083: Ben Haefele & David Adkin (Foundry)

Ben Haefele & David Adkin on Innovation City

“You need to figure out what the core steps are along your journey to helping you overcome the main challenge and make sure that what you do create really helps somebody.” — David Adkin

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guests are Ben Haefele & David Adkin, Co-founders at Foundry. Foundry is a platform that makes creating apps easy by making the building of software accessible to anyone. Ben and David created Foundry under the belief that anyone should be able to make an app, regardless of technical skill. In this episode of Innovation City, Ben and David sit down with the team to discuss the “Why” behind creating Foundry, the importance of figuring out the buyer journey, knowing when to edit yourself when it comes to user features, the questions to ask yourself before creating an app, and much more!

They discuss:

  • David’s passion for design and wanting to create a platform that makes UX design fast and user friendly
  • Both guests were always coming up with new ideas of apps but didn’t have the coding background to make their concepts a reality
  • The Foundry app allows companies to create apps without the need for a developer
  • Launching the beta version of their app in January 2019
    • Getting feedback
    • Helping customers easily scale their businesses
  • In order to help customers, you need to understand what the problem they are trying to solve is
  • Mixing AI with human intelligence to create a user friendly platform
  • Creating technology that allows for job creation for years to come
  • Software and App creation is very revenue focused
    • The average app costs around $30,000 – $170,000 for its first version
    • The companies have to have a focus on revenue in order to have a good ROI
    • Foundry App will allow companies to cut down on cost for an easier ROI
  • The wide variety of customers they have seen so far:
    • New products and services that could revolutionize their specific industries
    • Larger companies looking for an internal app to make one or more pieces of their business easier
    • Small business owners looking for an easier solution to connect with their customers
  • The app is set for a full official launch in Summer 2019
  • They have created a monthly payment model that follows a tiered pricing plan so customers are only paying for what they need
    • The more customizations and app users you have, the higher the pricing needs to be to support it
  • Creating demo apps for their customers so they can get a better sense if they are on the right track with solving their customer’s problems or if they should adjust/pivot
  • Horror stories of people launching apps that cost a ton of money and then end up not taking off in the marketplace
  • The Foundry App’s ability to allow users to be fluid with design changes
  • The importance of figuring out the buyer journey
  • Knowing when to edit yourself when it comes to user features
    • Only giving what the customers need not what you think they *might* want
    • Make sure the features you include on your app are actually the correct answers to help solve the customer’s problem
  • How to fuse the origin story of why the app is being created with the design to help drive the marketing behind the app
  • It’s harder to create a successful app when the creator(s) haven’t experienced the buyer journey for themselves
  • The difficulty of creating a brand story after the fact
  • The questions to ask yourself before creating an app:
    • What are the hassles that people are having that your app resolves?
    • How much time is this app going to save someone?
    • How much money is this app going to save someone?
  • If your app is going to save someone an hour or more of their time per week, it’s worth making
  • The general public’s confusion for what the definition of an app is
    • Apps are not just on your phone
  • An app is specific to the user, whereas a website is the same for every user
  • Sign up to join Foundry on their website
  • Connect with Foundry on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn