From festivals to concerts to performances, there is always a bevy of local events going on at any given time in any given city.
But finding out what’s happening every day isn’t easy — and that’s exactly where Attendible wants to help.
The five-person Seattle startup, founded in August 2012, has built an online event calendar that helps people see what’s going on in their city. Its Pinterest-like design allow users to scroll through events, invite friends via social media, “like” individual events and filter with different categories.
We caught up with 31-year-old CEO Georges El Khoury to find out more about Attendible in the latest edition of Startup Spotlight.
Explain what you do so our parents can understand it: We’re ideal to plan your weekend or find what to do during the holidays, check out what’s happening in the city while you’re riding the bus, or browse with friends to pick events after a delicious dinner.
Inspiration hit us when … When we were buying a book at a bookshop, we realized how hard it is for local businesses to compete with the online world as most people were mostly enjoying their time, interacting with each other rather than actually buying books.
Then, it hit us. [Bookstores] won’t be just selling books anymore — they’ll be selling a hot cup of coffee, a (cooking) book signing complemented by a cooking session with the author/chef, etc. In summary, they will be selling local experiences and they will need a platform like Attendible to reach local communities and share their events. We could see that the web was going to be more local and real-time. This was really exciting for us and we felt there was a big need for Attendible.
VC, Angel or Bootstrap (And Why): We’re bootstrapped and self-funded. We’ve got a couple of milestones to hit before we seek external funding. We prefer it this way while we’re doing our soul searching.
Our ‘secret sauce’ is: An incredible passion to get things happening locally and to find those little gems all over the city.
The smartest move we’ve made so far: Making it really simple for other people to create events on Attendible and curate them by seasonal trends like holiday events, New Year Eve’s parties, etc.
The biggest mistake we’ve made so far: As many startups with a geek team, we’ve spent way too much time on the product and less on the outreach. Although it gave us a good framework that we’re now benefiting from, we could have used a bit more and earlier outreach.
Would you rather have Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner: It’s definitely a tough one. Living in Seattle, it’s hard not feel the effect of Bezos and Amazon’s customer obsession. Amazon’s persistence on its marketplace vision when no one believed it was possible to buy or sell online is also pretty inspiring. It’s an incredible culture and if we had to pick only one, we’ll go for Bezos.
Our world domination strategy starts when: When we start launching Attendible in one city after the other.
We are truly unique because: We always fallback to the community when we are in doubt or before we start implementing a new feature. If we discover a pattern that’s important or useful to the community, we are fast in implementing and shipping it.
The biggest hurdle we’ve overcome is: Going over all the events that are happening around you, keeping track of all of them and presenting them in a way that makes sense to you. We don’t come across as a big data company but if you think about it, between all the events, their different sources and formats, we’re one of the most complex big data companies out there.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs just starting out: Just do it. It’ll be intense and really rewarding. Pick something you love to do because you’ll be doing it for a long time and for long hours. Finally, build a great team, tackle a big market and keep shipping until you make someone happy. At that time, you’ve found yourself a winning recipe.