Shnergle: the world's first real-time reconnaissance platform
Shnergle was an easy-to-use, free iPhone app that allowed you to check out a place you were interested in visiting in near real-time to help you decide if you wanted to go.
Shnergle enabled people to capture, share and view location-based and time-stamped images, all whilst protecting personal privacy.
Unfortunately the service did not get the traction it needed to work, and could not commercially justify further investment, so we have taken the difficult choice to shut it down.
How did Shnergle work for consumers....
We tried to help venue owners and managers
Shnergle provided a real time engagement platform between merchants and the public. It acted as a simple marketing tool to help them tell the world what was happening in their establishment in real-time, thereby enabling the public to make highly-informed real-time decisions about where to go.
They could use it to:
• Generate business
• Better manage capacity, stock and staffing levels
In due course we were going to provide powerful analytics to
• Better understand what their customers wanted, and
• Accurately measure the effectiveness of their marketing activities
…all in real time.
We made a short video to explain the value...
It was featured in
How did the idea begin?
Jonny and Rob were out with friends in a bar in London one evening. Having finished dinner they were trying to decide what to do next - go for a drink elsewhere, or stay put as they already had a table? Jonny went for a quick "shnergle" around the pubs and bars nearby and reported back to the table how busy the other places were. Boom! The idea for Shnergle had begun - how useful would this be if it could be done simply on a mobile phone?
We often got asked "where does 'Shnergle' come from?" Well, it is simply a slang term used by the British Army for reconnaissance. So, it was fitting that as the co-founders were both ex British Army that this awesome app to help you decide what to do next (through reconnaissance) was named Shnergle.
Who was Shnergle?
So what happened?
We have published a detailed post mortem to our blog and a full life story can be seen on our Facebook page, but we basically found that we couldn't grow our userbase as fast as we needed to, either organically (unpaid) or paid (advertising). Without users, merchants (who loved the concept) didn't come onto the service, and without merchants the content required for users to value the service didn't flow; a classic chicken and egg scenario.
Whilst we could have thrown cash at the problem, it would have cost ridiculous amounts of money for a very uncertain commercial outcome, so we decided to not pursue further investment...
We still think the vision could be executable...
If you are a massive giant with large number of venues already signed up and a vast userbase contributing content - namely Facebook! We knew the odds of success were miniscule but we reached out anyway. Facebook declined, but we'd like to thank Mick Johnson for at least trying the app and responding!
Here is the code...