Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with cofounder Josiah Humphrey from Appster.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
We build apps.
To add to that—we build beautiful, high-quality mobile and web apps with a focus on execution, hence our slogan: 'Incredible Ideas Require Incredible Execution'. Our vision is to build a development hub for cultivating the greatest ideas and innovations in the world.
With that vision in mind we've been able to attract some truly exciting 'game-changing' projects, including a location-based payments platform that The Australian called a 'potential billion dollar start-up'... a solution for changing how ticketing works in the transport industry and many others... watch this space!
The difference that we have versus other developers is that we really consider ourselves to be the 'technology partner' to people with a great idea, almost like a 'technical co-founder'.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Appster has been bootstrapped from day one, but as we've grown we're always assessing other potential ways to fund further expansion, especially with our plans to go global into 42 countries over the next 3-5 years.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Growth! We've gone from a two-person team to around 100 in multiple countries in less than two years. Managing, finding and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges. Appster is lucky to a degree that the words of mouth referrals of existing employees is bringing a number of highly talented people to us directly, but we can always use more!
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
Our system of taking clients from an idea to an executable, usable, saleable app is unique and produces great results. Our account teams are with clients every step of the way and nothing is released unless both the client and the account team are of one mind that the app is ready.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Evernote! I love it so much I also have the physical Evernote Moleskine notebook . . . it's a good place to bring some order to all of the 'evil genius' scribbling that goes in through the day. Plus it syncs across Mac, web and iPhone, and with the notebook — I always have a place to take notes!
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Narrowing it down is hard, so here are three:
#1: Focus on relentless, disciplined execution within your business.
#2: Get as much feedback as possible from staff, customers and potential customers to constantly improve upon.
#3: THINK BIG!
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