Image via CrunchBaseI have been fascinated by FoodSpotting. I am not exactly a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but I am only slightly above steamed broccoli. I would not describe me a foodie. I come from a country of subsistence farmers. I am sufficiently into food, don't get me wrong. But my fascination with FoodSpotting has been what it has meant as a tech startup, best caputured by a phrase I coined, that FoodSpotting is the next FourSquare. It is the leader in the what after check in space. It inhabits the royal vertical in that space.
World FoodSpotting Day 2011: January 15: Photos
So when I celebrated FoodSpotting Day yesterday - in two separate cities, Philly and NYC - I was on a mental hyper drive of sorts. I kept thinking, what next, what next? What next for FoodSpotting?
I posed that question with the people I celebrated with in Philly. What would be some of your feature requests for FoodSpotting? The organizer of the event - Alexis - in Philly - who I had the pleasure of sitting next to - said she would like to be able to message people on FoodSpotting, like you can do at MeetUp.com. The guy sitting in the front said along with the picture of the dish he wants to be able to jot down the price as well.
"I want to know if something is in the $15-20 range."
Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr
My primary observation of the day, gleaned from having taken and uploaded about 200 photos, was FoodSpotting has only so much time to also occupy the travel vertical. If they don't do it, someone else will. Travel is related to food. But I feel the way to that second vertical goes by way of the FoodSpotting social graph. I mean, there is already Google Street View. People take pictures of while they travel all the time. Already. What would be different? What would be different is your pictures of travel using the FoodSpotting app would stick to your FoodSpotting social graph. Only people you ever ate with will be able to see.
There was also this feeling that eatups can't be a once a year happening. This message hit a home run with me. Because while I was eating my Philly lunch I realized I had never had this much fun eating with complete strangers before. Getting active on FoodSpotting should allow me to expand my social network. I personally would like to belong to a network of the dumplings eaters. You get together some place because you have a shared passion for dumplings. And then the social part comes into play. You get to know amazing people.
FoodSpotting just raised three million dollars. If I were FoodSpotting, I'd build a tech team not only in San Franciso, but also in New York. And I would start putting about 20% of the tech resources into the social graph and travel right away, 20% or more.
When FoodSpotting creates its social graph, I think that is when it will hit Instagram heights of popularity.
FoodSpotting's Social Graph: FoodSpotting Day: January 15
Going Backwards: FoodSpotting, FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook
Image by tysongoodridge via Flickr
And my brunch with Jack ended up not happening. He thought MLK Day was Monday. He was right. I thought MLK was born on January 15. I was right.
MLK Day Brunch With Jack In Philly