You’re with some friends, having a beer, and you start talking crazy about having your own startup, about creating your own products and setting yourself out there to change a little part of your world. Well, this is exactly what Ka, JJ and Mateo (the guys currently known as Makan Studios) did.
Once they had their own startup in mind, they got together for a weekend in the mountains, brainstormed the craziest ideas, chose the one that seemed best and implemented it. Thus Real Colors was born. And not long after, they were on the list of featured apps in Google Play, mentioned and appreciated in various Android communities and counting over 70.000 downloads of their app. Here’s the story of how it all happened, with a few words from JJ aka Andrei Blaj, one of the Makan Studios founders.
So, what does Real Colors do?
Real Colors is a mobile app, currently running only on Android, that automatically generates color palettes from photos taken with your phone. It’s meant to help designers select the color palette for a website or anything else they’re working on, starting from a real life feeling. It seems the guys at Makan Studios got it really right – the market is there and they’ve managed to create a great app for it. To talk numbers, Real Colors comes in a free version – Real Colors Lite, which was downloaded by almost 70.000 users, currently counting 30.000 active ones. Then there’s the Pro version, with a cost of $4.99, which was downloaded by approximately 3000 people, having a retention rate of about 75%, that is approx. 2300 active users. Quite not bad, I’d say!
Going viral in the Android community
So how did all the word go around? “Our most important mention was as a Staff Pick app for both Mobile and Tablet starting from June 10th. We got there after our app was reviewed and appreciated by Roman Nurik, Reto Meier and Fred Chung (developers and evangelists of Android at Google) at the Friday App Review. To get there, we auto proposed our app using an online form provided by Google.
After this, we got reviewed by several other websites like: AndroidCommunity, TheAppPlanet, CreativePro, SmartBusinessDatabase. Besides these websites we were mentioned in several italian, spanish, german, chinese or romanian websites. As a strategy, we contacted several design websites and we bragged about being a Staff Pick app. Some did a review for us. We plan on paying for some reviews to see what is the ROI of this. ”
So the Android community loves Real Colors. I couldn’t help but wonder, why did they build it first on Android? The answer is not as complex as I expected it to be, but it’s quite logical: previous experience. “We now have an Android version, because one of us has more than 3 years experience developing Android apps. It was easier and much faster to develop Android and test whether it had market traction. We are now working on the iPhone app, which will be launched in August this year. ”
What does the future hold?
“We have been busy with marketing, promotion and PR in the last period. We will develop features that our clients asked for in the next month. We expect to release the new features in mid July.
We are researching the tech accelerators market to find the best fit for our vision, which is to “Help people be creative anytime, anywhere”. We are checking accelerators in the US & Canada. Because the market for Real Colors is rather small, we are already researching bigger ideas. We look at Real Colors as our first successful mobile experiment from which we are trying to learn as much as we can.”