Trapster: A free police detector for your mobile phone! Drivers share the location of police speed traps, DUI checkpoints, and other roadway wallet hazards in real time. Trapster was the original “driver’s social network”, the “Waze before Waze”.
Trapster was built as an experiment in 2003, launched it in 2007, scaled it to more than 10,000,000 users, and acquired by Nokia in 2010.
On a shoestring budget, Trapster quietly led the charts over VC funded apps such as Foursquare ($162MM raised) and direct competitor Waze ($67MM raised), in most every objective metric – daily downloads, daily active users, daily user generated inputs. Daily downloads were as high as 50,000, and rarely less than 15,000.
Trapster spread virally through word of mouth and the press, because it was a simple solution to a real problem millions of people have: speeding tickets.
Trapster was featured 100s of times on live TV, including Fox National News, CNN, MSNBC, and many local channels in the US and abroad. It was covered on the front page of the WSJ, NY Times, USA Today, and also Wired, MotorTrend, Car and Driver, and 100s of other publications.
Trapster active usage was off the charts at the time the company was sold. From Lebanon to Los Angeles, Sydney to San Francisco, Berlin to Boca Raton, Trapster was truly a global phenomenon.
* CNET #1 automotive iPhone app
* Time Magazine top 10 iPhone app for dads!
* WIRED #1 of apps that make the most of location
* TopGear #1 driving app
How did I contribute to the rapid growth of Trapster? The answer was Social Media Marketing, Press Outreach, and Product Management. 2009 was the perfect storm for launching a new mobile app. There were already Trapster apps created for BlackBerry and Nokia devices, so when the Apple iPhone came out, Trapster could be ported to the device and be one of the first apps available on iTunes. Besides Apple just getting into the mobile application game, Social Media was really becoming huge. Twitter was the leader, and Facebook was quickly catching up. Having the advantage of being available early on the iTunes App Store, and being one of the first companies to use Social Media to market, Trapster was poised for success.