Our Story

I’m excited to introduce you to my latest project - String, a smart messaging platform for people who dine out and travel (fka RecFive).

This journey began has been a passion of mine that started in 2004 when we acquired BlackBook to build a better local guide. Many of you enjoyed the great editorial we produced for over 20,000 places in 60 amazing destinations around the world. Our guidebooks quickly moved online, and then we were one of the first to launch an iPhone app to take advantage of location services. But as texting gained momentum, many of you started messaging me for recommendations, and the seeds for String were planted.

My latest thesis is that local, digital content sites will follow the content path of the magazine as everything local moves to messaging. Why go to a stale content site when you can get real-time recommendations from your close friends and other experts and brands you trust.

So I’ve partnered with a long-time friend and colleague, Michael Smith, who was most recently the founder and CEO of StreetEasy, to tackle the big data challenge of smart messaging - starting with what I know best - hospitality. Our core mission is to provide a messaging environment to make it easier and smarter to get great local recommendations from friends and experts. I think you’ll like what we’ve created and strongly encourage your feedback.

We’re very excited to introduce you to the 1.0 production version of String smart messaging…

Designed for people who dine out and travel, we’ve emerged from our public beta with a branded messaging platform.

What principally differentiates String from other legacy messaging platforms is our AI engine which suggests places to recommend in chats. You can change the filter at anytime to set the parameters such as “Sushi in Soho.”

As you recommend places in chats from our suggestions, the AI assistant gets smarter and better at suggesting places you and your friends will like anywhere in the world… You can also add places to your Favorites and/or Hit List. Places on these list will show up at the top of the suggestions - you will no longer forget about that new place you want to try… When all your friends keep for the same recommendations - just swipe right from the suggestion tray and places are added to the chats. Simple… Fast… Always up to date.