Appchieve it or it didn’t happen
The new Finnish app for sharing experiences started as the idea of a bored young man who decided to create his own bucket list. Then he thought, “Why not make this a game?”
If it’s not on Appchieve, it didn’t happen at all. Appchieve co-founder Jan-Mikael Nokelainen knows that the phrase might sound a little dramatic for some, but that’s what the company is aiming for.
“We acknowledge that the idea might make some uncomfortable,” he points out. “But that’s our underlining message: Appchieve is The Place where you can prove and share your achievements.”
Appchieve is, like it says on the tin, an app which enables people to collect points and rewards for their life events. Each achievement needs to be validated: for example, if you say you’ve been to the Niagara Falls, your GPS needs to verify your location, or if you’ve given birth to a child, your friends and family should confirm it really happened. The bigger the achievement, the more evidence is required.
The history of Appchieve began when CEO Joonas Griesinger found himself a little bored on a regular afternoon two years ago. He started wondering what kinds of things he’d want to be reminiscing about in a rocking chair when he’s old, and wrote his personal bucket list.
“Joonas has played a lot of games in his life, and he wondered why there wasn’t a way to bring elements of gaming to everyday life,” Nokelainen explains. “That way you could play the biggest game of all: life itself.”
Griesinger introduced the thought to Nokelainen and Daniel Griesinger. Soon, the guys formed the founding trio of the startup.
From small to life-changing moments
Appchieve isn’t about bragging what you’ve done and where you’ve been – at least exclusively. It also wants to help people find new things to do and try. For example, in Helsinki the range of challenges includes island hopping and a statue hunt around town, as well as visiting every single district in the capital. Hence, it’s not only for tourists but locals looking for activities, too.
“Challenges vary from very small ones, like visiting an attraction or things you can do at home, to climbing Mount Everest and getting married,” Nokelainen explains.
As the app is free of charge for consumers, the revenue is collected from companies that want to grab the public’s attention. Companies can encourage consumers to try their services by advertising them on Appchieve or offering discounts or other benefits to users, similarly to Foursquare.
Municipalities and city councils can utilise the platform as well. On top of being a marketing and social media platform, Appchieve is about creating communities. Companies may use the app to track the performance and award the success of their employees, and so can teachers with their students.
“Appchieve can be used in education and learning as well, and those collecting enough achievements can rise to mentors.”
Also, after gathering a certain number of points, people can start creating their own challenges and share them with others. This enables crowdsourcing information about local sights and activities.
Location doesn’t matter, communities do
There are some social media users who’ve found themselves overwhelmed with sharing their lives online, and hence choose to keep personal things away from social media. Facebook has been concerned about this, too.
This doesn’t worry Nokelainen. He points out that the huge popularity of Pokémon Go shows how gamification can make people move.
“The elements of gaming appeal to young people, and we’ll be adding more and more of them as we proceed. In the long run, we’re looking into the possibilities brought about by augmented and virtual reality.”
Those who don’t wish to share their personal achievement with others can do so by setting their accounts to private mode or decide whom they allow onto their list of followers.
“There are people who want to shine a light on what they’ve done and share it with as many as possible, and there are others who aren’t competitive at all and want to keep their personal lives to themselves. Appchieve caters for both.”
At the moment, the app can be downloaded in Europe. Nokelainen believes the market potential to be huge, especially in the US and Asia, but the waters are being tested nearer to home first. He mentions that the Asian market can’t be conquered without help from locals.
“Appchieve isn’t location-specific,” he says. “For us, communities, hobbies and groups of friends are what it all boils down to.”
Text: Anne Salomäki