LAS VEGAS, August 8, 2012 — Garage sales have always been a random shopping experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes you come home with a Michael Jackson Thriller button, or a sword, or a giant trophy.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish 2nd in a 2001 amateur boxing event in Philo, Ohio. Although, I now have a trophy that proves otherwise.
Rumgr has found a way to update the garage sale and create something more convenient and relevant than Craigslist. CEO Dylan Bathurst and his partners, all former Zappos employees, are part of the growing VegasTech movement.
Rumgr thrives on its simplicity and geolocation. Users can see all items available to them within a given radius. It adds value to the “garage sale” experience for both a buyer and seller. It also provides the valuable public service of potentially preventing people from becoming hoarders.
Dylan Bathurst, CEO of Rumgr, talks more about the app, VegasTech and a possible Bigfoot sighting.
1. Explain Rumgr and what makes it unique?
The easiest way to put it is that Rumgr is a garage sale for your phone.
People love to go “garage sailing” on Saturday mornings and find hidden gems. Rumgr brings that experience to your phone and makes it even better because it uses features like the camera, GPS, and messaging — so you can “rummage” through stuff and see items that are as close as 200 feet from you!
We also make it really easy to post items for sale. You just take a picture…no titles, prices, descriptions or tags. You can literally post 10 items for sale in less than 20 seconds. It’s great for people who are trying to get rid of stuff and simplify their lives, but without the hassle of posting on Craiglist or eBay.
2. What did you learn from your past experience at Zappos?
We definitely learned a lot on the tech side of running a company. All three of us were developers at Zappos, which prepared us for a lot of the technical difficulties we’ve had and probably will encounter. Putting Ray Morgan in charge of tech as our CTO has been awesome. Ray helped bring life to the mobile team and mobile apps at Zappos — they built the first version of the Zappos iPad app in just 6 weeks. With the foundation he’s set, we have a really stable platform to build off of.
The other great thing we learned at Zappos is customer service. At Zappos, all employees spend their first month of work on the phones talking to and helping customers. No matter what department you’re going to join, you directly connect with the customers that first month. It can be downright scary; some people are REALLY serious about their shoes. But having that connection and communication with users drives a lot of what we do at Rumgr, whether it’s meeting up face-to-face, answering emails in minutes not hours, or helping users with problems they’ve pointed out in their App Store reviews.
3. What has you excited about the VegasTech movement?
The biggest thing we’re excited about in the VegasTech community is that we have a community. Tony and Zappos are definitely amazing and pivotal to making a lot of this happen, but money can’t buy people, passion can. The outside world hadn’t really heard of VegasTech until Tony started getting heavily involved, but there were a lot of us coming together out of a passion for technology and community. It took people starting a lot of the grassroots events like VegasJelly, Startup Weekend LV, LaunchUp, Ignite, LV Ruby Group and more out of their own pockets and their own passion. That helped build up a really strong community, and then Tony came in wanting to help. Which, of course, he has in a huge way.
4. What are your expectations for location based services in the next 12 months?
It seems like there has been a kind of “land rush” for existing markets with a mobile and geolocation angle slapped on. I think in the next year we’re going to see more innovative products coming out of this three-way intersection of ideas.
5. What is your favorite app right now, other than your own?
My favorite app is an app that two of my friends Pawel Szymczykowski and Nick Vincent made at a Betabrand hack-a-thon we attended here in Vegas. It’s called Sightings. It basically lets you superimpose images of Jesus or Bigfoot onto photos you take. It’s pretty hilarious to see the images people are sharing.
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