Obvious Apps: the product of two SMU grads

Posted by    |    February 16th, 2011 at 10:38 am

During an app idea contest for Obvious Apps, Danny Le entered his idea “Study Now” which would serve as a bank of information for accounting and finance classes. This app would be available on smart phones and iPads, and would help students all over the world. His app idea won and is now on iTunes, and he received a free iPad from Obvious Apps.

So, what is Obvious Apps? Realizing the way apps are made (i.e. developers put the apps out on the market and see if people buy it) isn’t that efficient, Stewart Youngblood, co-founder of Obvious Apps, had dreams of making a business out of it. A locally grown mobile app company started up by two recent Southern Methodist University graduates, Obvious Apps is a place where you can submit your app ideas and if voted on, they create the app and you receive a royalty for each app downloaded.

And who doesn’t have an app idea? Although there’s an app for almost everything- from a flashlight, to ShopSavvy to Shazam, you know you’ve thought of something you could use that other people would appreciate too. So, when you do have an idea, you can submit it on the Obvious Apps website. If you get enough votes, your app will be created and not only will you get recognition with your name on the app, but you’ll also receive a 10 percent royalty on each download.

Stewart Youngblood and Harry Ting, Dallas natives and good friends since elementary school, have now put their heads together to create a brand that is synonymous with apps. Both SMU finance majors, Youngblood and Ting began sitting down with individual investors last year and raised $25,000 in four and a half months. Once they had the money, they were able to begin producing apps. Their first app on the market, “Study Now,” was coded and designed by Youngblood himself and has been downloaded in over 50 countries.

The newest app, “Fairytale Beginning” was released on Feb. 11 and Obvious Apps will be recognized on Feb. 20 in the business section of the Dallas Morning News. “Fairytale Beginning” is an ongoing love story told from the perspective of an anti-romantic journalist who traveled 5,000 miles to see if fairytales exist. The app includes her blog (the actual story) and a section where you can exchange tweets with the writer.

How do they get their name out there you may be wondering? Social media. Youngblood explains that getting feedback from people is vital to their business, and a lot of feedback comes from social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“We use social media to drive traffic to our website through engagement and interaction,” Youngblood said.

He also co-organized the TEDxSMU and CoHabitat Mobile Salon in 2010 and attended both years of TedXSMU (a large social media conference at SMU). Youngblood emphasized the importance of going out and talking about your product.

“The better we do and get good press with Obvious Apps, the better we’re going to help out the DFW area,” Youngblood said.

So, if you’d like to get your name on an app and get paid, Obvious Apps is here to help. And, there’s a voter loyalty program in place. Ting explains that each time you tweet about them or mention them on Facebook, you get points.

“There are three levels: bronze, silver and gold,” Ting said. “Once you get on top, there are iPad drawings each month and you get first looks at apps before they are released.”

You submit an app idea, people vote, and if you win, your app gets created and you receive fame and fortune. As Ting likes to put it, “Obvious Apps is the American Idol of the app world!”

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Anthony Sumner and YouPlusDallas, Natalie Blankenship. Natalie Blankenship said: Happy to enlighten Dallas people about a great new app business straight from SMU #obviousapps @hting10 @youplusdallas http://bit.ly/f72Im9 [...]