From the Editor, Debleena, Cofounder, StartupsFM: When I spoke to Melanie, all I could feel was a winning streak running across our conversation. She is one person who would even sit in a cafe and talk to you and tell her story to you, even though she was on a wi-fi! So the zeal of a founder is all that takes to reach that zenith and Melanie has been working on Mevvy since 2011 to disrupt the way we discover apps.
How Mevvy came into being?
The idea started in 2011, when I was still working in event management. I was moving lots, going from country to country (Singapore, France, UAE, Mexico) to create and design events. These companies were all different from one another, but they had one thing in common: they needed marketing. I started to take on not only events, but also marketing tasks. I handled their social media, their event portfolio, their PR, their websites etc. In doing so, there was never a lot of budget available.
Hence, I had to find alternative ways to do things – by using web and mobile apps – to accomplish my tasks. I got into using Animoto for slideshows, Cobook for managing contacts, Hootsuite to manage social media accounts etc. That’s how it all started. In fact my employers were so happy with my solutions that they started to recommend me to their friends and connections, other companies and entrepreneurs who wanted me to teach them how to do these things. I did that for a while as a one-on-one coaching. However this was limited to the fact that there were only a few working hours in a day. So I decided to take my wealth of knowledge and transform it into a website where everyone could access the apps I was using to do things. So came in the idea of Mevvy and it was officially born in August 2011.
After the launch, I kept the website running and also without spending much effort on promoting the same. through word of mouth a couple of my friends liked it so much that they decided to put their money where their mouth was. They invested to create an awesome design and interface.
Why Mevvy is an important step ahead in the app economy?
Well, right now you have 1,000,000 apps for iOS and Android each. That is a like a big mess and even though you do have some basic categorization on app stores, you may miss out some of the best matches for yourself just because you can’t find the right app. Amidst this overcrowded app arena, all you’re left with is 50+ options for anything you want to do. The harsh reality is that none of the app stores whether Apple or Google, go by what is really worthy. In fact they throw light on those who spend huge marketing moolah or buy press attention. So the small apps get lost somewhere in this big scene. Rather they are overruled.
The app market scene
I guess it came this far because no one expected the app market to explode that rapidly. It has been 5 years since we all rushed through this app revolution and now there is a need for another disruption to remove the mess. Initially we thought that Mevvy would be a web directory where app fanatics can search for apps.
But with time we saw that this was not cutting it at all. The reason we unveiled was that the idea was not close enough to the users. The most important thing that we were missing was the social aspect of this whole platform. A survey from Forrester Research as highlighted in my article on Forbes also showcases how recommendations from friends and family is the key to app discovery.
Finding apps that is loved by people whom you love
At Mevvy we want to build a bridge between you and the people that matter in your life and to see what apps they install, rate and recommend. The interface will be like Twitter, like a feed. Say, if I rate “dropbox” for example and you follow me, you’ll see what rating I gave on your newsfeed. You can only rate an app, if you actually have it installed and we are tracking how many people are using what app, giving us a way of adding a line in the newsfeed saying “HOT!
You can also view my profile and see what apps I installed. This is like a social network for app discovery. the idea is to create a social network, that allows people to not only see what others do, but instantly recommend as well. Let’s say you are a graphic designer and I found this awesome new design app, I can just send it over to you, without having to copy paste a link, open an email and send it to you. Mevvy has that one-click send feature. So all I will do is go to my app list section and click on share, type in your name and send.
For App developers Mevvy is a whole new ecosystem and avenue
There are so many app developers who are trying to make it big with their apps. They crack the code and then release it in app stores. But sadly only the big fish win. I mean those who have money and connections can go in for some moolah. For the average app developer its frustrating since they cannot afford expensive PR and buzz. They make less than 150 bucks a month from their apps on the app store. So Mevvy also helps the app developer community to win more eyeballs. If you have a great product, we help it to spread organically minus any manipulation unlike the app stores. Soon Mevvy will also launch a special feature where app developers can also pitch their product to the community.
A Great shift in app recommendation system
Why read reviews from people who do not matter to you? Would you really value the judgement of a Chicago based guy on a shopping app or rather look upto your friends to know what they are saying. Mevvy is an answer to this sensitive issue. Users can follow each other to get feed from each other and stay tuned. This is like your own app channel attuned to meet your needs.
When you visit someone’s profile you get to see their profile, what apps they installed, number of followers and also see the rating of the app. Now this rating is is based on numbers given by the Mevvy community and are not those atypical app store numbers. I have been a regular reader of Rotten Tomatoes but the thing I often liked movies which had low rating! Yes it happens. So even for apps, it is not always true that the one that has more rating will score good for you. You might as well feel that it is crap. This is simply because the people that vote there are just not on the same line as I am.
How is Mevvy working in craving a beautiful app ecosystem?
So lets say you talk about fashion on Facebook, you work in media and you love pets, we’d recommend apps for that and also in conjunction with what is already installed on your phone. Though there were other players, but I did not find them cutting it. I would never require a Google Drive recommendation when I am happily using Dropbox. That is a weird thing indeed. I think it’s too early to invent smart algorithms for app suggestions, we dont have enough information yet to do so. I can imagine that the platform that we are building now, we can harvest data and and find out what apps, languages, categories and price brackets are really popular. To go out there and through a bunch of random apps at someone is not what the people need. I am not expecting for someone to use Mevvy daily. It’s more of a “it’s there when you need it” app, when you need an alternative to that to-do list app on your phone.