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We all need a social platform to keep us connected to the people and places we love the most—but big tech platforms have failed to improve our social lives. That’s what prompted our founders Sean Conrad (an engineer) and Jesse Berns (an epidemiologist and data scientist) to dream that day about how they might use software, data science, magic, and our smartphones to make people feel better. Like, actually better. 

Social Media spent the last decade isolating us from our friends and communities—and that loneliness has really started to degrade our “norms”, social structures, and ability to self-govern.

So Sean and Jesse went back to Portland (Oregon, not Maine), and got to work with the simple premise that our real-world connections matter, that people matter—and ended up with a very different kind of social app.

Here’s what they decided that app should do for you:

  • See your available friends at different times of the day by sharing if/when you’re free.
  • Easily make plans in the real world without the complexity of juggling different services by simply selecting available friends in-app.
  • Highlight stuff for you to do by what you’re interested in: from coffee and crafts to LARPing (why not).
  • Confidently do stuff without fear of expending social capital, or being paralyzed by FOMO
  • Trust the platform with your data.

That last one was particularly important. Go had to respect you and your data. And so, it does. We take many steps to ensure that it’s only shown to other users who you want to. Any personal data that you share with us is only used to power the platform; it’ll never be sold to any other company.

Back to Portland. Only one problem: the US was handling the COVID-19 pandemic terribly. It became increasingly hard to encourage face-to-face interactions, and so the pair made the difficult decision to find somewhere more responsible.

Now, why Auckland? That decision rests on a combination of data, pandemic response, and an epidemiologist founder: “From [that] point of view, choosing Auckland was an obvious choice and we’re really excited to launch here first. New Zealand has really effectively handled the pandemic and because of that, people enjoy the level of social freedom that we needed to launch Go,” says Jesse. “Beyond that, Auckland shares a lot of similarities with Portland, with a comparable metro area and demographic make-up,” adds Sean. And with the cities’ similar cultural vibes, the choice was easy.

Plus, everyone in Auckland seems pretty great.
Making people feel better and more connected depressingly sounds too good to be true, but not anymore. We’re live in Auckland. And we’ll be live where you are soon. You can download the app and see for yourself in the iOS App Store in Auckland or on anywhere on Google Play.

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