Editor’s note: We’re sharing the stories of the apps and developers who were chosen to receive early access to the Layer service.
Today’s Q&A is with WillCall co-founder and CEO Donnie Dinch and head of product Emmanuel Pozo. WillCall is a sleek app that’s redefining the entire experience of finding and attending the best concerts in San Francisco and New York. Making the process totally frictionless. Talk to someone who uses WillCall and they’ll tell you the WillCall team has nailed it. We chose WillCall to be among the first apps with access to Layer for two reasons. First, because the social nature of watching live music performed naturally lends itself to benefiting from rich, in-app communications. And second, because this team has a massive vision. We can’t wait to see what Donnie, Emmanuel and the rest of WillCall do with Layer.
Layer: So what does WillCall do?
Donnie: We curate the best shows in San Francisco and New York and make it easy to get through the door. Inside the venue, we’re looking at ways to remove friction from every single transaction and interaction that happens during the course of a live show.
Layer: How did the idea for WillCall come about?
Donnie: We were sitting around listening to KEXP, a great radio station in Seattle, when the Shout Out Louds, easily one of my favorite bands at the time, played a set in the studio. I was pretty upset that I didn’t know until that moment that they were in town and this sparked a whole discussion on why we didn’t see more shows. We wondered if lack of awareness was an industry-wide problem. Once we started looking at the friction associated with finding and getting into shows, we found a lot more points of friction during the concert experience to address.
Layer: That’s a story anyone who goes to concerts can relate to. What do your users love most about WillCall?
Emmanuel: They love that it’s really well-designed and it makes the process of finding out which shows to go to and buying tickets extremely easy.
Layer: Why’s now the time for WillCall? What trends have enabled your success?
Donnie: Now, more than ever, people are way more comfortable with purchasing via mobile devices. With Rdio, Spotify, YouTube — more music is being surfaced now than ever before, people are listening to more music than ever before, and there are more live shows than ever before. There’s a definite need for curation from a trusted source.
Layer: What’s surprised you most about the way people use WillCall?
Emmanuel: When we originally launched, we thought it would be a utility that ran in the background. We assumed people would come to the app only after receiving a push notification. It was surprising to us to see that people open up WillCall without being prompted — our users have started to rely on us as the resource for what to do.
Layer: That’s amazing. How do you think rich communications will make WillCall better?
Emmanuel: There are a lot of logistics that go into coordinating a night out — the rich communications available via Layer will enable us to keep this coordination inside the WillCall app in a very streamlined and intuitive way.
Layer: Any closing thoughts?
Donnie: We’re really impressed by the Layer team and what you’re building. Integrating with Layer allows us to focus on our core offering instead of trying to tackle building our own in-app messaging solution.
Emmanuel: There’s a ton of customization available, and you clearly built this with developers in mind. We like that it integrates so well into WillCall that it seems like a native part of our app. As a company that puts a very high value on simplicity and smart design, that’s really important to us.