Way back when as I was just leaving the finance world to go into tech I attempted a startup with a friend called Scenepeek. The goal was to constantly aggregate all of a city’s events and make them easily searchable and discoverable by people who were looking to do something. Since both of us were in NYC and there are always a ton of events we decided that it would be the perfect candidate. We built a ton of scrapers optimized for all sorts of different sites, created a data model that was able to support nearly any type of event, and ended up launching a pretty crude but functional site. It never succeeded but we learned a ton throughout the process.
I often think back to it given all the knowledge I’ve picked up over the past 10 years and wonder what we could have done differently and whether it would have made a difference. We launched around the time that the first iPhone was released but before apps were allowed and never even considered the mobile angle. I still believe it’s a great idea that was ahead of its time but the fact that there’s still nothing equivalent makes me wonder. The closest would be something like Swarm but that’s not so much about events as it is about places. Maybe the closest equivalent is actually Facebook Events but the events on there feel more private. Scraping every event is difficult but given how much technology and tooling has improved over the past decade it seems there should be something there. The learning experience was great and introduced me to the startup world but a tiny part of me wonders what would have happened had we started a tad later and leaned into mobile.