Meet Jeff Rodgers creator of FileSync. He answered our questions about developing applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Jeff Rodgers: Summer 2008
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Jeff Rodgers: My company, Jeff-Net.Com, is known world-wide to be experts in reporting, whether it’s Crystal Reports from SAP, or Reporting Services from Microsoft.
One of our products, Report Runner Batch, a PC-based scheduling and distribution tool for Crystal Reports, processes and distributes reports in various formats, including PDF. The app is capable of batch printing, emailing, copying, and FTPing the report output. So, my initial concept/inspiration was to FTP PDFs directly into the iPhone.
Once I found out that was not possible, at least legally, I started looking for a product that pulled files down off of an FTP site. To my surprise, NOTHING did it off an FTP site. Sure you could drap and drop files off your PC and/or network, but my business is report distribution, anytime, anywhere.
Picture this. With our app, you can run sales reports, price list updates, inventory reports, upload them to the FTP server, and your sales reps, whether on the road in the middle of nowhere, or at an airport, can SYNC the files to their iPhone for immediate use. I wanted to distribute a report to the iPhone. So, since nothing existed, we developed it.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Jeff Rodgers: We simply wanted to make it a ‘no brainer’ for anyone needing an iPhone app to do what we were offering. I believe pricing below $5 for the iPhone is the “magic” pricing area.
4. Roughly how many units have you sold?
Jeff Rodgers: I would prefer not to release an exact number, but we have been VERY successful with this product already, even if we never sold another one.
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Jeff Rodgers: I don’t really have any major complaints.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Jeff Rodgers: Privately owned; no venture capital. We’ve been in business since 1997 doing consulting, and since 2000, selling our proprietary reporting software and services.
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Jeff Rodgers: Alias-I is a new app that I like quite a bit. I’m an entreprenuer. I have my hands in multiple types of businesses. Other than software, I’m an indie film producer (movies on Lifetime and Starz), and I’m in the early stages of starting a custom, 3-piece wheel business. Each business has it’s own email address and “persona”. Alias-I allows me to easily share my multiple personas with someone when I meet them. Think of it as a virtual business card. I also like the On-Tap Movies app with its GPS integration.
8. What kind of features should Apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?
Jeff Rodgers: I’ve been too busy with other things… I have not really thought about this much.
9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Jeff Rodgers: It varies, of course, but our FileSync app came together within a couple of months. I knew what I wanted it to do.
10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Jeff Rodgers: Right now, we’re just focusing on making FileSync a super-cool iPhone app. We’ve already added a new feature to it that allows users to Mail a virtual link to pull files in FileSync off of a web server. And to be honest, I’ve already thought of a couple apps that I wanted to do, but in seeing if they already existed in the App Store… they did, so I just purchased the app.