Sunday Interview : Shashwat Pradhan – Developer And Serial Entrepreneur
The latest survey from various organizations says that student are now more interested to work for themselves rather than working for someone else. There is huge increase in number of startups and the Indian Government and many private organizations promoting people to come up with new ideas and start their own company. Today is Sunday and we have came up with one passionate Entrepreneur Shashwat Pradhan, who have just entered in the grounds of Android with the app called Instant. So we welcome Shashwat and now lets hear from him.
Hello Shashwat Pradhan, Tell us something about yourself.
I am a serial entrepreneur. In the past I had co-founded three ventures. With my startup Emberify, we launched Instant, a material design app on Android few days back which got 2500 downloads in 3 days and was also featured on Drippler with help of Above Android. Also, our app Reminder Now was #1 in the Top Paid apps on the BB World.
I spent lots of time last year travelling around the world, to meet tech entrepreneurs and learn about newer technology that are being used with apps. I was also invited to speak at the Tizen Developer Summit Shanghai on contextual apps. Earlier this year I travelled to San Francisco for Apple’s WWDC where I also visited Google’s HQ in Mountain View to get ideas on Material Design and Contextual apps from my friends/mentors at Google.
Tell Us about Emberify.
Emberify is my technology startup which I founded last year. Emberify is working on mobile apps based on cloud, context and analytic technologies. At Emberify we also collaborate with creative niches to build some innovative apps that are showcased on our website.
We have a team of five people working on designing apps that can add value to your everyday life. We use the newest technology but also make sure we are bringing in new design value with our apps. We also run analysis on consumer technology trends for our apps which we share on our blog.
Why StartUp and Specially Android ?
I like to use technology to improve people’s lives. Using some new technology in our apps the value added to a smartphone user’s day is pretty inspiring. With a startup I can work on some of my ideas with a great team. Android is a great platform since its very open and has great market penetration. Along with a great set of APIs, Google provides some great design and user interface opportunities.
What makes Emberify stand out of the crowd?
Yes, I agree the app stores are really crowded. At Emberify we are targeting innovative use cases with our apps to enable enhanced productivity for our users. We are using lots of the user’s context with our apps. We are also innovating in terms of design by using new paradigms there.
Tell us about Instant and its feedback from users.
Instant allows users to track their smartphone usage. Instant is built on Material Design, tracks device usage time and unlock count as parameters. Instant works on the same principle of Fitness Trackers to make users aware of their phone usage with graphs and limit reminders.
We have gotten a good amount of feedback from our users so far. We are going to add more contextual tracking for users in the coming versions.
Why No Advertisement inside Apps?
Advertisements pretty much ruin the app’s user experience. We have worked hard to build a material design user interface for the app and didn’t want to ruin it with ads. So currently Instant is completely free. In the future updates we made add new features with in app purchases. We launched it free since we wanted to showcase good material design to Android users.
What are Shashwat Pradhan’s plans for near and far future ?
Right now we are working on improving Instant and adding more context aware tracking into the app so the user can know exactly about where his/her time was spent throughout the day.
In the far future we are working on some new prototypes to bring to Android.
Who are your competitors and what do you think about them?
Currently we don’t have too much competition in the smartphone tracking space. One of the nice apps here is Moment which is currently on iOS and is soon coming to Android. Then there is an app called Checky on Android which tracks how many times the phone has been unlocked. They both have built nice apps.
We look to compete with them with more comprehensive contextual tracking and by better design in the app.
What Skills are required for being Entrepreneur.
Hard work and dedication are very important for entrepreneurs. The ability to learn new things quickly in my experience is the most important skill needed. Also creativity and being humble are great qualities for an entrepreneur.
What will be the future of Android according to you.
Android is going places. With Android Wear and Android Auto its great to see Android headed to the Internet of Things. Android has great smartphone penetration. With nice web platforms from Google and some great companies like Xiaomi and Samsung backing Android I can see Android continuing to dominate smartphones in terms of market share.
What are your top 5 favourite apps of Shashwat Pradhan?
My favourite 5 apps are Instagram, Foursquare, Pushbullet, Cover and of course Instant.
Three Things Which Make You Happy?
- Good design
- Innovative ideas
- Gourmet food
Few words to Above Android Readers.
I am glad the Android community responded to Instant so well. I would like more feedback on Instant so we can keep improving it. Thanks for all the support, we will be bringing some more innovative design and technology from Emberify for you.