There's something missing on Google Maps: the ability to search by product. If I want to find the nearest shop where I can buy WD-40, or a 27" inner-tube, or a pair of pink socks, how do I do that? I can't... not easily anyway. That is, until I download Pocket High Street.
Pocket High Street is the brainchild of Alex Shlagman, the best dressed man in Tech City. His creation allows you to search the inventories of shops, and puts the results neatly on a map. Imagine you're cycling along and your brake cable snaps. You need to find a bike shop, but it's Sunday afternoon and your brake cables are a specific brand. Pocket High Street lets you find the nearest open shop with the product in stock. And it lets you click and collect.
Alex has been working on Pocket High Street for over two years, developing the engine and shaping the user-interface into a gloriously polished app. For the first time, he speaks openly about his project in an interview for Start-Up, my new Podcast series on iTunes and SoundCloud (listen below).
In it, he explains how he came up with the idea, why and how he's chosen a laser-targeted marketing strategy, how much money he's raised, and how he's digitalising the world's shop shelves into a searchable form. One of the most interesting characters in Tech City, this is very much worth a listen and you can become a beta-tester for Pocket High Street here.
Listen to the interview below (18 minutes):
Also written by Tom for The Huffington Post
Tom Church helps businesses grow. He works with FullScream, Mullen and Mullen, CrowdBox TV and advises a number of technology start-ups such as Popcord. Read his articles about business development, technology and marketing here.