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Try new activities and connect to other adventurers with the new outdoorpals App- part 1 [EP 266]

outdoorpals is for anyone over the age of 18 looking for new adventure buddies! It doesn’t matter your outdoor skills or experience, Outdoorpals is a place for you to find a community, try new activities, or simply connect with other like-minded outdoor people. #letsadventuretogether

Show Notes

outdoorpals.com

Josh Tunick

Bobby Meinhold

Spencer Tunick

Kevin Wallace

Grand Targhee Ski Resort

Instagram

Facebook

Contact OutdoorPals

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey everyone. Welcome back. Have an exciting episode today, we're talking with Josh tuna and Bobby mine hold from a new app called the outdoor pals app. It's a meetup app where [00:00:10] all of us adventures can go have fun in the outdoors and find partners to go play in the outdoors.

[00:00:16] Thanks. Yeah. Good to talk with you, Josh. You want to [00:00:20] introduce yourself and tell everyone how you got introduced to the outdoors. Sure,q

everyone. My name is Josh tunic. I'm originally from China. [00:00:30] I grew up in the woods. It's a small town, a farm town. And I grew up  just playing in the woods, going dirt, biking, climbing trees, exploring working on [00:00:40] farms, being outside all the time with my siblings, w that was just how we we had a lot of energy and we spent it all just playing outside and playing sports and channeling it that [00:00:50] way. And  I grew up doing Scouts as well. I am actually an Eagle scout and so good for you. Thanks. And because of that, I had [00:01:00] a lot of opportunities to go hiking and camping and kind of develop some of those fun, not tying skills and stuff like that.

[00:01:07] I still remember the notch. Those guys taught me. It [00:01:10] never leaves you. Yeah, the square that's usually the only night you remember until you start class, I don't even tie my shoes, so I can't tie knots,

[00:01:23] [00:01:20] but yeah,  I did that. And then when I graduated high school, I went to college out in Utah at [00:01:30] BYU and played lacrosse there and continue to play sports. And. During my time there, I fell in love with the mountains out here in Utah, and just kept developing those skills for rock [00:01:40] climbing, ice climbing canoeing, backpacking, hiking, , pretty much anything I could learn how to do outside.

[00:01:46] I, I enjoy, getting that chance. And so I've just really [00:01:50] been trying to develop those passions as I've been out here since then. Very cool. A lot of stuff to do outdoors there too. Bobby, how about you? How'd you get introduced to the outdoors? Yeah. From East coast as [00:02:00] well. From Massachusetts about 30 miles West of Boston, out in the middle of nowhere as well.

[00:02:05]But grew up similar to Josh, very outdoors-y to Maine a lot in the [00:02:10] summer, had a house up there on a Lake, grew up skiing, the white mountains, New Hampshire in Maine as well at Sunday river and some of those places. Really fell in love with just like Josh at the mountains. Then [00:02:20] when I graduated high school, I came out here to Utah  , where, you think.

[00:02:22] But the Appalachian mountains are big. When you're a kid, then you come out to see the Rocky mountains for the first time. And it's no, those things, those are like little [00:02:30] Hills in the middle of the field. Yeah. What did he, while he was well put across with Josh, where I met Josh and for better or worse became very good friends with him.

[00:02:36]Explored when you come to you, when you come to Utah for the first time, I, a lot of college [00:02:40] kids out here at the same way. It's you have so much access to all these activities, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing up to the very extreme levels of those. So just the possibilities are [00:02:50] endless and went to park city and snowbird five times a week all throughout college.

[00:02:54]Hopefully none of my professors are listening, but skip most of my classes got really into rock climbing, just adventuring in the [00:03:00] mountains. And yeah, I, after I graduated, I went out to San Francisco for about a year and a half really liked the area. Frankly driving three and a half hours every Saturday morning, just so skiing.

[00:03:10] [00:03:09] Wasn't really my my vibe. Yeah, that's tough. Yeah. Yeah. So made the move back here to Utah and just living my passions are now just recently started getting into mountain biking more [00:03:20] unfortunately bad time, because not everyone's in the mountain bike and due to COVID.

[00:03:22]So you can't buy a mountain bike  to save your life. But really just skiing a lot, climb a lot, hiking, a lot, everything that every good [00:03:30] Utahns should be doing. Yeah. And we were talking before we hit the record button, we just got a big double snow. You guys got a big dump of snow.

[00:03:36] So winter is falling upon us and we've got some real actual [00:03:40] snow to ski. We've had pretty dry air, dry years out here, so it's good to have good snow. Yeah, I know I bought all my thick skis before the season, hoping for a [00:03:50] nice deep, no snow filled season. And up until this point, I was disappointed that I asked and all that money on bunch of fat skis and didn't get to use it.

[00:03:57] But now you can go. Yeah,

[00:03:58] Saturday was one of the [00:04:00] deepest powder days I've ever been in, so that's cool. Disappointing. Yep. I think we had the same here. I'm ski more, but I'm sure they were loving it. Why don't you give everybody a 10,000 foot view of the [00:04:10] outdoor pals app and then we'll get into some more details as we go through the episodes.

[00:04:15] Okay. So out there, pals is a [00:04:20] social networking, mobile social networking platform that we're designing to help people find planning and coordinate outdoor activities. So essentially the goal [00:04:30] is to connect people in the outdoors. And just help people basically find those things that they want to do in the outdoors and then connect with other people to go do them.

[00:04:40] [00:04:40] Cool. Sounds like a good tool. Yeah. 10,000 foot view, Rick say you wanted to go rock climbing later this evening or this weekend you had no one to do it [00:04:50] with, or all your friends are busy. Rock climbing is one of those sports a lot of outdoor sports out there.

[00:04:54] We almost need a second person to go and do it safely. And even, do it in general from the blade. Pardon me, rock climb. We [00:05:00] saw and, part of our founding story, which we can talk about was, just a need for people to find events through them and to find new people to do stuff with.

[00:05:06]So say you want to go rock climbing. You had no one to go with. You can just create a bet and outdoor propels real [00:05:10] quick. No specify where you're going, when you're going the skill level, the rock climbing event that you really want to go do, or, pitch whatever whichever activity and how many people you want to go with.

[00:05:18]And then that really opens it up to [00:05:20] the network around you to say, Oh wow, this guy is going to plan on going back on this weekend. I'd love to go with them. And then, they can express interest and you can check them out and do their profile, at a high level, make sure that they, [00:05:30] would fit the criteria for what you want to do.

[00:05:31] And then you can allow them in the event. So really it's through that. It's a good way for people just to find events through them meet new people through doing it. Yeah. Perfect. How'd you guys come up with the idea? I Who were you guys [00:05:40] that you founded it when you got out there and you're looking for other people to go at, go climbing adventure in with, or where did the idea come from?

[00:05:47] So we actually that's it's [00:05:50] Bobby and I, and then Spencer tunic, my brother and Kevin Wallace are the other two co-founders and we were all,  we were all roommates in [00:06:00] college for, I think about a year and. We take a, we take an annual ski trip basically every year up to grand Targhee ski resort.

[00:06:10] [00:06:09] And I'm hesitant to say that because that place is a hidden gem, but we would take a trip up there every year and kind of after we all moved. [00:06:20] Moved away from each other. We kept doing this to this annual, like guys trip where we would go up and, spend the weekend up there.

[00:06:26] And one of the years that we were on our [00:06:30] way up Kevin, one of the founding members he had just recently moved about an hour and a half away from where the rest of us were in to Ogden, Utah. And because of that, he was [00:06:40] having a harder time finding people to go climbing with back country skiing with.

[00:06:45] Just all of those active activities that we had been the, [00:06:50] you guys were with impossi yeah. You had instant partners. Exactly. And so on the way up, we were discussing kind of the situation that he was in and it just came up man, there should really be a [00:07:00] platform to help people, go do that.

[00:07:02] And specific specifically for, finding these outdoor activities were. To be perfectly honest. None of us are huge [00:07:10] social media people, but we were like, man, it would be great if there was something that could  connect people specifically around these outdoor sports. So that way [00:07:20] you don't have to really deal with the social media aspect.

[00:07:22] You can just say, this is really what I want to get outside and go do. And then find those people like  Bobby was just discussing a second ago. [00:07:30] That's a good idea. Yeah pretty unique.  So who are you guys as a brand? What is your brand ethos, would you say? Is it more about the, it was more about [00:07:40] the activities or is it more about the connectivity?

[00:07:44] Yeah, our company motto is let's adventure together. I think that pretty much speaks for it. It's Hey, let's [00:07:50] all get outside and go do activities together. We talked to people all the time, whether it's. Whether it's prompted or not. And they're always telling us, Oh, I love to go back country skiing more.

[00:07:58]But all my friends are old now and [00:08:00] they have kids and they can never go or, Hey, I just moved here. I know nobody and I can't do these things that I love to do. Or it's just Hey, I just want to get out right now and let's see who wants to go. [00:08:10] So yeah, I think, if we were to have, like I said, a couple of models, let's adventure together.

[00:08:13] I think that's what we are here to do. It's let's make people and let's get outside. No, I think there's a large aspect of it as well that [00:08:20] people want to get into new activities, but they just can't find people to help teach them those activities. And mentorship is a massive part of the outdoor community or just outdoor experience.

[00:08:29]So it [00:08:30] gave a lot of different angles to it. So give us a quick product description. How does it work? Obviously we know how apps work, we know how the meetup thing works. Is it [00:08:40] similar to that? So  essentially I'll just run you through when you download it what your experience will be like, okay.

[00:08:48]You download the app [00:08:50] and you go through an initial onboarding where you build your profile and you create your bio and  select the sports from the preset sports that we have initially [00:09:00] in the app. And You can select your skill level associated with each of those activities and amongst, a bunch of others, standard profile building information.

[00:09:09] And [00:09:10] then from there you are able, you sent to your feed screen, which is where you'll see those activity postings that Bobby was referencing earlier.  From that screen,  you'll be [00:09:20] able to filter depending on what activity you want to go do. The timeframe that you're looking for.

[00:09:25] The number of the distance and the distance, and that allows you [00:09:30] to figure out exactly what you want to go do and when, and how far away you want to drive. And then it, you then as you scroll through your feed and in that category, you're able to [00:09:40] view the details of these different activities and then express interest.

[00:09:43] And that would send a notification to the person who listed that [00:09:50] activity. And that gives them the opportunity to. See, who's interested, view your profile, see if you'd be a good fit for that activity. And then,  if they choose to accept you into that event, [00:10:00] then you have in app messaging where you'll then be able to hash out the remaining details and then, hopefully go outside, get after it.

[00:10:07] And then,  keep,  moving  through other events. [00:10:10] So when you set up your profile, do you, obviously you put in all the activities that you're proficient at climbing, biking, skiing, whatever it might be. Do you also [00:10:20] have some kind of a level so that you can put beginner?

[00:10:24] Spit balling here, but you guys know all you're a hundred percent, right? We've got 30 different activities hosted on the app anywhere [00:10:30] from, skiing to rock climbing, to surfing, to kite surfing, paragliding, walking, yoga. I We're trying to cater to a bunch of different demographic for that.

[00:10:38] You're young. Old any let's go [00:10:40] level when you're right. When you click say I'm signing up for a profile or Rick sounding off on outdoor pals for the first time you'll go through the standard steps. You'll choose. Hey, I love rock climbing, fishing, and road [00:10:50] cycling. And I'm, an intermediate at one and I'm expert at the other two.

[00:10:53] And that information is publicly displayed that people now know. Oh, this guy is really good at road cycling. But he might not be the best [00:11:00] fishermen. So if you're looking to accept them into your efficient trip, up to Montana, where you're planning on catching salmon for the rest of the year to feed your family, you might not want to take him because he's only a beginner Fisher.

[00:11:09]So [00:11:10] can you also then put your latest adventures? Like I was out fishing last weekend and I caught, my lifetime record rainbow or is that. Is there a place [00:11:20] that, that is one, one thing that we've, we haven't built into the first version. We really just want to keep the first one. We want to keep the app very event oriented.

[00:11:29] So [00:11:30] less like social media  where you can have, so at least in the beginning one of the problems we're trying to solve. And I think, in the very beginning you referenced meetup. Is [00:11:40] we're trying to fix like that meetup, that Facebook group model, where it's more just storyboard or, people can just post on an open forum.

[00:11:47]It's okay. And it was great for a little while, but it's [00:11:50] really, it doesn't drive individuals to action. And that's what we're really trying to fix by having people create events because. When people create events, it would drive that action. Then give them going out and [00:12:00] doing it versus me just going on to salt Lake city, rock climbers, and saying, Hey, who wants to rock climb?

[00:12:06] The reality is not many people are responding to you saying, Hey, wants to rock climb, [00:12:10] hosted event of me saying, Hey, I'm going up to red rock Canyon later. Who wants to come. Yeah there's going to be people who are interested cause it's, a one click to an action. Let's go let's go rock climbing.

[00:12:20] [00:12:20] Outdoor pals can act as that catalyst to  break the ice. Whereas if you're in a Facebook group and you have all of those people, it makes it sometimes really difficult because there are a lot of [00:12:30] people in the company. People you've got to Wade through all the noise. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so if you're just rolling into town, say you're  traveling  and you're going to be in town just for the weekend, but you're from [00:12:40] Maine and you're rolling into salt Lake city.

[00:12:41] Can you then access the salt Lake city group? Because you're going to go to red rocks Sunday morning. A really great point. You bring up, we have actually [00:12:50] had people from around the world, reached out to us about this saying, Hey, there's this one female have in particularly my mind right now, who about a month ago, reached out to us and was like, Hey.

[00:12:59] I'm from [00:13:00] Taiwan. I traveled the world and I never have anyone to do stuff with traveling, but took an app like your guys will a hundred percent allow me to do these things I want to do because I can plan in advance these activities [00:13:10] in different countries and different States, et cetera. Before I arrived there and now when I arrive, I have people that.

[00:13:15] Do stuff with and things to do. So we've seen that from a lot of different people, even just us sitting [00:13:20] here in Utah, I say, we want to go snowmobiling. We're skiing up in Montana next weekend. We have no local knowledge from nobody went up there and we can go create an event up in [00:13:30] Whitefish, Montana who wants to go back like you're skiing and hopefully people in that area will say, yeah, let's go.

[00:13:34] So when we get there, it's we've got our own personal tour guides to this app almost. That's awesome. Yeah. [00:13:40] And are you going to launch in the U S initially only, or are you going to go global right out of the gate? We'll be on the app store and the Google play store. So really it's going to be a [00:13:50] platform where we're focusing our initial launch efforts.

[00:13:54]Just in the mountain West United States. You talk Colorado, Idaho, California book, [00:14:00] frankly, we've seen traction across the world. We've got people visiting. Thank God for modern website analytics. We've got people doing the website from Europe, Asia, South America. So [00:14:10] yeah, and that, that's the plan of being a little platform.

[00:14:12] So is that driven by the user, then you guys are accessible around the world. So it depends on where the users are as to where they [00:14:20] plan their events. So that's that'll cause the spread, if you will, so to speak. Yes. Yeah. The. User experience is directly tied to the number [00:14:30] of people on the platform.

[00:14:31]You're and that's why Bobby mentioned where targeting the U S to start, and then we're hoping that as it grows, we see areas of, incredible growth and there, the [00:14:40] user experience will. Be stronger in that area, but  initially there might be some spots where, you don't have as much interaction, but I believe as Petro pals becomes a.

[00:14:49]More [00:14:50] household name, then more and more people will get on the platform. And that will provide more opportunities for people to connect no matter where they are. Very exciting.    I'm assuming it's simple to use any tips on how to use it, or you want to [00:15:00] walk us through that or just like any other app you just like similar to Facebook, yeah. Tough to walk through an app, I think on a podcast, but yeah, it's pretty simple to use and really that's we spent a [00:15:10] lot of time when we were initially developing and designing this thing for it to have a minimal user touch points to get from. You opening the app to being able to find an event to [00:15:20] creating event.

[00:15:20]So like Josh said, you'll have you open the F assuming you've signed up already. And you don't have to go to the sign up again. You open your phone and you're immediately brought to a fee. The feed will have tiles [00:15:30] like a Facebook or Instagram, but, they're just with the user's profile, where the event is when it is the skill level and how many people have been accepted into it already.

[00:15:38]If you click on that title it'll [00:15:40] bring you to a different screen, which we'll show a little more in depth details on the event. We'll have a little map of exactly where the event will take place or start. It's integrated with Google maps. [00:15:50] Perfect. And then from the feed screen, we're able to really quickly create an event.

[00:15:54]It's I think it's a three or four screened event creation. The user interface is very intuitive, very easy [00:16:00] to use. There also, like Josh mentioned a messaging screen where you'll be able to see all of the event, group messages that you're currently in, whether you're a participant of the event or you're hosting the event [00:16:10] and then have a profile and the profile just, quick bio, your home city, a picture of you.

[00:16:15]How many events you've hosted and how many you've participated in and then your average rating. So that's [00:16:20] one, actually one important thing that we like about the app is after every time that you create or finish an activity, you'll have the option to either be reviewed or review other people based on [00:16:30] their participation in that event.

[00:16:31]And that'll be posted publicly. If you are screwing around on someone's event and you're really not a good person to go out and rock climber or hike with. It's going to be reflected on [00:16:40] your public profile. Now that could be a good thing. It could be a bad thing, but your experience and safety of other people using the app and tracking with that individual, we think it's important to be transparent about it.

[00:16:50] [00:16:49] Yeah. That makes total sense. Yeah. And we're all pretty intuitive on some of these apps, so I'm sure everybody wants you to look at it'll be pretty. Easier to figure it out. So yeah,  we're working on,  some [00:17:00] tutorial, videos, things, for user education. But yeah, it's, like I said, we designed it to be very intuitive, how to use,  we didn't want to, over-complicate the first version with things that can confuse the user.

[00:17:09] And so we [00:17:10] really want to nail down that core functionality first. So walk us through your path to launch. It's not launched yet.  When you guys going to go live and what's the what's that path look like. [00:17:20]

[00:17:21]Are you curious, what the entire kind of app building process looks like or just no, I think we have time for that, unless you [00:17:30] late nights. A lot of stress. Yeah. I'm sure. I'm sure. Yeah. I'm sure we can all relate to that. No, just your path to now that you actually have gone through that whole design phase and everything, what are you going to, [00:17:40] what are some of the things you're going to do to launch it?

[00:17:42] I'm sure you're going to make some noise about it. And, shared up on all the socials. Absolutely. So some of the things that we're working on [00:17:50] currently are developing an ambassador program. So that way we can, so we can have a lot of people who are just like active members in their outdoor communities.

[00:17:59]No matter [00:18:00] where they are, no matter where they are in the U S side, being able to vocalized outdoor pals, too, people around them being able to share it with their networks and, spread the [00:18:10] hype about it. We've also been reaching out to local news editorials and like school papers.

[00:18:16] We actually just had an article released in the [00:18:20] BYU newspaper where,  three of the four of us are.  Alumni and  they wrote an article about us and,  we're working on a few other articles that will hopefully be released [00:18:30] here soon. And then the the idea is to really put in a lot of the legwork locally and just try and,  build relationships with different shops  go to ski [00:18:40] resorts and,  share with people there about  the opportunity that we can provide, just  build it's a kind of a grassroots thing.

[00:18:47] Yeah, exactly. And the app is all, like we were saying, it's [00:18:50] about building a community. And so part of doing that is a, we need to work on building the community and kind of sharing kind of some of these things we've been touching on about the value that outdoor pals can bring to [00:19:00] people.

[00:19:01] At that level. Perfect. Cool.   One point, gosh did not touch on as we were releasing it, we're releasing a beta year pretty soon. So when one [00:19:10] big if you'd want to talk about a path to launch.  We are releasing a beta version of the app to, number of people totally help generate that pre-market interests.

[00:19:18] And we've done so [00:19:20] through a lot of, it was just like Instagram, Facebook marketing, constant content creation, et cetera. Yeah. We're using the ambassadors really hoping this beta program or this beta launch will, we'll  [00:19:30] get to get the juices flowing a lot of people's mouths about this thing.

[00:19:33] Especially they see their best friend using it and they're like, crap. I wish I signed up for the beta and it's you'll have to wait a couple of weeks before we get the testing [00:19:40] results back. So yeah  coming up here in a couple of weeks.  We're hoping to open blog, all go smoothly.

[00:19:45] Awesome. That's super exciting, guys. I'm excited to hear more about it. Next episode. [00:19:50] We're going to talk about the goals, some of the specific categories you guys have a really cool blog. We'll talk about that.  Thanks for coming on tonight. And,  we'll talk again later. Yeah, absolutely. Rick, [00:20:00] thanks for asking a pleasure.

[00:20:01] All right. Thanks guys.

 

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