EDITOR'S NOTE: Red Cup and Get Me Home! are downloadable for free, and not ad supported, in the Apple App store. Red Cup is currently on Version 1.1 and features bar specials in Auburn and Tuscaloosa. In the words of Ben Gordon, Nick Neveu and Matt Staples, "You're welcome."
The Tuscaloosa drinking app, Red Cup, wasn't created by a national technology company looking to cash in on the typical college students' need to drink, it was created by 3 UA students who understand that need personally.
"We were just sitting around during the summer wondering where we could get a drink, and is there anywhere that has all of that information," Ben Gordon, one of the creators of the app company Subvert, remembered. "We checked online and some of the websites that had them weren't that great, so we figured we all have iPhones and there should be an app for that."
Except Gordon doesn't have an iPhone. Instead he uses a go-phone to make phone calls and his iTouch to keep up with his apps and everything else. He laughed, saying he is looking forward to his contract ending and getting rid of the "P.O.S. phone."
Not having an iPhone hasn't slowed down Gordon though, since the release of the wildly popular Red Cup - it has a perfect 5 star rating - the company has released a second app called Get Me Home! and are working on at least 2 more.
"We've got a lot of new apps, and we’re working on a lot of new ideas. This notebook is just filled with ideas," he said flipping through a small sketchbook that looked filled with doodles and small notes. "We all carry around notebooks filled with ideas for apps and other types of things."
With the apps Subvert has already put out, and the ones they are currently working on the focus is on the consumer. Gordon said he loves helping people with the different ideas. With Red Cup, they allow customers to find the best drink specials and with Get Me Home! they get them home without risk of a DUI.
"It helps DD, it kind of spawned out of Red Cup, but it's not necessarily for it," he said.
Their next app to be released also goes along with the helping people mentality. Tip Accordingly will help users find out the appropriate amount to tip based on different questions about price and service. Gordon was happy to show off how it worked, but stressed it wasn't finished yet.
"Nick [Neveu, Head of Programming for Subvert] and I both work on design and programming hand-in-hand, because you've got to do them at the same time for these apps to be cool," he said. "Or else you'll get a really functional app that doesn't look good or a really good looking app that doesn't work well."
After changing his major 3 times, Gordon is now a 5th year senior who has finally landed on a major in graphic design and a minor in advertising. The combination has proved to be invaluable to Subvert.
"I try to keep everything as a work of art and simple, so it's really beautiful and easy to use," he said. "That's why I think we're cool, we've got different ideas than these random app makers."
Working with Gordon are an electro-engineer grad student, Nick Neveu, and business major, Matt Staples. The 3 have been friends since their freshmen year and now make up the perfect team for an app company.
So perfect, in fact, they attracted the attention of a retired professor who invested in them by buying them computers to continue their business that now sit in Neveu's apartment, which has become Subvert's home-base.
According to Gordon, all 3 hope to make this a life-long pursuit.
"I'm really hoping I don't have to get another job, a career, whatever 'the man' wants," he smiled. "We're about to expand and stuff, I never thought about that. I really hope this business does take off and it seems like we've got a good path to go down now."
On that path in the near future include the release of Tip Accordingly, along with a game and whatever else comes to his or his partner's creative minds.
"[My favorite thing is] creative freedom... It's just me and my business partners and whatever we do to make it happen. It's a lot more personal feeling than working somewhere else."