I had the opportunity to speak with Ryan Traeger, CEO of Achvr, last night at the Boston gdgt live event. First, the event is a mini-show that showcases a wide variety of products available or coming soon in the gadget accessory market. Events are held in a variety of cities throughout the year. Last night's event showcased Sonos, SkyDrive, Western Digital, Cobra Electronics, Escort, Flytenow, FormLabs, iRobot, Phiatron, Roku, SKIT!, Tagboard and Withings. Second, while not all the products are Macintosh- or iOS-relevant, there were quite a few that intersect with those markets.
Boston-based Achvr, founded last year, is an iOS app and website in beta that is a new social media platform that focuses on things you want to accomplish, such as visit a different country, skydive, see a particular movie or knit a sweater. According to Ryan, folks list what they want to do and share it with their Facebook and email friends who will help to achieve and support the endeavors. You can sign into the site or use the iPhone app using either Facebook or your email address.
The Achvr app comes with 15 life categories, including music, vehicles, science & tech, sports and travel. Each category is populated with different activities. The beta launch news released Oct. 9 focuses on the gaming aspect of Achvr. Ryan says that "We were inspired by the idea of gamifying every aspect of life ... by building game mechanics on top of existing social networks, we're finding new ways to motivate people to live happier lives." When I spoke with Ryan, he focused more on how Achvr brings together a variety of different services into one app and site and how it is easier to accomplish something you want to do when you have support from friends. You can also find like-minded friends not only to see what goals you have in common, but also to do things together.
When you complete a task, you're awarded points. You can "use" those points as a self-reward or as a competitive measure against friends. I'm not crazy about the competitive aspect of the point system, because I'm not a very competitive person, but you might enjoy that aspect of Achvr.
Ryan told me that they hope to include your friends and contacts from Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other social media-oriented sites as the app develops. Another idea in the works is that the things you want to do that cost money can be tied into discount deals that can appear in your desired activities. It could be links to deals or coupons, but that part of the mix has yet to be added.
Achvr is kind of a mix of Facebook, Schemer, Groupon and your bucket list all rolled into one. I think it will be popular because it puts a variety of activities in one place where you can find more information, get support and share your progress with others. It is a more targeted support system for your life.
Currently the iOS app only runs on the iPhone (iOS 6 or later), but you can use your iPad or Mac to log into the website. The free Achvr app is available in the iTunes store.
The tagline on the site sums up the Achvr intent: "First-time experiences are the key to living a happier, more fulfilled life. Turn 'I want to do it' into 'I've done it.'"