Article from Medium.com: https://bit.ly/2xOHo0I
Use the digital world to advertise your app as effectively as possible. This could mean working with Google, Apple, and other channels to get forghetti in front of people every day of the week. Find your partners - app developers, PR teams, graphic designers - to spread the word. We are very grateful to all our subscribers who tell people about forghetti - that is the goal and it’s fantastic to see them recommend us.
As part of my series about the “5 Lessons I Learned When I Created My App or SAAS”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Crompton. Mike founded forghetti and is responsible for directing and overseeing the development of the business. With over 20 years’ experience in delivering technical systems, Mike is an expert at taking strategic goals and delivering them through the relevant digital channels. Mike started his career in the City of London before getting involved in a venture start up company working with technology, mobile telephony, and geo-location services. Marketing and technology have been at the heart of his work ever since. Mike is married to Catherine and lives close to Winchester with his three children.
Thank you so much for joining us Mike! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I’ve been running my own business for nearly 20 years and have always been fascinated with design tech and its human interaction. I also had a need as a business owner to sort out how we managed our passwords for different applications whilst providing access.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led you to think of the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
In the business I was running then, our passwords numbered in the hundreds. I felt that all existing solutions were not exciting creatively or appealing, and that the tech relied on me giving the ownership of my digital identity to someone else. Now, I have an issue with that, who was in control of security of systems and my life online. That is how we started in October 2017.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
The hardest part has been in trying to initially raise enough money to be able to do this properly; that was a hurdle that took the best part of 12 months, and it involved me learning how to raise money, never having done it before.
But thereafter there has been the challenge of just getting my head around all different aspects, especially the development and launch of a mobile digital application that goes across all platforms to a consumer. Our core focus is B2B, but forghetti is designed for end users, individuals and groups of people. That was new to me.
It’s been a fab journey but like many, there have been times when I am banging my head against a brick wall and I wished it was easier. For example, we planned to launch on 1st February 2019 as a beta launch; we submitted the app into the Apple Store and thought that would be it and we would be live in 2 hours. However, it was rejected due to some of the wording in the app, and we ended up launching two weeks later on 14th February after we had run out of the countdown and launched some of our marketing activity which we had preplanned and needed to pause.
It was a very stressful time, but now the product is standing on its own two feet and we are standing on our own two feet. The greatest daily challenge is: how do we tell as many people quickly, efficiently and affordably as possible about the app. We’re all working hard to achieve that.
So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
It’s going really well! We have new subscribers each day, and I love receiving that message about how many users we have had that day, it’s very exciting to see those going up.
But with any development, we’re not staying still. We will always want bigger, better, faster, and we’re trying to do that.
Ultimately the time, investment, heartache, and love that my team put in will enable us to achieve success. After all, the product has to be good for people to engage with it.
If you ask my colleagues what I’m like, as a character they’d probably say Tigger: relentlessly just bouncing back up again! It’s all I know how to do. I just want to keep on going, persevering to get there and make sure the right people find out about it. I don’t take no for an answer, and keep believing — a serious positive attitude to life.
At the end of the day, I’m lucky to have this opportunity and I don’t want to waste it, so I encourage the team to keep positive all the time.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
It’s the creativity of the product in an otherwise really boring tech market!
When it comes to tech USPs, the fact that we don’t store passwords is pretty unique in this world. It’s difficult for people to understand what that means, and how important that is for them personally and professionally.
Our approach is aligned but different to the large organisations like Google and Apple, whose solution is to get rid of passwords altogether — but that means they control your digital identity. Whilst the experience is seamless, they are in control of your life.
The difference with forghetti is that no one else can generate the password of anybody else. Even if the government asked us, it’s simply not possible for us to do it.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Maintain a balance in your life. Whether that’s with exercise, sport, or having fun with your family, you need to get away from it from time to time. You need something to distract you, breaking out from something that can easily consume your whole life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I would say that definitely there are several people helped me to make this happen. Ultimately, they are my team and the support of my family was very reassuring. I’m very lucky my family is supportive. That combination makes it possible to pick each other up, to come into the office and know what we are doing is a good thing. It’s incredibly empowering to know that.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Approximately how many users or subscribers does your app or software currently have? Can you share with our readers three of the main steps you’ve taken to build such a large community?
We have over 10,000 users. How have we done that?
- Get a product that people want and is available on all platforms if possible. Having that greater accessibility is only going to make user acquisition easier.
- Reduce every barrier to entry, especially reducing the length of time from hearing about the app to installation on their phone, making it as simple as possible.
- Use the digital world to advertise your app as effectively as possible. This could mean working with Google, Apple, and other channels to get forghetti in front of people every day of the week. Find your partners — app developers, PR teams, graphic designers — to spread the word. We are very grateful to all our subscribers who tell people about forghetti — that is the goal and it’s fantastic to see them recommend us.
What is your monetization model? How do you monetize your community of users? Have you considered other monetization options? Why did you not use those?
We use a simple freemium product approach. If you want to upgrade to get unlimited use, you pay annual sub £23.99 via app and Google Play.
We have considered other options, particularly not making it free at all, but we didn’t want to prevent people who could afford the app from using it. We also considered permitting advertising into app, but felt that would only be to keep the business running. We don’t want anything to be additional stress or frustration to the user. We want to create an experience that has minimal interruption from forghetti and our partners to our users whilst in the app.
Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know before one wants to start an app or a SAAS? Please share a story or an example for each.
- The devil is in the detail.
- Get people on board in your team with the right experience.
- Consider your route to market, not just relaxing because you have a great idea.
- Research the market to look at your competition: what are they doing well and what you can do better?
- Ensure you have enough funding to do it properly.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I’d like to start a movement to try to make sure people in their late teens and early twenties felt more secure in their lives, less pressured. I would like mental anxiety, and the issues that many of our younger people today struggle with, to become a thing of the past. I understand what it is that causes people that stress and anguish, and I’d like to improve those situations. forghetti partners with MQ, a mental health charity, which is one small step I can do to ensure we’re doing our little bit as a company. .
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!