If you are holding a smartphone (Android or iOS), the chances are you have Talking Tom on your phone. If not please go ahead and download it. Talking Tom is this very simple app which can keep kids busy for many hours. It might be a little irritating for adults after a while but Tom has a wicked sense of humor which can appease even the adults. Talking Tom, the app, didn’t start out as an app.
Talking Tom has started as a fun exercise by Outfit7 employees. The inspiration to Tom was a logo bought in Europe by one of Outfit7’s employees. The logo was then animated with the ability to talk back and made into an app. What was the team working on while making a fun app? The next generation search engine.
Talking Tom as an app gained massive popularity after it was submitted in the app store. Apparently Outfit7 was oblivious to this until they got a call from Apple’s app store telling Outfit7 that their app was downloaded 6 million times in the first 30 days. One thing led to another and Outfit7 has pushed aside their next generation search engine and made 11 apps. Their apps are downloaded more than 310 million times.
Talking Tom is not the app. It’s the tool. The app is the user
– Narry Singh
The Indian connection
Narry Singh is the executive chairman of Outfit 7, the maker of Talking Tom. But Outfit7 seems to be a global company with their team spread across Slovenia, UK and South Korea.
Step aside Rovio
Outfit7 with its 310 million downloads has outpaced Rovio and its Angry Birds in the growth rate. Rovio took 20 months to reach 300 million downloads. Outfit7 did it in less time.
Android vs iOS
60% of the revenues come from iOS and the rest from other players. It’s clear that iOS is a winner. But Narry Singh regards iOS and Android as father and mother, though he doesn’t reveal which is the father.
Advice to developers
Narry Singh has a simple advice to app developers. Singh offers 2 D’s : Discoverability and distribution. That’s no simple thing to do. Just ask any app developer. But Singh has some more advice.
- Don’t worry about the money but concentrate on the app. Money comes much later
- If you are starting out, go the freemium way.
- Ads are good but don’t make them obnoxious
- Revenue through merchandizing is a good option.
Merchandizing option is something Outfit7 is trying out. Just like Angry Birds, you might soon see Talking Toms littering the gift and toy shops.
Watch this Talking Tom India ad for Samsung Galaxy Y
Caution : Don’t try it with your boss unless you have the cojones to back it up.