UI Palette: Tell us a bit about about how you got started, where did the idea behind Sympler come from?
Ben Jenkins: Both my business partner and I herald from the creative industries and we’ve spent our careers building content for youth brands. During that time we’ve consistently been reminded that the kids are more creative than the ‘man’ but have traditionally not been given the credit for this. So we wanted to create a means for more people to tell audio visual stories that they’re proud of. Telling short stories through video is still difficult unless you’re a video editor and video editing tools are still based on the Avid with was invented in the 1990s. However producing music using tools like Machine or MPC have a much more intuitive interface and more people can produce beats using them. So we took these processes used for music production by DJs and applied it to video and stills.
UIP: How did you develop your team?
Ben Jenkins: We’ve bootstrapped this up to now and our team are a small shop from DUMBO called Feedtank who’ve been great partners to work with and are still working on new features. We’ve been strict about which features get built and which don’t by staying faithful to the original vision and only designing features that make that process simpler and more effective.
UIP: What did you use to build it? Is it a native app?
Ben Jenkins: It is a native app. Built in Objective C.
UIP: How are you getting users?
Ben Jenkins: As this is our beta and we’re using it to define which features to focus on for the full release – we haven’t done any push marketing. We’ve been picked up fairly organically and Apple featured us in the New and Noteworthy section. Despite no marketing we still have over 70K users which is great, but not the objective at this stage.
UIP: What’s your advice to app developers who may not know much about branding?
Ben Jenkins: Identify your target market and see which tools and brands they adore and build your product or service to be completely in sych with their ecosystem. Often you will be your target market so your brand and branding will come from an intuitive place
UIP: Do you or do you plan to monetize this app?
Ben Jenkins: Through a premium version and to provide it as a way for content owners (record labels, media industry, etc) to use it as a way to co-create content with their audiences. So it will be a sophisticated promotional tool where both sides derive benefits – unlike traditional advertising where the audience is simply interrupted.
An extra special thanks to Ben for sharing this expertise with us, we greatly appreciate it!
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to leave thoughts behind in the comments, we would love to hear from you.