Today I interview David Eberle, one of the founders of Typewise, the app that set out to redesign how we enter text into our phones. This presented many logistical challenges, from coding a keyboard in many languages to finding a way for the app to nest within other apps and be compatible with Android and Apple software.
David and I discuss the story of Typewise, from its inception as a two-person operation to where they are today as a 15-person company. David talks about his hiring process for the company and specifically for developer roles, going through all of the recruitment stages step by step, which is really essential knowledge for anyone thinking of bringing a full-time developer on to their team. David also talks about his experience of funding Typewise through a Kickstarter funding round, sharing insights on how to make a good promotional video and on getting the word out about the Kickstarter fund into the media to gain traction.
Once the app was launched, David and his team dealt with the blow of negative reviews of the beta phase of the app, particularly on iOS. Apple had recently launched the iPhone 6 which had a different screen rendering to the iPhone 5, meaning that the keyboard was the wrong size and some keys were hidden. Eventually, they were able to manage the problem by redeveloping the app, cutting out some of the more technical features to focus on creating an app that was more streamlined, which was better received by users.
This interview gives a great overview on launching a successful app, starting from scratch and building up towards managing a thriving company.
[00:22] David introduces himself and talks about Typewise
[01:44] The issues of creating a keyboard app
[02:44] The starting point for Typewise
[04:46] Creating an app that lives within other apps
[05:50] Pivoting Typewise’s strategy
[06:30] Distributing Typewise via app stores
[08:09] The three avenues that Typewise is using to grow
[10:31] Growing Typewise from a two-person company to a 15-person company
[15:34] How to hire good developers
[18:01] Putting new developers on a probationary period
[20:22] Crowdfunding Typewise through Kickstarter
[25:25] Dealing with poor reviews on iOS
David on LinkedIn
Mobile App Makers podcast website