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Alex Keim

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Big Blue Clip is an independent mobile app developer based in northern California, USA. It has been making mobile apps for over 3 years for all devices, iOS and Windows, with over 45 titles in its iOS library alone and around 20 million total downloads. One of its better-known apps, Pic Stitch, is a photo collage that allows users to combine multiple photos into one picture. From there users can create hundreds layouts in various sizes and add boarders/frames.

Companies and Investments

Bi Blue Clip (co-founder and CEO)

Lessons Learned

My strategy early: There weren’t that many apps on the app store (then), so I was able to make just about everything. A lot of small simple apps that didn’t’ require a lot of time or investment and hope to make a little bit of money from each one. Once I had a big enough suite of apps, I realized I was making enough to do it full time.

Making your app successful is a lot of little things. I was just there first … And you do get rewarded through Apple’s search engine by being there first. My app ranks higher than other collage apps. One of the goals of the app was to be ‘simple to you’ so you can really create a collage pretty quickly. You can go in and create one easily in under a minute. Always one of the focuses, making it easy from user to user. Power users, that really do a lot of stuff with photos can. If you want to spend 20 minutes making a collage, you can. A little something for everyone.

The goal is to provide enough value for free that users will want to use it. The idea is the app is good enough in the free version that you can continue to use it forever. And so the goal is to make the free version solid enough that people will want to use it and try upsell to your recurring users; the users that come back over and over with more advanced features for them.

Inspiring Quotes

Alex Keim's Quotes

If you simply make an app and put it on the app store you probably won’t be successful. But if you spend the time to really investigate what apps are successful and why, then you can be successful too.

Alex Keim

Do It! Stop waiting and don’t give up after one or two apps. You absolutely can make money selling apps, and a lot of it. The key though is to study the app market.

Alex Keim

I hesitated a little bit out of the gate simply because of the start up costs. I didn’t have a Mac computer or an iPhone so I knew I would have to buy a computer, a phone and upgrade my cellular plan to a more expensive data plan. Those seem like such tiny little expenses now.

Alex Keim

...things will move towards a web-apps model at some point...where games and utilities stay as native apps you pay for to download to your device, while entertainment and informative apps move to web based apps.

Alex Keim

The biggest challenge today is keeping the app fresh amidst all of the competition. It seems that a new Pic Stitch clone hits the app store every other day.

Alex Keim

Influential Books