5 Questions for John Grant of Mobywan (Mobeo)

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This is the eighth in a series of Q&As with leaders / up-n-comers in the local space.

Who is he: John Grant

What does he do: one of the four founders of Mobywan, founded in July, 2010 and currently self-funded. The company has one iPhone/Android app currently, Mobeo.

Describe Mobeo as if a friend’s mother asked, “So what is this Mobeo?
Mobeo is an app for your iPhone or Android smartphone that provides a way for you to stay connected with those who are closest to you. It uses your location in the real-world to create a casual gaming environment where you can challenge your friends.  You can drop bananas at your friend’s favourite coffee shop or throw a flaming cabbage at them when they’re at the mall.  You can also leave notes around your city for your friends to discover.  Mobeo adds excitement to your daily routine by creating fun and surprising social experiences.

If you were not involved with Mobeo which service would you use to satisfy your needs?
Although there are other location-based gaming applications, we think that Mobeo is very unique in the gameplay it offers, which is why we created it!  Facebook, SMS, etc. offer a great way to stay connected with your friends but these services offer one-way interactions that are mostly text based. We have created a way for people to connect outside of these traditional methods and work them more into their routine.  It’s not about location sharing like Foursquare, its about encouraging connections with friends. Using your location in the real-world to create light-hearted gameplay is one way of doing this.

Why should people use your product over, say, watching a ball game, reading to their kids or taking a nap?

That’s one of the best things about our app – you don’t have to choose.  It fits in to your life without much change at all.  It’s something you can do when you’re standing in line, on the train to work, or in a traffic jam.  The app does most of the work itself and let’s you go about your daily routine, drawing your attention only when your daily routine has caused you to interact with your friends on Mobeo.  You can be reading to your kids and get a notification that somebody just stepped on your Slippery Banana, or get a notification on your way to a ball game that you just discovered a note.  If you’re after social experiences that can help brighten your day, then give Mobeo a try.

Tease us with a hint of what’s in your pipeline, product / contentwise (and give us something real!)
We’re going to continue to grow Mobeo.  We’ll be adding additional items as we go, including seasonal items.  If readers have any ideas for items [they] want to see, feel free to send us a note.  We’re also going to look into other types of games we can host on Mobeo using the location and social hooks already in place.  We have a few ideas that are really exciting such as scavenger hunts, races, and augmented reality among many others.  We’re exploring lots of opportunities to decide what to add next.

What is the future of social + local + mobile, in 15 words or less?
One word: fun.  Social, location, and mobile allows for excitement in your daily routine.



Bonus Round!

Why do you think Mobeo is important enough to put your time into?
As new technologies continue to emerge we see more and more ways for us to connect with those people who are closest with us.  The goal of Mobeo is to connect friends in more interactive ways using all the technology that we have at our disposal in today’s smartphones. Connecting with people in ways other than text messages or similar “one-way” interactions is an interesting and evolving space which we believe has yet to be fully realized.

What was a critical change in direction for your company / product that brought you to today’s release? (or was this always the plan?)
Mobeo has always been the plan since the company started.  Our goal is to make people’s daily lives a little more exciting by creating new types of social interactions that can become part of your routine.

This post originally appeared on Locl.ly.