Sit or squattawa

Scanning OTTORLOOMAP%20168X33.jpg the Ontario Technology Corridor
by tony

I am grateful to my friend Arthur Cordell for the following clip from the New York Times, which includes a link to this site. I offer it here as an example of how swiftly the Net can move an interesting idea from conception to implementation. In two months this New York-generated potty pointer has been adapted to Ottawa and points west along the Corridor (clustered densely in Toronto-Markham-Mississauga), but oddly (and uncomfortably) not yet in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Seeing Profit in Need to Locate a Toilet
A New York couple is betting on the idea that at least one thing is recession-proof: demand for a convenient and clean public toilet. SitOrSquat, an ad-supported Web site and mobile application created by Danika Landers and Jonathan Glanz, delivers a handy listing of public bathrooms in various cities, from the ones at Starbucks to Saks Fifth Avenue. The mobile version uses an iPhone or BlackBerry's location detection capability to find nearby bathrooms. ''Think of it as a restaurant review site, but for toilets,'' Mr. Glanz said. The site's database is generated by users, and people can add short descriptions and photos and indicate whether cleanliness levels make it advisable to ''sit'' or ''squat.''

Ms. Landers, a 28-year-old graphic designer, came up with the idea. Mr. Glanz, who is a software engineer, developed an application for the iPhone, and the pair released it in early November.
Since then, Ms. Landers says, the application has taken off. An estimated 25,000 users have downloaded it, and traffic on the Web site reached 1.2 million page views last month. That was enough to persuade Ms. Landers to quit her job of 18 months, giving up a salary of roughly $50,000 a year, to focus her efforts on SitOrSquat full time.
In a start-up landscape that is rockier than ever for tech entrepreneurs, some see iPhone applications as something of a golden ticket. However with more than 10,000 iPhone applications available for download in the iTunes store, the odds of a developer becoming an overnight success are slim. But at the very least, Ms. Landers says, the experience will be resume- and portfolio-bolstering. ''If I don't make it, this is me paying for a second education,'' she said, ''almost like grad school.'' Ms. Landers says she plans to give the venture four months before she starts looking for a job.
15 December 2008The New York Times


Companies in the Ontario Technology Corridor, almost 6,000 of them, spanning the software, photonics, wireless, cleantech, digital media, life sciences, and microelectronics sectors, employ more than 250,000 people. There are almost 30 universities and colleges along the Ottorloo corridor.

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