Today, I have the pleasure of sharing an interview I did with Cica Galjic, the marketing manager for DietPoint. She has the unique experience of helping to turn an app into a thriving company.
Before we get into the interview though – I do want to mention that this will most likely be the last text-interview published on MAT. If you haven’t heard yet, the reason for this is that I just launched the Mobile App Tycoon Podcast where I will be publishing interviews with successful developers ideally on a weekly basis.
With that being said, let’s hear from Cica!
Do you code any of your apps yourself or outsource this?
We code our apps. We used to outsource but now we have in-house developers for all 3 platforms: web, iOS and Android. Our CEO is a web and android developer, so he has many contacts with other developers and this is how we get in contact with potential new family members.
What made you decide to get into mobile app development?
Our CEO is an Android passionista. That is it! 🙂
How many apps have you made? If you don’t mind sharing, how many times have they been downloaded total (roughly)?
Actually our team is focused only on one app – DietPoint which was downloaded by more than 2,000,000 users.
What categories of apps do you mostly create apps for? Is there a reason you prefer these categories?
We are concentrated on only one app which showed a lot of potential from beginning. It is placed in the Fitness and Health category.
What platforms to you develop apps for?
We developed our app for the iOS and Android platforms.
How did you come up with the idea for DietPoint? Were you certain that this idea was a “winner” from the beginning?
This idea came from our CEO who was actually trying to lose weight for a long time. And since he is a geek (that is a good thing nowadays) he made an app. In a few months the app was featured on the Android market and the App Store. It had a huge download rate so the app turned into a project and then a whole company.
How long did it take to create this app from start to finish and If you don’t mind sharing, how much did it cost you (roughly) to build this app?
We keep updating the app constantly so is a never-ending story as it keeps progressing. It took us about 50,000 EUR in cash and labor to make not just the app, but to build a company around it that is not only about developing but also analyzing the market, applying data science, etc.
What were some of the challenges in developing this app?
The biggest challenge we had was setting the environment for measuring user behavior. Nobody from the team had no prior experience in data science.
How did you market this application?
Frequent updates, PR, community management, SEO, social media. Also, by cross-advertising with other apps in the same category, we got plenty reviews on review sites and blogs.
How are you monetizing this app?
DietPoint is monetized through freemium business model.
What is your typical day like?
There is no typical day in a startup. You work whenever and wherever you can! Afternoons are many times filled with events and Skype meetings can be scheduled at 10 p.m. 🙂
Where do you see the mobile app industry going?
This industry was very hectic and confused over the past two years, which is quite normal for a new industry. Now I think the time is coming where this industry will be showing differences between potential projects and companies and just apps. And yes, I think teams should not make apps but companies and projects!
If you were able to go back in time, what would you do differently in regards to app development?
We would start measuring user behavior from day 1.
What is your advice for people interested in making mobile apps?
If I had to choose one piece of advice for people that would like to make successful apps: measure, measure, measure!
What are your plans for the future?
They are big! 🙂
Things to Take Away:
I think by far the biggest thing to take away from this interview with Cica is the importance of thinking of app development as a business – not just a side hobby. While you can be successful with making just a few random apps, if you think about building a business with your app development you will increase your chances of success.
Now, having the mindset of building a business doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rent office space, hire full-time developers, etc. It just means that you shouldn’t rely on making millions with the next iFart app. Think of legitimate ideas that will solve people’s problems and build a brand around those ideas. For example, Mike Doonan built a brand around his app Speech with Milo, a children’s app for speech therapy. It solved a niche problem and he was able to use his success with the original app to build a business around his brand.
So with that being said, if you have a great app idea – start thinking towards the future as to whether it would make not just a few quick bucks, but a long-term business!
Thanks as always for reading, and thanks as well to Cica for doing this interview!