Bettany, a photographer and former competitive figure skater, co-created an app that turns an everyday smartphone into an advanced photography tool. Camera+ now has nearly 11 million users.
"When we created Camera+, the concept was to have a professional camera on your iPhone. As a photographer, you think you need lots of knobs and endless things to adjust each image. But we realized people just want to capture moments and share them. When we do add something, it's like our clarity filter that brings out the shadows and contrast on flat photos, which everyone can use."
"Nobody needs another calculator or weather app. And consumers are wary now; they're holding on to their 99 cents. If you want to break through, think about what people need. If you're creating a utility tool, then it has to either push the boundaries of what other apps are doing or introduce something brand new. Or it's something that's just better than everything else."
"Create something that works—and works without bugs. That sounds easy, but that's a battle for any app, because there are so many different devices and you never know how your app is going to respond. We used to have an intermediate screen when you launched the app, before you got to the camera. It looked cool, like an actual camera, but that extra step annoyed people. And some of our early filters took too long to develop. We worked for months to get the lag time down from 20 seconds to basically just tap-and-go. Now, that's an expectation."
[Photo by Grant Harder]
- Prerna Gupta, Smule
- Ryan Spoon, ESPN Digital Media
- Keith Shepherd, Imangi Studios
- Smart Talk: Scott Kveton, Urban Airship; Gentry Underwood, Mailbox
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.