Dan MacFayden was driving through the city passing all the places where he had left memories over the years. He couldn’t help but feel that his memories were invisible to the rest of the world, and he wondered how many others had left memories there too.
The 31-year-old Internet marketer — who works for Compassion International and runs a web and mobile design company, Bombproof Design — created Stori, an app that lets people post stories about a location or event and share it with others. It’s like Facebook meets Four Square.
Users can create chapters for their story and invite friends and family to co-author those chapters with them. For example, there could be stories of what it was like to see baby’s first steps or the excitement of being at a Broncos game.
MacFayden has big plans for the app, projecting 500,000 users in the first year and as many as 30 million by year five, with projected revenue of $120 million, also by year five. Investors are showing interest in the app, which MacFayden expects to be ready for beta testing in the next few months.
He is targeting 18- to 24-year-olds who are comfortable giving out their location, enjoy a bit of voyeurism and are willing to connect with perfect strangers.
What sets Stori apart from Facebook or Foursquare?
Stori leaves all of your content at the location where it happened so other people can connect with you along your journey. We share your story with the whole world rather than just your friends.
Users can create chapters for their story and invite friends and family to coauthor those chapters with them. So if you go to a wedding all of the guests can write to that specific chapter. Any time in the future, the story of that wedding can be viewed as it happened. You can also subscribe only to the chapters that interest you. For example you may want to follow a coworker’s business chapter but not their family chapter. On other networks you subscribe to everything automatically.
We also allow users to subscribe to any location. Want to keep up with the story that is happening at the Olympic Training Center, Colorado College, or the Manitou Incline? Just subscribe and Stori will show you the stories other people write at those locations.
How do you make revenue from this business?
We plan to make revenue through location-based advertising and offers. One of the unique approaches of our revenue model is that we plan on paying authors for writing great content and sharing the offers. It’s possible that one day people could make a living by writing in Stori.
Some investors have taken meetings with you; what was the outcome?
We’ve received great responses but just began our seed round and want to make sure we bring on the right investors. Investment is more than just money to our team. We want the right people who we can trust and who believe in our team.
What do you think is the future for Stori — both in use and revenue projections?
We are extremely excited to launch the beta version. Mainly because we want to see how the public wants to use it. Our job is to put it in their hands and then listen to them. If they want changes or additions then we make them. We can see all kinds of uses though, from telling the story of your baby’s first steps to the story of your first Broncos game.
As far as revenue, we are projecting $120 million in the fifth year. We anticipate 500,000 users within the first year growing to 30 million in the fifth year.
There has been some real energy in the Colorado Springs entrepreneurial scene; how would you describe what is going on?
The entrepreneurial community here is a startup itself. We have some powerful momentum and brilliant, passionate people leading the community. What it is bringing to our city is a renewed sense of innovation and courage which are two things every entrepreneur must have. The startup community that is growing will become the vehicle to empower hundreds of entrepreneurs to step out and achieve their dreams.
City officials have placed a big emphasis on wanting/needing to attract young professionals to Colorado Springs; what advice would you give them on how to achieve their goal?
Listen. Connect with the age group you want to attract and ask them what they think. They want to be heard and have some great ideas on how this could be done. Don’t just assume you know the answer. This is a marketing problem to solve and the number one rule of marketing is know your customer.
Act. Those young professionals are masters at spotting hypocrisy. Don’t just say you want to attract young professionals — do it. It’s a great vision and one which I think can happen. We all need to work together to make it a reality.