AppCraver recently spoke with Rick Krakowski of Mobile Simplicity, the developing team behind CraigsMobileList. He answered our questions about developing apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
1. When did you start developing apps for the iPhone?
Rick Krakowski: This is Mobile Simplicity’s first foray into iPhone application development. Our development team consists of seasoned veterans in the mobile space.
2. What was the inspiration behind your app?
Rick Krakowski: We love how intuitive the iPhone user interface is. We also love how intuitive Craigslist is – on a computer. The problem was that with so many links on the screen, although it loads quickly it is a bit of a pain to navigate Craigslist on an iPhone. Then throw in the fact that I have some chodes for fingers and you have a real problem. Based on the fact that we haven’t seen Craigslist expand into other areas we figured they wouldn’t be interested in developing an iPhone app. So we identified a gap and developed a program to fill that gap.
3. How did you settle on your price point for the app?
Rick Krakowski: That was a real tough decision due to the lack of precedent on the App Store. Our first version came out very early on and it was a bit of a crapshoot. At the end of the day I figured that the value we brought to our customers was about the same value of a cold Budweiser. So we priced them about the same.
4. Roughly how many apps did you sell in the first month of operation?
Rick Krakowski: We are pretty much millionaires at this point! In reality, we have made it our focus to make CraigsMobileList rock solid, and we have invested the income that we have gotten from sales into adding features and resolving the initial bugs.
5. How did you like the developer tools provided in the iPhone SDK? Is there anything missing?
Rick Krakowski: I’m a marketer, not a developer. I’ll tell you from a product standpoint though, the lack of push integration has been a limiting factor. Also, we’d like to see more ability for real time peer to peer interaction.
6. Is your company privately owned? Venture backed?
Rick Krakowski: If we were ventured backed our program would have had picture support in version 1
7. What are some of the other iPhone apps that you like?
Rick Krakowski: I’m addicted to checking out everything that is out there. I consider it market research. Just a quick list of things I’m digging right now would include Air Sharing, NYTimes, Wurdle, Trailguru, Graffitio (if more people started using it), and of course CraigsMobileList!
8. What kind of features should apple implement in future versions of the iPhone / SDK?
Rick Krakowski: Let’s just go with the obvious here. MMS and copy/paste. I’m so boring.
9. What’s the development cycle for iPhone apps like?
Rick Krakowski: A lot longer than you would think.
10. Are you working on any other apps that you will be releasing soon?
Rick Krakowski: Always. I consider our business like Pfizer. We already have our Viagra, and we keep working on it to make the little soldier stay up even longer, but you never know when Cialis is coming out, so we need to make sure Lipitor is ready to go, and then Xanax after that.