Back in 2006, Andy Grignon had left his printed out directions for his meeting at the office and he was already en route to his destination. So he picked up his prototype phone and looked up his route on Google Maps. It was this “aha” moment when he realized that the top-secret project that would become the iPhone in 2007 would change the way people live.
Grignon was a key member of the team Steve Jobs assembled to create the iPhone, which did almost instantly revolutionize the way the world communicates. But the App Store, and even the concept of mobile gaming, weren’t part of the initial blue print for the device. These types of insights were shared by Grignon in front of a packed audience at the Chevrolet Tweet House at SXSW 2014, which was held at Mellow Johnny’s bike shop in Austin.
Grignon has teamed up with Apple alums William Bull, who designed the iPod Classic, and Jeremy Wyld, who launched iOS, iPhone and iPad; to create the next big thing in social media. He offered an exclusive sneak peek of his start-up, Eightly, at the invite-only event.
Eightly has been designed to seamlessly allow anyone – with absolutely no programming or Web site creation experience – to instantly build out interactive channels filled with photos, videos, audio and text. Grignon’s team has designed the Eightly Experience Engine, which is the foundation on which every individual’s story will be built. The key to the mainstream success of this new operating system is its use of pictures and symbols to quickly build out channels around anything, whether it’s a unique take on New Orleans Cajun cuisine via photographs or a video series that explores the latest technology innovations from Austin, TX. And it only takes minutes to achieve today what it might have taken hours or days for professionals to accomplish yesterday.
Grignon has watched social media explode – in large part because of the smartphone revolution he helped spark – as everyone instantly shares pictures, videos and thoughts with the world through outlets like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Vine. But what he believes is missing from this socially connected society is true creativity. With Eightly, if you can dream it, you can bring it to life. It’s as simple as pointing and clicking to build out feature-rich, interactive experiences that celebrate every aspect of life.
Eightly fit in nicely with SXSW 2014, as start-ups in gaming, technology and new business were a key focal point for the convention. Grignon’s newest venture also connected with the dawn of 4G LTE vehicles. Chevrolet showcased a 2014 Impala, equipped with 2015 technology, that features high speed Internet, which will drive off assembly lines this summer. The ability for connected vehicles to provide passengers instant access online will allow future Eightly users to use laptops, tablets and even smartphones to share their lives through personal channels from the road.
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John Gaudiosi is editorial director for shacknews.com. As a seasoned games journalists who contributes to Fortune, CNN, Money, AOL and Gamerhub.tv., John has covered the world of video games for nearly 20 years.