You probably don’t have a car, but this is still pretty cool
If you haven’t yet heard of ParkAlly, you should check it out. Designed by three really smart Columbians—Zach Reitano, Mason Silber, and Sid Shanker—the application’s goal is to make parking easy by allowing users to find and exchange parking spots, among other things.
After entering the app in the NYC BigApps competition, which is determined by popular vote, they are currently in sixth place with 990 votes so far—and could use your help to make their dreams come true. (Note that you can register or login with Facebook, and that you can vote once a day for 16 more days by clicking here.)
After watching their remarkable video, we asked these three gentlemen a few questions about their experience developing the application.
How did you come up with the idea for the app?
Zachariah and Mason were sitting in Starbucks where Mason mentioned the NYC BigApps competition and that he wanted to use parking data to notify people of the regulations. This spurred Zachariah’s idea of a free market exchange of parking spaces and the potential for highly-valued temporal advertising—the combination of their ideas led to the creation of ParkAlly. Mason soon approached Sid and they’ve been working together since.
Motivated by a desire to rid all cities of the aimless search for parking, reduce carbon emissions, and limit congestion, we built and designed ParkAlly. It is free and a necessity for everyone looking for parking who has ever attempted to follow the man with the dangling car keys or sit double parked on a Tuesday morning waiting for the cleaning truck to pass.
What was the most difficult part of making the app?
Time! We worked 6-10 hours a day most days, and it is draining. In terms of technical challenges, the hardest part was probably setting up the real-time chat stuff, as well as parsing through NYC’s parking data. The data is so horrendous and it had over 700,000 pieces of data to parse. It was pretty hellish (no offense NYC).
What happens if you win?
We will have some sort of celebration with pounds of medium rare steak.
We have big plans for ParkAlly and anticipate adding significant functionalites. We would devote a large proportion of the winnings to working toward our goal—although, given how little sleep this project has allowed us, I think we might be able to write off an espresso machine as a business expense.
If this doesn’t pan out, would any of you consider being an actor?
Mason got the girl in the video and we don’t see why he couldn’t do it on the big screen.
Zachariah could not keep a straight face, so we doubt it.
Sid is just a hard body with no real acting chops, so he would probably stick to modeling.
Disclosure: Sid Shanker is the creator of EventSalsa, which is in partnership with the Columbia Daily Spectator and Spectrum.
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