And family of Shindigz owner joins his new adventure in app market
Story by Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette | Published: October 14, 2012
Shep Moyle knows parties. And the Shindigz CEO knows a million-dollar idea when he has one. At least, his family hopes so. Shep, his wife, Wendy,and their three children have officially gone into business together to develop, launch and market mobile applications – or apps. The first, Party Crashers, is now available for free download at Apple’s App Store. An Android version is scheduled to launch in late November.
Make no mistake, the Moyles hope their $500,000 investment leads to a profit someday. But the business venture is also a personal adventure for the Fort Wayne family. Madison, Chase and Max are getting a crash course in creating and executing a business strategy. And, like the family’s primary business, the app’s success rests on people’s love of parties. “We think this could transform the way people can connect,” Shep Moyle said.
Shindigz sells party supplies worldwide. Items include decorations, invitations, plates, napkins and thousands of other items in almost every color imaginable. The South Whitley company’s website suggests party themes, offers recipes and markets everything needed for elaborate high school proms.
Party Crashers takes a more active role in bringing people together to enjoy those party supplies. The app allows users to invite other users to parties, reply to invitations and even request invitations. But it goes far beyond that. Each user creates a profile that includes favorite drinks, snacks and music. After inviting guests, a host can access those profiles to help in planning music and drafting a shopping list. The host’s own profile includes independent ratings of how awesome – or awful – his previous parties were. The app, which is tied into Twitter, works for those who plan ahead and those who suddenly find themselves free on a Friday night.
Users can check a map of the area to see what’s going on. Parties that are posted as “crashable” by the host are visible. The prospective partygoer can see how many of his friends are at each gathering. Users add friends to their Party Crashers network through their Facebook friends list or cellphone directory. If he wants to crash the bash, he sends a request to the host, who can quickly approve or decline. If his request is approved, the crasher is given the party’s address.
Guests who are at a party can rate it, helping others decide whether to stop by. That last feature was Chase Moyle’s idea. He’s a 17-year-old senior at Canterbury High School. Madison, a 20-year-old sophomore at Duke University in Durham, N.C., suggested allowing users to see where their friends are partying.
And Max, a 14-year-old freshman at Canterbury, suggested “gamification” – allowing users to build up points with each use to go from novice status to being king or queen of the party. The Party Crashers concept was born about a year ago, around the Moyles’ dinner table.
Madison admitted that her dad’s idea didn’t resonate with her at first. “Growing up, my Dad would always throw out big ideas at our family dinners and tell us to start working on them because they would change the way the world functioned,” she wrote in an email from Duke. “So hearing this idea was similar to the previous ones in that I never fully expected the idea to come to fruition.”