Hi my dear Hiphoster visitors,
After a few ups and downs, here I am, where I belong in this moment of my life. Back to my adventure – Hiphoster. My name is Cristina Florea and I’m the co-founder of this app. You don’t know much about it yet, but according to Google Analytics, you’re interested in finding out more.
This first article might be a bit boring because I want to tell you how Hiphoster came to life, and its purpose.
This being said, here comes the story:
Two years and a half ago, in March of 2016, I was planning my first trip to NYC. I was going to travel with Diana, the other co-founder. Movies, songs, fashion, museums, culture, buildings, lights. All the things we’ve heard and read about, were about to be discovered. This city has so much to offer, but you have to know what to take in. We had seven days to do that, which is not that much, but still, it’s something.
I have a few Facebook friends who are living in NYC, but we haven’t talked in a while or never. I thought it’d be awkward to text them: “Hey! I’ll be in NYC in July and it would be great if you’d meet me!” I know these things happen all the time. To be honest, I’m a bit envious because I don’t have the courage to pop up in someone’s life just like that. So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to know someone in NYC with whom I have things in common? Theatre, film, art… Maybe have the same occupation. Someone with whom I can spend a quality time and experience the city. The only close friend I knew (and also met for a couple of hours) was a friend who recently moved there. He wasn’t yet accustomed to the city and I didn’t know if he’d have time for me. So there I was, planning my trip and thinking how would it be to have an app for travelers to meet locals? Quick reminder, Airbnb Experiences didn’t exist at that time.
We rented an apartment on Airbnb, and here we were: excited, happy, ready to explore.
We started to take the city by walk from the first day. We saw touristic attractions, took pictures, visited museums, and went to Broadway shows, off Broadway too. I strongly recommend Sleep No More for a unique experience (thanks to my friend from Romania we booked it two months in advance). We checked everything we could’ve checked as a regular tourist. Oh! We visited Brooklyn as well. ☺ Even though we’ve seen a lot of things, and we could’ve called it mission accomplished, something was deeply missing, and we realized that pretty fast. Friends. Or better said, people who can turn into friends, locals to hang out with, to have a drink with, to talk, to share impressions, to feel that we belong. We moved quickly from idea to project. Hiphoster was already in development but no miracle could’ve made it available in such a short time for us to use it during our trip.
Since I was a kid I wanted to have friends, to make as many friends as possible. Maybe because I don’t have brothers and sisters. I’ve always tried to bring people together. It didn’t matter to me where you were coming from. As long as you wanted to play “the same game as us” you were welcomed. Of course, things changed when I grew up. As an adult, you tend to be more skeptical. But I still keep that desire at the bottom of my heart.
Back to the story
So we did what was in our hands to do. We checked Yelp and googled where locals eat and hang out, what their activities are. We didn’t have much success in connecting with them. And you know what? It’s normal… “What do locals do,” “restaurants where locals eat”, “cool bars where locals go…” They do exactly what you’re doing in your city. They go to work, meet their friends, spend time with their families, go to yoga, meditation, gym, and the list goes on.
The question is, how can you steal Time from their precious Time?
By making a mobile app where as a traveler you pay a flat fee to meet a local. An app where you can join them in their already planned activities, which may involve being with their friends, volunteering, going on a hike, going to a museum, a gallery, or a party. Or simply decide what you’d like to do on the spot. Pay a flat fee for their willingness to meet you. That’s Hiphoster – a mobile app which wants to make face-to-face social interactions easier between strangers. BUT, in order to do that, we have to share a very important desire: SPONTANEITY, in all its forms. Being spontaneous and sharing the same passions, in my point of view, are the most important and honest ways for people to connect.
Let’s connect when everything is disconnecting us!
P.S: There are people who don’t need any apps in order to interact and create a connection with someone new and I really admire them. I’m an introvert when it comes to starting a conversation with strangers.
If you like us, please share.