I consider myself to have a penchant for the application of technology. Although I never officially took a computer science or engineering class, I always enjoyed spending time learning about the fields. While reading about new discoveries in trade publications for the scientific community or just catching up with new technological breakthroughs at Slashdot, I was fascinated with the impacts each of these new ideas would bring to our lives. Technology was a hobby for me. When I found myself understanding and laughing at the XKCD jokes, I began to realize how much of a tech geek I was.
But technology never defined me. My casual dabbling in the field was often theoretical and only on occasion would it spill into my career. There was my college thesis while getting a degree in city planning. My undergraduate capstone looked at how emerging technology could impact how people are engaged with their local government. Then there were my forays into breaking developments in the open-source community and how these new ideas could improve the efficiency of the planning department where I worked. I pitched a few ideas to my boss here and there, and we managed to improve productivity as a result. In these cases, I saw how I fit into this modern world. I knew that I could act as a conduit between technology and how we use it in practical ways.
Unfortunately for me, I was born too late to participate effectively in the first internet boom. But that did not mean all the ideas had been taken. When applying for graduate school, I penned essays that spoke about an idea still unfolding within the depths of my mind. Expanding upon my planning thesis, I had a new idea to harness growing trends within interactive web sites to engage and empower people in civics (my masters degree was in government administration). I wanted to interact with the comp sci students and brainstorm ways of making the “facebook for government policy”, so to speak.
I have had several solid business ideas over the years. Each idea has always been outside of my reach. Whether a certain skill set is needed that I could not learn before a window of opportunity closes, or a networking connection I could not make, I was always left watching my business idea materialize in the hands of another entrepreneur.
For the first time, an idea was conceived with all the tools in place. The human capital was all around me, and I was in an opportunity to make something happen. Necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case it was no different. Friends in our community were looking for a way to make get together more often. A deliberate effort but sans headaches. When our method was tried out and it worked beyond our expectations, we realized we had an idea.
We needed to make it scalable. We needed to make it big. It was one thing to improve our own community, but if we could improve the lives of anyone that wanted to use our site, then we would be on to something.
Perhaps the biggest reason I am excited about this venture is the potential for the impact it can have on lives all over the world. I think about the implications I have seen in other technological breakthroughs and I see similar potential with this site. And so everything we have done has been towards making the site – and our own personal experience – available to anyone that wants to try it. We have made it scalable. And it’s big enough for you and your friends.