February 16, 2015
The Howler platform is designed to spread the word about small businesses. When Tech Cocktail’s Mixer and Startup Showcase visited Boston late last year, the Howler team won the Reader’s Choice award for best showcasing startup. And now, they’ve announced that their app is finally live in the app store. The concept is very easy for small business owners to grasp: You are busy running your business; let the Howler platform help spread the word about your company and your deals. By signing up with Howler you get the ability to learn about your foot traffic and reach specific audiences with your howls.
“The old way of advertising and its methods have limited reach and do not target a specific type of person,” says Hunter Gaylor, one of Howler’s founders. “Signs take a beating, fall over, and are easily vandalized. Signs also do not give you any interesting information or data about the people that walk by, or the ones who choose to walk in to your business.”
Gaylor says that it’s important to get the right people at the right time into your store. “We are disrupting the way ads are given. We want to make it cool again to show alerts and deals to consumers.” Hunter was founded in May of 2014 by Gaylor and his cofounder, Joe Viscomi.
We asked Gaylor to share some thoughts about what it’s like to be an early-stage startup. Here’s what he said:
I Wish I’d Know That… “Running this business would be 24/7, 365, forever. It’s not 365.”
My Personality Trait that Best Serves this Startup is… “My drive to succeed and want to make a difference in the world.”
If I Wasn’t Running This Startup, I Would Be… “Something that I’m passionate about. Probably something that still helps small businesses. Something that gives power back to people.”
I’m Pretty Encouraged By… “People’s responses to the pitch are overwhelmingly positive. It just makes sense. Businesses love us and so do consumers. We’ve had a lot of hype in the media and a large social media following.”
The Hardest Lesson I’ve Learned So Far is… “Not to set the bar so low. There’s no harm in dreaming.”
The Well-Known Startup Advice I Disagree With is…”‘Start small.’ Absolutely not. We are a team of passionate individuals, so it’s always go big or go home. And, once we go big, it’s about working on growing even bigger.”
The Weirdest Use of Our Product So Far is… “As a news app.”
The Trends that Excite Me Most Today Are… “The idea that apps are as much about design as they are about function. I think we’re past the stage now where an ugly, disorganized app can gain real traction. I appreciate sleek design and ease-of-use.”
The Long-Term Vision for this Startup Is… “Howler going international. Boston is just the beginning, but iBeacon technology has so much potential that we have found a way to use. I want to see it put to use globally.”
The Best Thing About Starting Up in Boston Is… “I love this city. I’m a Harvard alum, so I have lots of connections here. That’s a great advantage, but this city is also very welcoming to all startups. The only minor disadvantage is that there are a lot of other startups who all want attention. There have been numerous occasions where people ‘inform us’ that another company is doing something similar… when it turns out they’re not. It’s competitive, but we’re really at the forefront of iBeacon technology for advertising on one platform, but getting that message out takes hard work.”
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