Lunch and Learn for August at Deepend saw ‘The AppVillage’ explain not just what they do all day (and sometimes all night), but some of the key issues facing starting up your own business. This presentation was especially interesting as it covered both of these areas, and didn’t sugar coat the time and effort required to get a business off the ground.
Steve Fanale (CEO and Founder) and Patrick Visser (Co-Founder) took us through the ins and outs of getting The AppVillage off the ground, starting off with an exploration of where to get started, and what makes a good entrepreneur. There are several traits you will find in a successful entrepreneur, including;
– Open to change, not risk averse
– Belief in your vision and a ‘never give up’ attitude
– Multi-skilled – you will often wear several hats when starting up your own business
– Open to working unusual and long hours
And many, many more…
Steve has prior experience in creating successful start-ups, including MassMedia Studios and The Traction Platform. He described how as a start-up, or any business in general, you face a constantly evolving business model – adapting to new situations, and learning from past mistakes/successes. It is impossible to say whether you have ever reached the ‘perfect’ business model; all you can do is strive to continue moving towards perfection.
So then what does The AppVillage do? In short; “The AppVillage provides the intelligence, process, funding and skills to create and publish a network of successful apps” (the ‘elevator pitch’). It’s like an app Cupid. You have a great idea? The AppVillage will bring together the designers, developers and investors to make it happen. You want to help out with the next ‘big app’ in any way? The AppVillage brings together the team that will make it happen. The model is based upon ‘sweat equity’, i.e. all parties involved reap the rewards of the potential success, but also share the risk involved.
So how does the business operate?
– Sourcing app ideas
– Sourcing designers and developers
– Sourcing investment
– Growing the community
– Developing the blueprint for quality process
– Managing development and marketing
So what have they created so far?
– Talking Bear Hugs – a delightful little app allowing you to send a ‘bear hug’ to someone
– Food Friendzie – stuck for ideas for a place to eat? Try this random restaurant generator for some inspiration
– Zombie Balt – an all action shooter/adventure game pitting the protagonist against a horde of brain eating zombies
– Fame Face – soon to be launched, an addictive game that will prove who has the greatest celebrity knowledge
For the future The AppVillage see potential to improve the scale of their apps by leveraging an ever-growing community of developers, designers, investors and fans, whilst also consistently working on the products and services offered by The AppVillage. Having been in existence for only one year there is huge potential moving forward for this little start-up…
Some more reading:
The AppVillage website
BRW article from Jan 2013