Based in San Francisco, John Papandriopoulos is the creator of SnappyCam, the fastest smartphone camera on Earth.
There’s always room for true innovation. Look at existing solutions and imagine what they could, or should be. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself to get there.
The product is the marketing team. With $0 marketing spend, SnappyCam has enjoyed explosive user growth, and without any inherit virality baked into the app (but watch this space!). Word of mouth is king.
I was attracted to the entrepreneurial path for many years. I yearned for the freedom to be my own boss and create amazing products that would change the world. The enabler for me was a pragmatic one: a win in the U.S. green card lottery.
I was working at a Stanford-spinout startup in Silicon Valley at the time, headed by Prof. John Cioffi, who is known as “the father of DSL”. I relocated to the USA from my hometown Melbourne, Australia after just completing my postdoc and Ph.D dissertation on algorithms to speed up DSL connections.
You might say “snappy” is in my blood.
I’m a self-funded, single Founder. It may be tough going at first, but with a great support network, it’s possible to make a splash without the usual Co-Founder setup that’s prescribed by many of the highly respected Silicon Valley startup gurus. My lesson: don’t be afraid to be an outlier and believe in yourself.
SnappyCam was soft-launched in December 2011 with the first copy snatched up by my ever-supporting girlfriend Diane. It was only until SnappyCam 3.0 that growth exploded, ignited by a product that pushed the envelope beyond what people thought possible, and fantastic press in TechCrunch by writer Josh Constine.
Apple’s iPhone developer pitch holds true: focus on creating an amazing product that delights the user and it will thrive.
I work from a home office on top of one of San Francisco’s beautiful hills with a breathtaking 270-degree view of the city. We call it v-cubed, short for “view, view, view!” that was also the title of the advertisement that led us to discover it.
Inspiration is key to creativity, and an essential ingredient for innovation.
You might call me a full-stack entrepreneur: research, software development, graphics design, customer support, and now press are all activities I interleave. You can always recognize me in a San Francisco coffee shop because I have my 13” MacBook Pro glued to my side in a black canvas sleeve. (A good cappuccino is the second indispensable tool.)
Despite having unsuccessfully pitched two ideas to Y-Combinator twice in the past, I can identify with much of Paul Graham’s ideology: build something someone wants, launch early and iterate, go out of the way to delight initial users.
They said no-one needs yet another camera app. And now that statement is true.