Visually striking web application and startup, Streetgram, allows users to search for Instagram photos based on tags. Users are presented with a map, a search box, and a horizontal row of photos at the bottom of the browser to begin their search.
There are similar web apps although Streetgram does an excellent job visually as well as drawing photos from sites like Instagram, Tumblr, and Flickr. If you’re a visual person like me, then you can spend a lot time inputting search elements just to see what kinds of images you can come up with.
This Naples, Italy based startup was founded by Daniele Piccone and he’s got a slick community manager and cool hunter named Valeria Granillo helping him steer the ship. I had a chance to speak to Piccone and Granillo about their bootstrapped startup and what it’s like in Napes. Here’s some of what they shared with me:
How did Streetgram go from an idea to a startup?
I had some spare time in my web design activity so I started exploring the Instagram API. Since I was not using Instagram on the phone at the time I built a web interface for personal use, then I mixed it up with another web app I made which was based on OpenStreetMaps and what I got was Streetgram. Then, I bought a domain, some web space, deployed it and I am still constantly working on it.
What do you know now about launching a startup that you wish you would have known when the idea for Streetgram first came to you?
Some important things that we missed were about planning. It was really difficult to work both for clients’ projects and for Streetgram and to keep everything under the deadlines, mostly because when you run a startup business you are looking for opportunities, and those come unexpectedly.
What’s the worst piece of advice someone gave you regarding running a business?
Mostly that everything has already been made.
How are you funding Streetgram?
Until now we are funding everything by ourselves since the expenses are really low for a web-related business. Some extra funding came from the advertisers interested in this project, but mainly we are looking for interesting partnerships.
What sets Streetgram apart from the competition?
There are a lot of Instagram search engines on the web, but we dreamt about building a community around a lifestyle. Instagram itself it’s a product which has a strong emotional approach which is meant to fit a specific group of people which prefer creativity over technology.
How do you see Streetgram evolving from what it offers users currently?
We are working to two products that will be out in the next months. Also, we want to keep the search-engine approach, while for the other one we are looking to build a community platform.
Have you been surprised by the way some users are interacting with Streetgram that wasn’t initially anticipated?
Yes, I was thinking mainly of running a single screen AJAX search panel, but I finished up with a complete app. Users are linking our pictures from their blogs and use our rss feed for receiving updates on a tag. Very cool.
What are the advantages of being based out of Naples?
Naples is a strange city that has a lot to offer but you have to know where to go and when mostly because there is a lot of visual and acoustic noise. The advantage of recognizing that is that you learn how to address that creatively to make your own way.
If I were limited to only a 48 hour visit in Naples, where should I go and what should I do?
I would spend one day in the historical center to have a glimpse of the local culture and history and the next day probably would be worth spending for a visit to Capri or Amalfi Coast.
Do you feel surrounded by other tech startups in Naples?
We see that there is a lot of creativity here and more and more people have the opportunity to realize their ideas mostly in the IT field. Some are good ideas and some others are not-so-good, ha.
What culture are you most interested in experiencing that you haven’t already visited?
We are interested in northern European culture as well as the Japanese culture. In those countries there is a peculiar way of crafting products that is more responsible and more user-centered. It’s definitely a winning approach in the modern market.
Do you have any favorite tunes you guys are rocking in the office right now?
John Talabot – Destiny ft. Pional, Caribou – Jamelia, Mount Kimbie – Would Know, Four Tet – She moves she, Telefon Tel Aviv – I Made a Tree on the World.
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Courtesy of startup founder Daniele Piccone | Streetgram