It can be quite the bummer when you make plans for a little holiday at the beach but drive in to pouring rain despite checking the weather forecast. Unpredictable weather is as annoying as annoying can get. Weatheristic is a community-based weather app that helps you get updates on the weather from real time reports by people at your intended destination. The app aims to make available reliable information on the weather from the people experiencing it. In conversation with Abigail Mabe, Venture Mirror learns more about the app and the different features they are working on!
What is the startup/product about? Give us a brief description of it.
Weatheristic is a new, community-based weather app that allows you to see current weather as well as the forecast. As a Weatheristic user, you can easily post the current weather condition, as well as the feels like temperature and humidity. All weather is displayed on the map, so you can conveniently see where it is sunny and where it is rainy. Users can like and comment on other posts to provide feedback. You can report 9 different conditions such as sunshine, thunderstorms, snow, debris, or heavy winds.
You can also view the 5 day forecast for your current location by simply swiping up. Users may also save their home and work locations to quickly view their forecasts.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
There are 2 co-founders. Myself, Abigail Mabe, and Dhruv Patel. I am the Lead Developer for Weatheristic and Dhruv Patel is the Back-end Developer. We met at community college when we started pursuing our degrees in computer science. Later, we both transferred to Old Dominion University where we worked on a research project together. We decided to pursue our idea for Weatheristic during the end of our senior year and throughout graduate school as we pursued our Master’s degrees in computer science.
How big is the entire team currently?
Just two developers. We like to code and this project has been a wonderful experience for us to gain new skills.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
We noticed people often post the weather in their area on social media. Why not give these weather posts their own platform? The app allows you to put a marker on the map that describes the current weather conditions. Much easier than listing your location on social media if you want to give anyone a heads up about the weather.
The idea for Weatheristic came from personal experiences. For example, I drove to college an hour away from my home and the weather would always be unpredictable when I got to campus. There would be a 10% chance of rain according to the forecast, but once I got to the parking lot it would be pouring down rain. I realized it would be super helpful if I could see what real time weather people were reporting.
What is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to?
Our target market is very broad. Similar to traffic apps, Weatheristic is an app that anyone would check before they leave the house. We plan to improve the app and add features relevant to specific groups, such as weather condition posts that reference what types of sports the weather is good for.
What are the marketing plans apart from the product hunt/beta list launch? How are you planning to acquire new users?
Weatheristic is in the early stages of gathering users and fine tuning the application so we really rely on word of mouth to gain users and get honest feedback. We plan to continue raising awareness about Weatheristic as we continue to grow ourselves as developers. One day, we hope to utilize the reported weather information to improve upon forecasts and weather alerts for our users. We also plan to create a blog to talk about our experiences as developers and to help other aspiring programmers to begin creating their own application, whether it be a web application or mobile application.
Do you have a separate dedicated team to take care of marketing (digital marketing/traditional marketing)? Which digital platforms are you focusing more on?
We do not have a separate team for marketing as we are just a tech team. Currently, we are focused on using Facebook and Instagram. We are planning to branch out to blogging as well.
What according to you is the biggest challenge that you faced? Is it product development or marketing or scaling or … ?
The biggest challenge has definitely been marketing. We are programmers, not marketing specialists. However, we understand that just because we are passionate about our project, it doesn’t mean everyone else will instantly be excited about it. The main feature of Weatheristic is community-based weather, so we need a good user base for the app to be effective.
Who are your competitors/alternatives? What sets you apart from them?
Other weather apps don’t highlight the community aspect. If they do provide community weather posting, it is often implemented as a small feature that does not have good UI or UX. Other weather apps can provide a more detailed forecast, but this is not the main point of Weatheristic.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
We plan to continuously improve Weatheristic, especially based on user feedback. A specific feature we have in mind is comparing the posted weather condition to the predicted weather condition. For example, if a user posts that there is heavy rain in an area, but the forecast says a 0% chance of rain, we want to bring this anomaly to the attention of Weatheristic users. We are also considering allowing users to post activities that the weather is great for. Like at the beach, a user may post that it is perfect weather for surfing based off of the temperature, wind speed, etc.
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