that suddenly decrease in value? Think of the guy who made the dinner reservation 31 days in advance, but was just dumped. Or imagine the student with a free afternoon who wouldn’t mind waiting outside a restaurant and reading a book while they reserved someone’s spot who couldn’t leave work.
As a community, we should be able to pool our resources. We are striving to create an environment, a marketplace, where two people can trade seamlessly at a moment’s notice. Each shout may or may not be satisfied; yet, it is our hope that by creating a mechanism for people to connect with those around them, spontaneous and extraordinary exchanges can occur.
Today, you might be able to get that last minute reservation or finally try a Cronut, but tomorrow we hope you will be able to walk in a museum and “shout” for a tour from a grad student or for a translator at the Eiffel tower.
It is our goal to be open with our data (think public markets and not tech companies in cahoots with the NSA). On our website, we will publish a live map showing venues and the average price of spots at those locations, as well as a live feed of active “shouts.” It is our hope that this will provide the community with the pulse of the marketplace and, in doing so, will push both the supply and the demand side to an ideal equilibrium by answering such questions as: What venues are most desirable? How should I price my spot?
In recent months, we have approached thousands of New Yorkers on the street, which was both daunting and remarkably uplifting, and for those of you that were kind enough to give us your attention, you have been emailed an entry code to sign up. For those that need a code, ask around or the next time you see a Shouter on the street…give them a minute.
We are starting in NYC and we are starting with spots. But most importantly, we made Shout for the spontaneous and the resourceful. It is our dream that you will delight us and surprise each other with the amazing things for which you’ll be Shouting.