While social networks like Facebook connect you to past friends, and Twitter is a vessel for thoughts of the present, Nextt is an app/private network that helps plan events with your real friends (not of the Fakebook variety) for the future.
“We really define Nextt as a private network for close friends to create their future together in the real world,” says Mark McGuire, Nextt’s cofounder and the entrepreneur behind startups like Jellyfish and NameProtect.com. “I just see a need for social technology to look at, not only the past and the present, but also the future.
“There’s this debate in society right now about the impact of watching other people’s lives scroll by on our screens and how it creates envy and loneliness and all of these bad things. It’s why people want to quit social networking, but I don’t think the answer is unplugging. The answer is balancing your life a little more, and as an entrepreneur, I see this as an opportunity to develop an app that helps you connect more in the human world, and connect with face-to-face friends in order to do more things together in order to help balance all of these digital relationships we maintain. I think about Nexxt as your offline social network.”
To date, Nextt has raised over $1M in seed funding as McGuire launches his app on iOS today, with an Android version soon to follow.
“We all have these circles of friends and close family members, and I want Nextt to be that place where you come to connect with these people, and strengthen those bonds,” says McGuire. “I really fell passionately that the way to do that isn’t by sharing things openly on an open network, it’s by creating more experiences together. That’s the glue of relationships. What makes me feel close to somebody is experiencing things together with them. I see Nextt as a catalyst to make this face-to-face group a priority.”
And while there’s been innovation in terms of smart calendars and organizing your day-to-day activities, Nextt is here to actually help you and your friends organize a night out to the movies or plan your next skydiving adventure.
The app basically pulls the contact list from your phone, taking only into account those people who you have phone numbers or e-mail addresses attached, and gives you a place for you to network with these friends in order to plan events. Invites can be sent to not only those people in your private network with the Nextt app, but also those who haven’t signed up yet, making the app far more user friendly than if it forced everyone in your circle to also have an account.
“You might see a friend right now and talk about something you want to do, but then the plans get lost in the noise of life,” says McGuire. “Things slip through the cracks with e-mail or texts, so with Nextt’s feature set, we’ve designed something to help you plan something, record those plans in our platform, and have a workflow to get those plans across the finish line to where those plans actually end up on your calendar.
“Maybe you’re walking down the street and you see a cool cigar store and you want to go smoke some cigars with your buddies. All you do is pull out your phone and capture the idea and either save it to yourself in your bucket list of things you want to do in the future, or you can start to socialize it with the friends who you specifically want to attend that event. We’re trying to socially organize the real world. Here you can throw out an idea, see who is interested in it, and those who are interested can go about finalizing the ideas of the where, the when, and the who’s coming. Once those details are finalized, you set it as a plan, and in just a few steps, you’re using the online world to make offline events really happen so that you can make real-world friendships more of a priority.”