Duck Dynasty, Getting Lost, & Startups

Duck Dynasty Placard 1Tyler Matthews, a twenty-something whose beard is worthy of its own spot on Duck Dynasty, and I first bonded over the fact that we shared the same first name.

The second thing we found we had in common, though, was that, on occasion, we both had an extremely difficult time trying to physically find or meet people we were trying to find or meet up with.

Say your friend says something like, “Yeah! Meet me ________ at 7:00pm” before she hangs up the phone, but you couldn’t make out what she said because of the motorcycle engines in the background.

Or what if, on a trip to New York City, you wander through Central Park to feed your new pet pigeons? You need your boyfriend, who’s halfway across the city in his hotel room, to come pick you up. But how do you tell him where to meet you?

Tyler and his brother-in-law Ian Zink got to thinking: “There’s gotta be an app for that.” But there wasn’t – or, at least, not one that could actually do what they wanted it to do well.

Yougy was born.

If there was an ‘aha moment’ for Tyler and Ian with Yougy, it happened at the St. Louis Zoo.

“All we were trying to do was meet up with each other’s families. We were in one part and they were in another, so we were trying to describe to each other where we were. It’s super hot outside and we’re sweating; I’m waving my hands in the air. We’re sharing screenshots and pictures of what’s in front of us. Nothing was working.”


Tyler, who was finishing his MBA at the time of the zoo episode, was presented with a bit of a fork in the road. Tyler and Ian both had full time jobs, so the question became: “Are we going to do this or are we not?”


They had talked about a location-sharing app before the zoo, but that half hour of trying to find each other cemented the question of venturing into the world of startups or not.

So they dove in headfirst. Did they really know what they were getting themselves into? “I had no idea there was a full-blown startup scene out there,” Matthews said. So he started meeting with anybody and everybody he could meet with.

From there, Matthews says the ‘aha moments’ happened fairly regularly.

“At first, we would see other startups coming out of places like San Francisco and think, ‘These guys are going to do exactly what we want to do or they’re going to do it better because they’re in the Valley.”

But that wasn’t the case. “Every time we see one of our competitors add some kind of new feature onto their existing product we know we’re on the right track. At first, we might have been a little scared, but now we see how complicated and bloated these other products are becoming. We’re simple. None of them are solving the problem the way we think it should be solved.”

Learn more about and sign up for Yougy online and follow them on Twitter: @yougyapp.

Tyler Sondag is a startup connoisseur with a hand in anything and everything you could imagine. Hailing from the ever-developing Northwest Mississippi, an alum of Saint Louis University and currently a transplant to St. Louis, Missouri, one of his main missions in life is to get and keep young people engaged in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Follow him on Twitter: @MrSondag.

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