If you’re like most people you’ve got a bunch of apps on your phone.Some of them you use every day. Others you have to think about for a moment to try and remember what they do.
There are currently around three and a half million apps available for download to Android users worldwide. And over two million apps for folks with Apple devices. So that’s a total of somewhere a little south of 6 million apps. By comparison, how many websites do you think there are worldwide? There are 1.2 billion. Given that the number of people who use mobile devices worldwide is larger than the number of people who use standard computers, and given that apps run better on mobile devices than websites do, you’d have to wonder why this number isn’t reversed.
The answer is, cost. And skill.
Anybody can get a hold of WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or a number of other website builders and build their own website. And if you go through a domain registration site like Go Daddy, you can buy a website name and put up a website in almost the same time it takes to fill out your credit card information.
On the other hand, if you’ve ever had an idea for an app and looked into getting it built, you’ll know it’s complicated and expensive. If you decide to go ahead and spend the money to hire a developer to build an app, it’s a risky investment. You don’t know if it’s going to work. And if it does, you don’t know if you’ll be able to get anyone to find it on an app store. So, you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to recover your investment.
A local app-building company is changing all that. The company is called Bloks.
Bloks is the brainchild of Reed Stephens and Harry Fox. Reed and Harry met when they were working together at the Lepage Entrepreneurship Center at Tulane University’s business school.
Bloks is an app-building tool that anyone can use. With Bloks you build an app yourself, with modules – the same way you use WordPress or Wix to build a website. And if your app doesn’t work or nobody uses it, well, you don’t get to be a billionaire, but it also hasn’t cost you anything. Because, Bloks is free.
When people write business plans they’re typically expected to include some sort of overall goal for their new business. Some people plan on building a company that is attractive enough to be bought by a bigger company. Others are shooting for a specific goal, like acquiring a target number of customers. Then there’s the kind of ridiculous goal, inspired by companies like Amazon and Apple, that is commonly referred to as “world domination.” Obviously, for most companies starting out that kind of goal is, politely, unrealistic. Actually, it’s delusional.
But when you look at what Harry Fox and Reed Stevens have created with Bloks, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this company could become a very serious player in the world of online creation. The center of the universe is already our phone. And most of our phone use is all about apps. If they can get Bloks out into the world, Harry and Reed might well be in a position to embark on at least some version of world domination.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at NOLA Pizza in the NOLA Brewing Taproom. Photos by Jill Lafleur. Hear about other local tech companies involved with breakthrough advances in both VR and assistive medicine.