Ah, Hipster, the startup whose promotional ideas are either brilliant, obnoxious, or brilliantly obnoxious. This time the company, which allows you to share digital postcards, has outdone itself — it’s promising to send one of its users into space.
Technically, Hipster is offering a ticket on a Zero G flight in a modified Boeing 727 — so it’s a space “experience”, rather than, you know, actual space, but that’s probably the closest that you’ll ever get to being the next Neil Armstrong. The winner will be selected randomly from users who sign up and send at least one postcard between February 10 and March 10.
CEO Doug Ludlow says the company likes to challenge itself to come up with crazy, viral promotions every few months. First, there was Hipster’s cryptic launch page, which got a huge response. Next, it recruited engineers by offering $10,000 in cash and a year’s supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon. This time, Ludlow says he wanted a contest that would celebrate Hipster’s 100,000th registered user and illustrate how the app has grown. The tag line: “Our 100,000 users have now sent Hipster postcards from every continent on Earth. So where do we go now? Space, and we want to send you there.”
As for what comes next, Ludlow says he’s hoping to improve the existing iOS and Android apps, to launch a Windows Phone 7 app, and to hit 1 million users before the one-year anniversary of the app’s launch in October — though it could be challenging to celebrate that milestone.
“I’m totally worried about how we’re going to top this one,” he says.
Hipster is creating a real-time, visual public record of the world’s locations. Using their iPhones and Android devices, people share where they are and what they are doing by sending their friends a photographic postcard. The postcards become permanently attached to the locations they were sent from, and are forever accessible to all those who come later. Based in SOMA, San Francisco, and founded in 2010 by Doug Ludlow, Ethan Czahor, and Steffen Hoffman.
Doug is an Innovation Partner at AOL Ventures. Previously, Doug was the founder of Hipster, which was acquired by AOL in March of 2012. Hipster had raised $1,000,000 from a variety of VC and Angel investors, including Google Ventures, Lightbank, 500 Startups, Mitch Kapor, Dave McClure/500 Startups, Lightbank, Charles River Ventures, Max Ventilla, TechStars David Cohen and David Tisch, Google’s Don Dodge, Paige Craig, Ludlow Ventures, and Lerer Ventures. In addition, Doug is a 2007 alumni of TechStars Boulder, having founded madKast...