The Trigger SXSW: Hank Leber, GonnaBe

GonnaBe hanging out in the Rackspace Winner’s Circle at SXSW. Read more about our time in Austin on Rackspace’s blog:

CEO Hank Leber talks the latest on GonnaBe at #Launch2013.

Greetings from the team at #LAUNCH2013 in San Francisco. We’re sharing what’s in everyone’s future by using GonnaBe to show where they’re going to be & what they’re going to be doing…all right from our gypsy camp.

The Social Networker’s Chris Miller & Living Life Mobile’s Paul Steel give their thoughts on GonnaBe & SXSW. GonnaBe humbly thanks them for the shout out & responds to questions they raised in their review. 

Will GonnaBe eventually support other networks besides Facebook? Well, we’d like to (as we love all social media platforms.) The reason we’re sticking to Facebook Connect for logging in is: security. Facebook makes it difficult to create fake accounts and we value that as a high priority with our app. Because let’s be honest, it’s rarely supermodels or tall-dark-&-handsomes who are making fake profiles – and our users have expressed concerns over creepy ex-boyfriends with restraining orders, etc. GonnaBe is social media for your actual social life. So the rules change a bit.

Re: inviting people to your GonnaBe plans – a great concern. In the next app update (due out before SXSW) you can invite your friends to plans via SMS, email, Facebook & the GonnaBe network – which encompasses nearly everyone you know in this world. Our favorite part: even if they aren’t GonnaBe users you can still invite them, and they can opt in without ever downloading the app. We like to think of it as sharing a little GonnaBe love with everyone – no strings attached (TMI?)

To the points about Facebook not being an accurate depiction of your social graph, realize that we’re only using Facebook for login (so that you’ve got legitimacy, a profile pic, and a proper name). We never intended GonnaBe to be a Facebook-friends-group-activity platform. That’s called Facebook Events. There are over a billion people on Facebook. It’s a safe bet that the people you know are on it, so we’ll stick with it for now.

In regards to our sweet GonnaBe party – we can’t wait to see you there. To clarify: the first 50 to opt-in to our plan will get their first drink free. But because you think we’re so slick…maybe 2 for the both of you. 

See you both at SXSW! You’ll find us on the app. 

It Was Never About Me, Was It? The Real Value Of Living Social.

Living Social is in trouble. Whether they know it or not. Or would care to admit it. reported on Wednesday; “LivingSocial (PrivCo Private Company Ticker: LIVSOCP) has just received $110 million in emergency financing from some of its existing investors today, in a last ditch attempt to save the privately-held daily deals company from imminent financial ruin, PrivCo has confirmed exclusively, until the company can be sold by year’s end to recoup whatever is still possible.”

Yikes. Sounds like no one’s hankering after those 8 gym classes or helicopter tours around your city after all. Or maybe it’s because we’ve all come to realize that Living Social doesn’t really know us at all.

I could kick myself for opening the 3-Hydrocolonics for $15 deal about 9 months back as a joke for a friends upcoming birthday. Why? Because now Living Social is under the impression that’s my thing. And it’s so not-my-thing that it’s enough for my to delete every Living Social email I get (without reading it) and eventually just unsubscribe all together.

Let’s be honest - I suppose I was never really honest with Living Social about my wants & needs - but then again, they never asked or gave me a chance. They just made assumptions! And it seems like everyone’s jumping off this band wagon with about as much fever as they jumped on. Guess they don’t like daily reminders of 10-botox injections. 

Now - the fate of Living Social is by, all means, still up for discussion. They still hold strong that there is no peril in our relationship regardless of what the rumors flying around the internet state. We’d be willing to hear them out if they’d stop reminding me I need to try out 18 different gym memberships. 

However, this is exactly the fuel behind GonnaBe. The data that GonnaBe generates ensures quality. Users are telling us A) What they’re gonna be doing, which turns into B) what they’re doing, and then C) what they’ve done. So we know more about a user than LivingSocial ever did – and we’re able to send deals, offers, and pairings in advance of your activity – in the very window that matters most. The defined space of opportunity that every marketer dreams of. It’s the byproduct of our app. Finally - someone will understand my appreciation of a good wine with a good meal relatively close to public transportation!

So three cheers for the (potential) demise of LivingSocial – it’s validates the point: quality, not quantity. The smart targeting that comes from machine learning and the rare platforms like ours who have future/intent data is how this space will be won. And the payout will be bigger than the original valuations of Groupon and LivingSocial.

It’s like someone will finally ‘get’ me. 

GonnaBe CEO Hank Leber chats with Cat Mangan (@CatMangan), Event Marketing Manager for D&B Credibility, about what 2013 has in store for GonnaBe.


Join DigitalLA for our pre-Valentine’s Day panel featuring Dating and Social Networks!

Speakers include:

Eden Dranger, At The Pool, Social Media Manager.  The At The Pool social network lets you join a school / interest group, and sends you daily emails
based on your common interests introduing you to others in the group to encourage meeting in person.  Also organizes networking events for members to meet. At The Pool recently raised $750K in funding. Backers include  Clearstone Venture Partners, Canyon Creek Capital. Recent press includes TechCrunch, PandoDaily, etc. @ThePool

Hank Leber, GonnaBE. CEO / Founder. App lets you let your friends know where you’re gonna be to meet up, and also lets you see what events are going on around you. @GonnaBeApp

Brent Wisener, DateFunded. Founder.  DateFunded site lets you set up dates that are crowdfunded by your friends to happen. Created at the recent AngelHack. @DateFunded

Tickets available here.

Time for a Platform: Teens texting, not checking-in.

According to this CBS news report, teens are sending more texts than ever. 60+ per day.

Not surprising, really. In fact, it’s more justification that there needs to be a platform for this information. WTF are they (and we) still doing texting?

Looking deeper into the numbers, the compelling part isn’t that texting is on the rise. That’s to be expected. Everything mobile is on the rise. But according to the study,

"the increase in texting didn’t carry over into location-based services like Foursquare or Facebook Places. Only 6 percent of teens overall admitted to checking in to share their physical location with friends."

6 percent. Know why? That’s because most of their location-based and planning based info is still being communicated via text. Services like Foursquare and Facebook Places only allow you to share CURRENT location data. This is relatively useless when trying to make plans and figure out your day/night/weekend.

Most of the energy that these kids are putting into texts is wasted energy. Once upon a time we all used to send out links to cool articles via email. Remember? Yeah, it was around 2006 – before Twitter changed everything. A platform to help us share the data we wanted to share.

It’s time for the info of our social lives to get organized. It’s time for texting to take a back seat. It’s time for a platform.

       -hank, CEO

Why we aren’t Forecast/Foursquare/Plancast etc.

Gonnabe is not...

We get these questions a lot:

"How are you different from Forecast?"

"Didn’t Plancast do this?"

"Can’t I do something like this on Facebook?"

"What’s wrong with texting? It’s not inconvenient…"

It’s like asking Instagram 2 years ago: How is this different from Hipstamatic? Didn’t Flickr do this? Can’t I already upload pictures on Facebook? What’s wrong with using Photoshop? It’s not inconvenient… 

Here’s our attempt to tackle all of these questions at once:

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