Sramana: You mentioned that the angel investors you brought on added a lot of value to the company. Would you elaborate on that? You were in revenue right away, so some would argue that this is a business you could have built without their money allowing you to maintain complete control.
Andrew Gazdecki: To some extent, that is true. I definitely have no regrets about the money we raised. The angels we have had involved have been instrumental in our success. I am 23 and I have never operated a company. I have not really had a real job. My last job was a graphics design job I got fired from. I definitely did not have experience operating, growing, and managing a company. Having people with that experience was absolutely instrumental in growing a big company.
If I did not raise angel investments, then I would have been the most experienced. I would have been the person who appeared to have the answers. I prefer to be the dumbest person in the room. Without them, I would not have learned nearly as much.
Sramana: So you held them as personal mentors, which was of significant value, correct?
Andrew Gazdecki: Exactly. Anytime there is a tough decision in the company, like employee conflicts or issues with clients, or perhaps direction with the products or operational issues like finances and taxes, it is very good to have investors. I can’t even put into words how valuable they have been from start to finish in every aspect of the company.
Sramana: How has the business grown over time? What has the ramp-up looked like?
Andrew Gazdecki: At this point we have published 8,000 iPhone apps. We have grown from a team of three to 40 employees. We consider ourselves to be the largest producer of iPhone apps in the world. I have not come across a company that has produced more. Based on the number of apps in the iTunes store, we power 1% of all apps in that store today.
Sramana: Are you still doing both the product business and the service business?
Andrew Gazdecki: No. We have expanded into a couple of other channels to acquire customers. We have a white label reselling program. That means that we partner with web design agencies and marketing companies to white label all the tools they need to be successful selling mobile apps and websites to small businesses.
Sramana: How do you charge that channel?
Andrew Gazdecki: We require that they commit to 10 apps up front. That ensures we work only with qualified companies. With that we discount, our apps up to 75% based on the volume of apps they do. My point there is that we do provide a service element, but we provide it through our reseller element. They will take the time to educate small business owners, even if that means making PowerPoint presentations. Our company does not directly provide service, but we have a reach into that through our reseller network.
Sramana: The service agencies are essentially one of your distribution channels, right?
Andrew Gazdecki: Exactly. We partner with them and leverage their service capabilities.