Photo: Business Insider / Matthew Lynley
Meet Darren Dodge, founder of About Last Night.He and his brother Derek Dodge, both sons of tech legend Don Dodge, have built an app that’s designed to be the “operating system of your night life.”
It’s an application designed to help you share your night life experiences and figure out what you’re doing tonight.
In short, it’s a young person’s best friend. You can post photos and connect to others that are already looking for things to do in the evening, and figure out the most fun thing to do at the time.
We caught up with founder Darren Dodge to find out just what he’s creating. Here’s what we found out:
- The founding team are sons of Don Dodge, but don’t let that fool you. Derek is a proficient coder and Darren has a lot of experience doing marketing, after working with Ashton Kutcher.
- This isn’t the only company the Dodge boys are working on. About Last Night came up as an off-shoot of the Dodges’ existing company.
- About Last Night is based in Boston, and it’s quite a different pace from San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Mark Zuckerberg said himself that he would keep Facebook in Boston if he had a second chance, Darren Dodge said.
Here’s a lightly-edited transcript of the interview:
BUSINESS INSIDER: What is About Last Night and what do you guys do?
Darren Dodge: About Last Night is your social network for your night life. We allow you to share your nightlife experiences. We allow you to share your nightlife experiences, vote up experiences, follow your friends, follow celebrities. You can see what other people are doing with their night last night but also what they might be doing tonight. Very quickly you can get the relevant information from your friends, but also suggestions of where you want to go tonight and where the good bars are.
BI: Where did you guys get the idea?
DD: It was actually born out of another company we had that’s still in stealth mode. It just didn’t quite fit in with that company so we decided to shoot it out on its own. But we realised people are already in the rhythm of checking in on Foursquare and other apps, so we decided, why not do something that’s completely centered around nightlife. That’s really teh good information for people my age. We wanted to share that stuff.
BI: You guys are based in Boston, right? How does that feel compared to starting a company in San Francisco?
DD: Yes, that’s right. I love Boston. I’m born and raised there, the tech scene is thriving and there are great startups. You have the best colleges in the world, some of the smartest people int he world. The venture capitalists in Boston, if you tell them you’re from Boston and you want to stay in Boston, they’ll immediately do what they can for you. Mark Zuckerberg said it himself, if he could go back in time and had the ability to keep his company in Boston, he would have.
It’s definitely a unified startup scene. In Boston, we try to build the strongest business we can.
BI: What’s your background?
DD: My Brother comes from a much more technical background, he worked with IT and did coding pretty much his entire life. I’m a more artistic background. I graduated Friday and on Monday I was interning with Ashton Kutcher. I was interning with him for about four months, after that I went to the largest local news studio in Los Angeles. After that I went to Funny or Die… after that I went to tech with Jason Calacanis. I’ve had a whirlwind tour, but growing up with the family I did, the Dodge family, tech and business has always been drilled into me from day one. I have a long-term 21-year bachelor in business.
BI: Where did the inspiration for the design come from?
DD: We took a look at a bunch of different things that had small features that were working. We wanted to build an app using smartphones the way they were meant ot use. No drop-down menus, just swiping. We wanted to see scroll down feeds, menu feeds, we think that’s really the way the touchscreen was meant to be used.
BI: What kind of challenges do you face now?
DD: Right now we’re just acquiring users, taking to big brands. We want to go into the local night spots and help them out as well. The Android version is coming next in two to three months, and from there we’re talking to club promoters. We’re just trying to go nationwide and worldwide. We are completely centered around nightlife, so we believe this is the best place we can share what you were doing last night or what you’re doing tonight. We’re the operating system for your nightlife.
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