Seth Priebatsch began his first company at age 12. Now, he has focused all his efforts on the creation of SCVNGR, an up and coming Smartphone application whereby completing challenges, users can earn rewards at local businesses.
Seth came on the scene after winning an entrepreneur contest at Princeton when he was 19. After receiving endorsements from companies like Highland Capital Partners, he called his mother to tell her he was dropping out of Princeton. Like any mother, she was upset at the news…until she heard his business pitch. She realized that this idea might just take off.
Compared to Facebook’s 500 million users, SCVNGR is currently around 500,000 users. The application just became available internationally, which is likely to boost users. Sales executive Michael Hagan said that SCVNGR made more than $1 million in the last year.
Seth is a dedicated guy, living in his office and sleeping in a sleeping bag under his desk most nights. Surprisingly, the doormat to his office is a child’s racecar mat, complete with roads for model car driving. Seth is known for keeping stringent work schedule of seven days a week, running each morning. Surprisingly, Seth does not have a host of friends outside of work and says that nothing is produced from spending a few hours with a friend. That statement is telling of how successful Seth may eventually be. He is truly willing to put in the time to get to where he wants to go.
So what is the SCVNGR application like? According to its website, “SCVNGR is as much a game as it is a massive experiment in building a mobile game together. We want to build the game layer on top of the world.” Smartphone users can login from their phones using the application and once the application learns their location, participating businesses in the area pop up on a list. Then, once the user selects a place, they can pick a challenge to earn points. Some challenges consist of taking a picture of the business, posting a comment, or ‘bumping’ phones with a friend at the location. After earning points, they can be used for rewards at some locations, for instance free coffee at your favorite local joint.
SCVNGR is also a unique media tool, allowing you to connect through Facebook or Twitter to share your progress with friends. This application has the foundation to do what the website states, creating a massive “Game layer on top of the world.” And Seth Priebatsch might just have the skills to do it.
Sutter, J. “The modern tech CEO: Barefoot and 21”. CNN.