Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’

07May – Doing it for the little guy.

I recently got an email from Jim Benton informing me about his new “social guide to Chicago” (for lack of a better phrase). The site is based on the wiki model meaning anyone can come and add or edit any of the information on the website.

Jim had the idea about two years ago after being dissatisfied with the current listing options in Chicago.

I was trying to find a list of thrift stores in Chicago a few years ago, and I was unable to find a decent list anywhere on the internet- I found this surprising. Also, I have always been annoyed by most of the existing local search options, as when I search for ‘coffee’ I get about 20 Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I found this frustrating, because in Chicago we are lucky to have lots of excellent places that roast their own beans, but they are always buried in search listings. I wanted it to be easy to find the places that make Chicago a unique, interesting place to live.

It’s really great to see startups harnessing the knowledge of groups of people to help other people, and small businesses out. The indylist does this wonderfully.

To date the only money spent has been on hosting although I was told that if someone wanted a similar site developed it would have cost roughly $15k.

Starting off on his own, Jim is now working with 3 others on the website. Justin Siddons, Jon Sestak, and Phil Kalas. Justin handles the graphic design work, Jim does the programming, and Phil and Jon are taking care of the business and marketing aspects of the site.

It’s a great little startup and they’re doing some good things that are benefiting a lot of people. If you live in or are planning on visiting Chicago check them out and give them some love.

Tags:   , ,