One Lap With Circa’s Matt Galligan

In the first installment of One Lap, Matt Galligan joined me at Thunderhill Raceway to talk about his mobile news application, Circa.

I first met Matt in Boulder, Colo., in early 2010 shortly after he started SimpleGeo, an infrastructure provider for location-aware applications. A few years later, he sold SimpleGeo and founded Circa. Along the way, he’s learned a lot of lessons about starting companies, building teams and developing products. I meet a lot of entrepreneurs every day. Matt falls into the category of relentless founders who have a distinct design sense and work hard to continuously learn – both from their mistakes and successes.

Given that Circa entered a crowded market of mobile news aggregation applications, there were plenty of skeptics. Matt and his team have defied the odds and built a differentiated product that’s rated highly in the iOS App Store. Nearly 80 percent of Circa’s 7,000-plus reviews are five stars. Apps don’t earn these types of reviews unless consumers love them.

During our interview, Matt describes why consumers love his app, why Circa uses human editors, the upcoming Circa News 3 release, and how he recruited Tumblr’s former president, John Maloney, to join Circa: “At one point in time I sent him a text message. Just a text message that was like, hey why don’t you come be our COO? And he was like I’m flattered let’s talk.”

Shooting, editing, and sound for One Lap by John Murillo. Produced by Colleen Taylor. Production coordination and creative direction by Felicia Williams. Motion graphics and design by Eden Soto.