If you, like me, believe that San Francisco is the cultural barometer for technology, then buy shares in Yelp right now. Visiting my friend Paul this weekend in preparation for a meeting out in Hayward, I realized how ubiquitous the software is. Among the friends we made at the bar that night, I think it came up a dozen times, each time with the speaker raving.
In case you, like me, come from the humble roots in the Midwest and haven’t heard of it, Yelp is a simple online tool that lets you locate, map and rate business around wherever you are. So if you’re out on a business trip in New York on Broadway and 92nd and want to get a good coffee, you can type “cafe” and “Broadway and 92nd, New York” into Yelp and it will pop up with a half dozen cafes within a set radius around you. It then plops everything onto a Google map so you can easily navigate you way across town, ratings included.
Though the software has been out for a little while now, Yelp is exponentially spreading across the great States of America. Checking with a few friends in NYC they seem to be warming up to the technology, while friends in Michigan are still oblivious. Keep an eye out. They’ll sneak up you pretty quick.