The 21st century is technology driven as passersby appear nose deep in their Apple and Android apps, mostly as a form of entertainment, but for Saint Louis University alum Ryan Talbert, this app-driven society is a lifestyle.
The 2016 graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship, but in July he released his first app: Herdmap. “Our professor, Dr. Jerome Katz, gave us a really hard assignment to bring in a list of business opportunities for the next class, and [my buddy and I] locked ourselves in a room and started coming up with bizarre ideas,” said Talbert. “Then I thought, why not make an app to show where we can go to parties and have fun. Why has no one capitalized on that yet?”
When presenting to his professor, Talbert did not know all the specifics in retrospect to the app – rather, he wanted a map that could show people in real-time or in groups where particular hotspots in the area resonated to prevent boredom at home. “My friends and I would always get together to hang out and get all fired up to do something, but no one had an answer for what we should do,” Talbert elaborated. “An app would’ve made it so much easier.”
Although Talbert had the initial idea for the app his junior year, he mentioned he was afraid of failing and put it on the backburner until after graduation, when he contracted a programmer to build a prototype.
“My first programmer didn’t have the level of skill I wanted at the time,” said Talbert. “Actually, when I was working a side-job at Home Depot, one of the guys who I worked with told me to contact his cousin who was a coding guru – he is still my current programmer today.”
On Dec. 25, Herdmap 2.0 was released for Android and is currently being processed for the iOS. Te new feature that Herdmap 2.0 offers is the incorporation of businesses: “Users can still post markers if something interesting is happening, but there are businesses that can sign on now,” Talbert explained. “There are real time coupons, so if a business wants to advertise for a second, minute, day, week or even a month, it’s completely up to them – they can choose the time and it generates a random barcode.”
While users can still post markers and others can join the “hotspots,” “businesses can also make their own accounts, and those markers are more in-depth,” Talbert stated. “ Herdmap is a new and effective way to advertise as businesses can release coupons for any amount of time under the business owner’s stipulations.”
“It’s all a work in progress, but I hope to make this my career one day,” Talbert said. Not only can pictures be updated to the Herdmap gallery for a destination point, but there are options to look at businesses’ realtime news feeds and receive subscriptions for notifications. “It’s all capable with a simple push of a button.”
Talbert and his programmer are working on improvising Herdmap even more with a possible social media component. In the future, he explained his hope of providing a link connected to Facebook and other social media sites, so when one presses a Herdmap hotspot button, it will update his or her status.
“I just want to keep improving this app because I see a demand that needs to be met by businesses and people,” Talbert elaborated. “The feeling of creation has always been my drive and the ultimate satisfaction of helping to meet others’ needs.”
For more information about Herdmap, follow it on Facebook and Twitter @herdmap, or visit Talbert’s website www.herdmaps. com.