Sorry DC… this isn’t the big one.
You know the definition of a slow DCTech news day? Every business day DCInno reports on everything that nobody needs to know in DC. Each day there is a feature called The Big One.
Now I don’t know about you but the big one to me means something. It’s like the earthquake that sinks half of California into the sea or the Heart Attack that ends a life. But not a pretend heart attack like this one from Sanford and Son:
But according to DCInno, the big one on November 1, was an App that keeps you posted on the happy hour deals offered by bars. That’s a cute little feature. Maybe Groupon could use it to delay their slow death. There are over 60,000 restaurants in the US and all of them are on yelp… most of them are on Facebook, 60% of them are on Open Table, all of them can be found on google.
According to DCInno “The Big One,” the story that rocks today’s world is cute little idea, a feature, packaged as an App of little import from a company that won’t exist a year from now.
DCInno on the big one:
It’s a classic struggle. 5 p.m., out of the office, happy hour time – but where? Especially when traveling for business, as many do in the District, it’s difficult to know which bars and restaurants have updated their specials and deals. Erica’s got the story on a soon-to-launch app ready to solve that problem in the DMV.
Local sibling founders Kaitlin and Matt Hamilton created an app aimed to avoid those inaccuracies by providing everything in real time. In 2017, they pooled their resources together (with a little help from family and friends) to launch the Konnect App.
It’s free for customers and $15 a month for businesses. Bars, clubs, and restaurants can enter information for specials and events like happy hours, game-day deals, ladies’ nights, etc. that will get bar hoppers to their establishments. Visitors search a map and pins pop up indicating available drinking spots.
The big one? Now placing aside that no cancer has ever been cured by getting a good happy hour deal, do you realize how difficult it is to get 10,000 restaurants signed up to use your app? How does an app that helps restaurant owners find customers who are only interested in finding deals make money? Ask Living Social. Did anyone at DCInno ask these people, how do you make money? Did anyone ask, how much does it cost to acquire a restaurant? Did anyone ask, how much does it cost to acquire a user, or what is the lifetime value of a restaurant, or why can’t you find a real job?
As a public service, let me ask a few questions. Do you know how difficult it is to direct sell 10,000 restaurants? How much that costs? How many companies have tried and failed? Hell, two well connected hard-working local entrepreneurs can answer that question. Sam Pollaro and Winston Lord of Venga can answer that question. They’ve been hammering away at their one-sided, restaurant-market-focused company since July 2010. They’ve raised a million dollars and they are beating the odds. They probably aren’t the next Open Tables or Yelp but they are still around. And that in itself is a big, the big one that DCInno should cover.
I admire the creativity, intelligence, and tenacity of Sam and Winston and unlike wide-eyed Kaitlin and Matt, Sam and Winston only had to sell one side of the market… the restaurant owner. The Hamilton’s have to acquire restaurants and end-users… doubling the user acquisition cost and quadrupling execution risk.
Is this a cute little story about a brother and sister team who might be in business 12 months from now? Sure. Is it the big one? Yes, if you’re audience is Katlin’s and Matt’s parents. In no other universe could this be the big one.
In defense of DCInno’s Kieran McQuilkin, he has to put out content whether it is the big one or not. I feel bad for him. He seems like a smart, young man. He spells better and is more grammatically compliant, better looking, nicer than Mr. Cranky… he seems like a great guy. The kind of guy you’d want to marry your daughter… yet he’s saddled with a job at DCInno. A rag that is in the business of baiting clicks. Running events and a business model that says, don’t rock the boat, make waves, and put out a ton of content without taking the time to do scratch any services. Put out content, content, content.
Kieran, if that was the big one… what was the next biggest one?
So in conclusion….
- yay Venga
- yawn Konnect App
- good luck Kaitlin and Matt
- let’s get Kieran McQuilkin a real job
Anyone out there in DCTech who needs a content marketing and PR associate… could you please help Kieren because the big ones are shrinking and he’s too good for his current job, hit him up on LinkedIn.