Shared from the 5/24/2018 Sydney Morning Herald eEdition

Taming the wild west of app development

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Ready to assist (from left): Hyper Apps’ David Leo and Steph Brown with co-founder and CEO Sasha Reid.

When radio host and stand up comic Georgina ‘‘George’’ McEncroe had the idea of starting the all-female ridesharing app Shebah, she turned to Sydney app developers Hyper.

Hyper co-founder Sasha Reid was at first hesitant to accept the project because he was not aware of the gravity of problems women face with existing ridesharing apps.

To better understand, he signed up to become an Uber driver and on his first night behind the wheel noticed that male passengers sat in front and chatted with him while female passengers tended to keep to themselves in the back seat.

‘‘For me, that was a real eye-opener to the problem [Shebah] wanted to solve,’’ Reid says. ‘‘The following day I called George and said, ‘Let’s do this!’’’

Hyper is more than just a development company and is on a mission to try and change the way people think about launching an app.

‘‘Launching an app is about launching a business and the app is simply the way customers will interact with your brand,’’ Reid says. ‘‘Like a business, there are proven ways to see whether your idea will succeed well before anything is built.’’

Reid says some developers may be great at building code but rarely understand other critical factors such as app design, partnerships, revenue streams, traction and how these are used to raise money from investors.

‘‘We spend the time needed to teach them how to be an entrepreneur, workshop the idea, help them validate it and then establish the commercial viability that is needed to start generating money,’’ he says.

Hyper’s director of growth, Lachlan Knowles, says that building an app is not unlike building a house.

‘‘You wouldn’t start the construction of a house without drawing up a blueprint first. You need to understand how everything fits together before bringing the engineering team on site to build it. Doing the planning upfront can save you a lot of money down the road,’’ he says.

Knowles says people don’t realise how expensive some ideas can be, ‘‘so we encourage applying for government grants and bringing investors into the project early to help mitigate the financial risk for the founder’’.

He says that ‘‘most people don’t have that type of money sitting around so the system we use helps our clients get to market in the most economical way’’.

Hyper’s system helps customers create a brand, build a prototype and demonstrate traction as early as possible to secure partnerships, raise money and apply for accelerators.

Knowles says Hyper acts in the best interest of the idea and would rather push back on some features than always say yes.

‘‘We would rather roll up our sleeves and work alongside our clients to build the best possible product we can than always say ‘yes’ and take their money like a lot in the industry do,’’ he says.

‘We spend the time needed to teach them how to be an entrepreneur.’

- Sasha Reid

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