We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrian Gillette and we’ve shared our conversation below. Adrian’s working on something we think is super cool – a platform designed to help local businesses by empowering folks to create video to highlight awesome places and things happening locally.  Check out our conversation with Adrian below:

Hi Adrian, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Things always take a lot longer to accomplish than you originally envisioned, especially when you’re doing something that can potentially make profound changes. I have two moments where I’ve encountered this decision, my first startup, and my current startup. In the case of my first startup, I came to the conclusion that it was not going to be a viable company. It was based on a multitude of factors, marketing timing, competitive landscape, and weak product differentiation. For my current startup, I took what I learned from the previous experience and spent more time and effort in understanding the market conditions and invalidating the idea. Although it’s taken a lot longer to reach our current position, it’s helped us be more prepared for the drudgery work ahead of us. Every time I ponder on this question, I think about whether what we’re doing is still making a material difference in the communities we serve. And if so, I chose to keep going.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
LocalBuzz is about reconnecting people to their local communities. It’s surprising that in the age of digital connectedness, we’ve become more disconnected from our physical surroundings than ever and that it’s complicated to get a pulse on what’s going around us. We used to be a lot more in tune with our neighborhoods, and communities were tighter-knit when I was growing up. You can scour the web and check out all the different sites and platforms, but it’s still a black box when it comes to local communities.

I wanted to create a way that shows how local communities are teeming with life and constantly evolving and rejuvenating. To capture the multiple facets of our complex ecosystems and portray them in a way that inspires people to be more locally minded. With LocalBuzz, we created a discovery experience delivered through a mobile app and short-form user-generated videos, similar to TikTok. Except instead of connecting to people, like on Instagram and TikTok, LocalBuzz connects you with communities.

Getting our company and platform off the ground took a long time. When we first started, people were caught up with Facebook and Instagram. Most people didn’t realize how they were slowly being disconnected from their local communities. I think the pandemic was a wake-up call. There’s now a sense of need and urgency in re-engaging our physical communities and returning to our societal roots. With LocalBuzz, our mission is to re-cross-pollinate communities throughout the world with visual content. To help people serendipitously find intersections of common interest on a local level.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love LA’s food scene, especially all the multicultural variety that’s around us. I definitely recommend paying a stop by Shamshiri Grill in Little Persia. Their menu selection is quite expansive, the food is tasty, and the portions are large enough to share. For refreshing dessert, I recommend heading over to Koreatown for some Korean-style shaved ice at Oakobing. For places to stay, I think a hidden gem is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Right at the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, it teleports you back in time the minute you step inside. And it’s so relaxing to spend time at their pool sipping a few cocktails.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to send a massive shout out to the people of Los Angeles Connect(ClubHouse group): Tia Jai, Zachary Aronson, Spencer Gilbard, and TK Singer. These are the early believers and champions in help LA get back to its community roots with LocalBuzz. They are such an eclectic bunch with great energy and addictive vibe.

I’m also in great gratitude to my co-founder, Tony Ce, for being part of this wild ride in building a start-up. I’m so fortunate to have someone like him that has the tenacity to keep going and break through large impediments. And he has a genuine passion to bring local communities together.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.