In June of 2012 I began to envision an idea for a new business startup. I have had a few successful ones in the past but I was looking for a idea that had the potential to skyrocket with exponential growth. I love business management & marketing and have at least an intermediate understanding of technology so I decided that I wanted to embark into the area of Mobile technologies.
For those of you who do not know me well and think that I am a person who “programs” and actually develops computer software; unfortunately, that is simply not true… I absolutely do not like the computer side of the work (ironically), that is why I hire great companies and employees to do that side of things. I consider myself a visionary.. I get a vision of something that could be great and instead of keeping it as a “vision” I work to find a way to make it “reality” or at least I try to. I love challenges, I love business, and honestly, I have grown to love a Social Network which I have been working on that is not even available to the general public yet.
In this blog post I will explain the concept of SocialCoaster, will go into details on its features, and finally will let you know the time-table of when you can expect it to be released.
Be One of the First to Use SocialCoaster:
First and foremost, although SocialCoaster will start-off as a completely mobile network we have set up a site that allows users to register their e-mail address. We will e-mail these users the minute that SocialCoaster is available to the general public so we encourage you to go to: SocialCoaster.com and add your e-mail so you can literally be one of the first to use the app.
Brief Synopsis of SocialCoaster:
With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and many other Social Networks… I wanted to develop something different, something that would benefit users, give them unique functionality that they never had with other networks. I wanted to create a business that would not directly compete with other Social Networks but instead a business that could interact with the other networks to make us all stronger. SocialCoaster will do just that.
SocialCoaster is a completely Mobile Social Network that identifies user behaviors & their location to predict EVENTS & LOCATIONS that they would like to go. In one quick instant, users will be able to log into their app and get a quick snapshot of what is going on around them & will receive clear suggestions to what that user might enjoy doing at any given moment.
The real fun comes in with the fact that this is a complete, stand alone Social Network so interactions with other users makes this app even more fun! Let’s take a look at just a few of the features SocialCoaster will offer.
Just a Few Features SocialCoaster Will Offer:
Homepage - The main page of the app is very simple looking on the front-end but behind the scenes is a very complex algorithm working to provide users with accurate results & suggestions. The homepage will feature 8 random photos (thumbnails) that will show the user a snapshot of what is going on around their current location. Users can click on one of the thumbnails to enlarge the photo and the app will tell them exactly where and what event the photo was taken. These 8 photos on the homescreen are in real-time and will update frequently as members upload new photos.
Also, on the home page is “Recommendations” for each specific user. Using computer based mathematical equations that I wrote (algorithms) the app is able to detect behaviors from each specific user and determine what type of events/places they like to attend. Some people may enjoy sporting events, others may enjoy concerts, while others may enjoy political. The app combines user behaviors with the number of people checked into an event at a given time, the location of the user, location of the event, and other factors to make smart recommendations to the user about where they might enjoy going at that specific time.
Checking Into Events & Places - Like any social network, SocialCoaster will depend on its users to add data, events, and places to our database over time. The more users participating, the more exciting the app will become. Users will be able to create events & places (both public & private) and also will be able to check into any Public event or place. Each event/place has its own unique page on the app displaying information about the event, photo galleries, and even a live event feed from each specific event (sort of like newsfeed but specific to each event).
Users will be able to click on a button to automatically check into an event and when they do their camera will automatically load until they check out of that event. At which point photos taken by that user will automatically be added to that event and/or places photo gallery and feed… User’s also have the option to connect the app with their facebook/twitter accounts so photos can automatically be posted on their Facebook walls *LIVE* as they are taking them. Users will be able to collaboratively work together to generate a huge photo gallery from each event and/or place.. Users will be able to look at each event’s gallery and see their favorited photos, photos that the individual user took, photo the user’s friends took, and even photos that others they do not know took from the same event, ultimately giving many different prospectives.
Profile Pages - Each user on SocialCoaster will have their own profile and users will be able to add friends on the app as well, allowing them to look at their friend’s profiles. From the profile screen you will be able to send messages to other users, add/remove/block friends, see user photos, friends, tagged photos, check-ins, and each user’s Scrapbook (details below).
Scrapbook - One of the cool features of SocialCoaster is that every user will have their own Scrapbook on their profile page. In simple terms, the app keeps track of every event that the user has ever checked in to in chronological order. Users can scan through the scrapbook, find an event/place that they checked in to, and then click on it to load all the photos and details taken at that event. Want to remember the name of a person you met at the event? Simply click on that event in the scrapbook and search the profiles of all the users who checked into the same event.
Collaborating Photos - As mentioned before one of the cool parts of the app is being able to collaborate photos with others from a specific place or event. Let’s say a couple is getting married… They can simply ask all of their guests to check-in via SocialCoaster to their private wedding page, and EVERY photo taken by those checked in will go into an album that the bride can look at instantly on the way to their honeymoon.
Or lets say there is a Presidential Inauguration with hundreds of thousands of people attending… You can log into the app and view photos *LIVE* as they come in from all kinds of different viewpoints…
We will soon have an API that gives events/locations the ability to project live (either on a screen or computer) – photos that are coming in from users at that event or location.
Many Many More Features - What I listed above are just the VERY basic features that make up SocialCoaster. There are so many more features that I did not have time to outline. I assure you though, SocialCoaster was professionally developed by CodigodelSur and the functionality is fun and easy to use giving users a different and fun way to connect with others around the world.
When Will SocialCoaster be Launched?
I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel and the launch date is near… The app will not be perfect but we will be able to use feedback from users to prefect it over time. SocialCoaster will be launched in phases. First phase will the iPhone app. We are hoping for it to go public at the end of January / beginning of Feb. The next stage of the app will be the iPad & Android apps. These should go out end of March/Mid-March. Obviously, these time tables can change… But these are our goals.
To be notified first, please register your e-mail at: SocialCoaster.com .
We will depend on user’s to participate with the APP once launched, the more events, places, & photos being uploaded the more fun SocialCoaster will become. It may take us a couple years to get the APP running on the scale of other large Social Networks, but these things take time… And the fun part of it all is that you will be able to watch the journey from DAY 1.
With SocialCoaster…. You will always know where to go! And you will always be able to share those moments with others around the world in real time!
I want to thank all of you for your encouragement and I look forward to building SocialCoaster into a Social Network with millions of users representing different areas of the world!
I may have been a bit facetious with the title of this post but it’s been a while since I last updated this blog with a life update so I figured it was time…
1) This blog’s popularity went up a little bit
Normally only a handful of people visit my blog on a daily basis, who for one reason or another like to keep up with me or one of my business ventures. I’m no Mark Zuckerburg (YET..), I’m no Dave Ramsay, or Justin Bieber (thank goodness). But I enjoy seeing that a few people each day like to come read about my life. I can see the number of visits my site receives on a daily basis so I was shocked when I started having hundreds of visitors each day to my blog. After some investigating it appears several individuals, including one successful business man, enjoy reading my previous article on the state of the economy and shared it with their Facebook followers. With that, I’d like to welcome all my new followers and readers… I’ll be sure to get you some good new content soon.
2) SocialCoaster is GETTING VERRRY exciting!
This is something you are going to be hearing a ton about from me over the next month. With the help of an AMAZING development team (Codigodelsur) I have been working on creating what I believe will be the next major social network out there.. It operates completely different than sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and does not directly compete with them.. In fact, they all work well with each other… What it does do is give people a capability to do something that really no other service has yet offered… And I am pretty pumped to share it with the world! When I do, I need your help to share it! The iPhone app is LESS than two months from completion and the android/ipad apps will not be too far behind. This will be a completely mobile based social sharing network.
A bit of a lighter note regarding SocialCoaster. One of my good friends Brooke, who along with her husband were one of the first to know about my idea and have actually given me several ideas for it, babysits a 5-year old. Brooke & Brice have been two of my biggest ground troops when it comes to spreading hype about the new app… One afternoon last week Brooke was sketching out some possible logo concepts for the little button that represents the app on the iPhone when the little boy she babysits asks her what she was doing.. Being the good babysitter that she is Brooke explained her friend Jonathan was building an app and asked the boy if he would like to try to help… Of couse he jumped right on the idea…
After completing this drawing (which I would say was a pretty dang good job for a 5-year-old), the boy looked at Brooke and said, “Dang, building an app is hard work.” I got a kick out of that.
3) Did I mention I bought a house?
Yep! It is a done deal… Closed on November 8th, and with the help of my amazing family I am now all moved in and back in the great city of Nashville. The house is twice the size of my previous apartment so I am just thankful for my creative mom who always helps me find the perfect furnishings to make the house look AMAZING! I love visitors/guest/whatever… So, if I know you… Shoot me a message and come visit… Heck, even if I don’t know you.. Shoot me a message, let me do a background check, and come on, I’d love to meet you!
Since this blog post is starting to turn more into a picture book than a life update, I figure I might as well show you a picture of the outside of the new house.. Love it.
4) My future plans!
I think it’s appropriate to end ever “life update” blog post with details of what I plan to do in the future. Well, other than the normal (work), I am excited because waterfowl season is about to come in so my Dad and I are about to get our hunt on. Also, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and they happen to be my two favorite holidays so I am obviously excited about that. I definitely plan to travel soon! A trip to Washington D.C. very soon (maybe early January), and then back to Salt Lake City for a business/snowboarding trip in February.
Until next time, I hope you enjoyed this LIFE UPDATE! God Bless.
Periodically I like to give everyone a quick life update… Since I had a few extra minutes I thought I would share what is going on in my life.
Every year, my business sponsors a team to play in the Jake Hodge Memorial Golf Scramble… I am excited that tomorrow is finally the day! I am ready for some GOLFFFFF! Why do I like scrambles? Because I am terrible and my friends can totally save me with one of their shots. Three of my really good friends (Patrick, Craig, and Brice) are driving in to play.. Should be a good time for a GREAT cause!
My new startup is still in the works… And I am VERY excited about it. The development team continues to plug away and thus far I have been very impressed with their hard work and willingness to value my input throughout the process. I am looking forward to getting a BETA version ready for you guys to test in the near future, and I will keep you posted on my experience with the dev team.
I have not been able to fly anywhere lately as my schedule has been VERY hectic! My last trip was the amazing vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at the beginning of August. I have schedule another trip to Salt Lake City for the first week in February for a little snowboarding with my friends & of course a trip to Bluehost. Hopefully I can fit another trip in before February.
Spoke @ Murray State University
It is always great to go back to Murray to visit. I had the chance to be a “VIP” haha speaker at a Preparing for Professionalism in Business conference put on by Dr. Crystal Ray Coel Coleman (author of The Presentation Guide Book). It was definitely not my greatest speech that I have ever delivered, I think I had a lot of other things on my mind (like moving out of my apartment), but I did really enjoy the experience and had a chance to meet a lot of great people!
Yes, it’s true… My landlord and Michele Trueba teamed up to sell the apartment I was renting to Mike Curb (the owner of Curb Records), and after purchasing the unit the new buyers bought out my lease leaving me with 2 days (because I was gone the whole week before) to get all my stuff moved out. Sure it was stressful & all of my stuff is in a storage unit.. But now in the full fledge search mode to find a new place to buy. In the meanwhile, getting to spend some quality time with my family & friends!
It is going to be hard for us to top last year’s halloween costume of being three Amish Men; however, I did just think of a really good idea for this year and I am pumped about it! Stay tuned.
I have had a few weird health issues lately that I have not been able to figure out. Over labor day weekend I developed a Corneal Ulcer that penetrated deep into my cornea. Unfortunately, as a result I still have a crater in my cornea that is going to take a while to heal.. I hate wearing glasses; however, if you see me wearing them for the next month or two… Now you know why.
My friend Kelly and I went mudding on Tuesday.. Needless to say, the ground did not look NEAR as muddy as it actually was.. And I may have possibly managed to get my four-wheeler buried DEEP… After about 45 minutes with the help of a nice big rock, we were able to get out.. So thankful my 4-wheeler has a wench
Unit Next Time:
Hope you enjoyed my very short and sweet life update…. Until next time, you stay classy San Diego!
Never before have I used my blog to write about a bad experience I have had, but since all content in this blog is based solely on my opinion and personal experiences I thought it would be a great place to share why I believe Michele Trueba has to be one of the worst and most unreliable realtors in Nashville, Tennessee.
First and foremost, I think it is important to say that I believe a person’s character can instantly be defined by their willingness to apologize when they have messed up or been unprofessional. Someone who has a chance to make things right when they are clearly in the wrong but refuses, simply holds a personality trait that many of us would call “prideful” and “arrogant”. I am normally a very forgiving person and believe that you should give others the benefit of the doubt; however, this woman (Michele) has made me so angry with her unprofessional qualities that I decided to take some time out of my day to share why NO ONE in Nashville (buyer or seller) should deal with Ms. Trueba, and why you should consider alternative realtors.
Let’s consider some facts…. I have not always disliked Michele, in fact, I had my first experience with her a little under two years ago when I rented a sweet apartment in Downtown Nashville. Michele was the agent representing my landlord, and although I did not have much communication with her at the time, I did not have any issues.. She got her money and really that is all that she cared about in the transaction. But heck, nothing is wrong with that as long as you are acting professionally in the process.
Fast forward about a year… I believe in networking so when my friend approached me mentioning she was looking for an interior design internship in Nashville, I instantly thought of asking Michele Trueba (a realtor) if any of her friends/connections might have any openings… To my delight, she responded with a very promising letter saying she actually did know some IDs and would pass my friend’s resume over to them… GREAT! Then Michele followed up once again saying, better yet, I would love to sit down and personally meet/interview your friend. PERFECT!
I got permission from Michele to give her e-mail address to my friend Ashley and asked her to e-mail… Ashley wrote a very professional message to Michele very quickly after our original conversation and even offered to meet Michele… And then… Michele replied with… Nothing.. She simply did not respond.. WEIRD!! But things do come up… So I messaged Ms. Trueba to follow up a few days later… Again… Nothing… So I gave Ashley the phone number to reach Michele… Called.. No response… So I called… Left a message, Michele was TOTALLY and RUDELY ignoring our communication after she clearly had stated she would like to meet Ashley. After about two weeks of trying to reach out to Michele who had obviously given us a misleading hope, we decided to leave well enough along and move on… The sad part is, if the internship opportunity fell through all Michele should have done was respond apologizing saying the position was no longer open and frankly we would have no problems. Instead she decided to go the unprofessional route and simply ignore us, leaving Ashley clueless on the situation… Ashley was even going to use Michele to find a place to live when she started the internship.
Needless to say… Michele was all talk in this situation and it really made me angry.. All she needed to do was SIMPLY apologize and be professional!
Fast forward six more months…. My landlord e-mailed telling me that he wanted to show my unit to a potential buyer.. Michele was going to be the one showing it… He told me not to worry, the unit was not publicly listed on the market BUT Ms. Trueba approached him with someone who may be interested… AHHH… Go figure.. Michele was alive after all.. Any time $$ is involved for her she is on top of things.. Well sort of.
I was told that Michele would knock on my door and talk to me for a second and then I would leave so they could show the unit to a potential buyer… I was ok with this.. I actually thought she was wanting to apologize… 10 minutes passed, 15 minutes, 30 minutes… Finally well past the time she was supposed to meet me, KNOCK, KNOCK, I open the door and Michele is standing there with the potential buyers and awkwardly asked me to leave (like I was the one in the fault)… The only thing I was guilty of was wasting valuable time waiting for Michele to come up like she told me… GUESS what… Don’t believe anything she says… I’ve learned that lesson.
The next day I was out of town but I was told Michele was going to show my apartment that morning… Again, without any notification I noticed she was late again when viewing the security tape. Soooo… Unprofessional..
Another time, although there are laws protecting renters and giving us right to reasonable notice.. I received an e-mail at like 10PM that was automated ASKING me to confirm that it was ok for her to show my unit in well less than 24 hours… Michele Trueba didn’t even have the audacity to send me a personal e-mail, she used an automated e-mail so that she would not have to interact with me directly because she knew she had done me wrong..
The stories go on and on.. Michele scheduled a viewing of the apartment to some out-of-towners without giving me notice, unfortunately by the time I was notified I was out of town and would not have time to get the apartment in showing condition.. So I asked they reschedule to the next afternoon.. Ironically, I received a phone call from my concierge who asked me what the situation was.. He had some guests who had driven from out of town to see the unit and Michele never showed up… Apparently Ms. Trueba had left a message to the potential buyers but they had not received it, and instead of doing the right thing and showing up to meet the potential buyers since she hadn’t reached them… She did it the Michele Trueba way and “just didn’t show up” leaving them wondering what the heck was going on.
There are many more stories like this that I could share but you get the point… Michele is very unreliable. Once they finally found a buyer for the place and I moved out (in under 2 days), Michele was supposed to meet me at 5:30pm to bring me a check from the buyers because they had bought out my lease. TICK.. TOCK… TICK.. TOCK… After waiting in an empty apartment for 45 minutes Michele finally showed up once again in the Michele old fashion REALLY late way! No worries… No one else has a life or schedule but you Michele… All is good..
I learned a valuable lesson myself early in life, in the business world OR even in life in general… You have to treat people with the respect that they deserve and not have the “I’m the only one that matters mentality”… FAILURE to treat people with respect may not backfire at first but eventually you are going to treat the wrong person poorly and they are going to share their experience with the world..
The sad part is… This could have all been avoided with a simple apology. But sometimes, prideful people just can not swallow those words.
I HIGHLY recommend to everyone looking to do business with Michele Trueba that you reconsider. I personally will never buy a house or allow her to sell a house for me… That is one customer lost Ms. Trueba, several thousand dollars out the window… There are many nice realtors in Nashville, everyone is replaceable.. And I highly suggest you look elsewhere than Michele based on my personal experience.
I welcome any response by Michele and will share directly with my readers.
I seriously think I have the best and most talented friends in the world. I was sitting back thinking about this new project that I am working on ( SocialCoaster ) and how when I launch it I will be needing to fill positions quickly… It is an awesome feeling to know that I really won’t have to look much further than my friends to fill top executive positions. Sure this post is a little forward-looking but the reality is a good entrepreneur dreams big and plans ahead so let me introduce you to my very talented list of friends, the (hypothetical) future “SocialCoaster Dream Team”.
SOCIALCOASTER (hypothetical) DREAM TEAM!!!!
CEO – Jonathan Burdon (ME)
Of course I would name myself CEO of the company… After all I thought of the idea, paid for the development, and I am assembling the team.. Don’t get me wrong though, I am confident any of my friends below could easily handle the CEO role if I needed them to.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)- Craig Clayton
To me this is a not brainier, Craig (who has already been a great business partner) is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to any sort of technology… You give this guy one week and a brand new language to develop in and he will not only learn the language but will be well enough versed in it to teach others. Craig is simply a genius when it comes to this sort of thing, thus he will make a great CTO.
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) – James Grierson
This guy is the best there is when it comes to marketing and technology. If it were not because of James I would not be in the position that I am in today. James has literally brought in hundreds of thousands of sales for Endurance Group International in his tenure there. James specializes in creative marketing, building strategic relationships, but most importantly he is so friendly he can build loyalty amongst those he works with. When SocialCoaster takes off, definitely going to have to steal this guy from Endurance.. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Patrick Mitchell
My long-term friend and old college roommate Patrick Mitchell will be an excellent CFO.. With a major in finance and some KICK BUTT sales numbers at his current employment, I would be more than confident to bring in Patrick as the CFO… I’m pretty sure he would have no problem entertaining the entire team with his humor as well.
Research & Development Leader – Nathan Belcher
I have not know this guy for an exceptionally long time, but I have known him long enough to KNOW he is an extremely hard worker and an amazing “research/statistical” guy… His ability to analyze every part of any task will prove essential to growing SocialCoaster into a successful social networking site. I have Nathan helping me with another project as we speak, if he continues to kick-butt with it, I could easily see him joining my other friends with a top spot in my new company.
Support Team Leader – Tim Lutzewitz
This guy has been killing it while handling support (pretty much by himself) for 110mb.com, one of the web’s largest free web hosting companies. We like to pick on him every now and then, but the moral of the story is… He is pretty darn good at being a liaison between management and customers… I will eventually have to squeeze this guy into the SocialCoaster crew.
Lead Designer – Heather Black
I have been contracting out some work to my cousin Heather for a few years now and she has never disappointed me. Unbiasedly I can say that Heather is one of the best/ if not the best designers that I have ever seen. SocialCoaster will definitely hire her or continue to contract out work to her, that is a no brainier. If you don’t believe me.. Check out her portfolio yourself: LouderThanWordsDesign.com !
Honestly, these are just a few of my talented friends.. I have many more! Reality is this, the chemistry that this group would have if together would be INSANE! I think it is fair to say that it could be the most fun/productive working environments that has ever been created… This is my “Dream Team”.
It has been a while since my last blog post and one of the main reasons is that I have been planning the biggest business startups that I have ever attempted. In the past I have had several successful business ventures and have really been blessed for them but for the longest time I have wanted to create something HUGE, something that millions of users would want to use, something that could potentially be bought out by a major company like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Etc. That was the dream… But I never could think of the billion dollar idea… Until recently.
After months and months of thinking and praying and idea finally came to me…. I ran the idea by several of my closest friends.. Those I always can trust to be completely honest with me and I have received amazing feedback. Development of this new startup is not going to be cheap or easy; therefore, prior to committing to it I wanted to be 100% confident in the idea and in my future marketing plan. I also wanted to make sure that I hired THE PERFECT development team for this endeavor. Over the last few weeks behind the scenes I have managed to interview 45 different development teams and individuals and as of yesterday finally chose and closed a deal with a company that has some major successes in their portfolio. I am beyond excited to begin work and development on SocialCoaster and I know when it is finished you will all LOVE the final project.
At this point I cannot disclose much about the Startup; however, as we get closer to the release date I will let you know first about the contents of SocialCoaster. I can tell you this, the projected launch date for SocialCoaster will be January 1, 2013 and it will include an iPhone App, iPad App, Android App, Web-Based App, and will directly integrate with Facebook. I hope I have peaked your interest and I look forward to sharing more information in months to come!