The app success story of Saso Pompe and Sanja Zepan who got more than 50,000 users for their app Homey which helps parents motivate their kids to do chores through gamification. Launching a basic version of the app quickly and continuously adding user feedback enabled them to make $3000 per month.
Tell us about yourself and what are you working on?
I am a self-taught software developer, who has been developing apps for about 10 years now. I have an economics degree and marketing background, which also gave me insight on turning app development into a marketable product instead of just a service-oriented business.
Homey is an app aimed to help parents teach their kids all those positive values like helping around the house and being a contributing part of the family, as well as the value of earning money and saving for both long and short-term goals.
The app connects the whole family through chores and enables parents to manage allowance and other privileges.
Homey also connects to children’s savings accounts, so parents can easily deposit money when allowance is due, without the need to have the cash on hand. While kids get real-life experience with how banking and money work nowadays – mostly electronically.
You have an interesting story for coming up with an app idea. Tell us more about it.
It all started as an app for roommates, with me and my cofounder living in a shared apartment with other roommates. It was hard to keep track of the all the work, especially with the chore rotation we were doing.
We were looking for a more modern way to manage it all. We looked into some apps, but there were none that would really suit our needs.
As we set out to build a prototype that actually worked with photos – like send a photo of a sink full of dirty dishes to the person responsible for it, and in return get a photo of the clean sink back when it’s taken care of.
We posted some initial mockups on social media and got a huge response from moms with multiple kids who loved the idea. The response from families was also much better than from any group of college roommates we spoke to.
It was then when we realized it was better for us to change our initial idea and focus on families.
How did you validate your app idea?
Early on we got a group of about 500 moms who signed up for beta testing of our app on our website into a Google group.
Those moms really helped us polish the idea and set the course for development. We did interviews with them and they were our first beta testers after we had made an MVP.
Although the app was still lacking at the time we knew the direction we need to take, since our users gave us constant feedback and they were also inventing features for us.
Like before we had the rewards feature, they used the description field to explain what the kids will get if they do the chore.
How did you go about developing your app? What was your MVP?
We did some app mockups with a very basic design that we ran through our group of parents. Then I just jumped into coding the framework of the app that would support it all.
Pretty soon we were joined by two great developers that believed in the idea enough that they were willing to work on it.
Our MVP was a really basic chore management app that allowed setting and completing chores by taking pictures, a feature really loved by both parents and kids.
When we had that we started gathering feedback and data, and doing even more interviews.
When did you start marketing? What was your budget for the same?
After a few months, we joined an accelerator that gave us some funds to invest in app marketing, and we used that mostly to get more early adopters who were willing to give us feedback.
Also, by joining the Facebook Start program we got free ad credits from Facebook that really helped us do small marketing experiments early on to figure out who exactly is our target market.
Up to now we only spent about $5,000 for promotions on mom and dad blogs as well as Facebook ads to share those blog posts.
How does your app make money? Can you talk more about your revenue and growth in users?
We got about 50,000 users since we launched the MVP last year. We just launched a new version in June that enables bank connections and transferring money.
With the new version we have a subscription model in place for the users that want the extra features like the bank connections, and we also make money on top of that with in-app purchases of chore packs.
We also decided to keep all the old users that came before we launched subscriptions on their free plans forever – they were super important for us to learn what they like and what won’t work and get where we are now.
So in the first 3 months about 500 families subscribed to the premium version, and that was mostly organic growth, as we’re still learning and optimizing the app and trying to figure out the perfect monetization strategy.
I am happy to say that our conversion numbers from free users to premium subscribers are quite good, but there’s always room for improvement.
What’s next for you?
We’re still working hard on Homey, and we have some exciting features lined up.
We recently started working with two great designers that focus on user experience and user interface and we’re launching a new version this year.
It’s going to address the friction points in the app and take into account everything we learned about allowance management.
Our team, though small, is really great, and we also have some other products that expand our app offering in mind that we want to work on, and we also keep coming up with new ideas for Homey.
What’s your advice for app disciples who are just starting out?
There is a ton of free learning resources online for free. From UX to design and software development. A lot of the tools you need to use are free too, so there are no excuses why you shouldn’t start building something.
As you develop a product make sure that there is a real need for it by talking to a lot of potential users. Don’t be afraid to change your idea based on user feedback.
Create a prototype of the user experience and test it with your potential users. Only then start actually developing it – it will save you much more time and money than you think.
Work hard to deliver a quality product.
Where can we go to learn more about you?
What tools/books do you find indispensable for your app business?
- JetBrains IDEA
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Amazon Web Server (AWS)
Hooked – How to build habit-forming products by Nir Eyal.
|Developer Name||Saso Pompe|
|App Niche||Parenting/Family Education|
|App Description||Chores and allowance app|
|Revenue per month||$3000|
|No. of people||5 (2 founders)|
|Reason for success||Niche app, User feedback|
Did you like the above app success story? What is the one thing that will be your take away from reading the above? Let me know in the comments below.