Apple have made a wise move acquiring Chomp for $50 million. It gets Chomp CTO Cathy Edwards, builder of the algorithm as part of the package too. Edwards is now a senior iTunes engineer.
Edwards created Chomp's proprietary algorithm that understands the function of each app, allowing you to search for apps based on what they do rather than just what they are called.
Chomp launched on iPhone in January 2010 and on Android in February 2011.
With advisors like Kevin Rose, ex Digg, now at Google and Ashton Kutcher, it was inevitable that it wouldn't take long before Chomp was discovered -- and with an intelligent algorithm, it was only a matter of time before Apple or Google came knocking at the door.
Edwards, who presented on Key decisions in the first 90 days of building a new product at Women 2.0 Pitch earlier this year recommends the following according to the women 2.0 blog:
- Over-invest in user research - “Your primary job in the first 90 days is to really understand what it is you are building. that sounds easy, but is extraordinarily difficult.”
- Size the market - Ask yourself if you are building something big enough. If your target market isn’t big enough, that’s problematic. It’s better to go after a big market, even if you capture only 1% that it’s still worthwhile.
- Minimum viable process - We’ve all heard of minimum viable products (MVPs) but from an early-stage startup CTO perspective, you should think of minimum viable process – put just enough process in place.
- Know your system - If for some reason you have a catastrophic failure, you will need to be able to understand how to diagnose the problem.
- Ship a product in 90 days - “Just ship.” If you’re not shipping in the first 90 days, you should ship. It’s really important to get that market validation and user feedback.
It took just over 90 days to build and ship Chomp for iPhone -- and just over 2 years to get acquired by Apple. Not bad going for a start up supplying just what the market needs -- at the right time.