CUSP Magazine: Winter Issue 2014

Cusp2013

CUSP Magazine is a Chicago based publication focused on helping up and coming creatives gain exposure for their brand and products. Our company is a collective of highly motivated individuals who work together to bring a new voice to the creative community.

“Countless clubs and organizations hold

events on a weekly basis and also host some of

the largest rallies in the country,” Fred said. The

integrity of the community depends, in part, on

ease of parking; people living and riding just

outside of the city can feel somewhat isolated.

“We didn’t think that something like

parking should be a deterrent for riding in

the city and [engaging with] the motorbike

community.” CurbNinja works with the GPS

in your smart phone to provide localized,

interactive maps of user-tested and confirmed

parking spots. “Anyone forced to park their

motorbike in an urban area has to be aware

of the hidden gems that most people would

overlook...these are the spaces either too small

for automobiles or just too confusing with local

laws,” Fred continued. Once a user finds a spot,

he or she is encouraged to tag it on the map and

include a photograph and description. Relying

on crowdsourcing alone can be ruinous to a

startup, but Fred and Tim sought to circumvent

the problem by unleashing a team of stealthy

“spot ninjas” into the streets to supplement the

growing pool of user-identified parking. “We

loved the idea of being stealthy enough to find

these spaces and take advantage of them—this

is how the “ninja” mentality was born.”

Fred and Tim met at the University

of Illinois where they studied very different

majors but found that their varied strengths

and mutual love of motorcycling made them a

fearsome team for the development and launch

of CurbNinja. Fred, a 2003 Ducati Monster

rider, acts as “Chief Operations Ninja” and

handles operations and strategic planning while

Tim, proud owner of a 1986 Yamaha Maxim,

handles marketing and advertising as “Chief

Marketing Ninja”.

The road to CurbNinja’s development

has not been without speed bumps, as the

concept is still innovative in the mobile

application marketplace. According to Fred, the

most daunting challenges come in the form of

technical development and target advertising.

Success, too, can be difficult to quantify.

“We look at not only the amount of users but

also [at] the feedback we get from the motorbike

clubs and organizations that we engage.”

Having already expanded to San Francisco

since launching in spring, 2015 promises

more exciting developments for CurbNinja.

Ultimately, Fred and Tim would like to see

CurbNinja expand to every major city where

urban riders struggle with parking. Until then,

users can look forward to next year’s update,

which will include a Windows-compatible

version of the app and a new revenue model,

offering premium features in exchange for a

small fee.

CUSP MAGAZINE WINTER ’14 ISSUE

15

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