Kiip works with thousands of developers, so it only makes sense for us to interview the masterminds behind the apps we integrate into. In this Q&A we meet Daniel Todd, CEO and Co-Founder of Influence Mobile. Check out Daniel’s responses below about the lessons he’s learned while developing and monetizing his app.
What is Influence Mobile?
Tell me about yourself and your role at Influence Mobile.
My name is Daniel Todd I am the CEO of Influence Mobile. I have been running start-ups since 1998. My first company I helped grow to $80M a year in revenue and it has generated nearly a billion dollars since inception. At Influence Mobile I am involved day to day with most groups including Customer Support, Sales, Account Management, Development and Marketing. My primary focus is on ongoing product development and to that end I spend a lot of time talking and working directly with our app players.
How big is your development team?
We have four full time and two part time developers plus two folks doing Quality Assurance.
What tools help you work (what are your favorite)?
- Google Search
- Coke Zero
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned when building a mobile app?
It is incredibly difficult to built a multi-faceted app that is both simple and easy to use. It is easier to build a robust app that works like a swiss army knife. Turns out that you have to be very purposeful on where and when in your app you lead your users down a new path. It is important to talk with your core customers to determine both what they like AND what will work for you in terms of a viable revenue model.
Any advice for developers creating their first app?
Don’t build anything until you speak with 100+ ideal customers and truly understand what type of minimum features would create value for them. Then do simple mock-ups and show it to them before you undergo substantial development. Also understand your revenue model as well before you start. If you can’t make enough money on the app to purchase new customers at a robust pace then you have a substantially increased chance of failure. There is a 99.9%+ chance that the “build it and they will come” marketing strategy will fail. Understanding your cost of acquisition before you build anything will save you a lot of time and money.
Tell me about your experience with mobile monetization. What works, what doesn’t?
Focus on value for BOTH your customer and your advertisers. If you don’t create a virtuous circle that works for both groups one will leave and you will be out of business. If you are going to sell something, start the price higher and deliver a higher value product. Selling stuff at scale for $.99 is hard.
What do you like about moment-based rewards and Kiip?
Kiip has a great set of advertisers and they really present a superior product experience when compared to the typical online advertising unit.
What excites you most about the mobile space right now?
I love the opportunity to be creative, try new things and break new ground. Mobile is going to be the largest marketplace in the history of the world. Where else would you want to be if you were creating products?
What emerging trends do you hope to see become commonplace?
In-app purchases. People are beginning to understand that paying a fair rate for games that provide dozens of hours of fun is acceptable. You pay $12 for a 2 hour movie, so paying $5-10 for a week’s worth of coins to play your favorite game is easily comparable and a better value in dollars per hour of entertainment.
What’s next for Influence Mobile?
International expansion. We spent 2016 launching our Engage platform and 300 apps rebuilt on React Native. Now we want to take our show to Europe, Asia and beyond to sports fans around the world.