It’s a little too easy to get sucked into doing all of our socializing through some sort of Internet-connected device, and Hunter Grey would like to remind everyone that there’s no substitute for offline socialisation.
“I think the younger you are, the more tech-dependent you are. I feel that the generation that grew up in college watching Facebook come of age understands the technology and the bridges it can build. But I feel the younger generations (those using SnapChat, for example) have completely missed that. Instead, I think they don’t see it as a bridge to real life but instead see it as an integral part of real life,” Grey told us via email.
He and his team have created Klutch, a smartphone app for making plans for the offline world. It’s free in the iTunes App Store, and here’s what it looks like.
Coordinate with each other to find a place to meet. The app lets you share maps and pictures as you make plans.
After enough use, you’ll build Klutch into something of a calendar of your upcoming events.
Grey previously worked in professional sales, leading a large sales team. “Our biggest inefficiency was [in] the hours that our salespeople had to spend scheduling things instead of selling,” he wrote. “All the back-and-forth was killing me and my team. It made us inefficient and slowed down our growth.”
Klutch is the result of Grey’s thinking in how to streamline to coordinate the process of getting multiple people in the same place. Here’s the rest of our Q&A with Grey.
BUSINESS INSIDER: What’s the gist of Klutch?
HUNTER GREY: Klutch was created to solve the horrific task of corralling a few friends or colleagues to do something at the same time and location.
Ironically, getting together using all the different apps and gadgets we have usually gets in the way of those relationships. It blows my mind that this issue hasn’t been solved, but it makes sense considering email has become the conduit for all communication and it’s completely structureless. It should not be as hard as it is to get a few people to even jump on a phone call. It also shouldn’t be that hard to make sure everybody’s calendars all agree on the same date.
Klutch solves this issue by creating a conversational method to make plans. This makes the scheduling process simple and social, without eight or nine different calendar invites or texts.
It doesn’t get in the way, it doesn’t force social sharing, it doesn’t post to social media, or do anything that isn’t helping you get your schedule set.
BI: What does Klutch do that Facebook doesn’t?
HG: People don’t really “plan” through Facebook. Facebook is where people “broadcast” solid plans, not make them. Klutch is the inner-circle conversation/agreement before the broadcast.
For example, I’ll use Klutch to figure out when and where to meet up with friends for drinks, but I’ll only do that with a few close friends who I care show up.
BI: How important do you think it is it to socialize offline?
HG: It’s everything. I don’t see anyone on their deathbed saying, “I wish I had liked one more post…” but you can bet they will say, “I wish I had spent more time with friends.”
It may sound obvious, but cultivating relationships will directly impact the quality of your life. Human beings are social animals. Ironically, social media and apps have taken away from being social.
There’re some great apps and companies in the Valley that have focused on more real life meetings — Tinder, Grouper, MeetUp — but there are so many more that are trying to actively take people off the street. A long time ago you’d meet people at the grocery store, or getting a cup of coffee — now you have a seamless Web delivery guy and FreshDirect.