The StreetPin journey started when Tim was Global Web Manager at STA Travel. This role provided unique insight into behaviours of travellers worldwide, and how they used technology, word of mouth and printed media to engage with those ‘here and now’.
A long story cut short and STA Travel funded the early StreetPin proof of concept. We were also selected for the incubator, Accelerator Academy which prepared us for the ‘business’ of StreetPin. These factors led to Tim leaving STA to spend what would be 8 months testing and tweaking the proof of concept in his hometown of Orpington. Working out of his shed, he set up demonstrations for schools, pubs, village centres, shops, hairdressers, scouts, churches etc to find out how they and their associated communities interacted now, and how it could be improved. StreetPin leaflets were distributed in their thousands, the pub and church in the village had huge banners, the Queens Head was adorned with coasters and we were ready to trial.
We had stalls at festivals and fairs to show instant communication, we attended any and every event and even demonstrated how StreetPin could be used as an eBay style bidding tool at the local school fete. There are too many people to thank for their patience, interest and feedback, but Edmund estate agents put their hand in their pocket to sponsor our leaflet campaign. The irony of using leaflets to promote a digital notice board wasn’t lost on us, but we will continue to address audiences in the way that best suits them.
The feedback was great, when using on a smartphone (we adopted the mobile-first build approach) but a lot of community/retail owners then went to update from older PCs and we fell foul of old (unforgiving) Internet Explorer versions. Lessons learnt and we defined a build plan based on some great real-life case studies.
We went into research overdrive and secured a team of students from UCL Advances who spent 3 months investigating audiences, competition, market etc. We also won a TSB innovation voucher for £5k which funded a specialist research company to drill down into go-to-market strategies and validated the customer need for our new and improved StreetPin.