Founders of Steel City Buzz
What are your backgrounds and how did you come up with the SCB concept?
Bill Hinchey – Rob Phillips and I went to 1st grade together in Elizabeth Township just outside of McKeesport and we’ve been friends ever since. Rob’s background is selling data services to large companies and I have been entrepreneur and marketing guy. The idea for SCB was simple – we wanted a social network that was just about Pittsburgh sports. We were tired of all the NOISE that you have to wade through on Facebook and Twitter. So, we built our own and we are psyched to bring Steel City Buzz to Pittsburgh fans all over the world.
Describe Steel City Buzz and why you think Pittsburgh fans will use it?
Rob Phillips – Here is SCB in a nutshell – It is a virtual stadium, where you get to pick who you sit with! We created a place that you can chat with an entire nation of Pittsburgh fans OR just a couple of your friends. We’ve included local media personalities and current and past Pros like Chris Hoke, Louis Lipps and Lawrence Timmons. Our app is free, easy-to-use and you can personalize the experience. That means you can block content, invite and create friend circles, and share posts on Facebook and Twitter. We also provide real-time scores and we will be rolling out new features on almost a weekly basis.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Bill Hinchey – Software development is just hard. The end product should look simple-to-use and be “seamless” or “intuitive”. But the process of getting the app to look and feel that way as well as perform at a high level is a major challenge. Oh, and one more thing, you only get one chance to do it right or you’re toast!
You have a lot of celebs and pro players on your app. What has that experience been like?
Rob Phillips – Working with guys like Mel Blount, Peter Taglianetti, Chris Hoke, Louie Lipps has been one of the best parts of this journey. We had ZERO idea if they would want to be a part of a social network or even talk to us. What we found is that they loved the idea of connecting to Pittsburgh fans and talking about the sport that was that loved so much. Each one of them has a great story and SCB gives them a chance to share some of themselves with the best fans on the planet.
How many downloads or users are on Steel City Buzz?
Rob Phillips – We don’t disclose that information but I can tell you that we are seeing a tremendous uptick in downloads, and we built our network to handle well over 100,000 users. We have partners in place who can scale up in literally 24 hours of notice. We will be ready as more of Steeler Nation comes knocking at our door!
What is next for Steel City Buzz?
Bill Hinchey – We’ve built a great platform that is available on the web and on every mobile device – iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet. Now our focus is to get the word out to Pittsburgh fans and let them create a social network that is full of great content. Our tag line is Chat, Rant, Rave 24/7 and lately it been more RANT with the collapse of the Pirates and the two Steeler losses. That’s ok. At least fans have a ONE place to go and get it out of their system. We also want to create a charity component to raise money for charities such as The Mel Blount Youth Home. Honestly, we have only shown fans the “tip of the iceberg”; there is so much more to come.
What is the best way to reach you guys?
Rob Phillips — Fans can download SCB directly from our website at www.steelcitybuzz.com and can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Other inquires can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org