Andrew F. Hart
Thanks so much for stopping by!
I'm Andrew F. Hart, an enthusiastic entrepreneur, software engineer, photographer, and travel fanatic living and working in New York City.
It was 2008, the social networking craze was in full effect. What couldn’t be solved with social networking? Well, my brother and I thought we had a good idea, and apparently we did, because others have been at it as well. Our idea boiled down to the fact that people who live together in the same urban multi-tenant residential complex might have enough in common that a social network could help solve some common issues like “where’s a good place to eat?”, and “who wants this gently used coffee table?”
This was our first semi-serious attempt at creating an online business from the ground up. Semi-serious only in that neither of us was going to quit our day jobs for this. We both definitely believed in the idea though, and really had a great time putting it together.
Having built the prototype for the property where I was living at the time, we coordinated the release with the building management, and got to feel the rush of having lots of sign-ups to our new service. We’d apparently satisfied at least a small need, and the management enjoyed being able to broadcast messages to residents.
But time caught up with us: we kept adding features we thought would be critical, and we went several months without a release. Not that the users minded, but it was hard on us from a morale point of view. There was a steady trickle of new users signing up, but we struggled to spread the service beyond its prototype location. Our inexperience definitely played a part, but there was also a definite need for property management to fully buy in and actively promote our service. This became clear when the management changed hands at the prototype site. Suddenly our relationship vanished, their priorities were different, and the site all but withered.
We’ve moved on, but there was a tremendous amount of experience gained from the process of dreaming this up and taking it through to an implementation. At our peak, we had around 150 people signed up. Not Facebook numbers, by any stretch, but still enough to validate our initial idea and keep us from throwing in the towel completely on the prospect of building out future ideas.