When Matthew Hamilton was in the United States military, it enabled him to travel to new cities regularly. While exploring these locales, Hamilton simply wanted to find a bar or restaurant with a great atmosphere and drink specials when the work day was over.
He found a major problem, however. All of the bar reviews he read didn’t live up to the actually drinking hole. Hamilton also found information on travel and review websites was outdated.
So, Hamilton decided to change everything about nightlife reviews. Hamilton, along with his co-creator and sister, developed Konnect to give users information on the best bars, restaurants, and deals in cities around the US. Konnect also gives bars and restaurants the chance to advertise their latest specials to new clientele and create recurring customers.
The nightlife app can change users’ experiences when going out. Whether they are visiting new cities or just looking for a great new drinking spot in their hometown, Konnect can help.
Recently Hamilton sat down and explained Konnect’s ability improve users’ nightlife every week.
Matthew, Konnect was created to expand people’s options when it comes to nightlife. How did you conceive the concept of Konnect?
When I was in the military, I traveled a lot and not being familiar with every place, I was always looking for cheap places to drink that were also fun. I found myself just wasting a lot of my time going bar to bar until I found the one I liked and by that time the night was over. Yelp and Tripadvisor weren’t really helpful at all. Everything was outdated or just terrible reviews when the venue was actually nice
From the initial idea to launching the app for iOS, how long did the development process take?
About eight months from idea to actually launching the platform. This included building our social media presence to setting up our work space. It was a very busy eight months.
Every traveler knows the frustration of finding outdated information on the Internet about a restaurant or bar. Hamilton wanted to eliminate these problems. Thanks to technological advancements with apps and smartphones, plus an ingenious idea, he was able to alter the way people find out about great night spots.
From your experiences of traveling and looking for great bar deals, you there was a lot of frustration. How important is having updated information that users can find in real-time?
Very important! It can change everything about a person’s experience in a city. For instance, have you ever tried to figure out what you were going to on a Friday night and had to call 10 friends or dig through Instagram and Facebook just to find a mediocre bar or restaurant? Very frustrating.
For those who have not yet tried Konnect, how does the app work and what will users find when they access it?
You can see live up to date pictures and videos of bars in your area, drink and food specials for that evening, even get a push notification to your phone if you’re near a bar with great deals!
Konnect isn’t just for people looking for a good time out on the town. The app works for businesses and helps them attract customers through advertisements and special offers. Konnect can display up to the minute deals to potential customers and provide special offers that only app users see. It is a 21st century way to advertise to paying customers and it is helping restaurants and bars become more competitive.
Obviously, the advantages for nightlife goers is immense. What about for bars and restaurants? How does the app improve their businesses?
We pull in new customers for these businesses that otherwise may have never heard of them. A lot of these customers end up becoming recurring business for them. Also, it gives them a platform to showcase their specials and events that people may not have known about before.
Earlier this year, Konnect was released for Android. Was it important to succeed with the iOS platform first or was it a strategic plan to roll out the Android version after building up excitement for the app?
Most people have iPhones, so we wanted to launch on the most popular platform first to create buzz, get feedback from users and then roll out with Android app.
You co-created the business with your sister. What is it like to work with a sibling to build a start-up business? Is it easier or more difficult than with other business partner options?
It’s a little bit of both (laughs). We work great with each other and get a crazy amount accomplished together. I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. We can get on each other’s nerves especially when we get stressed, but what siblings don’t? We constantly have to remind each other when we hang outside of work that we don’t always just have to talk about work.
It isn’t just app users that are singing its praises. Konnect has been featured by industry insiders as one of the best apps on the market. Konnect’s success has enabled it to reach more users which has in turn provided more business to great nightlife hotspots.
In 2018, Konnect was featured on GreatApps as one of the best apps of the year. How significant was it to be recognized as a great app so early in Konnect’s release?
It was a very proud moment for us and definitely got us some much needed attention so early starting out! Just goes to show what can happen when you have something great.
After such early success, where does Konnect go from here and how will the app get even better?
We have so many more awesome updates getting ready to roll out our users will love! We are also in talks with a few ride share companies about putting a button on each page of the bar so they can automatically get a ride there. We do not want our users drinking and driving
Matthew, what is a day in your life like?
I work from about 7 am to 6 pm, then I get home and spend time with my dog Pax. He’s like my best friend. He’s my service dog, so I usually take him to bars and restaurants with me on Saturday afternoons.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I can play the saxophone. I don’t think anyone besides my 7th grade band teacher knows that.
What makes you smile?
Seeing people laugh, I love stand-up comedy and all things funny. Laughter is the best medicine. It can make people forget about the bad things going on in life.
What scares you?
Nothing particular that scares me, I think fear is a choice. I’ve always overcome what has scared me in the past, because if I didn’t, it would eat me alive.
Do you have any hobbies?
Really big into extreme sports. I grew up racing motocross and surfing in Southern California. Then adopted snowboarding and wakeboarding, and now, I hope to have my skydive license by the end of this year!
Which historical figure do you most admire?
Lord Byron, because there were no dogs allowed on Trinity College campus at the time, so he brought a bear with him instead and the school couldn’t do anything about it. He lived an unusual life and followed no rules with controversy and notoriety following him everywhere he went.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“Build your own dreams or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
“Life is a garden, dig it.”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
I’d change the way some people act towards others. If we could all just lighten up and treat each other a little better the world would be a better place.
Hamilton’s Konnect app is a truly ingenious idea for anyone who enjoys a night out. While the idea of creating an app to connect people with the best bars and restaurants seems simple, Hamilton took his person experience of traveling and going out in new cities to take it to another level.
Konnect is destined to grow and become the go-to app for anyone going out to dinner or grabbing a few beers. It won’t be long until Konnect is ubiquitous with nights out.
The Konnect app can be downloaded for free on iOS at the Apple App Store and Android devices via the Google Play marketplace. For more information on Konnect and Matthew Hamilton, please visit http://www.thekonnectapp.com/
Journalist and author. Contributor