Thursday, January 5, 2012

What Does it Take to Become the #1 App on iTunes? Entrepreneurs from iBright Studios Answer

When 99% of new apps fail, it seems like a nearly impossible task to even get in the Top 100 list on iTunes.  But app developers will do almost anything just to see their app’s name on that list.  Developers want that feeling of accomplishment—knowing that their app made a difference, entertained millions or transformed a mobile platform.  But what does it feel like to snag a top 10 spot on iTunes?  Or even better, what does it feel like to have that number one slot?  I caught up with Bryce Katz and Justin McAuley, co-founders of iBright Studios, to ask them what it’s like to be the number 1 spot on iTunes for apps and what it takes to get there.

Bryce and Justin first began collaborating shortly after graduating from Kansas University.  Bryce was at his first job in commercial real estate and noticed that the market was dropping severely.  Justin couldn’t stop researching apps and even learned about a few teenagers who were making $10,000 a day just from app development.  When the two friends put their heads together, it seemed like a no-brainer:  They would develop an app.

But it wasn’t that easy.  Bryce and Justin are not developers themselves, so they had to hire out a slew of savvy tech aficionados to help build the backbone for their new app company, iBright Studios.  After many months of blood, sweat and tears, Bryce, Justin and their team of developers launched TightWire, a hilarious and entertaining game app that snagged the number one slot on iTunes.

“The game is a quick fix for comedy and entertainment,” said Justin.  “It’s not at all strategic—it’s just funny.  We were lucky to develop this unique app on a super saturated market.”

iBright Studios has developed seven other action/arcade game apps, but TightWire has been the most successful.  The game has been on the iTunes Top 10 list three times and has had over 5 million downloads worldwide; a majority in the United States, Japan and Italy.  The app has been so successful that iBright Studios was contacted by Universal Studios a few weeks ago to see if the app could be featured in its next upcoming film (a sequel to the popular movie Knocked Up).  It’s safe to say that iBright Studios has seen success in a small amount of time.

“The best part of this process has been the success we’ve seen...even with the little that we knew,” said Bryce. 

Justin agreed.  “We have put in a lot of hard work.  It’s cool to finally see it pay off.  When 99.9% of people in this business fail and fail hard, we feel extremely lucky.”

What’s next for Bryce, Justin and the clan at iBright Studios?  The co-founders noted that in the app development world, there are periods where you feel like you’re in a pure sprint and then dramatic downtime periods.  Currently, the team has decided to focus more on marketing the product and getting more exposure through social media.  It shouldn’t be too difficult, considering the mass amount of support that TightWire has received from developers and avid game players.

If there is one lesson that Bryce and Justin have learned while building iBright Studios, it has been to keep trying no matter how difficult it may be. 

“Don’t get down on yourself,” advises Bryce.  “Just keep going.”

“There are going to be obstacles no matter what,” agrees Justin.  “We made a lot of mistakes, but we got them out of the way early.  We had high expectations and we accomplished them.”

Download TightWire Adventures from iTunes and see the hilarity for yourself!  To learn more about iBright Studios, click here.  

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