Hello Matthew from Cheerful Inc.
Very awesome of you to answer a few questions about your application, startup, and team.
Matthew (@mmastrac) is the CTO and founder of Cheers, and has before this been on the StumbleUpon team as well as DotSpots. Matt has a BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Calgary.
Cheers is an iOS application for everybody that wants to express love and appreciation for anything, anyone, anywhere. It’s provoking to be positive, to get in touch with new people and invites you to discover what’s cool around you and the world. It’s the ‘like’ button for the world around you.
You can get Cheers for free here: itunes.apple.com/us/app/chee.rs
Q: What has led you to found a company and create the Cheers application? What was the problem in the world that motivated you?
In 2010 we started work on an application for positive and negative reviews for businesses, named ‘gri.pe’, to help consumers get resolution when problems come up. The idea is that a business would want to turn a customer’s gripe into a cheer by fixing their problem. We saw that there were actually quite a few people who went straight to creating cheers, rather than creating gripes that indicated they had a problem, so we thought that we could try to focus on that part of the equation.
Q: For a successful app, which do you think is more important: the right team, product, or market?
The market is basically the most important thing. You can have a perfect team, perfect product, but if the market isn’t there, or is too early, you’ll struggle the whole time.
Q: Do you consider your iOS application a product or a service, and why?
We consider Cheers to be a service, along the lines of Twitter and Facebook. Our goal is to give people an outlet for positivity in their lives, and to help them connect with people who have positive things to say.
Q: What has been the biggest surprise Cheers has (perhaps unexpectedly) given you?
We’ve been overwhelmed with how well the product has been doing. It’s been on the “What’s Hot” list from Apple for more than a week, and it’s been a top 100 Lifestyle app in more than 30 countries. I wasn’t sure if there would be a big market for this, but we’re happy to see that there definitely is.
Q: In the iOS marketplace, with over 25 billion downloads from over 500,000 apps, do you consider others that try to do the same to be competitors or colleagues? And how do you make sure you’re the one getting noticed?
The space that we’re in is crowded with a lot of others. We’ve got some secret marketing sauce that helps get us noticed, but we mainly try to differentiate by building a slick, polished app that people honestly love to use (and market to their friends themselves).
Q: Are there any easter eggs in the Cheers app we can go hunt for? Or perhaps something upcoming you can disclose here that we can keep an eye out for?
Last winter we put in an easter egg that would snow on top of any cheer than mentioned snow or winter. We might sneak a few more of those in from time-to-time. 🙂