Interview APP Founder – Arthur Ksyvickis Prat Marbá
Name Founder: Arthur Ksyvickis Prat Marbá
Name Company: CarnaBlocos
Name App: CarnaBlocos
Category App: Entertainment
Is the App created for a certain country/area or worldwide: Created for Brazil
As Founder of this fantastic App, what was your motivation to create such an App?
AM: “I’ve always wanted to create an high-impact application from the time I joined IBMEC School of Management, in 2011.
I saw the use of this new format of technology as a low-cost investment for reaching thousands of people. With a lot of studies in this field I started to love this business because it did not create limits for the imagination, everything is possible with programming skills. From that moment, I developed in 2015 a financial startup called PiggyPeg that won the award of Brazil’s best startup by innumerable institutions of great importance in the market. At this moment I met my two friends and partners Daniel Rocha and Jonathan Bijos. Together we had the great idea to develop a solution for the Brazilian Street Carnival. Our motivation was beyond the search for professional recognition, to inform precisely where the street parades would occur. Create a new kind of fun experience with the quality that was not yet available in our market.
Why should Users download this App?
AM: “There is no better way to communicate with clarity and accuracy where parades will occur. We have created a design in our user experience interface that makes it a lot easier to understand all of our functionalities. Prior to our development, a Project Satisfaction survey was conducted to understand the faults of our business. From then on, it took months of dedication and work to develop the features that were considered the most important. This application has been tailor made for our users.”
What are the advantages compared to other similar App’s?
AM: “CarnaBlocos is an application that shows the complete programming of street parades. One of the most interesting aspects is the search filter by regions or neighborhood. Using GPS, the App still able to estimate the distance between the user and the street parades and thus determine which ones are closer.
Without a doubt, an excellent differential. It also serves as an agenda that will help the user to organize their revelry. The service has a reminder of the event through notifications, a couple of hours before it’s about to start. The App also has a function to rate each street parade, a group chat for the users who confirmed attendance, a section that shows who of your Facebook friends are going, the route the parade will take and a sharing button to inform friends about the most important info through various social media like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.”
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 / Google Play?
AM: “Our initial plan was to build a list of street parades to help people organize themselves throughout the carnival. We didn’t have external help, there were only the 2 developers who worked really hard to accomplish the launch right on time. There are no legislation problems we are aware of, so that was a positive point to it.
One thing we did have a rough time on was getting the street parade’s information. We had to search everywhere on the internet and in the end the best solution was to build a web crawler to fetch the info and update the database accordingly. We invested money ourselves on the App from the start. There were no investors.
Uploading the App on the Play Store was pretty fast so the only problem we had was with the AppStore. It took about a week to get it uploaded successfully. Our total time spent with the system and both Apps was about 5~6 months.
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: “I used my network to reach a total disclosure of 15 million users by Instagram through posts of great Brazilian celebrities. However, the return at the user level was much lower than expected and this has proved to us that the gain of users via social marketing is totally tied to the quality of the post.
You need to use good photos or videos with good captions that sharpen celebrity satisfaction. However, this marketing action has brought another type of feedback because we are currently receiving several proposals from third parties and for this reason I believe that a global digital magazine of great influence like “Applepies” will raise our padding to new opportunities not only in Brazil but also to the international market.”
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: “Applications are the simplest way that society has found to be more productive on a day to day basis and so they have come to stay. The intelligence systems will be indispensable from now on because it has brought a capacity for organization and agility of reasoning that has made people more efficient in its activities. In about five years most of the decisions we make will be supported by cognitive systems, since the volume of data will be too large for a single human to analyze. These solutions will be improved and machine learning will be at the center of the disruptive technologies of the coming years. Autonomous cars are an example of this trend.
The improvement of the user experience in online platforms and decision making in companies will have a lot to do with machine learning and cognitive systems in the coming years. We can already find customer service and personal assistant software based on this kind of solution. In the long run, 10 years from now, I believe that artificial intelligences will become so capable that they will gradually replace human labor, creating a clash between humanism and capitalism. The artificial intelligence will gradually replace the human brain in its daily activities.
There is a great deal of interest in the new paradigms of interaction – such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, wearable technologies and the internet of things. This means that soon we will be able to see new categories of consumer products appear. The increasing use of beacons and sensors will allow a series of cross-information to bring new experiences and intelligence to the relationship between companies and consumers. Information is and will be the base of every business. But nowadays I am more excited about the use of augmented reality glasses because it has the ability to put you in the center of the action, so I believe they will replace the smartphone to become the new indispensable gadget in people’s lives. For example, you can use that technology to view how a furniture would look in a particular environment. Both virtual reality and augmented reality can change the users’ shopping experience. It’s worth creating applications based on these technologies.
Another segment that gains strength is applications that solves social problems. There are platforms that tell you where the buses are or that serve to report problems in a city, for example. All these tendencies will be based on big data.”
Are you currently (still) looking for investments or funds to finalize or optimize your App?
AM: “We are not looking for investors because we are focused on developing improvements for CarnaBlocos 2018. However, we are reviewing all the investment, purchase and partnership proposals we started to receive in the last month.”
Wat is the business model of the App (how does the App earns money?) Think of advertisements, premium subscriptions in the App etc?
AM: “In our last and first edition of CarnaBlocos we have not put into practice any type of financial return. Our business plan was to create a real solution for the Brazilian people in order to gain professional recognition. At that time, we understood that the development of a system that support a business plan with financial return would be unfeasible within our objectives. And everything went very well, we were record in number of downloads with almost 100 thousand users being third in the ranking of entertainment by the App Store and 47 in the overall ranking. We are now working on developing an advertiser plan for the upcoming carnival as well as a Tinder-like solution targeted at all those who confirm presence in a parade.”
Last but not least is there anything you want to recommend other creators/founders?
AM: “Study hard about technology and its trends. Be a partner of people who are not there for the ego, success is the result of reciprocity and free communication among all members of the team. Do not let the pressure for financial results hinder the progress of a fantastic solution, you must understand that success is the result of the impact you can generate in people’s lives. The financial return is a consequence of the recognition that you are able to generate.”