Over, a popular image editing application for iOS users that has grown to over 9 million installs since its launch, is now available on Android – a move that founder Aaron Marshall claims has been a top request for some time. In the new version, Android users will be the first to receive a few features, including full resolution photo saving, the ability to rotate text, and an improved store experience – all additions that will make their way to the iOS version soon.
Amid a number of well-funded photo-sharing startups, Over is notable for having a slightly different philosophy: it’s not “go big or go home” for them, says Marshall, “it’s go big and go home.” What that means is that bootstrapping a startup like he’s doing doesn’t have to see the company remaining a “small business,” or a “lifestyle” business, he says.
Over, for instance, has generated more than a million dollars in revenue since it launched, and has grown from a team of two last year to a team of six.
But Marshall admits that at one point he did consider, and actively court, outside investors. He sees a future for Over which would see it expand to become more of a product for creative types performing professional tasks via their mobile phones. At one point, he even received an offer from international investors that would have infused his company with a million in seed funding, but he decided to turn the money down.
“I won’t lie – I woke up many nights wondering if I made a terrible decision,” Marshall says. But at the end of the day, he felt like the investors and his company just weren’t a good match.
“Product and process and profit all flow from getting the right people,” he adds. “I just focus on getting the right people together, and that always works for me…when I look at an investor, I look at them as ‘would I want to hire this person? Do they have skills I would happily employ on the team?’ And I couldn’t say that about these people who wanted to offer me the money.”
Of course, by turning down the outside funding, Marshall also understands the decision could impact the larger vision he had involving making Over a more professional product. But he also didn’t want to put himself in a situation where he felt pressured by the money to find an “exit” if things didn’t progress the way investors wanted. (If only more companies could say this!)
Now on Android, the app offers a “thumb-friendly” navigation style designed to work better on larger-screened phones, while also introducing the handful of features noted above, which are now being developed for iOS.
The new store experience will be especially helpful, too, as it’s something of a pain point for the company today.
When Over was featured by Apple during the App Store’s recent birthday, the app, normally $1.99, went free and saw 4.6 million downloads during the week. But issues with the store prevented conversions from being as high as they should have been.
“Our store was breaking…we still made some money, but we didn’t make anywhere close to what we should have made,” Marshall admits. “We’re talking abysmal failures rates,” he says. Those conversion rates were not even close to 1%, but the hope is the fixes now on Android, and soon iOS, will address those problems. That can’t happen fast enough, because I just tried to buy an artwork pack on iOS today, and was given an error message instead of a download.
Over is now the core product for the company, formerly known as Potluck, though it still has some spin-offs like Obaby (a baby-focused version of Over) live in the App Store. While those generate some income, Over is the app being actively developed, and for Android, it will be the only application – at least for now.
Longer-term, Marshall says the plan is to roll out a suite of related apps that help people be creative on mobile devices.
Over is 99 cents on Google Play for a limited time during its launch.