Housing hunt leads to online biz
Jan. 9, 2009
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Looking for an apartment? Ian Reardon ’03 (computer science) can help.
Reardon has created My Apartment Map, a Web site that provides detailed information about rental housing all over the country. The listings, which include Google maps, are updated daily.
“It started when I was looking for an apartment in Boston,” Reardon explains. Because he didn’t have a car, he wanted specific information about nearby bus routes, food markets and other services. Typical online apartment listings didn’t have that level of detail.
Reardon used his programming skills to create a mashup – a Web application that combines data from more than one source into a single tool. When he launched the site in 2006, it gained quite a bit of media attention, including mentions in USA Today and Wired.
“I’ve been steadily working on the site and its finally getting to a point where its almost finished.” says Reardon. “I’ve done all of the coding, design, and administration on my own, so it’s been quite a labor of love.”
Meanwhile, Reardon has had plenty of other activities on his plate. He’s attending law school at Suffolk University in Boston and will graduate in May 2009. Before that, he worked as a software engineer for large companies in the Boston area.
A self-described “computer nerd” since childhood, Reardon says “I got sick of sitting in a cubicle for eight or 10 hours a day writing code.” He decided that with a law degree, he could put his technical knowledge to use in the intellectual property area.
“Law school has been a great learning experience,” he says. “That background is a huge advantage in business.”
Besides My Apartment Map, Reardon is involved with another online business, Sagamore Lobster. His father-in-law is a third-generation lobster fisherman out of Rye, N.H., Reardon’s hometown. His wife, Katie, runs the day-to-day operation and Reardon handles the technology for the online shipping business.
Now that the new Web site is beginning to take off, Reardon is approaching another fork in the road. Will he choose the route of online entrepreneur or pursue a career in law? Right now, he’s not sure.
“I’m going to have a tough decision when I graduate from law school.”