Jacob was only four years old when he went onto his first journey. “It was in early 1980s when my parents and I went to Yugoslavia. That was pretty exotic at that time” – he says. – “It must have been today’s Croatia. I remember driving through the whole Europe, I remember my dad’s old car… It was quite a journey! To me, as a small kid, it felt like an eternal travel.”
The postcard from the Balkans
Jacob couldn’t find any photographs from that holidays, but he recalls one picture from that trip, that has deeply fallen into his memory – it was a picture of a watermelons’ stand somewhere in the south of Croatia. “I remember that view very clearly in my head even today – says Jacob. – The huge stand, with massive watermelons.” – he laughs. “This is what I would definitely put on a postcard from there.“
But let’s come back from Yugoslavia. We are now in London and Jacob is an adult man today. He works as a digital project manager in advertising agencies and he is always interested in new tech trends. But in his heart, Jacob is a traveller. When he thinks of the days gone by, and memorizes the Balkan landscapes, he realizes how revitalizing travelling is for him. “When I need to charge my batteries, I go somewhere new again.” – says Jacob.
The postcard from Himalayas
Recently, during one of his travels he had one of these eureka moments, when hiking in Nepal. – “I love travelling in remote areas, it brings peace to my mind, but at the same time I often feel like I want to share those moments with someone very dear to me.” – explains Jacob. That is why he got the idea to create WishYouWereHere.today, the app that sends postcards from a smartphone. – “I thought it would be great if I could actually take a picture of what I see and send it back home in a form of a postcard.” – says Jacob – “The person I wanted to share the Nepali landscape with was my grandma. She is the person who brought me up, and a lot of values that shaped who I am today – I got from her. She doesn’t use any smartphone or the Internet, so I thought it would be fantastic, if I could actually capture what I see and have it sent to my granny as a postcard. So, that’s how it all started.” – Jacob tells.
Wish you were here, grandma!
So, how did he come up with the app’s name? Did he think: I wish you were here, grandma? hiking in Himalayas? ‘Well, this could be too much for my granny to find herself in deep Nepal” – Jacob laughs. “Actually the idea for the name came much later, first I thought about the functionality. Initially I called it: ‘Travel Frames’, but it just didn’t work, it wasn’t emotionally charged and sounded too technical. The name ‘WishYouWereHere’ is way more personal and way closer to what I felt that day up there in Nepal.’ – reveals Jacob.
Capturing the moment
“We live in a very fast-paced and noisy world. We are all busy and overloaded with information, i.e. emails, messages, and texts. I think sometimes everyone needs to pause for a second and think about the really important relationships and moments in their lives. Capturing the moment, and telling someone you miss them with a physical postcard is much more meaningful.” – says Jacob. “Just think how you feel when you check your mailbox after you come back from work and among fast food leaflets and bills you find a postcard from a friend. The app is your tool to give these little moments of happiness and offer this nostalgic person-to-person experience.”
Send a postcard from your phone!
“The app has also an option to send a WishCard in a digital form, so here Facebook comes in handy – you can very easily get your photos with a message across to your friends Facebook wall or send it directly to their email, so that’s quite straightforward.” – explains Jacob. “Imagine you are on a boat and suddenly you spot a massive whale jumping out of the ocean! And you had the luck to capture it with your smartphone and now can share it with your friends. These kind of postcards you cannot buy on a stand or in a souvenir shop, it’s just a different value” – says Jacob when asked why would a traveller want to download this app. – “No stamp? No problem! – that’s the app’s slogan. If you don’t have time to get the stamps, because you need to run to the airport, or let’s say, you don’t have spare change to buy the stamps, or you can’t find a post office! No stamp, no problem – essentially that’s what it is. These problems are being solved.” – Jacob announces.
New features coming soon
“And there is some more practical functionality that I am really looking forward to develop, which I call the offline sending. Basically when you’re trekking somewhere in the mountains you rarely have the Internet connection. With this feature, you can create your perfect postcard while you are offline and the next time your phone gets the wifi, the app will automatically send these postcards saved in the background and you will just get a notification that the job is done and the postcard is on the way. So it’s quite handy, saves time and money, and you can actually send your own quality postcard worldwide for one WishCredit which is quite a good deal.” So the answer to the question why would a traveller want to download the app? would be: why would a traveller not want to do that!
Great app for travellers
And numerous travellers actually do use it. “I just had a postcard from my girlfriend’s cousin from Mexico.” – Jacob smiles – “There are some amazing views over there! I really wish I was there“ – he laughs. – “Or the other day, I got some jaw-dropping postcards from my friend who is a photographer, and he took these pictures in The Forbidden Kingdom of Mustang – those were quite magnificent!” – says Jacob happily and states that he has received a lot of good feedback from the users. “People enjoy their time on holidays and the app comes in very handy as the users can be creative while taking pictures and they don’t need to look for the post office or worry about the stamps. They don’t need to know a foreign language to buy anything, or wonder how many stamps they should buy – all these things! That’s definitely a very good feedback.” – says Jacob and he adds that he is aware of the work that still needs to be done but he is sure that people do think that the idea of getting a postcard is more sentimental than a text message. “A physical postcard is something you effectively can give, not share” – says Jacob.
The future plans
So what is next? Where is Jacob heading? Well, regarding his next big travel plans, he is now thinking about a motorbike trip to Mongolia. “Have you heard about the Mongol Rally?” – he asks. “Basically, you drive from wherever you live to Ulan Bator in Mongolia.” And what about his life plans? “At the moment, WishYouWereHere is my main project. In the future, I want to turn it into something more than postcards, but… I want to keep it as a secret now! Those who want to know more, please follow us up! Pretty soon you will find out what’s it going to be.” – says Jacob firmly and adds: – “And it will be all about giving.”