Center’d’s New Category: Local Planning

Because of the apostrophe in Center’d, it turns the possessive version of the company’s name into something quite awkward. That bit aside, I caught up with Jen Dulski, CEO of Center’d a week or so ago. I was appropriately picking my 9 year old daughter up from school. I say appropriately because busy parents is the group — specifically moms — that the site is directed toward. 

Center’d emerged from the flames of the somewhat ill-conceived Fatdoor. (Here’s my original post from April.) I had several conversations with Dulski before launch but haven’t talked to her much since then. The site essentially created a new category: local planning. The tag line is: people, places, plans. 

Initially many analysts and tech bloggers didn’t know how to think about the site because it didn’t fit neatly into an established segment; it was a bit of this and a bit of that. But tech bloggers don’t matter as it turns out. Dulski told me that since launch and especially following a back to school campaign that Center’d did, it has seen great traction with 111% growth in September. 

The relevant blogging community turns out to be the “mommy bloggers,” (e.g., Manic Mommies) which Center’d has scored well with. It has also done well with mom-oriented publications such as RealSimple

What’s special about Center’d is the way the site pulls information about local venues and events already scheduled in your area. Events are searchable by category: sports, arts, family, festivals, conferences, etc. This is helpful information to have at your fingertips whether you’re looking to attend a fun event or simply avoid planning one on an already popular date.

Dulski knows her audience and Center’d has apparently been making gains across the US with word-of-mouth, not just in the SF Bay Area. And what’s interesting to me about the site is that it takes a demographic approach to local. It’s a category buster. 

The lesson here for others is: build your site around use cases or the needs of specific populations rather than building products in the abstract that respond more to online competitors than real-world situations. 

Dulski and I also spoke about a number of forthcoming things on the site and frankly I don’t remember what I can and can’t talk about — so I won’t. I’ll just say there’s more to come.

3 Responses to “Center’d’s New Category: Local Planning”

  1. Thomas Says:

    C’mon – 111% growth in September? Over what? When you’re starting with a tiny audience – as Center’d is – it doesn’t take much to double your user base. I’m happy to hear they are growing, but one has to take these percentages with a large grain of salt.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Clearly it’s from a small base. If you have 100 users and grow to 200, you’ve got 100% growth.

  3. Center’d Relaunch a Fresh Approach to Local « Screenwerk Says:

    […] to plan events, travel and evenings out. The tag line was “people, places, plans.” I wrote at the time (10/08): Center’d emerged from the flames of the somewhat ill-conceived Fatdoor. […]

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