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Coffitivity. Enough noise to work

Wed, 16th July 2014, 16:25

Some people need a quiet environment to work on their projects, others concentrate better in noisy spaces, such as coffee shops. It’s hard to understand how some individuals aren’t bothered by the café chatter or the sound of espresso machines when heating up and poring espresso shots. Actually, the science supports this and according to a study, 70 decibels of constant ambient sound, which is moderate, can stimulate creativity and people can focus better. Based on this study, some brilliant people came up with Coffitivity.com, which is a unique website that streams the ambient noises of coffee shops. The team consists of Justin Kauszler – Founder, Nicole Horton - Graphic Designer, Ace Callwood - Creative Director/Copy and Tommy Nicholas - Growth Hacker.

Ace Callwood was kind enough to answer some questions about Coffitivity and how this project was born and how it evolved.

HostJury: Coffitivity started not so long ago and you were inspired by some simple coffee shops. How come some people can concentrate on writing with all that fuss around them, and others prefer a quiet environment?

Ace: We find that the sounds of the coffee shop actually distract people which in turn makes them more creative. This is why those "AHA" moments tend to come to us while we're doing mindless tasks like brushing our teeth or shaving. What the science suggests is that we often focus TOO much on tasks and having a little bit of distraction (like coffee shop sounds) allows us to approach problems a little more creatively. Enter, Coffitivity.

HostJury: How long have you been working on this project? Were you afraid that your website won’t attract visitors and Coffitivity was a bad idea?

Ace: Coffitivity is just about a year and a half old. Initially we had no idea it would grow to be the site it is today. That said, we built Coffitivity as a learning experience and an opportunity to make a tool that we could use for ourselves. The intention was never a TON of traffic, so we're pleasantly surprised and more than happy with the outcome.

HostJury: How it’s like to see that all your work paid off and “because” of you, many people from all over the world can teleport themselves virtually in a coffee shop? Are you proud of the results?

Ace: It's still a little hard for us to digest how many people from different places use our site. It seems a little unreal to be honest. That said, we're thrilled with the results and are always working to make the experience better for our audience.

HostJury: Where does the name of “Coffitivity” really come from? Can coffees help people to be creative?

Ace: We combined the words "coffee" and "creativity" to form the word "Coffitivity". We think it's a great name for the site, especially give the science we refer to that says cafe sounds help creatives work better.

HostJury: Please tell our readers if it was difficult to put this idea in practice and what were the steps you took to reach your goal.

Ace: Every good idea has some level of difficulty to it. For us, we had no coding or web experience when we started, but Justin taught himself how to code and we built a website. Outside of the day to day behind learning code and getting better at designing, I'd say the biggest step in building the site was actually deciding to go. Once you get started on a really awesome project, it takes on a life of it's own. From there, the next big decision is to launch even though you think there are things to make better or redesign. That was tough for us.

HostJury: Were there any issues over time? Did you encounter any obstacles in your way?

Ace: Of course we had issues. As I mentioned, from the get go, there were hard decisions to make. Should we launch yet, is the site self explanatory, how do we get more audio? Those are all issues that face startups to some extent every day. I also think that's the fun of what we do in the startup world - every day is a new problem to solve. We start thinking about the little daily problems as puzzles to tackle. As a good team, we've gotten pretty good at solving the various puzzles.

HostJury: Did success change you in any way? Do you have regrets or you feel accomplished?

Ace: I think the "success" has been an experience none of us expected, and big experiences tend to change most people. For us, now we have people asking about the press and what it was like to build a big website. That's been interesting for the team, but at the end of the day, I think our biggest takeaway is that we're all capable of handling some of the day-to-day firefights that we've been faced with in the last year or so. It's a great feeling to know what one is capable of. Sure, we've done some things wrong and would maybe change some things here and there, but overall we're proud of what we've built and we're looking forward to the next adventures.

HostJury: What are your plans for the future?

Ace: The future of Coffitivity is exciting. We're not talking too much about it yet, but keep an eye out for some new audio, a new layout, and a few experiments that will hopefully make the experience of Coffitivity a little richer for our entire audience!

Coffitivity.com was hosted by HostGator prior to being transferred to Bluehost severs last September.

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