Fitsome, Inc. is a food-tech startup founded in 2014 at the Draper Incubator in San Mateo, CA. I first joined the freshly founded company in May 2014 as a full-time lead mobile developer and I took immediate ownership of the development of Fyne: A restaurant discovery app for iOS.
The app was the first of its kind to adopt a mood-based approach, where the user can find the right restaurant around him based on his mood, in just a few taps. For example, you may be looking for something quick to eat for lunch, or the right place for a happy hour with your friends, or even a romantic place to have dinner with your date.
Apart from taking care of the app development, I also had the opportunity to assist the CEO in deciding features and building the mockups for the first release, as well as curating the investor deck and product’s landing page. Ultimately, I took responsibility for designing the full-stack architecture, and later on, as the company was growing, I started coordinating a fully distributed team comprising a data specialist (in New York) and a design agency (in Goa, India) - all this done remotely from my office in Venice, Italy and while reporting to the CEO based in San Mateo, California.
The app - later rebranded to Lavysh - was then successfully released in August 2014.
This initial collaboration turned to be so positive that the CEO offered me to hold officially the position of CTO, which I accepted seeing the possibility of improving the existing product and driving the startup into new, undiscovered areas of the food market.
In the following weeks, after more brainstorming and market analysis sessions, we realized that there was more data available about restaurants that could be surfaced and was under-exploited: The dishes. We believed that building food discovery around dishes, instead of limiting it to the restaurants themselves, would unlock a totally new way to find places where to eat. We also believed that restaurant reviews as seen on Yelp and Foursquare - usually too long to read and slightly biased - are of no use, especially when being on the move. For this reason, we thought to combine dishes with the concept of up-votes and short text reviews (140 chars). This bottom up and outsourced approach would lead to surprising new discoveries, and ultimately to a localized list of top (or best) dishes that reflect the culture and trends of a specific place. This is what we the called Trending Menu.
Therefore - as the CTO - I lead the development of the new product, supervising and working across all the technology stack - e.g. deploying servers on the cloud, designing the UI, building the backend API, writing the iOS app, etc. Finally, the Trending Menu was released in May 2015 across various countries including USA, Canada, Ireland, UK, and Australia.
Currently, the startup is working on adding yet another product to its range, with the goal of pairing the discovery products with a curated food delivery service, experimenting a model very similar to AirBnB.