Charlie Turner thinks that a good idea is worthless.
“Everyone has an idea,” Turner said. “Execution and implementation is everything.”
Turner’s idea, Go Where I Go (GWIG), allows friends to refer service-based small businesses to others and allows those same businesses to quantify word of mouth referrals, which Turner, a small business owner himself, always knew was the best advertising.
Turner does not, however, play into the typical app culture like many of the other startups at the DIG South conference in Charleston this week. Being user-centric and creating social media buzz have been put on the backburner or delegated in order to focus on serving small businesses first.
“I come from the world of small business, so I feel the pain of a small business owner,” Turner said. For GWIG, the usual sales pitch of “download my free app” is not the approach, but rather “to be a small business solution that is implemented through an app,” according to Turner.
The genesis of GWIG does have a familiar backstory, though - solving a problem that one has personal experience with. As an optometrist, Turner was trying to solve his own problem of capturing the numbers behind referral business, but soon realized the power of psychology behind the moment when a referral happens. With people talking about a product, experience or other good 90 times a day, GWIG could satisfy both a subscriber demand and a user demand.
Turner also pointed out that a referral is a win-win for both subscribers and users.
“In the world of reputation, I believe that your story is best told by those who love you.
A review is an opinion. It is not a referral,” which is why Turner calls GWIG “the happy app.”
The ability to hone in on the moment of referral and make it of value to first the subscriber and then the user has now racked up more than 100,00 miles of travel for Turner over the past year and a projected 1 million new downloads of the app in the medical field alone for 2015-16.
As GWIG scales up, Turner said he has all tools he needs to stay put in Charleston.
“I have never felt that we couldn’t grow here,” Turner said. “I didn’t have a problem raising money. I didn’t have a problem finding a software team. Everything I needed was here. I have never once said I want to move, and I don’t want to."