Today Chief Community Officer Greg Avola has announced he will step away from the day-to-day managing of community activities at Untappd to pursue other interests. Greg will continue to serve Untappd in the role of Executive Advisor role at Next Glass (Untappd's parent company), advising Trace Smith, CEO, on Untappd community matters.
"The birth of my second son in December opened my eyes," said Greg, "I decided I really wanted more time to be with my growing family."
It was ten years ago that Greg and co-founder Tim Mather created Untappd as a way for beer lovers to share information about the beers – new and old - they were enjoying on the beer scene. "I remember that summer ten years' ago very vividly," said Greg, "We decided to build an app that connects people from different worlds around beer."
What started as a hobby grew into the largest social network for beer drinkers in the world, with over 9 million registered users and nearly 1 billion beer check-ins, as well as a menu publishing app serving breweries, bars and restaurants. "When we first built the app, we didn't know if any of our friends or family would even use it," said Greg. "In the early days, we would crash on Fridays and Saturdays. Every New Year's Eve for the first five years we would crash and I would have to go home and fix servers. I owe my wife five New Years' Eves."
As Untappd grew from those humble early days in the basement, Greg continued to grow the Untappd product by being active in the beer community, engaging with users and brewers around the world. A month after Untappd's official launch, an article published in Mashable helped put Untappd on the map. The app typically saw about 100 new users a day but racked up 5,000 on that day alone. About a year later, Untappd launched its first sponsored badge for Sam Adams, and the Untappd experience grew.
But there was so much more Greg wanted to do, more than could be done by a two-person team alone. In 2015, Untappd joined the Next Glass family. The investment allowed the Untappd team to focus full-time on building the Untappd app to what we enjoy today. Beer check-ins, social interactions, beer ratings, badges, festivals and events have come to round out the modern Untappd experience.
"Greg Avola has served as a professional inspiration to me and to our entire team since 2015. His unparalleled work ethic and passion for the Untappd community are infectious. We all owe Greg a deep debt of gratitude for co-founding and building, line of code by line of code, the app users all over the world have come to love," said Trace. "Without Greg's dogged determination since founding Untappd in 2010, Untappd would not be what it is today. While we will all deeply miss interacting with him on a day-to-day basis, I am grateful he will continue to serve as an Executive Advisor to me and our team. His continued guidance on the product and community will be invaluable to us."
Untappd was built on a simple principle, "being able to connect people, with beer", and has grown to become part of popular culture; featured in magazines around the world, including Time Inc.'s 2016 list of the "50 Best Apps of the Year", and making it as an "answer" on the beloved TV game-show Jeopardy.
"As to what's next, I plan on taking a step back, reflecting and spending time with my family, before deciding what to do next," said Greg. "Untappd will always be part of me, and I have all of you to thank for that."
From all of us here at Untappd, cheers to you, Greg, we raise a beer to your continued success!