I love that EatGR is a vibrant online community that has a Things going on 24/7. Unfortunately between midnight and 5 AM sometimes questions get lost because the bulk of us are sleeping and they get missed. I spotted a good question this morning about 4am and wanted to make sure that it was addressed.
Since about six months after the creation of the Facebook group, several people kept asking us if we had an app. My answer was always “no, those are expensive and EatGR doesn’t generate money.” Irrespective of that fact, this question continued to come up with increasing frequency as we grew larger.
Wendy and I finally made a determination that we wanted to try to do something about this. Since we did not have the finances to do this, we felt that the best way to raise money was to crowdsource it, but how much should we try to raise?
Before we started our Indiegogo campaign to raise money to improve our EatGR technology to help our community find more local food, we went around and chased down quotes for apps website upgrades. We received quotes from four different sources, with the average quote for this work being $50,000. That number is what we expected, but despite the enthusiasm in our food community, we were still realistic about things. We knew that trying to raise $50,000 would be nearly impossible.
We felt that a more realistic number for us to achieve would be about $15,000 and that we would try to do this as cheaply as it and efficiently as possible knowing that we would not have the results of a $50,000 app, but that we would have something.
Back in January we set up in Indiegogo campaign and for a month attempted to raise the $15,000. We ended up raising about $5200 in usable funds to improve our technology. This number was well short of our intended goal, but we wanted to try to make things work. We found a programmer who said that he would help us work on the side at a discount to try and help us get this done. The downside of trying to get work done on the cheap and working with somebody who is doing the work as a side job is that things are always going to take longer, and we knew this. However this was our only path with limited funds, so we accepted.
It took us about three months, but our programmer was able to make significant upgrades to the website which turned out to be pretty substantial improvements, and we were very happy about how that turned out. What we learned in that three months is that when it comes to computer programming that nothing is quick and everything is expensive. There’s no such thing as getting the work done quickly when it is being done as a side job. Undaunted, we continued forward.
Two months after our website improvements, we are still working hard to put a basic a app out there for the food group. Our programmer has been required to do a lot of overtime at his day job so he has been unable to dedicate much time to getting our app done.
Although we find this frustrating, we are also realistic that in the fact that we only raised a little over $5000 in working capital and that no matter how good the discount, we cannot expect a $50,000 product or that it will get done in a time frame that we had hoped for.
We have been told that we might do something by the end of July, but I am hesitant to suggest anything because everything just takes so much longer than you think it well and I don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up.
As we continue our slow journey to get this bit of technology completed for you I want you to know that we are thankful for your patience and understanding in the matter. None of the improvements that we have put in place would’ve been possible without you, and we are hopeful that we will continue to make the website and related technology something it will be a benefit to the whole food group.