For a few days I’ll be putting Placesbyme through its paces. The pitch for this new food/destination/play app is basically Yelp but with just your friends. In other words avoid all the crummy Yelp and Foursquare stuff and get recommendations from friends. I foresee a few hurdles:
- Until you get critical mass following my friends’ recommendations is going to be very, very hard simply because there aren’t any. None of my friends are using this app and given the normal adoption curve I’ll see Jim and Richard show up soon and then no one else.
- There isn’t much data there. For example there is nothing in Seattle. I would have seeded the data with Yelp, Google, Foursquare, Facebook, something just to get the ball rolling and added UI to the effect “This isn’t a Placesbyme recommendation: do you agree with it?”. Then let the user correct, add, etc. so the cleanliness of the recommendation isn’t lost.
Good luck to the team! There must be a better system than what Yelp does (e.g. when Arby’s is a five-star you know the system is broken) but I sure haven’t seen it yet. There is also a long list of other failed food/destination apps but maybe the time is right for someone to change the game.