Earlier this week I wrote about the Windows Phone 7 Camp that was held here in Jacksonville at the UNF campus last Saturday and in that story I mentioned two of the presenters who were from a company based in Orlando, Florida – Neuralnet Systems.
The company, owned by Alex and Louis Perez from Venezuela, started off in 2008 as a consulting company providing all kinds of tech services to businesses. Alex is the designer who understands the limitations of the technology as he designs and Luis is the developer. In October 2010 they submitted their first app to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace and in May of this year they shifted their entire business model to mobile development. They do develop for Android and iPhone but they find the Windows Phone 7 platform has better opportunities and they do not believe that the mobile system with the most handsets necessarily means you will make the most money with it.
I asked Luis how they decide what type of an app to produce and he said it usually starts with identifying a need and most of those comes from himself or someone in his family. An example he gave me was about their Windows Phone 7 app called Game Scout. Luis said he was in a Walmart one day to purchase an Xbox 360 game for his son and was standing in front of a case full of games with no way to see what others thought of the game. So Luis went home and spoke to his brother and they started designing and developing Game Scout. You will see by the features below they did not just design an app to look up reviews elsewhere but you can write your own reviews within the app and many other things.
Game Scout Features:
- Latest Videos: You are able to watch the latest videos right on Game Scout!, get reviews, gameplay, special events and much more!
- Create and Write your Own Review: Easily create your favorite game on Game Scout and write your own review as well as read other fans reviews about their favorite games and your own.
- Latest Podcast: Get all the latest podcast from the best source on TV, G4TV! and keep informed with the latest in video games.
- Favorite Console: Follow your favorite console and personalize your Game Scout experience to the console of your choice.
- Live Tile: Game Scout Live Tile will update automatically to show you the latest games posted on Game Scout.
- Latest News: Check the latest news for every console in the video games genres with detailed information.
I asked the brothers if there was a magic formula for a successful app and they said it simply needs to fill a need and solve a problem which is the exact model they use.
They currently have 36 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace that have been downloaded nearly 210,000 times and they average 1,800 downloads a day. That is an astounding number of downloads when you consider they did not shift completely to Windows Phone 7 development until May 2011. Those are numbers any developer would be happy to have and and so I did a little research on their apps and the ratings they have received to see why a small development company was enjoying such success.
Here is how their overall reviews and ratings break out across the 36 games:
They have had 1,426 reviews submitted as of 03 Dec 2011 with their NFL Pro 12 App receiving the most reviews at 375. They have added 58 more ratings/reviews in just the six days since I talked to them so there is a very active community around their apps as well.
If I saw those type of numbers on an item I was going to buy from Amazon.com I would feel very comfortable making that purchase and that is having the same impact on their apps.
According to Luis and Alex only about 5% of the feedback is issue related and the majority of it is requests for additional features, tweaking or just simple thanks.
They are most proud of one specific piece of feedback they received that simply said “Thanks Neuralnet” because that meant it was no longer about the app but the company.
I appreciate Luis and Alex sharing their insights and enthusiasm with me and the Windows Phone Camp attendees. Make sure you check out their apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace.