Interview with Adonis Software, a young company doing mobile apps
Cristian: Hi Ancu and welcome on board. We are here today to talk about Adonis Software, a young company doing mobile apps. What do you do at Adonis?
Ancu: Hi Cristi and hello to all your readers, it’s great to be here. I am co-founder and Business Development Manager at Adonis Software.
Cristian: How did you guys start? Is it the typical story of a few young people set up to make the next Facebook together?
Ancu: We had a few ideas, yes, one of them is today’s Urban Hero (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adonissoft.urbanhero), which we’re really proud to have made it after all. One of the problems we had then was financial. The second was that we’ve noticed that if you wanted to develop an iOS or Android application it wasn’t really easy to find somebody to do it. Of course, some large software development companies had a mobile development department, but usually that meant a small 2-3 people team, not very specialized in this area, which usually offered a mobile application as a less important part for their client’s much larger projects. There weren’t many companies specialized in mobile application development, having this as their first focus, especially in the Romanian market, so we thought it would be a good idea to offer this service, while raising funds in the same time to work on our own ideas.
Cristian: I always find very interesting to hear about the first line of code. It usually happens on the kitchen table, or in the basement office. How did you do it?
Ancu: Haha, well it wasn’t that dramatic, but pretty close to it. Our first lines of code were written in our dorm room while we were still students, at 3 AM, on a Windows OS laptop that ran a MAC OS virtual machine which had quite a long response time and often crashed, taking our patience to the limits 🙂
Cristian: How did you find your first customer? What went well and wasn’t so nice about having the first development contract?
Ancu: Well that was our first question as well at first, how do we get our clients? Our attention was on the Western European countries and the US, where the smartphone market and therefore the app one was clearly more developed than in Romania. The remaining question was how do we reach them? That was the moment when the freelancing thought seemed like the option to go with. I personally have worked before with freelancing platforms, so we chose to enter the largest one at the moment: freelancer.com. It proved to be a good idea, as we’ve worked on many projects there, got to know lots of interesting people from across the borders and really learned a lot. We’ve worked our way through and are currently on top 5 companies on freelancer.com in terms of iPhone, iPad and Android development.
To answer your second question, nothing went wrong actually, the client was quite satisfied with our work, the only problem was that the budget was really low, but we didn’t think at it that way, we were still at the beginning of the learning curve and what mattered the most was to prove ourselves.
Cristian: And nowadays what are the areas where you developed the most? What makes your customers tick?
Ancu: Our first focus remains the iOS and Android applications, although we are also taking web based projects. What recently changed is that we now have a department dedicated to building our own apps. The ideas we had when we first started are now starting to become a reality, we were placed third on Ericsson Application Awards with our Urban Hero app for Android. It’s literally a dream came true.
What makes our client tick most of the time is our experience in usability. Quality is everything and user’s experience is what matters the most.
Cristian: How many apps have you developed so far?
Ancu: About 40-50 apps. You can find our portfolio on our website: http://adonissoft.com/mobile-applications-development/.
Cristian: What would be your advice for a business willing to have a mobile app? Go for Android or IOS first?
Ancu: That depends on what is the business trying to achieve through the app. For example, if it’s a branding app the way to go is to develop it for Android and make it free, clearly because there are a lot more devices on Android than iOS. If you’re planning to monetize the app than I believe you should go with iOS. Statistics say that iOS users are much more likely to pay.
Cristian: Does it really make sense for a small business to have an app? And how do they find out if they need an app or a mobile site?
Ancu: Yes, it definitely does make sense. I’m sure their clients are already in the mobile world, and that’s where they should be as well if they want to reach them. I now consider apps to be what websites were in 2000, an innovative method to differentiate yourself on the market while having an incredible growth potential. I believe it’s not long before a mobile app is going to become a necessity.
Cristian: Where are most of your customers coming from?
Ancu: Right now most of our customers are local, from Romania. While we were working with foreign customers, we’ve noticed how the local app market developed, so the demand is quite high right now. However, we’re not neglecting our foreign clients, we still work with them as well.
Cristian: And what is the most successful app you did so far in terms of usage?
Ancu: In my opinion the most successful app is ZeroShake for iPhone. It’s a video stabilization app. Do you know that feeling when you’re taking a video while you’re at a concert, or in vacation, or anywhere else and you’re really happy you could record that moment in your life and then you go home and see the video is all shaky? Well this app solves that problem, you now can get really professional non-shaky videos, and more than that you can add interesting video effects and then share them with your friends. ZeroShake was recently launched and it already hit top photo and video apps on AppStore in the countries it was promoted in: Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand.
Cristian: You are from Romania, right? (I know you are, but I’m introducing this to the readers this way). How easy or how hard is to start a business in Romania nowadays?
Ancu: I believe it’s as easy or hard as anywhere. Sure, one may accuse the economical perspective which is not that great in Romania and other excuses, but in the end it’s about your ambition to make a difference, to change something, to give something back to the world and that is the same wherever you’re from.
Cristian: What are you most proud of related to the business? Having customers? Being an entrepreneur? Your first employee? Doing what you love?
Ancu: Definitely doing what I love while having the chance to bring joy to people through our applications and having our contribution to technology improvement. We’ve once developed a very simple game called iShakeitfit, it was the greatest moment for me when users started posting videos on YouTube while playing it and having fun. Can’t even describe the feeling.
Cristian: How long does it take to build a mobile app?
Ancu: This is really tough to answer because it really depends on the app. Our smallest project was of two weeks, while our largest was of 10 months.
Cristian: My feedback on businesses wanting a mobile app is that most of the time, the requests are not really “mobile oriented”. They just want a “webish version”. How do you deal with customers thinking about mobile apps like being web apps?
Ancu: The way I approach this situation is that I present them the advantages and disadvantages of a mobile app over a mobile site. It’s really important that they understand this well. The mobile application is recommended if you want your users to enjoy their experience while using your application, a native app is the only way you can have the experience that your smartphone was designed to offer you. Also, with a native app you have access to your phone’s hardware like camera, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and so on, which can help integrate many many interesting features. If your app doesn’t need any of these features, and you’re ok with your users having a web experience on their mobile phones then you can go for a web app and the advantage will be that it will save you some costs.
Cristian: Any advices for entrepreneurs willing to start a business in mobile?
Ancu: Sure, if you’re really passionate about it and love what you’re doing never give up no matter what anyone else tells you. The rest will take care by itself.