“In the Studio” powers through Black Friday by welcoming a serial entrepreneur, originally from South Africa, who has now started his third company out of Palo Alto and timed his moves perfectly for recent advances in mobile hardware and the holiday season.
Vinny Lingham, the CEO and co-founder of Gyft, has devised a brilliantly dead-simple idea to attack the growing gift card market and enable both the purchasing of and redemption of cards through mobile phones. With Gyft, consumers can give, receive, and use gift cards from scores of other merchants with a simple mobile application and a few touches. A step further, Gyft had the foresight to realize the possibilities with iOS 6 and Passbook, making their offering fully-integrated with Passbook cards. (You can check out the app here, as well as their innovative incentive system to encourage signups. Gyft was also covered earlier in the year by TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez after integrating with Passbook.)
In this discussion, Lingham and I discuss his path to starting his third company, how he views the Valley versus building a company in San Francisco versus Palo Alto, what possibilities Passbook may hold for other iPhone developers, what the gift card market may look like in 2013 (exploding!), and how the idea of Gyft came to be in the first place. I’d recommend this video for anyone building a mobile app, as Lingham demonstrates how simplicity in mobile apps and execution actually creates a competitive advantage.
Vinny Lingham is the CEO of mobile startup, Gyft.com. Vinny was previously the founder & CEO of global search marketing experts, [Clicks2Customers] & SMB website creation tool, [Yola]. He is also the co-founder of SiliconCape.com, an NGO based in South Africa, that aims to turn the Cape Town region into a Technology Hub.
Gyft is a mobile gift card app that allows customers to buy, store, send, and redeem gift cards conveniently from their mobile device. Gyft is seamlessly integrated with Facebook so users can easily send messages and gift cards to their friends around special events. Consumers can also upload existing plastic gift cards to the app. Download Gyft for FREE today in the iTunes app store or at http://www.gyft.com.