Shazam: Turning Impossible to Success with Chris Barton

Shazam - Chris Barton

Shazam – Chris Barton

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Sensor Tower is my favorite App Store Optimization tool. Discover and identify the most worthwhile keywords to include in your app, guide based on keyword suggestions, search traffic estimates, and competitiveness difficulty ratings.

Are you developing a mobile app? Get anything from icons and buttons to your entire mobile app designed at 99designs! You can start your next graphic design project for as low as $199. Visit 99designs.com/Chat and get a $99 Power Pack of services for free.

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About the Episode

Chris Barton, the co-founder and original CEO of Shazam, returns in a live interview at the first ever Mobile App Chat meetup and we talk about how you persevere when investors and industry/academic experts tell you that your idea is technically impossible to create and what it feels like when the idea actually comes to fruition. Also there are some great audience questions that you’ll definitely want to hear.

Chris Barton is the Founder and Board Member at Shazam.

Show Notes

Persevering Against the Odds

The idea for Shazam came eight years before the launch of the iOS AppStore and inventing the music recognition technology seemed insurmountable at the time. Even the technical co-founder tasked with inventing the technology at times thought it was impossible to develop and the VC investors they had presented the idea to were doubtful of significant consumer demand.  After seeing the demo, one VC investor said “I don’t see why anyone would ever use this.”.

Despite all of this, Chris and his co-founders persisted and kept on believing that his idea was worth pursuing. Chris’s “genius” technical co-founder was able to invent the technology after 4-5 months tireless efforts (including almost giving up). After 12 months of persistently wooing mobile networks, they have landed partnerships that got the ball of success rolling for Shazam for its initial launch in the UK in 2002.

The secret is just to choose what you are passionate about because that fuels the persistence that you are going to need.

Some questions from our audience:

When was the moment of breakthrough for Shazam?

While he was in Croatia on vacation, he received a voice mail from his technical co-founder telling him that he had finally “cracked the code” (invented the foundational algorithm). That was the moment he finally knew that that Shazam had a chance to become a real product.

How did you choose your co-founders?

They were people who had competencies needed for the product, had the highest level of integrity, and whom he shared camaraderie with…always great to have fun along the way. 

How does Shazam selects its database?

Shazam has relationships with record companies and has music experts researching music.

What is the #1 thing you’d like the listener to walk away with from this interview? 

Make something simple that is incredibly difficult to“make simple”. When you conquer that problem, you may have something unique that delights users.

Tapdaq: Selling a Company as a Teenager with Ted Nash

Tapdaq - Ted Nash

Tapdaq – Ted Nash

Sponsors

Sensor Tower is my favorite App Store Optimization tool. Discover and identify the most worthwhile keywords to include in your app, guide based on keyword suggestions, search traffic estimates, and competitiveness difficulty ratings.

Are you developing a mobile app? Get anything from icons and buttons to your entire mobile app designed at 99designs! You can start your next graphic design project for as low as $199. Visit 99designs.com/Chat and get a $99 Power Pack of services for free.

Subscribe to the Show

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About the Episode

Coming up today’s was the first teenager to hit 1 million downloads in the App Store and then later sold his company at the age of 19 and he tells us what he would do to launch his app in today’s crowded ecosystem. Also, listen to his 80/20 rule about developing versus marketing your app and why we maybe doing it all wrong.

Ted Nash is the co-founder and CEO of Tapdaq.

Show Notes

Being a Millionaire at 19 years old

Ted ventured into the internet industry at 12 years old when he built the web portal, Red Eye, which earned him about £2k a month. Fast forward to a few more years, he created Fit or Fugly, the app that placed him in the map. The app, which uses facial recognition technology, generated about six million downloads and also got the attention of a big news company, which later on bought his technology along with the app.

Launching apps in today’s crowded ecosystem

Lowering your expectations is a mindset that you have to develop at the rate of how fast the App Store is growing. Understand that failures will happen and you have to brace yourself so you will not be disappointed. But, capture data that you can action on so you can naturally your users and increase their engagement and in turn, your monetization strategy will increase.

Ted’s 80/20 rule about developing versus marketing

In earlier times, you can spend all your cash developing your apps not really paying attention about marketing it.  What you only care about is simply putting it live and just cross your fingers if it will be a hit or if it will sink. Ted shares that we have a different the reality in the App Store now. You should spend20% of your cash, your time and your energy developing your apps but you hold 80% back for marketing, promotion and iteration. This doesn’t mean you don’t execute you apps well butit’s important for you to iterate because if you don’t listen to your users, the chances of your app being successful will be remote.

Ted mentioned that they had a very disjointed strategy when it came to execution and marketing overlap which cost them when their application launched prematurely. Along with ensuring communication channels are working properly, these are one of the mistakes you should look out for.

What is the #1 thing you’d like the listener to walk away with from this interview?

Put 20% of effort into developing it but 80% you should leave for iteration. If developers adapt this mindset, then they will have much more success than they do today.

Show Mentions

- My Most Successful Failure

- 5,000 applications vs 1. Which generates more revenue?

- Fav app: Snapchat: (iTunes | Google Play)

WeWalk: 13-Year-Old Changing Fitness for Kids with Estrella Hernandez

WeWalk - Estrella Hernandez

WeWalk – Estrella Hernandez

Sponsors

Sensor Tower is my favorite App Store Optimization tool. Discover and identify the most worthwhile keywords to include in your app, guide based on keyword suggestions, search traffic estimates, and competitiveness difficulty ratings.

Are you developing a mobile app? Get anything from icons and buttons to your entire mobile app designed at 99designs! You can start your next graphic design project for as low as $199. Visit 99designs.com/Chat and get a $99 Power Pack of services for free.

Subscribe to the Show

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About the Episode

Are you losing interest or passion in your app idea? Well today’s guest is a 13-year-old who is changing the way kids view fitness and she talks about a time that she wanted to give up on her app and how she managed to pick herself up again. Also, listen to the part of the show where she talks about the importance of community and you should surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

Estrella Hernandez is Chief Inspiration Officer We-Walk.

Show Notes

Our special guest for today is 13-year old Estrella Hernandez, the Chief Inspiration Officer of We Walk games.We Walk is a mobile app which brings gaming, walking and local culture altogether.

Here are the highlights of my discussion with Estrella:

  • The documentary about obesity where the inspiration for We Walk came from,
  • The steps she took after the forming of the initial idea and how she turned it into a feasible project to work on,
  • The role of her parents played in the development of the project,
  • The doubts that crept inover the years and how she got over it,
  • About the We Walk app and how Steve Jobs inspired her during the time when she lost interest in the app,
  • How her dad, Marcos, motivated her to be passionate again, and
  • How she views the community and what motivated her to build and develop something for her own.

Estrella has an Indiegogo campaign running and I urge all our listeners to support this cause by checking it out. Let’s help this community grow!

Show Mentions

- Geekdom

- Fav app:

Yo Steve 001: Book Recommendation to Leave Corporate Job

This is the first episode of a new segment called Yo Steve where Steve shares his book recommendation on leaving his full-time job.

His book recommendation: The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph

Ask Steve a question!

Flurry: The Metrics You Should Be Tracking in Your App with Alex Friedman & Mike Rollins

Flurry - Alexandra Friedman

Flurry – Alexandra Friedman

Flurry - Mike Rollins

Flurry – Mike Rollins

Sponsors

Sensor Tower is my favorite App Store Optimization tool. Discover and identify the most worthwhile keywords to include in your app, guide based on keyword suggestions, search traffic estimates, and competitiveness difficulty ratings.

Are you developing a mobile app? Get anything from icons and buttons to your entire mobile app designed at 99designs! You can start your next graphic design project for as low as $199. Visit 99designs.com/Chat and get a $99 Power Pack of services for free.

Subscribe to the Show

Subscribe via iTunes
Subscribe via Stitcher
Subscribe via RSS

About the Episode

Are you releasing your app without any analytics? Well today’s guests tell us why that is a BIG mistake and the key metrics you should be tracking in your app. Also, listen to an awesome feature that you might have missed in your Flurry analytics.

Show Notes

Mobile analytics can open up a floodgate of opportunities for you to grow your business. Knowing your data will lead you to identify your most valuable users, measure your success and acquire and retain users, among other things.

For this episode, we have Alex Freedman and Mike Rowland of Flurry, to guide us on what we should be doing to make sure we are tracking the right elements and incorporating the right analytics in your apps.

Alex Freedman is the Senior Manager of Analytics and is responsible for developing and retaining key clients, mobile business strategies, and answering client queries from the nitty-gritty down to the high level questions about mobile data.

Mike Rowland is the Lead Engineer of the Partner Integration Team and is responsible for getting people integrated into the platform which could span from being integrated in SDK all the way up to being integrated to the all other systems that they have in Flurry.

Here are the highlights of our discussion:

  • An overview of Flurry analytics: how they track 1.2 billion unique users in their platform monthly, how they manage data from 90% of the world’s smart phones and how it is working with about 500 apps,
  • The basic functions that you will get once you get integrated in Flurry’s systems,
  • Episodes to watch and events to follow to capture the information you need,
  • How to get integrated into Flurry system and how its software service models works,
  • Parameters, the platforms they integrate with and what an android application integration looks like,
  • Identifying and acquiring your most valuable users using Flurry using geography and demographics as well as understanding the different personas of your users through segments,
  • Measuring your success using the funnels in Flurry after you have gathered your data and how to start acquiring more of those users
  • The number of events for a user to be qualified as a quality user and the different quality metrics across different campaigns, and
  • Questions from our live listeners ranging for update times and crash support.

This awesome discussion highlights the need for us to collect the data earlier on so don’t let this be an after thought and make this a cycle if you aim to get the most ROI.

Show Mentions

- Corona

- Flurry

- Alex’s fav app: The Sketch app: (Google Play)

- Mike’s fav app: My Fitness Pal: (iTunes)