SDH 016: Steps to Building a Mobile App with Kim Harrod
CEO and Founder of Keepsayk – The Instant Scrapbook of Your Life
An iPhone app that allows you to create beautiful, sharable scrapbooks right from your phone using photos, videos, text captions and sharing via text, email, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. For all of those who are “time starved but experience rich!” ← [we love this!]
Launching Keepsayk 2.0 July in NYC at Blogher, a conference focused on social publishing for women.
“It can be really challenging, especially when you’re juggling real-life with your career-life”
Kim shares her background story and professional experience. With a finance background she started in investment banking and corporate development then jumped into middle-market buyouts. – She knows what it takes to be a professional women in a male-dominated industry.
“It’s sort of funny when you hear about ‘lean in’, I think of it more as just ‘hang on!’”
Having had 4 kids while working in private equity, she struggled to find the time. With her first two she had baby books and calendars, her third child did not have a baby book and maybe had a calendar, but her youngest daughter … forget it.
“Why can’t I be using this phone to capture these great moments?”
Keepsayk was born:
Kim left her position as the vice president of her company.
“You have to have faith in yourself. There is no one else in the world who can be the individual that you are.”
Think about what you want to do and start doing the ground work and laying the foundation for it by doing the research. Do not be discouraged if you’re not a programmer. You can succeed without having had a technical background”
Emersion into Tech:
Learn to speak the language by taking a class
MVP – Minimal Viable Product
Wireframe – A series of sketches of what your app will do and look like
User Story – A story about the target user of the app
**Keep Functionality Simple**
Roadmap to Starting an App:
Write an Executive Summary (about what it is you want to do). Even write as a press release.
Kim recommends to look for a cofounder in tech
Develop wireframe and user story to understand what your app will do and who it is for
Create prototype (tools online and through other apps to build)
Develop the Minimal Viable Product – app to launch in the app store for iPhone or Android
“If I can’t use it with my toddler on my hip and with one hand, it’s too hard”
Paths to Developing the MVP:
Work with a third party developer – be very careful with who you choose. Ask for examples of previous work that is as close as possible to what your app idea is.
Take a mobile development class – even a basic one to know the pieces you will need for interview purposes
Recruit people to work with you on the project – have someone who can code native to the app’s platform – someone you want to spend time and work with every day
Funding and Rounds of Investing:
Seed Round or Angel Round – Initial, early-stage money with the idea, prototype, or maybe MVP
Institutional or Venture Capitalist Investors – With more users, market traction and experience
June 17 class at 1871 in Chicago – “Early Stage Investment 101”
Lessons Learned: Draw a line in the sand – Experience highs and lows – Make sure you trust the people you’re working with and they are pulling in the same direction as you
“The journey itself is rewarding and definitely part of the fun of it”
Staying Inspired: Taking time for yourself, family and friends to recharge your creativity
Book Recommendation: Rework – Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson