by Steven Doyle
Carrie Layne is quite the entrepreneur, something that she has had the knack for since a little girl. But what makes Layne so crave-worthy is not only the fact that she has traveled the world with great success, survived a category 5 hurricane but was instrumental in starting up more than a few profitable businesses including the new BestBuzz, the hyper social mobile app that creates positive “buzz” about local businesses and restaurants and has the uncanny ability to fill each quickly.
Layne graduated UT Austin’s Advertising program in 1999 with an emphasis on interactive media that has laid the ground work for her passion that started Buzz. After graduation Layne set her sites on San Francisco advertising firm, Saatchi & Saatchi that boasts over 140 offices worldwide and has such clients as Wendy’s, BMW and Toyota. She won the position by what her future employer would call moxie. A more modern term might be stalking. Layne discovered the private number for her director and called him often until the firm relented.
Saatchi & Saatchi was not known for hiring green employees with little or no experience, but you can’t deny a good dose of moxie.
It was at the firm Layne developed her expertise and skill sets that carries her today. It was later Layne moved back to Austin to work with Hoover’s and she enjoyed the smaller dot com warm and fuzzies associated with the 6th Street company. It was then she assisted 5 other strong willed women in starting up Roller Derby in Austin, of which now there are over 300 leagues.
Eventually Hoovers would be snatched up, as all good companies do, and Layne didn’t fancy herself working for another corporate behemoth like Dunn & Bradstreet, so she took some time off to visit the Cayman Islands where during the one week stay she was offered a position at a local newspaper selling advertising. She happily agreed, and nabbed a 6-month work permit that lasted over 6 years. During this time Layne started up her first solo business called the Best of Cayman. She was set up as the islands technical expert and created a web presence where before there was none.
The web maven was successful despite the worst hurricane to hit the island in recorded history, and sat idly by as other evacuated and witnessed hurricane Ivan first hand. Her building was shredded but she was spared. There’s that moxie we discussed earlier.
As her work permit was nearing its end, and a forced one-year vacation from the island was due to be enforced, Layne moved to Dallas and started up Best of Dallas and bought up 1000’s of other domain names to continue her program in Johnny Appleseed fashion. At a technical conference she became aware of QR Codes, the odd looking smart phone scannable hash mark that will take you instantly to the website embedded within the unique code. This was something used widely in Japan and has started to make strides in the US.
BestBuzz was born. Layne hired a team of technical professionals to create a unique app that would use the QR codes and integrate with a variety of social media to make a buzz. Scanning unlocks a unique special at a shop or restaurant, and this information is sent to your friends to create the buzz. No coupons and hardly an effort. The person using the app is already at the pub or restaurant and now has their very own special created just for them and now all their contacts are offered the similar buzz. Genius.
The app has been online for a few months and was introduced at SXSW in Austin where one buzz gathered 1000’s to a single party.
The buzz on Layne in the media is phenomenal. Best of Texas has been chosen by the Dallas Business Journal as the Top 10 BEST Places to Work in Dallas. Layne has been selected as an honoree in the 2011 class of the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty.
“Zea Woodfire Grill is excited about using the BestBuzz platform to expand our marketing and social media efforts. Not only has Best Buzz been a great and exciting new way to promote our restaurant, it’s also amazing how user-friendly the application is for our guests and employees. We can’t wait to see what BestBuzz will come up with next,” says Ruben Campos, General Manager of Zea Woodfire Grill.
Drop by Layne’s website where you can learn how to download this unique app for your phone and get in on the buzz. Also take advantage of one of BestBuzz’s many “Appy Hours”.Download the free BestBuzz mobile app now: Download Android: https://market.android.com/search?q=pname:bz.bestbuzz Download iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bestbuzz/id405561566?mt=8