Today’s interview is with Gil Weiss of Kids 1st Puzzles, a developer of educational apps for children including Kids 1st Shape Puzzle, Trucks and Things that Go and others. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their upcoming projects.
Thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am Gil Weiss an indie developer based in Israel developing educational apps for kids in English and Hebrew.
How did the idea for your app come about?
My nephew loves trucks, tractors and things that go. He has all the books on vehicles and in addition he loves puzzles. So I thought it would be fun and educational to create an app that combines the two things he loves – vehicles and puzzles thus creating an app where he can learn all the vehicle names and improve his motor skills while playing.
And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
I started in 2012 my first app launched in the app store on June 2012 “Kids 1st shape puzzle”. My first app had the longest turnaround time of 6 months from idea to product.
Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
I outsources the programming. I create the concept of the game through requirement storyboards, sample graphics, use cases, and detailed specifications which include exact behavior and game play. Then I hire programmers to develop the game and turn my idea and concept into a fun and educational game.
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
Having patience to complete development, test and retest before you place an app in the marketplace. I am so excited about the idea and the game that I can’t wait until it is released in the marketplace.
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
Yes, the whole family is part of the funding of the app and helps spread the word.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
Yes, I love developing kids apps and have released 2 apps this year (kids 1st shape puzzle and Trucks and Things That Go) with another new app currently in the works.
What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?
My apps have been very well received with reviews such as ” We all know our kids love trucks and this is a must have app.” But I always listen to customer feedback, and try to learn and tackle any issues or suggestions.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
Do what you love and love what you do, be passionate about your apps.
The AppStore is not an easy market and visibility is key. Developing is not enough you should also plan an app launch and marketing plan in order to succeed. I recommend reading the App Empire book before going into the app business, I found it vey inspiring and useful.
Thank you for sharing your story with our readers. We look forward to seeing what projects you release next!