All Roads Lead to Flavortown: A Plethora of Proprietary Apps


If you’ve ever surfed basic cable for more than forty seconds, chances are you’ve stumbled across the Food Network program Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Triple-D follows bleached-blond grease enthusiast Guy Fieri, as he travels across this great nation in search of “the most interesting and unique restaurants” he can find.

The show’s been a smash hit, spanning 17 seasons and showcasing hundreds of restaurants. With all the great spots featured on the show, it’s only natural for viewers to want to have their own map to Guy’s Flavortowns. The Food Network hesitated, and several independent developers leapt in to make their own. There are currently no less than 11 iPhone applications on the iTunes store devoted to mapping the locations featured on the show. There are even more for tracking food shows like Anthony Bourdain’s No ReservationsMan vs. Food, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Chowdown Countdown, amongst others.

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The proprietary location app market gets even more saturated when you include print sources like blogs, magazines, and newspapers. Serious Eats has an app, The New York Times has an app, Food and Wine has an app, Bon Appetit has an app–having a dedicated app to host your content is the new standard, but is it really the most useful? If I want to follow the reviews of six different sources, I have to download six separate apps even though they have relatively similar design and the only difference between them is the content (text and pictures).

But as we see in the Diners apps, that content is valuable and useful enough to warrant all the fuss of building almost a dozen different apps. If there was one standard platform that all of the content providers could post on–in lieu of making a proprietary app–it would be better for users because they wouldn’t have to switch between multiple apps/sites to get what they want and better for content providers because they wouldn’t have to invest in developing their own app that was just going to be lost in the noise anyways.

That’s what we hope HearBy can accomplish. One app for all your sources and the best way to Flavortown (or somewhere else if you find Flavortown disgusting).


About deshuck

Startup founder, filmmaker, jean blogger, typewriter enthusiast.

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