The Culture Milk interview series continues with someone who knows all about App Store success. Karim Morsy is the CEO of Algoriddim, which are best known for their award winning apps djay and vjay. Karim stopped by to share some of his insights about creating beautiful and functional products.
Nate Boateng: Hello Karim! First, thanks for taking a little bit of time to chat with us. Can we start with you telling our readers a little about yourself and your background?
Karim Morsy: My name is Karim Morsy, I am the CEO and co-founder of Algoriddim. Apart from my university background in computer science and musical composition, I have been a DJ for over 15 years. Co-founding Algoriddim not only meant turning a long-year passion into a business, but also following our vision to open the world of DJing to everyone.
NB: What’s a typical day like in the Algoriddim office?
KM: We are located in a beautiful office in the heart of our favorite city: Munich, Germany. The core team sits in a large room (we are not fans of cubicles), and works very closely together. Everything at Algoriddim is about team work. We design, develop, argue, fight, laugh and innovate. We also have a performance lab with the latest and greatest DJ gear, so often we also enjoy jamming to get inspiration for our products or just have fun and be creative with our favorite tunes.
NB: Back in 2011, you guys won a coveted Apple Design Award for the well known app, djay. Has that had a significant effect on your overall business?
KM: We were very excited and proud to be selected by Apple for an ADA back in 2011. It’s been our dream and we worked hard for it. Although winning the award and being featured on the App Store does generate immediate sales, we are seeing the positive impact on our brand as an even stronger reward. Building your brand helps you gain credibility when you launch future products. So clearly vjay has benefited from the previous success and recognition of djay. And from the design and engineering perspective winning the ADA set a very high bar on ourselves, thus made us even more perfectionist than we already were, which again has a positive impact on the quality of our products and overall business success in the longer term.
NB: Both djay and vjay have a brilliant UI, and even though they are highly skeuomorphic, I would argue that it’s totally appropriate for these types of apps. How much pre-planning went into the design of the interface, and what is the process like working with your visual designers?
KM: We believe design and engineering is very closely related, therefore our designer works hand in hand with the engineers, in fact some of our engineers are designers as well. We spend a lot of time getting the design of a product right. Even if this means going back to the drawing board after weeks of hard work, we are always committed to deliver the best possible result. Everything should look, feel and behave amazingly well, and most importantly we care about simplicity in the design of our products, less is usually more!
NB: There’s been a good amount of talk recently regarding marketing for App Store applications. As a top company, are there any tricks of the trade that you can share?
KM: First, make sure you create a great product, care about your customers, and keep making your product better. Marketing is a very important factor developers sometimes tend to neglect. It’s not necessarily about spending a ton of money on banner ads, but my advice is to start building your brand early on and look for ways to gain visibility beyond just the listing of your app on the App Store. For us working with great partners turned out to be a successful strategy. For example we partner with some of the world’s top manufactures of DJ gear to create accessories for our apps, therefore we gain additional visibility in retail stores for instance. Think about possible hardware tie-ins in the domain of your own app, they are very powerful. Also make sure you get good press, and find a PR company to get you the right visibility. Nothing’s more powerful than a solid review in a trusted magazine that is read by many potential customers.
NB: The response has been overwhelmingly positive for vjay and djay. Is there anything in the pipeline that you are able to share with us?
KM: Well, we don’t talk about future products, but we have exciting stuff in the pipeline, so stay tuned. Of course we are also always working on stunning updates to vjay and djay.
NB: Karim, thank you so much for taking a little time out of your busy schedule to talk with our readers. We’re very appreciative.
You can check out all of Algoriddim’s products on their website.
They’ve also recently announced retina MacBook Pro updates for their Mac apps. Make sure and check out the goods.