Jon Reynolds – SwiftKey



Jon Reynolds is CEO and Co-Founder of SwiftKey, an Android app that replaces your device’s on-screen keyboard.


My physics teacher at school defined a genius as someone who could see both the big-picture and the detail at the same time. (Whilst most leaders are certainly not geniuses!) I think a leader needs to always see the longer-term context / strategy / goals whilst making decisions around the day-to-day. Instilling that vision / perspective throughout the company is a hard challenge but enables decisions to be made by the leaders and team members throughout the company who are the ones who will successfully build that vision.


When we started SwiftKey, we went straight to device manufacturers, looking to build our software right into their devices. We quickly learned that phone makers wanted evidence to show that users liked our technology. In 2010 we decided to go direct to consumers through the Android Market to gain adoption and feedback. SwiftKey became the top-selling paid app on Android’s Google Play store in 2012 and remains the global bestseller.


There are several I can think of but one thing we focused on from the beginning was to actively reach out to bloggers – the influencers – and get them on board. We contacted those people we thought would be interested and tried to get the ...

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