Appo Blog: Why I Started Appolicious

Sep 11, 2009
Finance

After I left Yahoo! on December 1st of last year, I took some time to reflect on what I wanted to do next.  After considering a range of options, it became obvious to me I was going to start another company—there’s nothing more exciting in my mind that building a great team to solve a […]

After I left Yahoo! on December 1st of last year, I took some time to reflect on what I wanted to do next.  After considering a range of options, it became obvious to me I was going to start another company—there’s nothing more exciting in my mind that building a great team to solve a problem no one’s solved yet and seeing vision become reality.  The question was, “what problem?” 

I had a few criteria for whatever the new business was going to be:

  • Had to be on top of a HUGE macro trend – this quickly got me thinking around mobile apps and around Twitter.
  • Had to be  cash flow efficient – most web businesses are these days
  • Had to be a truly “hard to solve” problem
  • Had to be a business that generated increasing returns to scale

 

every company out there is going to have an app that they want to put on your phone…

I quickly focused on mobile apps in May, after realizing how hard it was to find apps for my mobile device and that the problem was only going to get worse. When you start thinking about it, you realize that every company out there is going to have an app that they want to put on your phone—and when this happens, the 70,000 or so apps that currently exist will mushroom to 1 million  apps or more. How in the heck are you going to find the right app for you? It’s not going to be just from a set of reviews, and it’s not going to be just from a great search experience. The answer is going to be the same way you currently find apps in the real world—from your friends and acquaintances. 

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    I was able to pull together a great set of folks—most of us have worked together before—and we got going on the project.  We built Appolicious to enable you to follow people you know and trust and find other people like you to discover and recommend apps for you to use, based on who you are and what you do. It’s early—it’s the beginning of the beginning—but if you play around on the site I hope you can see where we are going.

    Our take on the developer market is also a bit different. Although I realize that many of the top Apps right now are not free, it is my firm belief that the vast majority of Apps in the future will be free. The app-mobile device ecosystem for the first time represents the fulfillment of the promise of the mobile web that Corporate America has been talking about for years—a notion based on the ability to service your most valuable customers when they are.   There is value for a company (say a retailer) to have their app on your mobile device. Companies will pay a percentage of that value to drive adoption of their apps. And in a world of 1 million Apps, it will be increasingly difficult to drive that adoption. 

    We are very interested in working closely with Advertisers and Brands to help them fully showcase the value of their apps to Consumers—and to drive adoption in the most cost-efficient way possible. To that end, we are co-producing the Apps For Brands conference in conjunction with Advertising Age on September 23rd in New York City.

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    Check out Appolicious and let us know what you think!

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