Business Maplewood South Orange Towns

What the Heck is ‘WhoWeUse’?

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If you’ve been driving around Maplewood lately, you may have noticed the proliferation of new blue lawn signs — and we don’t mean the ones for a certain Township Committee candidate.

Instead, these signs resemble the map pins you find on phone apps and state simply “WhoWeUse.”

A quick trip to the computer search engine reveals that WhoWeUse — at whoweuse.net — has already gotten press from TechCrunch and Good Day New York. TechCrunch explains the app thusly:

… it scans for local services that are in an address book and imports that contact information into the app. The app then organizes the services into ones that an individual uses and others that are used by other members of the contact list. The app then sorts each service into categories like car services, repairs, medical and health, and other categories.

Unlike Yelp, WhoWeUse only uses services, reviews and recommendations from people the user already knows. Ultimately users will be able to book and pay for services through the app.

Spencer Ante of Who We Use (left) with Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly of Good Day New York on Oct. 2.
Spencer Ante of Who We Use (left) with Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly of Good Day New York on Oct. 2.

And, it’s free.

WhoWeUse is the brainchild of Maplewood resident John Garbarino, who founded the company with Pete Clark and Garbarino’s new neighbor Spencer Ante. Another Maplewood resident Felix Sockwell rounds out the team as Head of Identity and Design.

Good Day New York’s Greg Kelly said the “app is going to revolutionize life as we know it.”

Ante told the Good Day hosts in their Oct. 2 technology segment that when he moved the suburbs he didn’t know anyone or anything. “How do you find stuff when you move to the suburbs — from people you trust?”

The answer was: WhoWeUse.

The company is taking off quickly, and Garbarino said that’s good news for Maplewood and South Orange overall.

Felix Sockwell puts the Who We Use logo on a sign.
Felix Sockwell puts the Who We Use logo on a sign.

“We are a local business helping to promote other local businesses,” said Garbarino. “If we are successful, we want to put Maplewood and South Orange on the map for the tech talent that is already here.”

Garbarino sees the towns as being the center of what he calls “Silicon Jersey.” He envisions WhoWeUse growing to 150 employees and renting the office space next to Nelson’s garage.

Garbarino fully expects that WhoWeUse will be successful.

“At times, the focus on startups seems to be on the ever-changing communication tools of the 20-somethings. Those tools come and go and change quickly,” said Garbarino.

“We believe we will be successful because we are focused on solving real problems for home owners, for parents and for people who move to new places, all of whom need know who the best trusted local services are in their area.”

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