March 26, 2015
Ancient people used to leave behind petroglyphs when they traveled to new locations, marking fertile valleys, amazing views, or areas of shelter for those that would come after them. Michael Ham and Jacqueline Shen founded Glif as an extension of that ancient belief, brought into the modern day.
In a phrase, Glif is a geo-cached Instagram. Users can go out to locations in the real world and mark that they saw a celebrity, found the best sunset view point in the town, or tidbits about a specific area.
For example, there’s a McDonald’s in Los Alamos, where Glif is based out of. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, there was a tunnel about 100 feet below ground that used to house nuclear weapons – somebody left a Glif at that McDonald’s to let others know.
That’s precisely their methodology behind Glif: Ham and Shen want to tell you what Google doesn’t know. And since it’s purely location based, you don’t need to follow or friend anybody to tap into the power of Glif.
At SXSW this year they did a special Glif mission for Pi Day. It featured a number of locations around Austin that make and sell pies, and they drove foot traffic through these local businesses, highlighting the area’s offerings, and ultimately awarding a prize to the winning user.
The duo stopped by our event at SXSW to talk more about how they plan to monetize the platform and strike critical partnerships in the industry. Here’s the video:
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