Belfast built the Titanic. They can build apps — or an app builder — too. An app store model that lets you build complicated apps without developers has made something of a splash in Northern Ireland. JamPot has amassed 25,000 users building an untold number of apps. JamPot Technologies was a winner at the EU Summit back in May, and they have come up with a way to build apps without developers. Perfect for anyone who wants to build a Windows Phone app, but has no developing experience.
JamPot Technologies, Northern Ireland
- Founded: January 2011
- Status: Commercial, over 25,000 users
- Finance: Angel and seed funded
- Find at The App Builder & The JamPot
- Twitter: @theappbuilder & @jampotie
- Facebook and another Facebook Page
Build your own app for any platform – without any code or development experience
The Big Idea
Using JamPot Technologies’ product, TheAppBuilder, users can bypass the need for developers and build fees, and can instead build their own mobile apps today, without requiring any technical expertise, simply, quickly and cost-effectively. Users (businesses, organisations, personalities) use TheAppBuilder’s online editor to create fully customizable native Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad and Android apps which are published to the major app stores, in addition to HTML5 web apps.
Users can build and preview apps for free. TheAppBuilder generates revenue when users submit their apps for publication. TheAppBuilder is the leading service of its kind. JamPot Technologies CEO James Scott says, “We think that the ease-of-use combined with a sophisticated feature set means that TheAppBuilder beats the competition hands down. A stand out feature which elevates TheAppBuilder above its competition is that the app content and structure can be updated in real-time, around which we hold Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).”
Over 25,000 users have used TheAppBuilder to build an app in the three months since launch at Mobile World Congress 2012, with around 80% based in the USA. JamPot Technologies is currently building partnerships to support its global ambitions.
Now an interview with JamPot Technologies Co-Founder Andrew McCarthy, part of our Experience project series, where we look into the life and choices of startup founders and developers.
What have you learned about managing a technological business that you would pass on to the next generation?
You must have an amazing team behind the technology business that you are building, as there will be days that it all goes wrong and you need a strong team with full faith in the technology to rise to the challenge of sorting it. It is easy to deal with customers being unhappy, deadlines creeping or technology not working when you have a team that do not judge the situation but just get on with fixing it with full conviction.
Also whenever you have a great idea and want to create that technology and form a business make sure that you have a strong mentor to support you in the areas that you are weak and have honest criticism so you can improve in that area.
Who is your mentor, and what was the last great thing he or she told you and your team?
I was very lucky to take on an investor and friend, Stephen Gunning from the very start of the building of JamPot Technologies who has mentored me at every level of the business and been available at the other end of the phone any time day or night.
It is hard to single out a particular comment or phrase that has stood out. Rather, it has been Stephen’s actions that have been so inspirational. He has always been very supportive of the team, the vision and myself. He has continued to invest in the future of the business even when the agenda of the business has changed.
And despite all the twists and turns along the way he still tells the team, “You Guys Rock”.
Who inspired you the most this week, and why?
This is very simple to answer; the JamPot Team in Belfast, Ireland. As we work towards growing the business to meet global demand, we are meeting many new challenges. Our current business and technical model is under going fast–‐paced change. Every single member of the team has risen to the challenges with excitement and worked tirelessly, going way beyond what could be expected of them to
Specifically I would like to highlight James Scott (CEO), although we may not always see to eye to eye about where to focus our resources, I greatly appreciate his hard work and candor as he takes on the
Pressure of growing the company. And secondly, Michael Barr (CTO & Co–‐founder) who is leading the
Tech team in pushing back the boundaries of what is possible always with a ready smile and constant
Stream of Irish banter.
What was the most difficult challenge your business faced this year?
Definitely growing the business. We did not anticipate such a rapid expansion in our user base.
Things seemed to explode after we launched our product www.theappbuilder.com in March 2012. We knew that we had great technology but as soon as we made it public the user base grew quickly and with it the demands on the technology.
This meant that we could no longer have a small team of software developers in Ireland but had to start making room for all that was required to grow the company to support this new demand at a global level.
When was the last time you fell in love with a product?
The area that has always amazed and excited me is the ability to communicate from anywhere in the world in so many ways, text, video, pictures, sound, etc. from mobile, TV’s, game consoles and even now
In car systems. Honestly, I am very thankful to be working on the technology that I really love in this arena of cloud integration with TheAppBuilder.com.
This technology has given me the ability not only to experiment with the capability of cloud computing but to demonstrate what is actually possible now. How cool is it that anyone; from a large Fortune 100 company to an 80–‐year–‐old DJ can now interact with his audience in minutes through any cloud–‐enabled device!
I love this technology!
Belfast-based JamPot Technologies has three founders, with varied business and software development experience. CEO James Scott has worked for a decade in the mobile industry. The company currently employs 12 people and is 100 per cent seed and angel funded. TheAppBuilder has been featured as a stand out service by Fast Company, Engadget, ZDNet, BBC, as well as being invited to present at both Mobile World Congress and SXSW.
TheAppBuilder supports multiple platforms, including Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and HTML5 web apps. Regarding the future, the company will be looking to strengthen their relationship with Microsoft. Scott comments, “We’ve had great support from Microsoft so far, including people’s time, access to handsets and technology for development, and help with introductions. Microsoft has been great at getting us connected to the right people quickly.”