iTypeFastR presentation on Mobile Monday november 8th 2010
Hi. I am Stefan Verkerk. I am here to talk about my iPhone app. it called iTypeFastR,
it’s an app that replaces your keyboard with one that makes you type faster and with
less typos. It’s been installed on 250k devices. I’ve been running the app company at
night, after my dayjob.
I'll be interviewed over Skype by someone whose day job it is to look at startups and decide on
investing in them or not. The is the Online Strategy and M&A Director at Sanoma Digital.
Stefan, can you turn on video?
Hi Stefan, let's start with the product market combination, and how you changed
that along the way?
The Lean Startup or Customer Deveropment theory says: Dive in fast, Touch consumers fast,
adapt the product before launch. If it works, then push for more volume. I did that. It worked. I
had a beta at no costs, that I tested on small crowd. They loved it, and gave me all kinds of
feedback that i used to tweak the product.
touch the audience
dive in fast
My second learning is that SMALL POOLS CAN BE EASIER: The market for Jailbroken
iPhones I actually very attractive. You would think that it is less attractive because
only a part of the iPhones are Jailbroken (2 million our of 73 million). BUT! it is much easier to
get attention, get traffic in the jailbroken app store (Cydia) and BigBoss than in Apples app
store. Because much less apps battle for the fishes in that pool.
Can you be a little bit more critical about yourself?
And tell us about your investment decisions?
My third lesson is that you have to LEARN TO RIDE THE MOBILE WAVE.
The entire pipe, the entire funnel is mobile. It is not about your site. It is about how well you are
found in the app store, your icon, your description and your reviews, that impact conversion to
download. And the peaks in traffics were when there were new OS releases, and new
jailbreaks. So ride that wave,
learn to ride
the mobile wave
NEXT LESSON SEAMS EASY: Don't look back to what you spend, but forward to ROI.
So at first I set it up so I changed th product, or moved forward, based on consumer reaction.
But then I had 70k downloads, but less than a percent conversion to paid users after the 20 day
trial. And I should have set up the resources, the investment and team to break the current way
of working and get into a new phase. But I kept thinking I had already invested more than I
initially planned. AND I made pretty the MOST BASIC mistakes in judgeing investments, the so
called ‘Sunk Cost fallacy’: Never think: I have already spent 10K, I should not spend more. The
10k are gone. LOOK FORWARD! this next thousand euros, will these earn themselves back?
don't look back
look for ROI
It was my personal savings, and because of that, I was not rational about it.
I learned The passion, the fire, the emotion, made it more fun, but not easier.
But the bigger problem behind this was the team. The team was just me.
I should have set up a team that compensated me, challenged me in the decisions. For instance
an outside adviser who could look more rational, compensating my blinding passion.
So Passion is a good driver, but not a good adviser.
the fire makes it fun
but not easier
An outside adviser who could look at it more rational?
I could play that role!
In theory yes. But IRL these roles cannot be played by one person