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
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[00:00:38] welcome to episode [00:00:40] 269 of the outdoor biz podcast with just two Nick and Bobby Meinhof talking about their new app outdoor pals. Brought to you this month by mountain hardware. This is the second of [00:00:50] two episodes with just tunic and Bobby mine hall. Talking about the new app they're launching outdoor pals.
[00:00:54] The app helps you find plan and coordinate outdoor activities near you. Engage in your passions. Try [00:01:00] new things, meet new people and build your outdoor community through awesome experiences. Welcome back guys. Hey, good talking to you again. Yeah. Good to have you guys [00:01:10] back. It's fun to. Catch up. I look forward to meet you someday in salt Lake or maybe out here in Bishop.
[00:01:14] So let's start off with some of your goals for the app. I know we briefly touched on, [00:01:20] enthusiasm and commitment to connectivity.
[00:01:21] Maybe we can start with that. What are some of your connectivity goals you're hoping people are, going to connect with people that they can adventure with, [00:01:30] but also make friends with, that's, that would be interesting. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah like we touched on, last week where we're hoping that, as [00:01:40] that propels grows it grows into kind of a worldwide platform that connects people wherever they go and for whatever activity they want to go do and the outdoors and the outdoor space.
[00:01:50] [00:01:49] And one thing that we didn't really touch on is that. When you're within the app and you connect with people, you actually do have the opportunity. Let's say you have a really good time going out and going [00:02:00] hiking or going for a run with someone. Then you can connect with them through the app.
[00:02:05] And you can take it out of the app and make it more personal. No, it's actually connecting within the [00:02:10] app. And that allows you to the next time that you're creating an event to be able to send that directly to that person and say Oh, I had a really good time with them last time.
[00:02:19] Let's see if [00:02:20] they're interested in, then they had an opportunity. So you're creating your own personal little audience to do all your little ventures with that's pretty cool. Yeah. That's awesome. Even within the app when you're creating event to go do something, [00:02:30] you'll have the opportunity to post that event to just your connections or your friends or posting the event to everyone like Josh was saying, if you do build up that community of not only people even know a [00:02:40] person, but people who you've met through experiences on the app, You'll have the opportunity to connect with them via the apps platform or the app.
[00:02:47] And then you can just post events directly to them instead of [00:02:50] allowing anyone near you to be in. We think that's a really cool functionality kind of plays into the part of not only being able to find events, but meeting new people near you as well. That's huge. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. [00:03:00] So why it happened?
[00:03:01] Why you guys, how did that, what were your other choices over an app? Yeah, it looked like what'd you go through to come [00:03:10] up with that idea? But we'll be transparent. There was a platform out there that has done this before, and we know the founder of that platform and they were a web based platform.
[00:03:18]The reality of it is [00:03:20] a lot of people are on their phones these days. And, if you're, in a mobile on the go society, like we are it's really easiest to pull out your phone and swipe up for an event. Look for what's near you versus sitting down on your [00:03:30] desktop or your laptop and going, logging onto a website.
[00:03:33] So just really just focusing that a user experience and. Nope being, within 30 seconds or a minute of [00:03:40] saying, or having that thought in your head of, Oh, what am I going to do this afternoon? Oh, what am I going to do this weekend? I'm bored. I want to go rock climbing, making it very easy and very quickly to open their phone [00:03:50] up.
[00:03:50]Open the app and say, Oh, this is cool. It's 25 miles away. It's 10 miles away. I want to do this or I wanna do that. So it's all about the user experience. You live in a. We [00:04:00] live in a world where your phone is unfortunately, sometimes it's always like certain other appendage, which yeah, exactly.
[00:04:06] But, to, to the benefit of being able to [00:04:10] connect with others, you can just reach out, grab your phone. And then like Bob was saying within seconds, you can be, scrolling through what activities are going on in your area, whether that's with, your connections or.
[00:04:19]Publicly trying [00:04:20] to find new friends and, build that community. It's almost like I know. And I use this analogy a lot like Tinder or Bumble did for the dating community. For them, it was mashed.com and all [00:04:30] those like online platforms. Enter Tinder or Bumble or plenty of fish.
[00:04:35] There's tons of them out there now, but it really gives the overall user experience from having to go online, sitting down [00:04:40] and creating a profile the much quicker, simpler, more intuitive user experience streamlined. Yeah. So why you guys what are your chops for creating this? And, obviously we talked [00:04:50] about your background, your history is as you, got into the outdoors, what are your chops on app building and the technical side of things?
[00:04:55]We're the ones building the app, thankfully. But we're all outdoor enthusiasts. We [00:05:00] the four of us we all like pretty much any time. We're not at our day jobs or, at home sleeping where we're planning our next kind [00:05:10] of activity that we're going to go do outside.
[00:05:12] And so we understand the. The value of kind of planning these trips and [00:05:20] wanting there to be people to go do them with and how frustrating it can be when you know, you're a social person or you just, feel like it's safer to go out and do something with others and you [00:05:30] want to go or you need the motivation even, and then you want to go do it, but then there's no one there to do it with.
[00:05:35] And so we can we've been able to see the problem that exists firsthand. [00:05:40] And so that was one, one of the things where we saw it firsthand. And when we said, all right let's address this and let's figure out the best way to do it. And more from the, I [00:05:50] guess the, our, our backgrounds, our kind of career paths are, I work in the outdoor industry, but I work in manufacturing and we, we we all work in very.
[00:06:00] [00:05:59] Social environments, where you have an opportunity to, build relationships with your coworkers and go and do activities with them as well. So we see it in the workplace where you try and, [00:06:10] make plans and meet friends at work. And, this would be a great way to go to do that as well.
[00:06:13]I love it too, because some of the, I follow Tim Ferriss and a bunch of those guys that have done a bunch [00:06:20] of work on, scratching your own itch, so to speak. And I think, when you find a a desire or something you like, or a need, and it's something that you individually want to build something for, you can pretty much guarantee there's [00:06:30] other people that want the same thing.
[00:06:31] So I think scratching your own itch is a great way. Great way and reason to start something like this. So good on you for doing that. A hundred percent, I think, to [00:06:40] add on to what Josh was saying. Even if outdoor pals goes nowhere, like there's zero people on the app, besides us, I'm still gonna use it.
[00:06:46] Like I we're building it for, we saw this for him [00:06:50] firsthand, like Josh said, and we know what the market is missing. And, being practitioners of outdoor sports it's ourselves, we're going to use it [00:07:00] totally makes sense. So it's not like we're an outside development team or someone else sitting here thinking that's what the market needs and what the market wants.
[00:07:06]When w when we were designing the app and we're looking at functionality, we're not [00:07:10] thinking about what is everyone else gonna want? It's okay, we are the market. There you go. We're gonna use the app. What's going to be the best. And I think, just given that Yeah, pretty good.
[00:07:19] Yep. Spot on. [00:07:20] Yep. So let's talk about some of the categories. What categories are you going to launch with versus what categories are you going to eventually end up having? Are you going to launch with all the categories to begin with? [00:07:30] But when you say categories, activities, sports activities. Yeah.
[00:07:33] Yeah. So we were 30 activities initially on the app. We tried to really cover the earth. There's definitely things out there [00:07:40] that we missed demographics that maybe we're not hitting for as we go select. Yeah. We want to be selective as well. And we don't want, we don't want team sports.
[00:07:47] We don't like basketball or tennis. Not that we don't like them [00:07:50] as sports, but we don't really want we don't want to build teams in that kind of stuff on our app. We can run through the list, but Skiing, rock climbing, all the biking, sports paragliding, surfing, kite surfing, wind [00:08:00] surfing, yoga, walking, running trail running.
[00:08:03]Like I said, there's 30 of them as well. That's a broad range. That's pretty good. Yeah. I like it. We're hoping to, as the platform grows, we'll gauge user [00:08:10] feedback and see where those needs are. And if we missed anything, then we'll be able to, add that functionality later on.
[00:08:16] Yeah. There's so many activities, there's endless and now there's all [00:08:20] these derivatives, each activity has four derivatives. Like these guys now who are strapping speed wings on their back and putting Steve's on their feet and flying down a mountain.
[00:08:31] [00:08:30] Yep. Or the guys, the there's still guys ripping on skateboard down these crazy Hills. Yeah. It's awesome. Skateboarding's went on the app as well. Awesome. That's cool. [00:08:40] Yeah. Very good. And you guys have a pretty detailed blog too, that comes along with it. Tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. Called the Dr.
[00:08:47] Palace journal. It's really just a way for [00:08:50] us. To voice, not only opinions. We do a lot of gear reviews, experience reviews recommendations as well. Really a way for us to connect with the user, just outside of the platform, show them [00:09:00] that we're human, that, we want to help them.
[00:09:02] I think of the next great idea for them or, Hey, you're looking for the best ease this year. I've got 20 period of ski sit in my living room. I've probably skied most of them out there. What do you [00:09:10] what your here's our opinion on what you think is the best besties are.
[00:09:13] And another point to that is, out there pals, isn't just for the person who is already an outdoor enthusiast. It's also for the [00:09:20] person who is, is, has always lived, or near the outdoors. And, as wanting to get into some of these sports, but. Never really felt like they knew [00:09:30] somebody who could teach them or like that mentorship point that we were making earlier.
[00:09:33] And so through that blog, we're able to, share some tips about different sports and like getting into them and, what that [00:09:40] looks like. And, just sharing some of those, yeah. Have a big brother, big sister to help them.
[00:09:44] And so you're also gonna have some stuff around safety, not only the safety of the activity, but the [00:09:50] safety of the meetup, part of the activity. Yeah. The reality is we can't govern what people do. Where they're making decisions, being the ones out there, telling someone they [00:10:00] tied a belay, not wrong, or their anchors no super bomber.
[00:10:03]But we can, we have, we actually do have some safety kits online, best practices, resources for people to go and learn new things. But yeah. In-app [00:10:10] safety is huge and I think With any social network, it's huge to us, an outdoor pals. We want it to keep limited information is coming back up how we're keeping [00:10:20] our network safe is we're limiting the amount of information that's actually disclosed about the event about the participants before one is actually accepted into the event.
[00:10:28] So if someone's just scrolling through [00:10:30] randomly and they're looking for events, they cannot actually find the exact location of event until they're accepted into the event. It's only at that point where they'll have that Google map functionality and [00:10:40] figuring out exactly where it is. Another feature that we've built in is we're actually.
[00:10:44] Once the event is over, the group message is eliminated and there's no other messaging [00:10:50] functionality in the app outside of event, group messages. And once the event is finished, like I said, or canceled the group messages is deleted and our purpose there was, we don't want people on there.
[00:10:59][00:11:00] Harassing people, stalking people. We don't want to be a platform where people are just chatting back and forth about, Dating or going out or the grass, if we just really want to be event [00:11:10] focused. What else Josh? W we, I also think that kind of having that, being able to connect with multiple participants at once, there's also a strong safety feature, because if let's say [00:11:20] you're interested in going to do something outside, but you're uncomfortable just meeting up with a single person, then you have the chance to say, Hey, I want to go for a hike, but I'm going to invite, three people. [00:11:30] And then even once you're into the messages, you have that safety net of there being exactly where there's other people there who are communicating, who can call people out for inappropriate behavior and.
[00:11:40] [00:11:40] And then when you go to actually do the activity, then you have that, you have more people there who can provide that kind of group safe until you feel like, someone well [00:11:50] enough to, go do something with them. It's really easy to report an individual on the app as well.
[00:11:54]It's literally like one touch from any feed screen or messaging screen to that persons. A [00:12:00] profile and then you can report them for poor behavior on the app. And obviously we'll have the opportunity to remove people's access, et cetera. If they have multiple [00:12:10] offenses, but yeah, no, obviously when we were thinking of the idea safety's one of the main things.
[00:12:16] Yeah, exactly. And part of that [00:12:20] functionality of being able to review people's profiles is, you have a chance to. Viewed view that those reviews that people have left about them and make sure that person looks like they'd be the right [00:12:30] fit for what you're doing.
[00:12:31] And you can give as much information as you feel comfortable when you're posting something and you can, be just, more, more cautious about who you accept into [00:12:40] your events, depending on. The kind of threshold you have to, meet new people. So you still sense?
[00:12:45] Yeah. We're gonna take a little break and give some love to our sponsor mountain hardware. Shop [00:12:50] new email@example.com. Plus join elevated reward for free shipping on all orders. Go to the outdoor biz podcast.com/mountain hardware new and get yourself a cozy [00:13:00] new fleece for spring. That's the outdoor biz podcast.com/mountain hardware.
[00:13:04] New now back to the show. And so why would someone want to use the app [00:13:10] just to, Oh man, he didn't need it for an hour and a half talking about there's, there are a lot of different use cases. For the app. Generally let's say you move to a new location, right?
[00:13:20] [00:13:20] Yep. Yep. That's what I was thinking. Yep. For school, for work, whatever. Or like like we discussed last week you can travel to visit new locations. Yeah, exactly. Traveling what's new people plan events in [00:13:30] advance. That's I think a very central use case to our app. I think there's just the general use case of wanting to find new people.
[00:13:37]Like we talked about last week, we meet people all the [00:13:40] time who are talking to us about, Oh, it's impossible to meet new friends outside of work. Yeah. We agree. Unless you love your coworkers, we think it's really hard these days to meet people outside of work. This [00:13:50] is a great way to do that and connect over the over activities that you actually love.
[00:13:53]I like it. There's also the opportunity to, we've been talking a lot about like the connectivity, but there, there's also [00:14:00] the idea of it's streamlining your process to go do these things where, it's you might already have your network that you're comfortable doing things with,
[00:14:08]or you have like your immediate [00:14:10] network and then you have that like intermediate acquaintance level, where you're always talking to people about. I going to do something with, and then you never do because it's a hassle to go through your phone and text them.
[00:14:19] Cause you can never [00:14:20] remember. And so really by throwing what you're doing out there and allowing other people to respond, but their interests that are a part of that community, then you can really streamline that planning process because you [00:14:30] don't need to be scrolling through, everyone's got like 600 contacts in their phone or more now you don't need to scroll through them all and be like, who have, who is also in my area.
[00:14:38] Who's interested in going to do [00:14:40] this. Yeah, you guys can make, be like, make sure you're connected on the app. And then, as you're scrolling, you can see Oh, is doing this. I haven't seen them in awhile. I'd absolutely go do that. [00:14:50] Or, I it just helps you connect quicker.
[00:14:52] And so that idea of streamlining your planning process, getting you outside quickly, even if it's that afternoon and you're posting it in the morning, it gives [00:15:00] people a chance to. Yes. You're finding you have a break in your schedule. Something got canceled. I want to go climbing. Boom. You got fuck climate partners and new climate in an hour.
[00:15:07] Yeah, I like it. Cool. And you guys had a [00:15:10] story that you were going to tell about the app and the someone that was going to use the app or what was that story? Again? It wasn't necessarily related to the outdoor pals [00:15:20] app. It was more just a story about it, a case for it,
[00:15:23]me and my fiance, we go rock climbing and momentum climbing gym a lot, and we're always we go about once [00:15:30] a week and we like to Boulder. And so we were bouldering one day and a girl and her friend walked up to us and started [00:15:40] commenting on kind of the level that we were climbing, asking what are.
[00:15:43] Kind of what rating we could climb regularly and stuff like that. And we realized that we were all climbing at about the same level. And so she was [00:15:50] like, Hey, would you be interested in exchanging numbers? So that way we could maybe climb here or go climb together sometime. And we were both like, absolutely, we're newer to the salt [00:16:00] Lake area and, we're still looking to make friends.
[00:16:02] And so we exchanged numbers and. That was that was about six months ago. And, I [00:16:10] know it's been COVID so it's been a little bit more hesitant to reach out to people. So it was, it was interesting that, we had that interaction to begin with, but we, I haven't heard anything since.
[00:16:20] [00:16:19] And. It was just one of those things where, you have these interactions sometimes where you meet somebody or see somebody who you used to hang out with a lot or used to see a lot, or had a [00:16:30] class with and in college or something like that. And you run into them somewhere and they're like, Oh, Hey, we should get together.
[00:16:35] And then nothing ever happens. And it's kinda just one of those awkward conversations that you have in a [00:16:40] public place. And I get busy, I think there is a genuine interest for people when they have these conversations to, connect and go do these things. Like I absolutely would have gone [00:16:50] in climbed with this girl and her friend and, I wouldn't, I think it would have been a lot of fun, but for whatever reason, it still might happen too.
[00:16:56]People get busy and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. It's still mine, for whatever [00:17:00] reason it hasn't happened yet. And I think it just that, that kind of the idea that you can just throw it out there and you can be like, Oh, that was that person that I, ran into the other day and they're going to do this activity [00:17:10] this week.
[00:17:10] And you know what I'll say, I'm interested, let's start the conversation up and make something happen. So these are a lot quicker. Yeah. That's cool. And how has COVID impacted [00:17:20] everything? Obviously we're all not, like you said, not getting out and about as much with people we're doing stuff alone, but what do you think about the future of COVID and.
[00:17:29]No, [00:17:30] I don't want you to go, PR prognosticating, what do you think is gonna happen with COVID but how do you think is gonna impact the future of the app? Yeah. We're lucky we didn't try to launch this app eight months [00:17:40] ago. We, we have actually take into consideration when we're launching the app our whole timeline or process timeline for taking this to market.
[00:17:47]And COVID has been a large. [00:17:50] Factor in that to be absolutely transparent as well as the time of year. We're super pumped about the timeline we're currently on both from a time of year standpoint, [00:18:00] early spring. And from a COVID standpoint, really, it's much further along.
[00:18:03] I'm not going to say Copa to solve at all, but It closer though, to have we be able to deal with it. Yeah. We realized that we were launching [00:18:10] a platform that, that Inhibits and in promotes people from different social circles meeting, and we're being cautious about that. And because we have to, with everything that's going on.
[00:18:19]But yeah, short of [00:18:20] saying that this is the best time to do it. We see progress with what's been going on with COVID that give us optimism that our timeline is set up nicely for launching this. If [00:18:30] I also, my dad COVID is forced us in a way to reconsider how we interact with other people.
[00:18:35] So we think that, as we transition away from this kind of, secluded [00:18:40] lifestyle that COVID is like, has, this will be a good way for people to kind of transition back to being more involved in social [00:18:50] circles, because they'll have an opportunity to connect. Digitally prior to meeting up in person.
[00:18:55] So if someone's hesitant of going out and, meeting people in a public space, they have a chance to, [00:19:00] do it through the app and then have that opportunity ask questions, make sure that they feel comfortable going and meeting these people prior to getting to them before you go.
[00:19:08] Yeah. No that's good. [00:19:10] Yeah. That's smart. Yeah. And if people want to interact with you, follow up with you, how do they do that? Where are you guys working? You guys be found. We [00:19:20] firstname.lastname@example.org and on Instagram at get outdoor pals, G E T O U T P a L S. I forgot. I forgot a door in there.
[00:19:29] Didn't I not [00:19:30] door pals, but it's good. Outdoor palette. I will link to all that in the show notes too. Yeah. Sorry. The in head spelling right now, isn't working too well. And yeah, [00:19:40] if there are direct questions, feel free to send us an email@example.com. We will absolutely respond to anyone and everyone who works on this email.
[00:19:47] Cool. Awesome. I can't wait for the launch guide. It's going to be pretty [00:19:50] exciting. I'm glad that I was able to help you share it out on the show. We'll get it all over the outdoor community. And yeah, we'll probably have to do a followup episode after it launches just to give everybody a report on how it's [00:20:00] going.
[00:20:02] Yeah. That could be a great show or it could be a terrible show to be a great show, a lot of fun [00:20:10] educational opportunity for people to, They're working on apps or programs that they're thinking about launching. They can hear your story of Jesus. We wish we had done that many. He always had that, whatever you're doing, you don't want to add [00:20:20] light.
[00:20:20] When I launched his podcast, I wish I had done that. So that's what it is. Yeah. Cool. Thanks. We'll we'll be in touch and we'll talk about it. We'll schedule something else. Sounds great, Rick. Great. [00:20:30] Thank you, Ray. Thanks guys. Talk to you again. Appreciate it. Thank you for joining us on another episode of the outdoor biz podcast, be sure to visit our website, [00:20:40] the outdoor biz podcast.com, where you'll find show notes with links to everything we talked about and more subscribe to the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or [00:20:50] wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:20:51] So you'll never miss an episode. And while you're at it, if you found value in this show, we'd appreciate a rating on iTunes or spread the word and tell a friend [00:21:00] about the show. That would really help us out to be sure to tune in every week. And thanks again for listening me to the outdoor bins podcast with Rick Sanchez. [00:21:30] [00:21:20] [00:21:10] .