Interview APP Founder – Alex Mauzon
Name Founder: Alex Mauzon
Name Company: DIP Studio
Name App: PomoDoneApp
Category App: Productivity, Education, Timer Tracking
Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: Worldwide
As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
AM: “I am a productivity addict. I love good project- and tasks management systems, notes organizers, calendars and planners. I adore timeboxing methodology and Pomodoro Technique™.
I used to be a freelancer, a CTO, a Team Lead and a Product Manager in a web dev/consulting company. As a team, we were fed up with using several tools at the same time to keep our workflow highly efficient: Project Management systems, dependent on current our client’s preferences, Time Tracking tools for reporting, analysis and billing, and timeboxing countdown timer for the productivity.
So we decided to “engage” these parts of our workflow and created our own tool: a time tracker based on timeboxing/Pomodoro Technique™ methodology which operates on top of our existing tasks management tools. At the beginning, we used it for our own workflow, but later we decided to share it to the world.
Surprisingly, well-known Project Management tools didn’t pay much attention on time tracking and timeboxing in their systems, despite the huge demand from their users. It gave us a good market opportunity: those tools were willing to have an integration with us and started to recommend our App to their users. Currently, we are the official partners of Trello, Todoist, Wunderlist, Zapier, Evernote, Slack, Basecamp etc.”
Why should App Users download this App?
AM: “The main goal is to boost your productivity, sharpen the focus, outsmart the procrastination, avoid a burnout, and improve the existing workflow using Pomodoro technique without wasting the time on duplicating tasks.
The PomoDoneApp combines several vital workflow improvement elements:
Integrated with many existing systems, it helps to collect the actual tasks into one list and prioritize;
The App blocks the distracting websites while timer is ticking (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. – you can configure it in our Chrome Ext Options);
PomoDone App keeps the record of any timer you run, including available information about the task (timestamp, task title, project, source) and lets you review, analyze and export your activity;
If you choose to notify other systems (e.g. Slack or Microsoft Teams) about your activity, your team mates are informed on what’s on your desk right now and when it’s a good time to contact you;
PomoDone App works with Zapier in both directions, letting you import the tasks/notes/events and use your activity triggers in the real time, so you can create your own virtual integration to and from 750+ systems.”
What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
AM: “There are plenty of Pomodoro Technique based timers on the market. Most of them don’t allow you to use your existing task lists or only integrated with 1 system and most of them don’t let you use different timer lengths.
Thus our advantages are:
> We work with many data sources at the real time;
> We keep the records in a transparent way for better analysis, reporting and billing
> We notify other systems about users activity, letting the workflow to be tracked both ways.”
Can you tell something about the process, challenges, hurdles and time spent from the moment you start (The Idea) till the moment you launched the App at the AppStore / GooglePlay?
AM: “The PomoDone App is a side project of our 14 years old web development and marketing company. We started this project 2 years ago for our internal use, but there was a huge interest in such a tool from our customers and partners, so we decided to go live. We had no external investment, so we used our skills and experience to promote our product to the audience.
The audience appeared to be very happy with the product, so we received a huge support (including donations) from our Early Adopters. We have very active users, by now they tracked more than 1,242,647 working hours / 1,889,723 timers. Currently, we receive up to 20 feedbacks from our users daily, from feature requests to simple thankful messages.”
Once you launched the App in the Appstore / GooglePlay, what did you do to promote this App to your target audience (user group)? Do you think Applepies (as worldwide rating and reviewing Online App Magazine) can have a certain role in this?
AM: “We suggested our integration partners to include us into their help pages, which gave us additional mentions on their websites and in social media. We also launched several co-promo campaigns with some of them, such as Todoist and Zapier, and we’re working on some new ones, at the moment.
And, finally, world of mouth – we currently have more than 500 mentions in blogs, magazines, social media posts, including Forbes (France), MakeUseOf, SoftPedia, Lifehacker (Japan, Russia) in more than 12 different languages. All these articles are 100% organic, we didn’t pay a penny for an article.
We use all the possible opportunities to communicate with our potential customers, and we are sure that Applepies might be useful for us, as well.”
You as a visionary person, what is your view on the new technologies of the digital smartphone (App) world. Do you think that within 1 to 5 years App’s will be indispensable?
AM: “I believe that the future is already here. We use Apps for shopping and payments, arranging appointments, tracking our health and fitness progress, etc. I guess some of these activities will be replaced by AI based predictive requests, and all we would have to do is to confirm it by gestures or voice, so we could spend our most important assets (time and attention) on family, health, life and happiness.”
Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalize or optimize your App?
AM: “Yes we do. We grew up to 70.000 users in 2 years without any marketing activities, by bootstrapping and investing FFF money, we proved our market value and nailed our marketing strategy and development roadmap.
Currently we are looking for €150K to be spent on further product development (including mobile Apps and corporate features) and marketing co-promo activities with our partners.
What is the business model of the App (how does the App earns money?) Think of advertisements, premium subscriptions in the App etc.?
AM: “We have mixed freemium model: Free and Premium Plans (from €12 to €42/year), and a pool of free and paid Apps (€4.99 for App Store and Win Store versions).
We’re working on mobile Apps which will be launched in free (limited) version and paid version, as well. By the beginning of Sept 2017, we already sold more than 2,000 Apps and more than 700 Premium Plans.”
Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other creators/founders?
AM: “Never give up.”
Pomodone is easily the best Pomodoro Technique app I have ever used. I use it every day in conjunction with Trello and I couldn’t be without it.
If you manage your tasks in an app that Pomodone supports I would highly recommend you give Pomodone a go to both time your working sessions/breaks but also keep a track of what you have worked on and allow you to seamlessly move from task to task as you complete them.
Keep that dopamine flowing!