Archive | February, 2012

Menus for Venues

29 Feb

When you’re making plans on Shizzlr and looking for a place to go eat, you can now see the menu at some of your choices. Thanks to Foursquare and their recent partnership with SinglePlatform, other apps like our ourselves get benefit from Foursquares new offering. So to Foursquare and SinglePlatform, thank you for helping the greater good, and to our users, start checking out some menus before making your plans!

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Mario Party Plans

27 Feb

SOURCE: http://www.nerdragecomic.com/index.php?date=2012-02-24

22 Feb

Original Post: http://bryce.vc/post/18065622441

It was to good to not re-post – for some reason it really struck a chord.

Dropping knowledge. Lesson 1:Polls

15 Feb

Every Wednesday we’ll be writing a little bit up on one of our features within the app and website, figuring sometimes valuable things get overlooked. Similar to dropping bows well be dropping knowledge on you like that. Enjoy.

First up: Polls.

Polls are found inside a plan (group chats) with friends.  Just click the little button that looks like a poll in the footer (seen left) to get to them. From there you can either vote on or start a new poll.

The Point:  Majority rules.  We always want to make the democratic decision when deciding on things with friends so that the most people are happy.  Polls lets you do this and organize votes when there a bunch of options on the table, and shows who voted for what (so you can then argue with them 🙂

The Process: Starting a poll is simple, just press the start button and you’ll be presented with this screen – enter anything and as little or much as you want for each.

Once the poll is created it will show in the polls tab, where everyone can vote on it and constantly see what the most popular choice is for a given question.  Just click the box to vote.  You can change it anytime and as many times as you want.

Creating and voting on any poll will show in the group chat, so all your friends see when one is created and when someone votes.

So go and create one as your planning what to do next with friends.  See if it helps you figure out a decision no one wanted to make the final call on.

Have a good day all –

– Nick

Traction rules. #

9 Feb

“Do whatever is required to get to product/market fit. Including changing out people, rewriting your product, moving into a different market, telling customers no when you don’t want to, telling customers yes when you don’t want to, raising that fourth round of highly dilutive venture capital—whatever is required.”

— Marc Andreessen

Found in article from Nivi (http://venturehacks.com/articles/plans-ndas-traction)

Ground control to Major Shizzlr… You are clear for launch (2.0)

2 Feb

“What’s going on?” is the simple question that started one hell of a complex journey.  That one simple question is preloaded with so many more questions it’s taken us a solid year to figure them out. But how could such a simple question have such a complex answer? Without getting into the research we did, think about ‘Why’ you’ve ever asked it yourself; possibly you asked a close friend to find out if they wanted to hangout or already had plans, possibly you asked an acquaintance because you were curious if they knew of something going on that you didn’t.  The ultimate goal of asking “What’s going on?” is to directly or indirectly fulfill your social life needs by making plans and hoping they’re great.

Making plans is a pain in the butt, and nobody really wants to do it, but we deal with it because our social lives oblige us to do so.  Since it’s our social life beckoning us to ask “What’s going on?” without question of incentive, now think about ‘How’ we go about it. Communication tools like texting, email, facebook messenger, and group chat apps are our means to ask the question. The problem is we want to make plans knowing they’ll be great, and so we want to consume as much information as possible to make our decision. Questions like “Who’s free when?”, “Who wants to do what?”, and “What’s there to do anyway?” all need to be answered. Then there’s the whole commitment issue; not many people like to commit to something because a better option might arise at any time.

Shizzlr 1.0 failed 9 months ago at making the planning process enjoyable. That attempt didn’t succeed for  many reasons, but the primary reason was we hadn’t yet fully baked the entire problem into our solution. Essentially we had made an average group chat application with a bit of social event discovery.  We were also focused on continuously iterating the product to make it better, but our focus fell towards more of what we thought it needed to be versus going out and into the field and finding out how the rest of the world views social planning.

Why did we keep going? Oddly enough, we never asked ourselves that question. Everyone on the team believes that trying to make plans with friends is a pain in the butt, and planning should be enjoyable. We believe that it should be fun to discover what’s going on and simple to figure out the details of a plan. Even though our first version didn’t solve the problem, it was the belief in making something that could make our lives, everyone’s lives better. So over the past 6 months we dug hard into the problem and built a complete redesign on the whys and hows of “What’s going on?”  We looked at our user data, talked with people about how they make their everyday plans, watched best practices of other privately natured social companies, and after 6 months of consecutive 18-hr days, came up with Shizzlr 2.0.

Launching Shizzlr 2.0 –  Shizzlr 2.0 is a mashup of group chat + venues + event discovery wrapped up in a very simple design.  So simple in fact it really only has 1 button: “Start” a plan.  By leveraging Kik’s API, tapping into Foursquare’s venues, and geolocating public Facebook events, we believe Shizzlr 2.0 will certainly improve our social experience of making everyday casual plans.  These elements are provided thru the “What’s up feed” when you open the app, and a “Super Chat” when you start a plan.

The “What’s up feed” is one list, starting with your plans, events you’ve saved as potential plans, your Facebook events (because some of them are potential plans too), and then it flows into a day-by-day snapshot of friends plans, Facebook friends events, public things going on around town, and popular places to go; so you’ve got all of that great info available with just a flick of the thumb to scroll.   There’s only one button on top of the “What’s up feed” and that’s to start a plan.

The “Super Chat” captures the process of plan making. There’s a difference between making a plan and starting a plan. Most of us don’t like to make plans because it implies we have set details within the plan and we’re committed to them; well not on Shizzlr. On Shizzlr you ‘Start’ a plan, by selecting some friends, adding a title, and then the what/when/where details are optional so you can fill them in later when the “Super Chat” starts.  We just call it “Super Chat” because it’s awesome, but it’s really you and your friends discussing the plan details, and being able to share events and places as options into the chat, as well as create simple polls.  Of course there are other features in there too like checking into Foursquare when you’ve arrived at your plan destination, Kik’ing your plan to Kik if you’re a Kik user, and awarding funny medals like ‘Beer goggles’ to friends in the plan.

So present day in our journey, we are now officially launching Shizzlr 2.0.  We’re excited to get friends, family, new and old users to see what we have poured our hearts into and love using ourselves.  We finally feel that with this version we can make people’s lives easier so they can enjoy life with friends.

 

    

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