#020 Ryan Hanly - co founder of 'outbound'
'the app where travellers connect'
Mark Cantoni (Left) Ryan Hanly (Right)
''The first app that lets you find and connect with fellow travellers of all types, match travel plans, and view and attend events in any destination.''
Nicholla speaks with Ryan Hanly, co-founder of the Outbound app. An app designed to connect travellers. Nicholla loves when she finds new techy solutions. So when she found Outbound via a chance twitter she knew she had to find out more. She connected with Ryan to find how this new app works and how it can help us connect while we travel and explore the world. Living as an expat we 'get' the whole travelling thing and seeking new adventure so this was going to fit well into our community. The great part about this app is its not just for your backpackers and solo travellers. Its about all different types of travellers and how we can find events, information and socialise with like-minded travellers. There is great functionality too with the ability to create events, explore destinations, create messages or notices and find wifi in an area. Ryan And Mark are really looking to us (the travellers) to be the ones who help the app evolve and be the social network app for travellers so press play below and listen in.
'Outbound was the brainchild of two avid travellers, Ryan and Mark. They noticed there was no efficient way for travellers to connect with other travellers when they arrived at a destination. And also no way to communicate with travellers in the location they were heading to. Facebook just wasn’t cutting it!
After much procrastination, it was a chance meeting with a group of backpackers on the Gold Coast that provided the final motivation to actually create this concept. They loved the idea and insisted that we actually do something about it. And from that, Outbound was born. Outbound’s aim is to simply make travelling easier and to help travellers connect. Hopefully you’ll make some lifelong friends along the way.' (Source: www.outboundapp.org/aboutus)
Mark grew up in far North Queensland, but discovered a passion for travel early. He has found his way across America, Europe and North Africa and lived in London and the south of France for a few years. Mark has also travelled extensively in his home country Australia. Mark has many travel highlights, but rates The Running of The Bulls in Pamplona as his favourite.
Ryan is an avid traveller. Having lived abroad for a number of years, he has travelled through much of Europe, Africa and Asia. His favourite country is Italy but his fondest travel memory is camping in the Serengeti Plains the night a pride of lions decided to wander through. South America is next on his travel plans.
In this interview Ryan shares the inspiration for the app, how we can use it, he talks us through the functions of the app and the future plans for the app.
Inside this Episode
- 1. Who are you Ryan and tell us a little bit about yourself? Ryan briefly shares his early story of how he trained to be a PE teacher and then headed off on his travels. Starting in London, then Europe and Africa, he finally settling in back in his home land of Australia. Ryan explains that he doesn't come from a techie background and how his passion for travel brought him to where he is today.
- 2. What is the inspiration behind creating this app? Ryan has travelled a lot and talks about how the inspiration was born out of his own solo travelling but how the idea was discovered during a recent trip with his family when he realised it wouldbbe great if you could jump on your phone and see who else was travelling in the area and looking to connect.
- 3. So what is your mission with your app? Your tag line is 'The app where travellers connect' Ryan explains how their mission is to create a strong community of travellers who want to help other travellers but they also want to give travellers the ability to speak to other travellers in the place they are travelling to and get advise on 'where to stay, where to visit and what do to. At the core of this its effectively a 'social network for travellers' which hasn't been achieved properly at this point.
- 4. What kind of Problems does your app solve? The most obvious problem it solves is 'who is around when I get to my destination'. When you open the app at your destination it will show you all the travellers that are in the same area and then from there you can connect with the type of travellers or person you wish to connect with. Today's younger traveller are much more open to digital connections and less discouraged by contacting a traveller via a smart phone.
- 5. Tell us about your guide to travellers you have created? Ryan and his co-founder didn't want to just pigeon hole this app to backpackers and solo travellers, they wanted to make the app accessible to more demographics so they created a guide of traveller types to help people see themselves as a type of traveller and then connect with travellers who were profiling themselves as the same. So they came up with a list of travellers and this included; backpacker, Solo traveller, Corporate Travellers, RV/Caravanner, Adventurer, Expat, Couple & Family.
- 6. Walk us through the process when we first sign up? What can we do? As a new user your first action is to create a profile where you create a introduction about yourself and the kind of traveller you are. From there you can then the search function and find other people nearby or you can search for a specific traveller. The tool has three other key functions which are a) 'Explore' - where you can explore destinations to find fellow travellers or add your own trips, b) 'Events' - where you can see what is going on in your destination or add an event for other travellers to find, and c) 'Noticeboard' - which is a really useful community tool for travellers to share, sell, meet and leave messages. Travellers can post questions in a forum type setting and other travellers can answer. Ryan explains in details the purpose of these functions and how they can best serve travellers.
- 7. Will businesses be able to get involved in this event function? Ryan shares how he sees the events function as a good opportunity for businesses in the future but at present its all about the social functionality and user engagement.
- 8. What is the best part of your app. 'The stand out functionality' ? Ryan shares his favourite part but he does say that the best part varies depending on who you speak with. The wifi finder seems to be an unexpected winner too.
- 9. How does your app support women travellers? This app was developed with female solo travellers in mind. Its supports female travellers by allow women to block male travellers from seeing your profile so that only female travellers can see your profile and only you can connect with female travellers. Ryan explains this in more detail during the interview. He does share how they have a zero tolerance policy for any type of misbehaviour and that members can report activity deemed inappropriate. Those members misusing the platform will be removed from participation at the back end of the app.
- 10. Summer is 6 months away and folk here are already starting to talk about Summer holidays. How many downloads and users do you expect by Summer? Ryan explains how in the first 10 days of launching they had 1000 downloads and they are really excited by this result. He goes on to share his thoughts on the future growth of the app.
- 11. Outbound is currently an app. Nicholla asked him if he had plans to make this app for desktop use too? Ryan explains through his research and through his interactions with younger audiences they decided that the app would remain as a mobile application as this is where the future lies with technology.
- 12. What new features/additions will you be making to the app? Ryan explains that they have a number of ideas but what they want to do is wait to see how the users react to the app and let them help with the evolution of it by sharing their 'why, how and where' it can be used. Ryan is keen to collect as much feedback from users and this will help in the direction of developing the app.
- 13. Do you plan to have a business side to the app? Ryan explains how at the moment it all about social and user engagement. The business element will be something they will look at in about 12 months.
- 13. Would there be any other programmes that you would like to collaborate with in future? Ryan shares that websites like Trip Advisor would be an awesome collaboration if the opportunity came around. He shares this thoughts on future collaborations with other travelling websites aswell.
- Website Address: Outboundapp.org
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