Good Day all, I had a great day, strange how moving from scenario to scenario teaches and exposes you to a lot of things that you never expected. Today was just supposed to be a solitary run with my mother down San Fernando and I ended up by a customer later that same morning got paid, a job opportunity and to put icing on the cake learnt that she and I shared a love for audiobooks as well as Self development. I always liked the principles of life and how the belief in something can bring about great change in someone’s life. Enough rambling about how awesome today seems to unfold, let me share with you what I intend to cover today. Back to the How’d you get into that? pod cast with Grant and his interviewee Matt Sebek who is an app developer and sports junkie. He is the co-funder of two popular apps Rookies (a custom baseball card creator) and Cast (which allows user to create micro polls for various topics via social media). Its really fascinating how this very podcast came out today when I being a up and coming
app creator wanted to find out how to get started on creating a successful app. Divine intervention or maybe my subconscious just pulling the strings in the background. Anyway lets get into it and see what gems i pull out.
Here is the podcast http://www.grantbaldwin.com/matt-sebek/
Key Points Taken
How did Matt make his love of sports and technology into an entrepreneural opportunity – 1:58.
He has two apps Rookies which allows people to make their own baseball card and Cast which is a social polling application. He in a sense is a sports geek and being apart of both worlds and combining it was the best thing option.
Although living in a blue collar home, where his dad was a mechanic, he wanted his son to be able to be up with the times with technology. So he saved up to ensure Matt received the best in the way of technology for example the first nintendo, apple computer and gateway computer later on. With so much exposure to technology, doing computer science in college was a no brainer.
Combining of his passions – 5:25
Seeing how technology is not going away anytime soon and can pretty much be combined with anything to improve it in someway, Matt took it as it came. Well technically an injury while playing soccer made him focus a little more on the
computer sides of things in his last year at college, which was a blessing in disguise. Soon the world of sport began embracing technology in the form of sports blogs, digital media and podcasting.
His Aha moment – 6:53
He didnt quite start with creating apps, but with a sports blog JoeSportsFan, which at that time was a big thing to do. Being knowledgeable in web design he made his blog stand out from the rest since most other bloggers used the default skins on wordpress. Also the age of technology gave people opportunities to rep your team online not only when you are with your family and friends or in a bar. Building larger communities of fans online to share views with others gave you some sort of reach that you never had before.
From being pushed content to pushing content – 8:18
Back in the day when you were kid, for you to be interested in sports you had to read it in the news paper or watch it on tv. The content you were given was the opinions of people who have the obligation to provide it for you, now the transition is that everyone has the opportunity to create an identity online and share their views on sports.
You now have people who are not the sports writers or sports personalities getting the fans, any simpleton behind some computer in a house could have 500thousand followers via many social media outlets.
Writing a sports blogs for fun – 9:10
Apps, reality show and selling t-shirts – 12:35
Relationships take time to blossom but when they do – 13:52
His hard work from Joesportsfan over the years helped him build relationships which didnt seem evident and useful till certain events came around.
His move into creating his first app – 15:33
He liked communicating with people and the sales side of technology, but on the business side he only saw a lot of ideas and no one who really understood technology or how to get the people to make things happen. Matt took his ideas and used his ability to network to form teams around him that could build and make it happen. Now although a technology geek at heart he’s doing very little coding and has more of a leadership role and driving the concept into reality.
How Rookies came about – 16:57
Rookies came about to Matt while he was on a flight and his wife wanted to throw his baseball cards away. He realized that the cards were the same size as an original iphone and he decided to take the cards that he had in possession and have them be put virtually on his phone to collect and trade. The idea came to a slight halt when the
new iphone 4 was not the same size as a baseball card anymore and they changed the concept not only to have original baseball cards but to have the user create their own cards and share them as well as print it out.
How the app has changed from its original purpose and evolved – 22:16
The app which was released a year ago and had been set at a time to be ready for spring training where the sale of baseball cards usually starts but the business sales took a different turn and sold earlier than expected and for a totally different purpose, Christmas Cards. His team didnt expect this and although appreciative of the sales really
wanted it to go to the fans, but instead they were being created for casual replacements in people’s lives. So the plan for his team now was to target the niche markets like weddings and little leagues.
Lean Startup – 25:29
Getting your minimal viable product out as fast as you can to get the feedback from users as soon as possible. This can give you the option to either scrap, make changes etc. The sooner you can get a product in the consumers hand the smarter you will be, you lower risk, so you can map the product to the user’s demands and interests.
Have a blog about your app – 26:27
Create a blog for release day so customers can read about the app and maybe a bit of story to entice others. The blog can also build SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and can improve page rank based on name. Networking within the space for example if its a sports app, espn or yahoo sports or sports podcasts, which can help put the word out
Hustling your app – 27:38
With so many apps out there in the app store and play store, your app despite being well designed can be hidden under all the other apps because its not well marketed.
Intermixing your passion with apps – 28:33
A business person, A tech person and A design person, the three headed monster thats suggested by Matt to be able to create an effective app. Search for a tech group in your area, provide your ideas and see where you can move from
Again another podcast that was a bit misleading, it had alot of info just not what I wanted to really hear. Things I will share in closing that I grasped from this podcast was gather a team of people who are good at specific roles. Create a web space that will correlate with the project to help assist in marketing and can also be another outlet to
something else. Lean startup your product so that you can get the soonest feedback to help fix kinks, reduce risk and make the necessary changes so that the customer is satisfied with the end product. Ensure you can market your product properly as
well as learn to accept that what you think is your initial concept for a product may change when its in the hands of the user which may be a bad thing in your eyes but creates a lot more sales, possibilities and niche markets. Thanks for taking the time
to read another one of my posts and be sure to check back for another tomorrow.