When Bryan Pelz, CEO and founder of Klamr, is asked to describe the app of the same name he helped create, he starts off by listing what it is not: It's not like Facebook's Events, or WhatsApp or WeChat. Rather, Pelz says Klamr is something "a little bit in between" that helps people plan "informal" gatherings where "you've figured it all out and you just want to inform other people."
Klamr has a total of 12 employees, half of them based in Vietnam, and Pelz frequently travels between the United States and Vietnam to oversee the business. The company started working on the current version of its iOS and Android app in February--it was developing an earlier version but, Pelz says, the company "pulled the plug on it because we didn't feel it was the right approach." Pelz spoke to FierceDeveloper contributing editor Mariko Hewer about the company's adoption strategy and business plans for the next few months.
Bryan Pelz, founder and CEO of Klamr
Bryan Pelz on Klamr's social strategy: We are both a messaging and a planning app. We're focused on the issue of informal meet-ups, [for example] 'I want to go out to dinner with these colleagues, or dinner tonight with my wife.' We do that as a messaging app, but it's oriented around planning and getting together with your friends. We have our own database of over 1 million social points of interest or venues, like restaurants and bars and so forth. We built that ourselves, with links to Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp.
There's no tools inside WhatsApp to be able to help you pick the venue, research the venue, suggest times, reach conclusions [and] inform your friends who are not on whatever messaging app about what's going on. We actually put all that stuff in one place, and we think that when you're making plans, with a group or one on one, it should be a conversation, not a declaration.
Pelz on building a customer base: We're in user adoption mode. We rolled out in the app store about a month and a half ago. We have thousands of downloads, but it's still really early for us. We're going to be opening it up soon internationally….between now and the end of the year. It's still early with us in terms of customer adoption, and we're working with our users to get their feedback.
Our focus is basically on trying to get users and also make sure at the same time that we are evolving the product in a way that is appealing to the users. The most important thing for us right now is to listen to the users and give them what they want, give them a really good experience. We're trying to find all the little bumps and smooth them out.
Klamr hopes to help facilitate informal meetups between colleagues and friends.
Pelz on Klamr's business strategy: We're not spending that much in terms of marketing, but what we are doing is paying close attention to how viral the app is and where we can make sure it's a super seamless experience for users with no bumps in it. We have a team of 40 agents that are working with us to build our database. We're paying really close attention to our metrics.
Our focus is basically on trying to get users and also make sure at the same time that we are evolving the product in a way that is appealing to the users and doesn't also preclude revenue in the feature. We're going to keep asking our users more and more questions and try to see what we can slim down on, what they need, if we need to add anything. There's a couple things I'd like to be able to share but can't really share yet that are going to be pretty exciting, probably right after the beginning of the year.
Developer Workshop is a series of profiles exploring the current state of the mobile marketplace from the point of view of the software developers mapping out its future. Each profile focuses on a developer with a compelling story to tell, and offers their perspective on what the industry's doing right, what it's doing wrong and how to make it better. Check out our previous workshops on Shazam, InfoMedia, Viigo, Meet Now Live, Shortcovers, Pint Sized Mobile, Geodelic, Spark of Blue Software, Tarver Games, People Operating Technology Booyah, Bolt Creative, Thwapr, Monkeyland Industries, Rocket Racing League, Vlingo, Advanced Mobile Protection, PapayaMobile, Taptu, GameHouse, Avatron, aisle411, Crowdstory, Outfit7, ADP, Locai, The PlayForge, Universal Mind, Khush, MindJolt SGN, Matchbook, Next One's on Me, Out of the Park Developments, WhosHere, Roaming Hunger, Inside News360, RotoWire, Glympse, PlayFirst, PicsArt, Digisocial, MapQuest, VMware, Sidecar, @Walmart Labs, Voxer and NQ Mobile.