What in the heck is a Zaarly? Okay, let’s explain. Let’s imagine you’re a mom (maybe you are!). Now say, as a mom, you need to get to the grocery store in the morning and pick up the dry cleaning in the afternoon but when you’re getting the kids ready for school in the morning, you discover your seven year-old girl has a fever of 101 degrees. That’s just great. To make things worse, it’s snowing outside. How are you going to get everything you need to get done, plus pick up medication for your sick child? You can’t take her with you. What kind of mom would you be taking your sick child out in this weather with a fever of a 101 degrees?
That’s where Zaarly comes in. Have you heard of Zaarly? Well, we’re a brand new application that matches up buyers and sellers in localized marketplace. Unlike services like Craigslist or eBay, though, it’s hyperlocal and all done in real time. Just about anything someone wants to get done, in the time they want it, can get done through Zaarly using its infinite marketplace. Conversely, if you are willing to provide a service through Zaarly, you can get paid what you’re willing to accept.
Zaarly was literally founded overnight at a Los Angeles Startup Weekend competition during a 54-hour cram session. The concept puts the buyer at the center of a marketplace rather than the traditional marketplace centered around the seller. Zaarly won the weekend competition and quickly attracted some attention from reputable investors. Three weeks later, after a whirlwind of preparation and programming, the Zaarly service went live at the South by Southwest (SWSX) festival in March.
But enough about us. Back to you, Mom. You can stay home with your sick daughter and still get all the things you need to get done through Zaarly. You can offer your tasks for the price you are willing to pay and in the time frame you need them. Maybe a woman two streets down sees your grocery list and medication order on Zaarly. She has to go shopping anyway, so she’ll pick up your stuff at Walgreens and the Piggly Wiggly, drop it off for you and make a little money. The payment is handled electronically and the job is facilitated through Zaarly. What about the dry cleaning? Well, a college student that lives right across the street from the George Jefferson Dry Cleaning Emporium can pick up your order and have it at your house in less than an hour. Again, it is all done through a simple interface and the power of the inexhaustible audience of buyers and sellers. So you were able to get everything done and still remain the great mom that you are. Simply put, Zaarly is about making it as easy as possible for people to pay other people for the things they want. It really is a buyer’s market out there.
The mobile phone in your pocket is the new hyperlocal. Three new mobile apps introduced at SxSW turn your phone into a hyperlocal nerve center, focusing on interaction with the community around you. Hyperlocal apps, according to app-maker Color’s website, “bring people together through proximity, social and visual presentation.” Now you can actually engage in your community while still maintaining society’s technologically induced, misanthropic ways. What are these remarkable apps, these heralds of hyperlocal, techno-human interaction, you ask? Read on to find out!
Color is the first of these great apps presented at SxSW this year. Sans uploading, attaching, or even form-filling, Color allows you to automatically share photos, videos and comments with a group of users very, very close to you. This allows you to keep connected with the immediate world around you through visual experiences – something that hasn’t quite been captured yet.
Yobongo is the next app to promote real-time, hyperlocal interaction. Yobongo exploits the location-aware software on your mobile phone to re-frame the way we use our devices to communicate. The app uses your location to casually drop you into a chat room filled with people nearby who are also using Yobongo. You’ve just started college and you want to get to know the other people on your floor: use Yobongo! You’re new at the neighborhood coffee bar, and want a way to get to know the other regulars, what do you do? Yobongo! Yobongo is a fast, easy way to connect with the people around you. Literally around you; proximity is the major benefit of a hyperlocal app.
So far we’ve talked about an app that helps you share memories – instantaneously, no less – with others around you, Color. We’ve also explored an app that helps you find people to chat with, possibly also to easily share media with via Color, in your direct vicinity. Now we’ll tackle an app that introduces and facilitates an incredibly easy to use, hyperlocal marketplace: Zaarly
Zaarly simply connects people who want things to the providers who can give them. This means that a person who is willing to pay a certain amount for a particular service, product, or immediate want or need can make the request, in real-time, from people nearby. Ever had an unstoppable craving for cold milk and warm cookies, headed eagerly to the kitchen, and experienced the horror of an empty pantry? Zaarly can help! Zaarly your request by entering the amount you’re prepared to pay for your milk and cookies delivered directly to your doorstep. A hobby baker with ingredients to spare successfully accepts request. Problem solved quickly, easily, and efficiently; Zaarly made it happen, and satisfied the needs of both parties! Zaarly launches nationwide in May 2011.
The way we interact with technology, and each other, is changing rapidly. The new hyperlocal is in your pocket, right at your fingertips. Pick up your mobile phone and grab these apps to experience the new wave of the future, the hyperlocal lifestyle, today.
- One person fulfilled Zaarly orders for a few hours and pledged all of his earnings to the Red Cross directed towards support in Japan.
- Someone in town for SXSWi paid $100 to have a burger from Casino El Camino delivered to his hotel room. Must be a pretty awesome burger.
- Zaarly mobile HQ had a keg delivered using Zaarly and met an amazing Austonian who we hope to continue working with in the future… it’s amazing what can result from facilitating in-person transactions.
The community in Austin was incredibly supportive at every turn and because of the great response we received we’ve adjusted our plan to get to more cities faster. So, if you’re reading this and you want Zaarly in your city, please sign up on your local city page and we’ll keep you posted!Bo & the Zaarly Team
Zaarly Community –
Alert: We’ve got big news coming very soon from Zaarly Mobile HQ here in Austin, Texas.
The last couple days have continued to be an amazing experience and the support from the good folks at SXSW has made it clear just how badly the world wants a truly buyer powered market. As our launch approaches, the thing we’re getting the most excited about is to see just how people use Zaarly “in the wild”.
We’ve already had over 1,000 different ideas pitched to us as THE best use of Zaarly and we just can’t wait to see it in action. We’ve got a great crew on the ground here in Austin so if you see anyone in a Zaarly shirt, please say your best Zaarly idea!
So, get your creative juices flowing and if you’ve been at SXSW and said, “I’d pay ______ for _______”, prepare to get what you want.
Follow us at @zaarly_austin for the latest offers and news at SXSW.
Bo & the Zaarly Team
Good Morning Austin!
We’re super psyched to be here this week and couldn’t be happier about testing out Zaarly with all of the amazing people who are in town for SXSW!
Zaarly is just getting started so, while we’ve been fortunate to get some great press already (thanks Arrington!), we’re really here to experiment with the world’s first buyers market. We’ve got a small group of people here helping us out and have made our home base in an RV across the street from the convention center. Just look for the Zaarly banner hanging on the outside… you can’t miss it (especially if you’re looking for one of the great bbq spots that are just across the street).
Please stop by at any time and we’ll be happy to talk to you about what we’re up to and how it’s going so far. Also, we’ll have people out and about wearing Zaarly t-shirts to help spread the word by helping buyers and sellers get the most out of the Zaarly experience.
Bo & the Zaarly Team
Want to win an iPad 2 and support Zaarly? We’re launching an exciting contest today and will be awarding a brand new iPad 2 to the person who generates the most Zaarly referrals by Saturday, March 12th, 2011. It’s that simple.
How to win an iPad 2:
1) Grab your referral link from http://zaarly.com (enter your email)
2) Invite as many friends as you can to enter the beta invite list through your referral link
3) Get the most referrals by March 12th, 2011 and win an iPad 2!