Day 1 in Austin Recap

I’m digging Austin so far. SXSW events kick off today, so aside from my badge pick up and some check-ins (literal and virtual) yesterday was pretty light and gave me some perspective and the ability to scout around a bit.  Even with the light activity, my phones never stopped buzzing and there were more streams of notifications coming in than ever before.  Have to figure out a charging strategy … added an Enercell (thanks Ricky!) as a starting point.

Here’s a quick recap of my first day in town …

Farmer's Market Breakfast @ The Four Seasons
Mandatory visit to Mellow Johnny's
Shrimp Po Boy @ Perla's
The Sampler @ Iron Works BBQ

Firespotter Labs launches their first product – Nosh

Today, Firespotter labs has revealed their first product called Nosh. As you may know, Firespotter is a spinout of some former Googler’s including Craig Walker of Google Voice / Grand Central fame. They received funding from Google Ventures in April of this year and sprinted towards this month with their initial release.

So what is Nosh? Well it’s a social recommendation system for restaurants and food, though unlike other services which focus on the restaurant, Nosh is looking to get down to the item level. This detail will provide much better insight into what’s good and importantly what’s not so great at restaurants all around you.

They’ve posted a nice video overview which I’ll share here to give you the full pitch.

Nosh: Three Dinners from Firespotter Labs on Vimeo.

Nosh works on both Android and iPhone which is great. The experience is quite similar across both systems. Here’s how it works – First either browse your feed for interesting posts and pictures to find what’s good to eat nearby. Or if you like you can explore the local establishments in the directory or even add your own. When you get to the place you’ve decided to dine, you can add the item you’ve chosen, give it a quick rating and snap a pic. Everything is synced up on the Nosh website though I believe you need to be initiating posts via mobile to confirm (via GPS) that you were in fact there …


While Nosh is just getting started, it’s a very interesting service. The goal of Nosh and Firespotter according to Mr. Walker is to empower users with information in industries that are ripe for change. Given that the essential dining and discovery experience has stayed the same for quite a while, they prioritized Nosh as their first shot. There are currently about 150,000 menus in the system to ease the process of reviews, but there’s also quite a bit missing, which isn’t a ding it’s just the reality of starting something so large.  I look forward to sharing and learning from you … be sure to add me as a buddy if you signup, I’m just getting started myself.