By Allan Maurer
If you’re planning to launch a mobile app, Prerna Gupta, CEO of Khush, has three tips for you.
Gupta, named one of FastCompany’s Most Influential Women in Tech 2011, founded Khush, which sells the La Di Da mobile apps sold through the iTunes store, in 2009. The app analyzes a users voice when they sing into their iPhone.
Using state-of-the-art algorithms to analyze the pitch and structure of the vocal input, it uses that information to compose a unique accompaniment in real-time that matches the song.
The app, which originally sold for $2.99, has been downloaded more than 2 million times and its demo videos on YouTube garnered more than 65 million views.
Khush, which originated as one of Atlanta-based Shotput Ventures first eight companies raised funds from Shotput, Georgia Tech’s Venture Lab, Rackspace executive Pat Matthews, 500 startups, and angel investor Yee Lee. It was acquired by sonic iPhone app firm Smule in December 2011.
Gupta is one of dozens of Internet gurus, mavens and thought-leaders headed to he Digital Summit in Atlanta May 9-10. She plans to discuss several trends in mobile app development, such as the need to build social components into apps and gaming, particularly those that are extremely social. “I’ll elaborate on what’s behind these trends and why everyone is into them,” she says.
We asked Gupta what advice she would give mobile app developers.
Three tips for mobile app developers
First, she says, “Put something out there. When you’re first starting with any type of consumer tech, the tendency is to want to make it perfect. So you keep building, keep building and don’t launch.
But the experience of putting it out there is important and will make you smarter. You learn so much when you launch and get user feedback.”
Second: “Don’t be discouraged if you’re not an overnight success. Apps that succeed right away are a small percent of those produced. The idea that if it doesn’t go viral right away you are a failure is a myth. More often, it takes several months to gain traction.
Third, “When you are creating an app, don’t cram too much on one screen, especially with the small iPhone screen size. Ask yourself, ‘what is the one thing this app is trying to do?’ Get that right. After you launch, you’ll find out what people want and add to it selectively. Don’t put 100 things in to start.
Khush, Gupta notes, added a new app called Sonify in July last year. “It did well and was the number one free app on iTunes for several weeks when it launched, which means it was number one in the world.”
New Songify app introduced last year
Songify turns speech in any language into singing. It resulted from feedback received from users of La Di Da. Users expressed some apprehension about singing, “So we wanted to take it a step further and all you have to do is talk,” she says.
We like that. People turn off the hot water in the shower if we sing.
They created the Songfiy app with a YouTube pop band, The Gregory Brothers, who are famous for taking news clips of people talking and manually editing them to make it sound like singing.