Apps! We can’t live without them, and is it truly any great surprise? The fantasy of non invasive, lifestyle aiding technology has been a dream since mankind looked upon the humble rock and thought, ‘yeah, I can totally market this’. Tech has made use faster, stronger and more productive than ever before in human history, but our social lives seem to have taken a backseat.
But there are those among us that refuse to see the humble friendly gathering drop by the wayside, and here Lucy Gadkari, CEO and co-creator of the socialite app moodoo, steps in. Lucy is someone who never saw herself heading into the windswept and unforgiving territory that is app development, but somehow she and her team powered through to provide us with one of the coolest apps around that won’t let your dinner plans go to waste.
We recently had the chance to chat to Lucy and learn what it takes to make an idea into a, very successful, reality and how you too can get your million dollar concept into the hands of the public.
The Metropolist: How did you get into the app making business?
Lucy Gadkari: It was pretty accidental. I was working in a branding agency and had no plans to shift to tech. In fact I have no prior background in tech at all! But we came up with the idea for moodoo through our own frustrations with making social plans on Whatsapp. Before I knew it we were brainstorming around how moodoo could work and what would go into it. A few months later it looked as though the idea had legs and my Co-Founder, Vaibhav, and I decided to take the leap! And here we are…
TM: What does the app allow its users to do?
LG: moodoo is the simplest way to make impromptu social plans. It’s for all of us out there who love meeting up with friends, but don’t love the hassle or organising it!
Right now, there’s no way to know which of your friends are free to hang out and what they’re in the mood to do. And we so often miss out on the chance to see friends, because we don’t realise that they’re round the corner and also gasping for a coffee!
This is where the “moodcast” works its magic! It lets you know what your friends are in the mood to do and where, meaning that you’re always up-to-date on potential meetups around you. No more almost-encounters, many more spontaneous drinks plans!
The app also helps you coordinate the plan in just 4 taps. No more getting stuck in an endless messaging war over nitty gritty details! With moodoo you can discover nearby venues based on your mood, collaboratively vote on where to go, check who’s coming and update your ETA – all without typing a single letter.
TM: What inspired you to create moodoo?
LG: We had a mini ‘eureka’ moment one day after a particularly frustrating attempt at coordinating dinner with some friends. It took about 50 inconclusive messages on Whatsapp, two searches on Google and a couple of phone calls for a few of us to finally decide to meet at the same restaurant that we always go to. It made us realise that technology has improved nearly everything else in the world around us, but the way we make social plans is still so laborious.
There had to be a better way! The idea started as a couple of sketched out drawings on some pieces of scrap paper but we quickly started putting together screen shots of a social planning app, and moodoo was born.
TM:What are the trials and tribulations of working on such a popular app?
LG: We’re still very young and at the beginning of our journey to hopefully dizzying heights! So most of our challenges right now are related to how can we get this wonderful app into the hands of a lot of wonderful people. There’s a lot of inertia around apps right now and it takes a lot to fight through that and convince someone that this app really is worth you and your friends downloading!
TM: What sort of person do you think moodoo is perfect for?
LG: moodoo is perfect for anyone with a smartphone and a social inclination!
But it works especially well for young professionals. The hours are long and unpredictable, the workdays are often hectic and you probably don’t get to see your friends as often as you used to at university! Plus, the boss that you’re trying so hard to impress is unlikely to be impressed by your constantly pinging mobile as you determinedly message back and forth to decide on who, where and when to meet this evening!
Sadly, the truth is that right now it’s easier to head straight home after work and order in pizza than to quickly catch up with some friends at a local pizzeria. That really shouldn’t be the case!
TM: What sort of apps do you use day to day?
LG: moodoo, obviously! Then my other go-tos are Instagram, Whatsapp, Uber, Google Maps and Facebook (although I’m trying my best to ween myself off it!). There’s also a new app in Mumbai called ‘Scootsy’ which can deliver absolutely anything to your door in 30 minutes, from shoes to steak, batteries to condoms!
TM: Some people worry apps like moodoo make us too dependant on technology to run our lives, what do you think of this concern?
LG: That’s exactly what makes moodoo so exciting! Unlike most social apps, moodoo makes technology work harder to connect us in the real world, not the virtual world. While we are, of course, another app, we don’t want users to fritter their time away on moodoo; we want them to use it to spend more time offline with friends. It’s all about more impromptu lunch plans, more last-minute movie dates and more spontaneous Sunday brunches.
At the end of the day, I’m totally a paper book, not a Kindle type of gal so I get that fear!
TM: Do you have any advice for others looking to work on their dream app?
LG: Just do it. As corny as it sounds, that “perfect moment” to leave your job and take a leap of faith is never going to come. So if you have a great idea that you know has market potential, then grab it with both hands and run with it. (Make sure you do some market research and talk to some potential users before you smugly put in your papers though!).
TM: Thanks, Lucy! It’s been a pleasure.
You can check out moodoo for free on the Apple store and Google Play, something which we highly recommend doing if you just can’t be bothered to see another evenings drinks turn into a solo marathon of Futurama…again.