Arthur Querou of Appinest creators of the Pphone applications “Meme Reader” and “Whenay”.
What services does your company provide?
Appinest, a company created by Louis Bur and myself, is an iPhone app development company. We have built two apps. The first one is called MEME READER, a free app that lets you enjoy 9GAG images on your mobile. The second one is called WHENAY, and is fairly similar, but the images are reactions gifs. At first, we wanted to develop apps for regular customers, but MEME READER had such a success that we decided to focus entirely on its development.
How long has your company existed?
We created our company a year and a half ago, we worked a lot on our product to scale it to 600 000 monthly active users. We also published a new app called Whenay which is starting to grow and that we are going to promote soon.
How did you decide to create theses apps?
9Gag (the website our app is based on) was pretty popular in our university, it’s related to the geek culture and our university, called EPITA is THE geek’s university in France as we are studying computer science engineering. So we decided to create an app for it. It took off immediately, 8000 daily downloads from the first day! The second app is fairly similar, the images are reactions gifs, people illustrate their every day reactions with animated images, you can check out the website whenay.com to get a better idea. With this app we wanted something that everyone can relate to, not only geeks.
What are the different sources of income for apps?
Their are several ways to make money with apps. First, the premium models are the apps that you buy off the apple store. It was pretty popular at the beginning but with thousands of apps created every day, it’s in fact really difficult to make a lot of money out of it unless you are a really famous studio and have a big advertising budget (Rovio, Disney, EA, …). The second one, the most popular and the most effective is Freemium. The app itself is free but you might have to pay for items or features in the app. Some other apps also have ads displayed in it. As of today, the apps that make the most money work this way. Super Cell who edits Clash Of Clans and Hay Day is able to generate more than $2.4M a day! For our app, we use ads as our users are pretty young and not willing/able to spend money in the app. It’s been really effective and we managed to negotiate a premium contract with a big advertising agency which allows us to get more interesting contracts with people who wants to buy ads in our app.
What do you enjoy more about working for yourself?
As I said before, when we first created the company, we were planning to create apps for clients as well. But when our app took off, we did not need to do that and it’s been amazing as we had full control on what we wanted to do. We could try things, be creative and the most important thing is that we learned a lot more than we would have with clients.
How do you see the future of your company?
Today, we are at a stand by regarding the app development. We want to be more ambitious. As a lot of startups we want to have an impact in our field. This is why we are currently creating a new company in the field of mobile advertising while being incubated in Startup42, which is my EPITA’s accelerator. We got so frustrated with ads on our apps that we want to create new ways to display ads and get new users. Even if we are just starting, a lot of big publishers showed interest in our technology and we already have a first client.
What could you advise other entrepreneurs that are in the app business?
Don’t plan big, plan small. You are probably not going to have a huge success on the app store, their are thousands of new apps everyday and you are most likely to fail, at least at the beginning. Learn from your mistakes and keep on going. Also their is no luck, you have to search for fields that don’t have too much competition, for example, if you plan to make a game, it’s maybe not a good idea unless you have budget to buy a lot of advertising (at least $20k only for this). Also, if you want to learn from people who succeeded or failed, a good website is iPhoneDevSDK, the community there is really active and people help each other a lot. Finally, never discourage yourself, creating apps is a hell of a journey and really exciting.