While traveling Europe for business this winter, I discovered HeyLets, an experience-discovery app engine, available in over 130 countries that makes discovering tailored experiences fun, fast, and social. All work and no play makes for a dull day, so this app helped spruce up my business travel substantially.
Justin Parfitt and Dean Kelly launched HeyLets because when they were looking for inspirational things to do in their city. They were sick of reading long negative reviews written by people that they had absolutely nothing in common with, which caused them to overlook some amazing experiences in their backyard.
Business Reviews are Often Negative and Manipulated
HeyLets has addressed some of the frustrations and mistrust that exist with existing discovery apps (like Yelp and Trip Advisor), where you know nothing about the person leaving the review. Businesses have publicly claimed that reviews are often manipulated or hidden based on whether companies spend money advertising on them, and where aggregate star ratings are applied without any personalisation. Companies can even be held hostage to bad consumer reviews.
Find Experiences Based on Like Minds
HeyLets was created on the premise of connecting like-minded individuals. You identify your interests, and it gives you recommendation based on your selections, your location, and demographic profile. The app generates a custom feed of recommendations - everything from restaurants and bars to hiking trails and hot springs - from users with similar tastes and expectations.
With the filter feature, you can browse posts anywhere in the world, or in your local city. By focusing ONLY on the positives, HeyLets is perfect for mobile - the goal is to tell users where they SHOULD go rather than what they should avoid.
Star ratings are great for products, but terrible for experiences because experiences are subjective. A particular location may have many experiences, some of which are good and some are bad. Take a lake for example - it may be excellent for fishing, terrible for surfing, great for barbeques, but terrible for power boating.
The Difference Between Traditional Review Sites and HeyLets
On traditional review sites with a star rating system, users would see a list of lakes nearby, and let's say this would have a star rating of about 3. Users looking to go surfing needing need to read about all the great reviews about swimming and fishing, the negative review about surfing, and they are still no closer to finding the best place to surf!
On HeyLets, users share only the positive "experience", in this case fishing, and this would then be discoverable in the "fishing" category by people looking to go fishing. People looking for a "surfing" experience would then look in the surfing category, and only see positive recommendations, getting them straight to their answer!
With this platform, users share only the positive "experience", in this case fishing, and this would then be discoverable in the "fishing" category by people looking to go fishing. People looking for a "surfing" experience would then look in the surfing category, and only see positive recommendations, getting them straight to their answer!
HeyLets is Overwhelmingly Positive
Also, unlike existing discovery apps, where only 1% of users actually post content, on HeyLets, has over 13% of their users sharing experiences in the app. People are actually enjoying posting those "this is awesome, you should try it too" moments, without having to write long negative critiques!
According to Co-Founder Dean Kelly, "Over 15% of HeyLets users are spending longer than 30 minutes in the app, just scrolling through looking for inspiration and adding experiences to their wishlist, or uploading experiences from those thousands of photos they have sitting on their phone which previously had no home!"
HeyLets is venture-capital backed, based in San Francisco, and is currently raising its next round of funding. Based on the value of their social city & travel guide that's powered by locals and built on positivity, I'm positive you'll find value in this app.