Today with us we have Shivam Gupta! Who is he? We’re sure you already know him as ‘Shivam’, one of our youngest developers and creator of ‘Food Run‘. His super fun game became a great hit and reached #9 in the “Top New Free” in the Adventure Category in India. Do you want to know more about Shivam and his successful app? Keep reading.
Chupamobile: Hi Shivam! We are glad to have you here! Can you please describe yourself to the community, what kind of “developer” are you?
Shivam: I am an independent developer. I started making small games in PowerPoint when I was 11 and continued creating full fledged graphic games for mobile and PC. My most successful game was ‘Terror Attack: Project Fateh’ which was created as a tribute to the people who lost their lives in the 26/11 in the Mumbai terror attacks. Tens of thousands of people downloaded it and it got featured in numerous tech magazines and newspapers. It also won the “Best Overall Game in India” award by NASSCOM Intel LevelUp in 2010. My current game ‘Food Run’ aims to promote healthy eating and reduce child obesity. Eating junk food in the game will make you fat and unhealthy while eating healthy will make you fit and strong. Food Run reached #9 in Top New Free games chart in Adventure category in India.
C: The message you are trying to deliver is amazing! Why did you choose Android to develop your apps?
S: I chose Android mostly because of its exponential growth rate. In 2012, Android became a real competitor to iOS. In emerging markets like India, Android is the king. My strategy is to first get a game or app popular on one platform and then make it available for other platforms. This decreases the marketing efforts as you’ll acquire some users instantly.
C: Sounds great! As an indie dev, do you think you have a chance in front of big agencies? Why?
S: The good thing about Google Play and Apple AppStore is that it gives independent developers an opportunity to stand up courageously against the big companies. The Flappy Birds mania has given hope to many independent developers – including me. It signaled that simple games with simple graphics can be successful too. It is tough to stand up against the big guns but it is not impossible.
C: In your opinion, how can mobile apps serve the user needs – do you have any example?
S: Mobile apps can serve the user’s needs in multiple ways, from reminding you to buy the grocery, to holding live conferences. My favorite innovative app is a sleep timer app that tracks your sleeping performance and wakes you up exactly when you end your sleep cycle making sure that you are awake feeling fresh instead of feeling lethargic.
C: As we can see, big social networks like Facebook or Foursquare decided to split their service in different applications, do you think it is better to get a multi-function app or an app for every use? Why?
S: I don’t believe in a multi-fuction app, especially if a small company is creating it. I think you should focus on solving one problem as perfectly as possible. You can, of course, increase the depth of the function by adding more sub-functions but creating hundred different functions just bloats an app in the early phase. Facebook is a different story because it is a huge corporation today, but even Facebook, in it’s early days, focused on one thing- connecting people of one university.
C: For you what is the phone of the future?
S: We always see progress in hardware specifications of phones but not much in batteries. I think a huge innovation is needed to create a watershed event for mobile phone’s batteries. A phone of the future would last atleast 3 days, has the top most hardware configuration and excellent at augmented reality. The phone of the future will be able to project images in the real world and read your mind. And most importantly, the phone of the future will blur the line of virtual and reality. A company named ‘Emotiv’ is already on its way to make brainwave reading possible to control machines.
C: That would be interesting. But what about your work? How do you think it will evolve in the next few years? Are you thinking about making applications for the different wearable devices that are coming?
S: Creating apps for Google Glass is a huge opportunity right now as there isn’t a lot of competition. The same goes for new wearables. I have decided to start creating apps for wearables and other new technologies.
C: What do you think about the wearable technology? Success or fail? Why?
S: Definitely a success. With the demand of products like FitBit, smart watch increasing, I think wearable technology is not going to fail. Actually, I teamed up with a few entrepreneurs, engineers and medical experts around the world a few months ago, during a Stanford University online course to create a wearable band that can help you meditate. I think there is a huge opportunity in the wearable technology field as the market for it keeps growing. Wearable technologies are definitely the future.
C: When you were a child how did you imagine the world would be? Are you happily surprised or disappointed? Why?
S: I never imagined I would see a world progressing at such an exponential rate. I am happily surprised by the speed at which technology progresses. What we would think was part of a sci-fi movie a decade ago, today is reality
C: You’re right. What about your next app?
S: Even though games are the most profitable type of apps, I am shifting my focus from games to apps because I want to help shape the future. I want to make this world a better place by solving real world problems and I think apps are the way to go. I can’t say much about my next app but do check out my website http://shivam.me to be the first to know.
C: We’re happy for you! Thanks so much for being with us
S: It was great talking to you!