Spontime - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

No, I had completely no coding experience before, nor I was in the tech industry. My background is business management – I have worked for some corporations and government institutions before, therefore everything was very new for me. When we started working on Spontime, I did not know the difference between frontend and backend :)

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

As mentioned earlier, I had to learn everything by doing. I have never worked on a mobile application before, and I wish I had some previous experience. I think very few people realize how much work is needed to build a simple app, not mentioning a social app with many features. Not only the development process takes a lot of time, but also everything around it – designing, prototyping, testing, etc. requires a lot of effort from the whole team. It is definitely not a one-man job, neither a 1 nor 2-month project. Before I started working on Spontime, I thought we could build it in 3 months with 2 developers – I underestimated the amount of work that needs to be done in order to build an app. I think the most important in the whole process is being patient and persistent.

Karolina Demiańczuk is the founder and the CEO of Spontime, a Social Networking platform for spontaneous meetings that has garnered a $3.3 million valuation and significant media attention from major international media, including Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and the Huffington Post. Founding Spontime, she aims to utilize technology for enhancing people’s everyday lives through friendship, communication, and in-person gatherings. Karolina holds a Master's Degree in Business Management from Warsaw School of Economics and Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School, specializing at Project Management and Digital Marketing. During her college years, she has spent a semester on a scholarship at National University of Singapore Business School, where she discovered her passion for innovations and high technologies. Karolina has a broad experience in the business working for organizations such as Coca-Cola, Goodyear, Polish Agency of Enterprise Development, or Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington D.C. She has received various national and international awards, such as Woman of The Year and New Economy Hero Award, and has been invited as a panelist and guest speaker for major events and conferences in Europe – Bitspiration Festival, MCE^3 Conference, or The Leaders School. Since her youngest years, she has been a passionate traveler – by the age of 24, she has visited almost forty countries around the world and lived in three - Poland, the US, and Singapore. She believes her traveling experiences were the most profound in helping her find her own way. More: Traveling experiences and finding own business: https://womenentrepreneursecrets.blogspot.com/2016/05/karolina-demianczuk-21-yr-old-founder.html LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karolinademianczuk/

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

My favorite apps are those that help me stay in touch with my friends and relatives. Definitely, my favorite app of all is Skype – I have a lot of friends and family abroad, and it was the first app that allowed us to do international calls with the video. Even though now we also use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and of course – FaceTime Audio, I will always have the warmest feelings towards Skype.
I also like apps that have made our work at Spontime easier and more efficient – Slack, Jira, Trello. I recommend them to any startup team.

How long have you been working on this app?

We have started working on Spontime in 2016. For a long time before then, I thought there was no good application available that would enable meeting new people. I had been traveling for a while and up until then I used to have popular apps like Meetup, Eventbrite or Tinder. However, all of them offered a limited type of relation. Meetup is very impersonal, Tinder, on the other hand, has one unambiguous association. What I wanted was to have lunch with someone or just talk casually. The day I got inspired, I was at the Warsaw School of Economics. My classes were canceled and I had two hours to kill. I headed for the student café and started calling my university friends. After a while, it turned out that most of them were either not even on the premises or were busy. I was disappointed. I looked around and saw there were many more people around me sitting alone with their noses glued to their phones. I thought it would be brilliant if there were an app that would help people meet up for a specific reason – for instance, to drink a coffee between classes. The app itself would help make the first move, namely, break the ice and talk to a stranger. This is how I got inspired. I logged onto Facebook and posted the following in the Warsaw programmers’ Facebook group: ‘Hi, I have a concept for a social application for spontaneous meetings. Anyone interested, let me know’. In a few hours, I got over 100 responses. Within a week, we had a team and we started working on Spontime. A lot has happened since then – we moved to the US, and we prototyped and tested with our beta users seven different versions, so that we could pick the best one. It was a long process of ups and downs, but we are all glad we have not given up. We are all very proud of how Spontime looks and works now, and we hope we will have a chance to keep working on it for the next few years, adding new features and making it easier to meet offline.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

We wanted to build an app that offers the fastest way for people to get together in real life for fun activities - without all of the social media and phone time consumption. Spontime is, therefore, the social media platform that enables users to spend less time on social media - our mission is to connect people together offline. The app is especially useful for those traveling and moving to new places who want to meet people quickly and easily. However, we believe anyone who wants to expand their social circle, meet new friends or just wants to do something fun, will find Spontime useful.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

Spontime is all about being spontaneous and getting out now. The major difference between Spontime and all other existing apps is its speed in converting a match into a meeting. Because all activities take place within a day, no other app allows users to meet other people so quickly and efficiently. The average conversion rate from match-to-meeting on other popular apps, such as Tinder, equals 0.8%. That means less than one percent of matches actually meet offline. Also, as opposed to most dating apps, Spontime does not match users with people based on pictures or pure appearance. Spontime matches users with other people based on their common interests and activities they want to meet for. If they share many commonalities with their suggested matches, chances are they will enjoy each other’s company and have lots to talk about. With Spontime, there is no pressure to chat for days or weeks, make a plan to meet, and then decide whether or not users actually want that meet to happen. Once users create a ^spontag on the app and people join them, the meeting happens today. No need for pick-up lines, never-ending chatting, scheduling, and waiting. Say what you're up to and meet IRL today. Worth emphasizing is the fact that Spontime is not a dating app - it is a spontaneous activity, platonic, friendship app. The main difference can be summarized in a short formula: Spontime = Spontaneous Time. Match and Meet for Fun Activities TODAY.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

In the nearest future, we plan to introduce additional features to the app that would make it even more fun to our users. Some of them involve allowing users to meet up in groups, and some - cooperating with local businesses. We would prefer to keep more information in secret:) We are very excited about the future.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

We would love to hear your feedback! Please, send us your suggestions or opinions to me personally via e-mail: karolina@spontime.co , will also appreciate any reviews on the app stores! Please, share with your friends – the app is much more fun this way :) We are also currently raising investment for growth and new features development – If you are interested, please feel free to message us.

Spontime

About App: Spontime is an easy-to-use meetup app that lets you meet best people for fun activities around you the same day. Spontime = Spontaneous Time. Match and Meet TODAY. No need for never-ending chatting, scheduling, and waiting. Say what you're up to and meet IRL today. Our mission is to connect people together. Offline. *conversion rate from match to a meeting in other popular meeting apps – 0.8%. Appeared on Forbes, Digital Trends, The Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, WIRED, Elite Daily, and many more: www.spontime.co/press -"Just Say What you're up to and let others join you" - WIRED -"With Spontime you can live in the moment and be spontaneous"- Elite Daily -"Spontime takes social to another lever" - The Huffington Post -"The social media network that helps you spend less time on social media." - Digital Trends Want to grab lunch, go jogging or get coffee? Just say what you're up to, and let others join you. Or not sure what you are up to? Discover interesting activities around you and join today! Instantly meet people nearby for fun events and expand your social network with Spontime.

Categories: Communication, Entertainment, Events, Lifestyle, Social

Date: May 10, 2019

Developer: Karolina Demianczuk

About developer: Karolina Demiańczuk is the founder and the CEO of Spontime, a Social Network ... Read more

Website: http://www.spontime.co/

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fun app meet up app social app social media app

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