Published on February 18th, 2015 | by firstname.lastname@example.org
FounderSpotlight with Ian Naylor, CEO of AppInstitute
Tell us about your business and what it does.
Dubbed the ‘WordPress’ for mobile apps, AppInstitute gives individual users and small business owners an affordable and user-friendly way to create their own apps for Smartphones. Regardless of your businesses’ size, with our powerful user-friendly design tool you can create the exact app that you need to effectively engage and expand your businesses’ customer base.
Requiring little to no prior technical knowledge, users of the platform can create apps for both Apple and Android devices to increase the digital presence and engagement of their business — whether it be a restaurant wanting to create a unique takeaway app, a business looking to reward its customers every time they buy an item through their phone, or a medical practice hoping to improve their patient’s service facilities.
What was the original inspiration behind the idea for your business?
As a technologist I’m a great believer in harnessing technology, and I saw a big business doing something similar with mobile apps. However, the cost was prohibitive for small businesses and the gap between ‘the haves’ and ‘have-nots’ was getting bigger, the idea for our startup was to address that balance.
Have you owned a successful business before? What were the characteristics that led to success?
Yes, DealClick.co.uk. The idea behind DealClick was to build a 100% automated business, a consumer price comparison engine comparing over 1m products, which I achieved in 2001. The key to success was leveraging technology, and it was sold in Dec 2011.
How does your product and/or company stand out from its competition?
Technology is relatively easy to replicate, but people, passion and our culture much less so. Whilst customers choose us for our tech, they love us, recommend us and stay with us for our service and enthusiasm for their success.
What is the most important lesson you learned in the early stages of your business?
The biggest lesson has been to “get out of the building,” to stop assuming you know what your customers want, and instead go out and speak to them.
What are the key company milestones that you would like to achieve over the next year?
We’ve spent a lot of time working with a small set of businesses to develop a great solution, where we have seen remarkable results. We now need to amplify that and help many more businesses achieve and benefit from these lessons and solutions that we can provide.