GVSU alumnus creates PushPic app, seeks GV beta testers

By Erika Collin | 1/12/14 7:26pm


Courtesy / Lance Beaudry
A screenshot of alumnus Lance Beaudry’s app for smart phones.

When Lance Beaudry graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2012 with a major in social studies and a minor in psychology, he didn’t see himself becoming a software designer. However, when an idea for a potential iPhone application struck him, he decided to take the plunge into unknown territory.

“I’ve always just enjoyed using apps on my iPhone, and I’ve always had a keen eye for design,” Beaudry said. “I’ve always been pretty entrepreneurial-minded, (and) I like leading and teaching. So I thought, ‘I’m just going to come up with this idea just for fun and just see what happens.’”

Beaudry’s app idea bloomed around the same time that he noticed the popularity of Snapchat. Snapchat is an app for all smartphones and allows “friends” to send each other photos, videos and drawings that last up to 10 seconds.

Beaudry liked the concept of Snapchat but had always been the type of person who was interested in what was happening around him. He was constantly curious about what events, people and places surrounded him.

So he asked himself how he could improve upon Snapchat so that users could understand and interact with the people and places around them, and he came up with PushPic.

His idea for a new app was simple. Users would open the app and be able to take a picture or video and then write a caption for it. Then the user could set a time and a distance for the photo.

The length of time people could view the photo or video could be set for a few hours or a few days.

The distance setting would allow anyone who had the app and was in the selected radius from where the photo was taken to be able to view, comment and “like” the photo. Anyone outside of that radius could only “like” the photo or video.

“I wanted (the app) to be completely based on where you are in space and time,” Beaudry said. “That’s a really intimate interaction that I don’t think any app out there addresses really well.”

Beaudry posted his idea online and soon found a business partner in San Francisco who was willing to fund his project.

The duo has worked heavily on the app for about six months, mainly constructing the software and designing the app in Photoshop. They also created and released a promotional video for the app with the help of GVSU alumnus and Beaudry’s former roommate, Erik Janiszewski. Janiszewski produced, directed and edited a video for PushPic over the summer.

“Smartphone apps are really big right now and everybody has an idea,” Janiszewski said. “It was great to see one of my best friends actually take his idea past the concept stage and create something that people can use and enjoy.”

PushPic will be tentatively released in early February for iOS. However, Beaudry is currently looking for GVSU beta testers to use the app and help work out the kinks. Those interested in being a beta tester can contact Beaudry at lance@pushpic.com.

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