If you have a sweet tooth for all things app, here’s Muffin – an app that addresses meetup needs; from deciding date, time, and place using polls for your next meetup, discussing via chat, managing expenses to delegating responsibilities, cataloging photos. Know more about the app from our interview with Amol Potnis, one of the Founders.
EL: We are aware that you are four friends who form the core team at Muffin. Is this the first startup idea that you all collectively decided to pursue?
EL: Please tell us about Muffin – the inception, the journey and the vision.
AP: The four of us had just returned from a fun-filled hike planned by Niki. She had got the group together, decided what to do, done lots of research, found deals, talked to businesses, dealt with our idiosyncrasies, helped the group converge on dates & timings, managed expenses and collated all the photos. We realized that hers was quite a mammoth list of to-dos!
Meeting friends is fun, but why did the whole process need to be so chaotic and painful? Initially, we thought only we experienced the problem. When we observed people around us, we realized that it’s the same with everyone except they aren’t aware that it’s a problem. Couldn’t technology help? Right there, we decided to do something about this. And here came the idea of Muffin.
We launched Muffin on Android in September 2016 and on iOS in December 2016 and have got great reviews. The emails we get give us the satisfaction that we are solving a genuine problem.
The vision is clear. When one thinks of a group event, they should think of Muffin. We want friends to go out and have fun. That is where real memories get created. We want to make group plans simple and fun. Going forward, we will bring events of interest and people with similar interests together.
EL: In a span of just 9 months, Muffin has garnered over 25k users and 11k+ events. On Android alone, it has a fantastic 4.6 star rating averaged from 393 users.
What are the innovative ways in which you have reached out to and engaged your target audience?
AP: To be honest, as a product, Muffin’s genes have an innate viral component. We ran college ambassador programs to roll out Muffin. Then we made the youth aware of Muffin on online platforms where they spend time.
EL: We shared your app with a gregarious second-year PU student. This is what he had to say:
“Nice interface. Great ease-of-use. It’s like Meetup.com on an app!”
How true or false is the end statement?
AP: We are glad that the user liked our user experience.
Meetup.com is more of a public platform where one person plans the whole thing and pushes it out to people. Muffin is for closed groups. It helps you with planning and decision-making by using chat, polls and defining responsibilities. It helps you during the event with expense management. You give a destination to your event memories with photos.
Meetup.com and Facebook events are similar to each other as you use these platforms to publicize events, get registrations etc. Muffin helps closed groups with discussions, decisions, task management, money management and photos. Muffin is building capabilities to make required resources available to users.
EL: Compared to other media, such as Print, Radio, TV, Online etc., what do you like about Events?
AP: Compared to Print, Radio, and TV, you tend to know the audience better at Events. You can advertise to the right segment.
EL: EventLinked is an online platform that helps Brands choose from hundreds of detailed event sponsorship proposals and identify right marketing opportunities; ones that are budget-friendly and ensure minimum spillovers.
What is your take on EventLinked?
AP: Interesting for both the parties. A lot of energy is spent by event organizers in scouting for sponsors and sometimes brands miss opportunities. This looks like an interesting concept.
EL: Would you consider listing Muffin on EventLinked as a potential Event Partner for social-networking events?
AP: Yes with a spin. Groups plan events on Muffin and we know our audience. Brands can give offers to our users.
EL: Which is your most memorable moment from the Muffin app journey and what makes it such?
AP: There have been many moments. Every time a user reaches out and tells us how badly they needed Muffin and thanks us for building the app, we feel good. This has happened to us so many times and it keeps us going. One such moment is when a Muffin video was posted on Instagram and people were just tagging friends and talking about how awesome the app is.
Amol Potnis can be reached via LinkedIn.
Please note: the opinions expressed in this interview are those of the respondent and do not reflect the views of the company to which he is affiliated.