Glympse | Interview with Darren G. Austin

Glympse is a Seattle based startup that was founded in 2008 by guys who spent 15 years working together in various capacities at Microsoft. Founders set aside the security of the paychecks and benefits that come with employment at a big multi-national corporation to create something they believed passionately in – Glympse. These serial entrepreneurs saw the emerging technical and social trends and saw an unique opportunity in time to develop location sharing that visually answers the question “where are you?” for people who matter and when it matters the most.

Glympse™ is a groundbreaking new way to share your location with anyone for a specified period of time using patent-pending GlympseWatch™ timer. Product value proposition lies in its simplicity, flexibility and increasing safety of its customers. Glympse is easier and faster than a call or message, simply select a contact, set duration, and hit send. Anyone with an Internet-enabled phone or computer can use the service without any setup. You can send a Glympse to a specific person, several people, or even to Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, Glympse safely puts you in control – you can select your audience the duration for which you want to be tracked. It’s safe for families, friends, colleagues, and one-time meetings that often involve travel.

When expressed my interest in social media and mobile space, Andy recommend Darren Austin of Glympse for my entrepreneurial marketing. Darren first hit the start-up space with a venture backed wireless business which was acquired by Amazon.com in 1999. After acquisition he went on on to help start mobile initiatives at Amazon.com and Real Networks before co-founding SeattleRentals.com, an online real estate classifieds business serving the Pacific Northwest. Darren joined AOL in 2005 to lead the product team responsible for Mobile AIM. He helped grow the Mobile AIM audience to over 9 million active monthly users and helped transition the business from a carrier centric distribution model to a direct-to-consumer model. Darren joined Expedia in 2010 to begin building their mobile e-commerce team. He now works as VP of products at Glympse looking into their marketing and product management efforts.

Glympse started out as a consumer company by offering a location service app for iPhone users. Friends and family of founders, who represent initial customer base, offered valuable and continuous feedback during the beta phase of the product. Product was quickly iterated based on feedback and was then launched through iTunes and Android stores. Both these app platforms helped them to reach out to early adopters with minimal effort. Glympse was shot into limelight when it was chosen as Google Editor Choice and this recognition has helped them move to into growth phase by winning majority of customers. They focused heavily on driving the customer engagement through exceptional customer service.

Glympse is now more than just a consumer based company. It has successful entered into partnerships with world famous Auto makers such as BMW and Mercedes Benz. These partnerships helped them to take their service beyond smart phones to effectively compete against substitute products. Glympse successful stayed ahead of competition by developing a platform that can be offered both to consumers and business partners. As, a result of these efforts, company is now uniquely positioned to offer location sharing services for wide range of business needs on almost any kind of GPS enabled product. Their marketing strategy was to offer a product that speaks for itself complemented with exceptional customer service and PR. While most of the competition floundered, Glympse has come a long way through nontraditional marketing efforts. Marketing decisions are evidence driven with emphasis on quantifiable results.

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