Episode 5: Learn How Vladimir has been reskinning games but surprisingly he has been focusing on reskinning medical apps, and it’s been very successful! Hear how app flipping goes beyond the game industry. Also learn about Vlad’s tips to grow your app business smoothly. Also Vlad is giving away Live business coaching, listen to the interview to find out how to apply.
Welcome to the mobile app flipping podcast, this is your host Yohann Taieb. My goal is to help you to get the most out of reskinning apps. Whether you’re already a full time entrepreneur or trying to get a business going, this podcast is for you. We will be interviewing professionals that are already doing app reskinning for a living. We will also invite source code sellers to get to learn about what they have to offer and finally we will talk to industry experts to learn how to become more productive at flipping apps. Now, without further ado lets get started!
Yohann: Ok so, today I have a very interesting guest his name is Vlad Ukis. Hello Vlad. Vlad: Hi!
Yohann: Welcome to the show. The reason why I say you are very interesting is so far all the people invited to the show are mostly game reskinners but you, you do game reskinning but you have also something very different you also medical app reskinning now I’m not going to say much right now and I’m going to let you to introduce yourself and tell us about your background and how did you come into this industry.
Vlad: Hi Yohann thanks for having me. So basically what I am doing I am doing app reskinning for a couple of years now. So, as you said I am doing reskinning in healthcare apps but also doing it in the game apps aswell. So, it all got started, I think about 3 years ago I bought my first iPhone. The first thing I did I went to the app store and downloaded some apps and since then I was producing my own apps aswell. How it all got started though I got in touch with the doctor who also was very impress by all the mobile technology and wanted to get into the app world and we joined forces so the doctor provided all the professional health information and I took over the creation of the entire brand. I took over the development, I took over the marketing, I took over the design and everything.
Yohann: Ok so you have a developer background. Right? Vlad: Thats right yeah, so I can develop stuff myself. Yohann: Ok great and um yes keep going.
Vlad: Yeah, so how it all got started so at the beginning we didn’t know what the app actually is and how to actually create a meaningful healthcare app concept but we just decided to get started which was really the right thing to do because it was a actual learning curve to get the first app in the app store. And I think the first app we did was an app on blood pressure to provide tips to facts to reduce the blood pressure and once we got that installed we kept on producing apps until we got to a concept we are doing now and we still do and that concept is accupressure. Accupressure is a Chinese massage points on your body that you can massage to relieve various diseases for example if you have back pain there is a point for that. If you have a headache there is another point for that on your body aswell and so on. So basically what we are doing at the moment we are producing lots of accupressure apps and this is where the reskinning in healthcare apps comes in. So basically how it works in an app like for instance headache we got 10 different types of headache like for instance you might have migraine, headache in the back of the head or headache in the front of the head and so on. And for each of those symptoms we provide you a certain accupressure point you can find using video. So our apps contain lots of videos and for each symptom you get a video.
Yohann: Do you mind sharing some download numbers because you’ve been in this industry for about 3 or 4 years right?
Vlad: Yeah that’s right. So with the accupressure apps or with all the apps we are approaching 500,000 downloads
Yohann: Wow, wow excellent!
Vlad: Yeah we are producing more and in the games we got 5,000 downloads so far.
Yohann: Ok yes but you’re mainly focusing on the medical apps so that makes sense.
Vlad: Yes basically at the moment I’m running the business twofold so I’m continuing to produce the accupressure apps but also iphone games.
Yohann: OK, now is there any of your apps or games you’d like to focus on?
Vlad: Yeah I can pick one from the accupressure and I can pick one game also to talk about. So lets take our most successful accupressure app. That accupressure app is basically on improving sex.
Yohann: Wow OK did you have an legal issues with using the word? No problem with
Yohann: Cause um, I gotta tell you it crossed my mind to use those words that people searched a lot for you know. But I’m like that could be an issue with apple but I’m glad to hear it’s not.
Vlad: Ya so actually we had those concerns as well but also in the end there’s always we just decided to do it to see what’s gonna happen and that was the right thing to do because that is the most successful app now.
Yohann: Excellent! Now, tell me about it did you already write the source code before you write the specific content or you just started to create the content and the app as it went?
Vlad: Well it was a journey! At the beginning we didn’t know what the right concept would be. So we just basically created an app which would be similar to some news apps on the store but instead of putting in news in there we put healthcare tips in there but I changed the app to what we got now to include all those videos that we got.
Yohann: Ok, it revolved over time.
Vlad: It revolved over time but I would say that basically the backbone of the app that we got right now what developed from the start.
Yohann: Ok so now question. So you have been reusing the same source code now. Did you have to do lots of different changes every time or is it mostly content you need the change?
Vlad: At the beginning at the beginning when we didn’t know what the app concept would be we did code changes but at the moment I don’t do any code changes just content exchange and design exchange in some areas for instance for each new accupressure app we produce a new icon.
Yohann: Oh excellent, the value I can get from what you’re saying is that you started by doing something and it wasn’t working that well however you kept working and improving it until you hit that sweet spot where you have lots of downloads and you kept reusing that code and it keeps getting better is that right?
Vlad: Yeah thats right thats exactly the journey I took and this is what i want to suggest to every appreneur just start slowly with a basic app get it into the store to get to know how everything is working and then once in store you can always improve.
Yohann: Interesting but question there probably was a low moment where you guys were like it’s not working why should I continue, was there anything like that?
Vlad: Well, not really I would say. I’m not a person who can get discouraged easily, therefore I can drive forward basically when we hit the store that was the time the ipad was like for 6 months in the market so the ipad market was very hot because there weren’t a lot of apps for the ipad and our app was universal right from the start so therefore in the healthcare category our app was probably like one of the first apps on blood pressure. Therefore we just had downloads because there was zero competition in the ipad healthcare category which was heavily focused on blood pressure. In the beginning it was a no brainer to get downloads. Today it is much harder to get downloads because there is much more competition that there used to be.
Yohann: Ok, now um would you have you made any changes lately or plan to make more changes to it?
Vlad: I’m planning on experimenting on a new revenue source which would be apple affiliate program.
Yohann: Ok yes I’m familiar with it. I’m an affiliate with apple as well.
Vlad: Yes, so basically i sorted of neglected this revenue source up until now because I was busy doing other things but I started experimenting with this in the last couple of months and I think it has some potential. We will just need a little code change in all the app and we could leverage the potential as well.
Yohann: OK excellent, let me explain the affiliate program. Basically you can go online and register with apple and you become an affiliate. There is basically you get some kind of id that links to everything in the itunes store and you get money every time somebody buys something in the next 2472 hours so its an extra source of revenue.
Vlad: That’s right.
Yohann: Ok, now how did you find out where to navigate the application in the sense that
how did you find out where to leave the product that you have?
Vlad: Yeah, are you referring to features or referring to apps in general which apps the create?
Yohann: Mostly features. In the sense like the actual mechanics of the app. Like how did you know that you need to add videos to it and things like that. I usually get customer reviews, like “hey, you should have timer here” or “hey this is too hard” things like that you know and you get real user feedback. Is that how you did or did you use other technique you used?
Vlad: We used this and we used something else as well. With accupressure it is all about showing to the user how to find the right accupressure point for the symptom. For example you got headache you just the only thing you interested in is getting rid of the headache in accupressure the only thing you interested in is finding the right pressure point quickly, therefore the app must be constructed in a way that you got the least problems while navigating to the point in the app where you can see where to find the pressure point. Right, it must be like I start the app, I tell the app I got a headache and the app must present the point.
Yohann: You guys are using layman terms in the sense the user knows about medical terms so you guys have to find out how to go from regular vocabulary to medical terminology. Is that right?
Vlad: That’s right. With the exception that we don’t use medical terminology at all. For instance alright headache at the top of the head, headache at the back of the head, headache for instance we just use the every day terms. This is something people really like. This is just like you don’t need to learn new vocabulary.
Yohann: It’s not like you go into a doctor and you use some fancy words.
Vlad: That’s right. This is not the point. So therefore you just hit like I got headache at the top of the head and then you are present with the right media and the media plays and you will see how to find the point and that’s basically it. We see just from flurry data somebody just spends 30 seconds in our app.
Yohann: Ok, hold on. Let me explain what flurry data is. What he saying right now that you can add some code within your game that is sending data back in what the user is doing in real time on their device. So, for example you have Vlad here saying he can tell how long a
user is on specific page of how long is on the app. Go ahead, sorry.
Vlad: Yeah so this is an important thing and I would recommend anyone adding flurry to their app right from the start. It really gives you an insight to how users use your app. For instance I know a user just spend 30 seconds on my app I know I must optimise the app in a way that in 30 seconds the person can find anything they need inside the app. There is no point in being fancy features so this is not what the users want.
Yohann: Right, the attention span of iPhone users is really short. Have you used Google analytics for mobile devices because I used this recently, have you got in touch with it?
Vlad: No, tell me more…
Yohann: Ok, well its similar to, it’s a mix between flurry and google analytics for website. It is very straightforward to use and I’m expecting good things to come out of it so you should take a look at it.
Vlad: Will do, yeah thanks!
Yohann: Where were we. The features. How do you find out which features to work?
Vlad: Yes, in our world with accupressure apps we decided to stick to 10 topics per app. Like if you got headache we just include 10 types of headache. We include 10 most frequently types of headache people have.
Yohann: So you going with the average population and some cases you can’t deal with or it may take longer.
Vlad: That’s right. It’s not an easy thing to make the choice but we are seeing that people like. We see reviews like “oh I’m actually missing that type of headache or that type of back pain or that type of emergency situation.” Because if you forced to thinking like to clear thinking like you’ve only got 10 choices out of 100 then usually you come out with something really crisp and people like that.
Yohann: Ok, it’s funny that you say that. I have a medical app its called color blind eye exam. It hot top 10 in early October. One of the comments from one user is like “oh it tells you that you’re color blind but it doesn’t go too much in detail to tell you” like that. Now, it could be cheaper but I don’t want to overwhelm the average user. A good point the exam found out that you are color blind. I state that it’s just an app it’s not a doctor. We know you’re color blind you should see a doctor don’t expect the app to cure you.
Vlad: Yeah definitely I would recommend to anyone just use the minimal version of the app that you got and try to improve on feedback you got.
Yohann: Got it. Ok. Let switch and talk about the game reskinning and you talking about and was that before your medical apps?
Vlad: Yeah, so with games actually I decided to get into games because I thought I would be able to outsource the entire game business without having to spend lots of time on it. With the accupressure line I’m doing the entire brand involvement. I’m doing marketing, development, content creation I’m involved in everything. But with games I saw the opportunity to produce games without being too involved in the entire process.
Yohann: Ok so you want to delegate tasks so you’re more of a manager.
Vlad: That’s right and it’s worked so far. Em, therefore I’m happy I got into games, this
enables me to produce new products without being involved.
Yohann: New sources of revenues without much effort on your side.
Vlad: Definitely it is more financially risking but I can deal with that.
Yohann: Ok, so please tell us about some games you’ve made anything we know that kinda uh somebody famous?
Vlad: There is a games I did reskins of which is called avalanche mountain. I did 2 reskins of that game and they are successful making decent money and but nothing would really know looking at app charts. Then I also reskinned a another racing game I made it a Gangnam racer. That was the most successful game that I did.
Yohann: Ok, excellent. I was wondering about that Gangnam race that you did, what was the whole process how did you come out with the idea and how did you go from there?
Vlad: Yeah, so the game was advertised on some site where you buy games, I don’t remember it might have been chupamobile. I bought the game it was a unity3d game. The next thing was to come up with a theme and I came up with gangnam racer. There wasn’t too many results. I decided to do the gangnam racer thing then I found a developer elance.com I found it on elance and he basically did the reskin, I can’t say I was very happy with the communication level we had but in the end he managed to produce it and get it in the app store.
Yohann: Ok, how long did it take between you having the idea and you having the final product in the app store?
Vlad: I think it took a while because of the communication issues I think it took like 3 months.
Yohann: Wow ya that’s pretty that’s tough to when you have such a long time in between because when you are going with something like gangnam that’s very trendy things go up and down very quick.
Vlad: Yeah, that’s what actually happens. I mean this the reskin I was talking about so once do social clearance and buy the code and the code is not started earning money back, every day the app is not in the app store you are basically losing the revenue.
Yohann: One advice I’d give to people here is that make sure when go with something that’s trendy make sure you know what source code you are using and all the people that will be involved in the process. So you kinda know how long the process is going to take. Cause you lets say it’s halloween or christmas theme you want to make sure it’s on time.
Vlad: Yeah, usually once you’ve found developers you’re comfortable working with you can make plans because they have worked for you and you know how they communicate how fast they produce results and the whole process becomes much more planned.
Yohann: Right, relationships say something the other persons knows what to expect and you are both gaining speed by re using the same people.
Vlad: Whereas if you are doing it for the first time you don’t know how it’s going to go.
Yohann: Ok, thanks for your inputs. Very excellen. Now a couple of general questions. Is there any book you would recommend for someone starting reskinning whether it’s on the business side or the programming side or the mobile app skinning side, is there anything you would recommend us.
Vlad: Related to app reskinning?
Yohann: It doesn’t have to be it could just be programming in general, anything to help
someone starting a mobile app business..
Vlad: Right, so in terms of business I would recommend bluecloudsolutions.com there is source code you can buy there which gets you started in the reskinning game. If you are just starting programming I would suggest you just go online. This is how I learned iPhone programming. So basically if you are learning all the programming languages you can just find sources for iPhone programming.
Yohann: Ok, absolutely, you just cannot have the experience you cannot become the next star in the app store you have to make your way there. Even angry birds people don’t know that they had to work on 53 updates to get to the point where they make money so don’t expect to be the next god of the mobile app industry.
Vlad: This is actually doable but it won’t happen just by chance.
Yohann: Yes you gotta put yourself into it. Now what your vision for yourself what do you see coming for the year 2014?
Vlad: I actually don’t think as far. We want to put up 10 more games.
Yohann: Mostly reskins?
Vlad: Thats right gaming is reskins and we want to put up 10 more accupressure apps within the next 23 months.
Yohann: Ok, I wish you good luck with that, we want to hear more and we will invite you again and hear more how those things went ok?
Vlad: Yeah definitely.
Yohann: Alright if we want to get in touch with you how do we do that?
Vlad: I’ve got a blog where I talk about the entire app business. I’m talking about growing the business I’m talking about creating the design, I’m talking about creating themes, I’m talking about development. This is really documenting my entire journey as an appreneur. And my work goals they are always action orientated, once you read the blog post you get advice you can use in your own life as an appreneur.
Yohann: It’s like your journey, it’s technical but it’s like a diary of all your ups and downs?
Vlad: Not really, one the one hand you can see by looking at the blog posts what I was actually working on, if I was working on an issue this is also what I am doing right now. The blog post are very action orientated so it is giving the readers something to do in their business.
Yohann: What is the name of the blog please? Vlad: appdaddyblog.wordpress.com
Yohann: Ok got it, it’ll be in show notes on appsfresh.com I believe you have a little gift, freebie for audience right?
Vlad: Yeah definitely, So guys listen up what I will do for those of you that need advice on their app business he first 5 people to sign up on the blog I will provide free app business advice.
Yohann: Wow, that’s amazing, thanks for such a great gift I’m sure lots of people listening to this podcast definitely want to have some help from somebody that’s already in the industry somebody that’s as successful as you are.
Vlad: Yeah, looking forward to you guys.
Yohann: Thanks for everything we hopefully hear good things happening to you and that’s pretty much it. I’ll talk to you soon.
Vlad: Thanks Yohann it was a pleasure! Yohann: My pleasure too!
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