Among being one of the leading B2B mobile app development companies in the United States, APPEK also builds its own apps to address problems that it encounters as a leading developer, as well as to simply entertain. For instance, you may remember Adam Ceresko and Andrew Herman (founders of APPEK) on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt as a finalist for Start-up Battlefield debuting pathmapp, a mobile A/B Testing Platform. Ceresko and Herman also were the guys behind the mobile game “Faceinvaders” that went viral about a year ago and was covered by Techcrunch, Gizmodo, and others. Indeed, Gizmodo featured Faceinvaders as an “iPad App of the Day” and later as an “iPad App of the Week.”
Most recently the APPEK guys launched a new app – this one is called French Girls and it is likely to be the biggest yet. Here’s an article from this morning on the “Unofficial Apple Blog” (aka, TUAW) saying that French Girls appears poised to go viral. With over 20,000 sketches drawn in 5 days French Girls appears to be one of the fastest growing apps of all time!
I was able to catch up this morning with one of the founders of APPEK and the brainchild of French Girls Andrew Herman. I hope you enjoy our interview and if you haven’t yet Download the French Girls App on IOS / Apple here.
KRIS JONES: Tell me more about French Girls App?
ANDREW HERMAN: French Girls is an app that’s all about fun! You take your picture and send it to some stranger with an iPhone who now bares the task of drawing you! The beauty of this app is that you really only ever get two types of responses: (1) a really beautiful, artistic rendering of yourself from a highly talented artist that you’ll want to frame to make your mom cry, or (2), a drawing so pathetically feeble that you’ll want to post it to Facebook for your friends to laugh at, and your mom to see and cry. So I guess when I think about it, this app is all about finding ways to make your mom cry. Is that bad?
KRIS JONES: How did you get the idea for French Girls App?
ANDREW HERMAN: French Girls actually came about from a hackathon we did with the team at APPEK, our mobile development consultancy (http://www.appekapps.com). We called the hackathon “AppStock,” and the idea was to get the team in the same room, start the weekend with no idea what we were going to come up with, and have a finished, app store ready product by the end of the weekend. Also to drink a lot of beer. We were blogging the whole time, which I recommend checking out (http://appek.tumblr.com/), but this was the process in a nutshell:A couple weeks leading up to AppStock, everybody contributed to a growing list of ideas for “themes” that we would vote on. On the morning of AppStock, we voted on these themes through several rounds of voting and lobbying for ideas. It’s funny, because the theme we ended up selecting was actually a late-addition that day! The theme we selected was “wordless”.
From the selection of the theme, we then spent a couple hours in some brainstorming exercises to stretch out the concept of a “wordless” app. Again we went through a few rounds of voting and lobbying for the actual idea. There was a gold mine of ideas in that exercise, but French Girls rose to the top for 3 reasons: (1) it was completely feasible for us to complete in the time frame we wanted, (2) we loved the creative merit of the idea, and most importantly (3) it was goddamn hilarious!
A credit to the team, French Girls was truly the product of a democratic process and a lot of highly skilled appsmiths!
KRIS JONES: Tell me more about APPEK Mobile Apps?
ANDREW HERMAN: APPEK Mobile Apps is a company that my co-founder Adam Ceresko and I started in mid-2009 to serve the growing market demand for high quality development of iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry apps, especially amongst high-visibility, funded startups and Fortune 500 brands. We’ve grown a lot over the last few years and have evolved into a full service mobile app consultancy, but very much maintain a personal experience with our clients. Right now, we can serve any company as an end-to-end mobile strategy partner, including Discovery, Design, Development, Support and beyond!
APPEK has also given us a lot of experience and expertise to explore other business opportunities in the exploding mobile app world. One such opportunity of significant note is Pathmapp (http://www.pathmapp.com), an A/B Testing service for native iOS Apps (with Android soon to come). There are a lot of challenges in the business world with respect to the shift from web to mobile, and Pathmapp is a supportive technology to help the trend setters of the mobile world learn how to optimize their apps!
KRIS JONES: What’s next for French Girls App? (i.e. updates, the future)
ANDREW HERMAN: We have a lot of great ideas for what’s coming up in French Girls, but ultimately we’re going to practice what we preach to our clients–let our users tell us what they want! That said we have a lot of really cool ideas for much more social engagement and community-based features, but we absolutely love the simplicity of the app, too, so you can bank on that staying! What do you think we should do? Let us know! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, @frenchgirlsapp, or @appekapps!