Keith Shields and Joshua Tucker are two high school friends from Marcellus, New York. Shields went to Ohio State University while Tucker attended Alfred University in New York. Though separated, they were each studying to be mechanical engineers when they both had an epiphany: mobile apps are the next big thing.
This realization happened in 2012 as the duo saw apps being sold for substantial sums of money and generating an outrageous amount of monthly revenue. However, they also took note of how expensive it can be to get an app created and launched – proving to be a major roadblock for some yet-to-be fully developed platforms. Some promising apps may never see the light of day.
After realizing this massive inhibitor, they created what is known today as Applits, to help good apps from failing in the infant stages.
Applits was launched in the summer of 2012 by Shields and Tucker from a living room in New York. After putting together a business plan and forming an LLC, the friends raised roughly $65,000 from family and friends to get their idea off the ground.
“Apps are expensive, and a lot of people can’t afford to develop an app, but have great ideas. Even people who can afford to build an app often don’t have the time to oversee development. We take care off all of that, and develop winners of the Applits competition for free, then split the revenue with the idea submitter, and most active members,” Shields told Fox Business of the driving force behind their business.
“When you have thousands of individual people all coming up with their own app idea, you get some pretty incredible product ideas that just wouldn’t be possible when confined to a couple of people hashing over a half-dozen ideas.”
Applits is described as a “socially driven app creation” that takes on a crowdsourcing aspect. Its very simple formula works like this: each month, new app ideas are submitted, then a community of people sift through by voting and discussing which ones are their personal favorites. This information is then used by the Applits team before moving on to the next stage.
After the best ideas are moved on to the next level, “voting week” begins. During this period, users place votes for their five favorite ideas before a final review by a panel of experts who decide which app gets developed.
Once a winning idea is chosen, it is added to the “All Projects” page where members of the Applits community help shape and add their recommendations – earning points in the process – until the app is finally live. Users who earn the most points in a month are added to a “Leadership board” and earn royalties in Applits apps.
As for the winning app any given month, the creator receives a share of its revenues.
“Far more than a simple app idea competition, we have created a vibrant, interactive community of aspiring artists, writers, and creative thinkers who bring their unique skills into an entirely new and efficient method of crowdsourced app development. Our members not only contribute to the collective genius of our community, they also share directly in the rewards of the singular results they produce,” their website states.
Shields says the biggest challenge of it all is that there is no such thing as a right answer so persistence is key when owning your own company.
“There have been a ton of big challenges. Probably the biggest one is realizing that no one really knows what they are doing in business. I think most business owners would agree that there often isn’t even a right answer, and you have to just keep pushing forward to be successful,” he said.
His advice to anyone looking to start a business? Don’t be afraid to start side projects. In 2014, the duo started a web and app design and development agency known as Designli.co which became a success for them almost by accident.
“It’s a sister company to Applits, and we started it because making apps is very expensive, and we needed some extra capital to improve our apps and website. As a result, Designli.co has become incredibly successful for us almost by accident. We’ve had the chance to work with some absolutely amazing clients, and the company is continuing to grow very rapidly.”
Got an idea for an app but don’t know where to start? Applits may just be the perfect place for you to turn the idea into a reality.
To check out more on the amazing Applits, head on over to their website which can be found here.