Successful products in the tech space are quite often created by large teams from big players in the market. Every once in a while we see some of those outliers who prove it’s totally possible to compete with tech giants with small teams and little to no resources. In today’s episode of Establishing Your Empire we’re joined by Ivan Kutskir who is the creator of Photopea which is a browser-based image manipulation app that brings features available on programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator to every device for free. Throughout the episode, we dive deep into Ivan’s app, his journey of building it, and some lessons he learned.
Ivan was born in Ukraine and graduated from Charles University in Prague. Ivan had a background in programming from a very early age, and his idea for Photopea has a long history as well. We start the discussion with what inspired him to start developing this application and the problems Ivan wanted to solve with it. Once Photopea gained enough traction, Ivan decided that he wouldn’t be looking for corporate jobs and would continue developing Photopea. We dive into the considerations that went into that decision and the growth that came after.
Every app needs a fair bit of marketing to attract users. We dive deep into how Ivan utilized different social media platforms to spread the word about his app. Since Reddit was one of the platforms he utilized the most, Ivan shares some advice for app makers to take advantage of Reddit to market their apps. As Photopea grew over the years, it has gained a fair bit of interest among investors as well. Ivan shares his thoughts on the investment offers he has received and why he prefers to keep the business under his control. Wrapping up the episode, we talk about what Ivan has in mind for the future of Photopea.
[00:34] Introducing Photopea – We start the conversation with a brief look at Ivan’s app, Photopea, the idea behind it, and the story of developing and growing it.
[08:14] Building a Career – How the gradual and steady growth of Photopea led Ivan to create a full-time career out of it.
[12:50] Technology – We dive deep into how Ivan has maximized the performance while reducing operating costs by taking advantage of the client-side web technologies.
[15:00] Marketing Strategy – How Ivan utilized social media to make his app popular and some of the learnings from the process.
[18:35] Tech Support – We dive into some of the strategies Ivan uses to provide Photopea users with tech support and documentation with minimal resources and effort from the developer.
[25:00] Investors – Ivan shares his thoughts on the interest among investors and venture capital firms about his app.
[29:14] Advice for Youngsters – Ivan shares his advice for you people who want to get into the technology space and start projects that grow big.
[33:00] Growth & Future Plans – Ivan talks about the gradual growth of Photopea and the future plans Ivan has for the app.
[37:05] Protecting the App – Ivan shares with us some of the measures he takes to ensure his proprietary code is safe from counterfeiting.
[40:02] Continuous Updates – Why Ivan keeps adding new features and how user feedback is integrated into the process of introducing new features.
Connect with Ivan: twitter.com/ivankutskir