HearBy, which launched its new and updated version today, answers the eternal question that hits everyone at some point in their lives. In the words of co-creator David Shuck:
"I’m on South Street right now, and what's the closest place I can go?"
Shuck and co-creator Matt Star became friends while living in L.A., but decided they were more interested in shopping and dining out. After teaching themselves how to code, they’ve created a new, unique website that’s exclusive to Philadelphia and aggregates reviews from different sources to provide a balanced way of evaluating where to eat or shop.
“It’s purely the sites that we like and the ones we think are the best representation of Philly,” Shuck, 23, said of the sources HearBy draws from. “It’s not done by bots scraping code or crawling through other sites.”
Like Rotten Tomatoes, HearBy ranks restaurants, clothing stores and other shopping destinations based on their aggregated rating from blogs and publications.
“What exists on this site is what I was doing by myself for five hours before I would go out,” Star, 24, explained. “We were aggregating this ourselves just by looking through multiple tabs in Google Chrome.”
The two programmers, who are funding the project themselves and are currently based in Ambler, Pa., were formerly roommates in L.A. Their experiences with city culture there sparked the idea for this kind of site.
“We went to this hole in the wall Guatemalan restaurant in L.A.,” Star recalled. “This wonderful older woman, who felt like your grandmother, was serving us and cooking at the same time. We were like, ‘Why don’t people know about this? This is amazing!’”