Interview with Ben Cheng, Co-Founder at Oursky

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We all know how painful it is for the developers to upload screenshots to iTunes Connect and how time consuming it is to upload them one by one. Well, someone thought that this process needs to be easier and less painful, and the result is ShotBot, an application that eases out the process of screenshot submission to iTunes Connect. It lets a user upload all the preview images to iTunes Connect at once. Now instead of uploading 5 screenshots each time, you can just drop all sizes of Apple screenshots to ShotBot at once and ShotBot sorts them for you. It supports iPhone Screenshots of sizes 5.5-Inch, 4.7-Inch, 4-Inch and 3.5-Inch, iPad Screenshots and also Mac.

The product is created by a development studio proudly based in Hong Kong, Oursky. The company was founded by Ben Cheng, Rick Mak and Roy Yuen in the year 2008 and has Makeappicon and Mockuphone as its other products. The products created by Oursky have won Best of 2013 in Apple App Store and some of them have also featured as Best New Apps / Editorial Picks in Apple App Store and Google Play Store. The company focuses on app design and development and also works on creating online products and experiences.

Here is a small interview with the co-founder of the company and the developer of the app Ben Cheng.

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What motivated you to start the company and what is it all about?

As iOS developers we had a hard time uploading screenshots to the Apple’s App Store via iTunes Connect, not to mention the times we had to submit different sizes of screenshots in different languages — 5 screenshots times 5 devices (resolutions) times 20 languages gave us 500 images — it sucks when you need to upload them only five at a time. “We have to find a way to automate this process” — we thought to ourselves and that’s how we got this idea.

Can you tell us a bit about your partners who are part of your core team?

We have a very small team under Oursky and everyone is multifunctional. We have a product manager who oversees ShotBot, one developer for development & maintenance and one growth hacker who also manages the website content.

What is the current Team Size?

Small but sufficient — a team of 3. We try to keep this team small and efficient so that it’s easier to keep everyone on the same page and accomplish more.

How did you hire your initial team?

The first version was built by our intern, it turned out great and we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and compliments from developers so we decided to continue and built more features that we had wanted.

Which recruiting channels work best for you?Referrals/Job Boards/ Staffing Agencies?

For us, referrals are a great source in finding a good fit, whether for an internship or long-term. But at times we came across some good matches on job boards as well.

What are the key factors that you look for in a potential candidate?

People with a positive and can-do attitude. Working in a small team requires individuals that are self-motivated, love to learn and contribute, not afraid to face challenges and constantly willing to improve.

According to you how much is the competition in your vertical? How big is the industry? Who all are your competitors and what are your views on them?

We built ShotBot because there wasn’t one available on the market, that’s why we thought it needed to exist. Last time we checked there’re more than 1.5 million apps available in Apple’s App Store and growing, which means developers are spending hours of their time just to upload each one of them to the App Store, and things are even worst when they need to localize their application.

What are your marketing strategies? Do you take help of Social platforms to promote? Which channels have been very effective? Which marketing channels have been super flops?

Not at the moment, but we’re planning to do that in the future. Currently we’re focused on building more features and our traffic comes from our other product — MakeAppIcon.

What has been your experience with paid marketing channels?

Since ShotBot is a free Apple developer tool that helps accelerate the iTunes Connect upload process, we haven’t turned to paid marketing channels and won’t do that in the near future.

Can you elaborate on the Challenges in promoting your website/ App?

We’re constantly making improvements on the user experience and flow of ShotBot. It’s extremely hard for us to increase the retention rate and measure our KPIs because unlike other consumer apps; this is not something that people would need to do on a daily basis.

Based on your experience would you have any advice to new Entrepreneurs / Startups?

Don’t be afraid to fail. There are a lot of things you’ll see and learn everyday and sometimes they’re not as good as you thought they would be. But it doesn’t matter, what matters is you keep going and never stop trying. As for product development, people often forget to ask and listen to their users (customers) — even unsatisfied users, they’re the ones who will give you a lot of valuable feedback and also the path to improvements and success.

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