So here we are in 2014, releasing our new website and creating this new company blog. It’s just a week before WWDC’14, excitement is growing all over the place.
Let’s start off with a brief recap of how things have been doing in the last few years. I remember creating the company with Sandrine in June 2008. It was a hard decision, abandoning the comfort of a researcher position at the university for the unknown. At the time, the iPhone was being sold in the US, but there was still no SDK for it, its success as a platform for developers was all but certain. It definitely was not the focus when we created the company, we wanted to make apps for the Mac. I had been making Mac apps since 2003, as side projects. It had become a passion after I was a lucky winner of a WWDC’2000 student ticket. After my PhD thesis in 2007, I asked university for a part time (every odd week) to make apps. It was great working on Morph Age and Hydra at the time, and starting attending Apple events like Apple Expo in Paris and Macworld, reinvesting large part of the money they were starting to make.
Sandrine (@SandrineLoiseau) then showed up, and we made the plunge of working full time with me on the project. She had been in the bank system before, and wanted to do something new. We bootstrapped the company with no external funding. We paid ourselves with indecently low salaries, to not shorten the life of this new adventure. But the interesting thing is that the company was profitable as of its first year. That’s something we’ve already been proud of, especially with all those crazy stories about VC-funded companies.
2008 was interesting. Although we had already a couple of Mac apps, that’s when we entered the App Store business with an iPhone app. Having some background in speech processing, I wanted to make an app that would offer speech recognition to users. And Vocalia was out, and it was a great success. Succeeding on the App Store at the time was a lot easier than it is now, but the technical challenge was nonetheless hard with such limited processing power, and also the fact of tackling an entirely new platform. That project was sherlocked by the arrival of iPhone 3GS and speech recognition (and then Siri) a couple years later, but we’re still thinking about a rebirth (waiting for WWDC announcements).
And off we went! We kept that mantra of making apps that would be either creative or at least useful and at the same time that would make use of some sort of advanced technology. Document scanning, OCR, speech recognitionand synthesis, high dynamic range (HDR), video tracking & image stabilization, etc. That has been a great experience. Sandrine is planning to have kind of a chronicle of our releases & important events in this blog at some point (she likes keeping track of history). Benoit (@benoitsan) and Bunuel (@bunuelcubosoto) joined forces respectively in early 2012 and late 2013, and Creaceed has become an even more creative environment, and we’re still able to focus solely on making our own apps.
We have been witnessing the grow of the App Store and the evolution of the ecosystem all along, with arrival of new comers, new stuff, etc. Competition has become fierce though, and customers are now expecting a lot for almost nothing, but overall, it’s been a great journey. Our hope is certainly that Apple focuses on making the App Store a sustainable platform for quality apps. It’s really a privilege to be able to live your passion every day in such a vibrant community. It’s not easy, really a lot of work, but very rewarding in the end.
Stay tuned for more!