Ken Yasue is the CEO at Clover Studio. After the first interview in 2017, we have reconnected with him and his team to see what they are up to. The company currently has 19 employees and continues to have a passion for technology that drives them to dive into all kinds of technology.
Here’s what Mr. Yasue had to say about his company and the industry:
Your last interview was published in 2017. What great apps and projects have Clover been working on since then?
These are two popular apps for US market: ZenScreen and KATANA Safety. We have worked on the mobile app for one of the biggest banks in Africa and we developed several messenger apps similar to WhatsApp or WeChat based on our product Spika.
In your years of history, which project has been the biggest development challenge for your app development firm?
This is a hard question to answer. Generally, each project needs to have some feature in order to make a difference from other similar apps. In most situations, these kinds of features are challenging for our development team because they are special. I would say developing AR app Zeality was definitely one of the biggest challenge and all messenger apps too since they have to be step by step with leading messengers on the market.
What do you think will be the biggest smartphone release this year?
I think hardware reached its limit and potential for improvement on current technology. We need a big technology breakthrough to increase memory, storage capacity, and processing power. But the camera has still space for improvement so I guess the biggest news will be around camera and software regarding photography which is sad because the quality of our living is not based on photography but rather technology.
How has the mobile market evolved in the past years for an app and software development company like yours?
From our clients, especially new clients we can experience shift form mobile app development to web development. It includes mobile web app which is not based on multi-platform solution like ReactNative but rather based on PWA. So we are hiring web developers and educating for web development.
Mobile apps evolve too, their features change depending on the device used. What kind of app has a greater future ahead?
Based on the market, Fintech-related apps are obviously trending at this moment, as well as Shared economy. Financial independence is a big thing and people are getting more aware of it as services like Revolut arise. Shared economy is the future of our civilization because of climate change. We need to rationalize resources and act accordingly and, because of that, we can not tolerate mass production which is not sustainable. Affordable services will become a standard thing and we need to provide quality in every possible way, even code.
What are your biggest strengths outside of app development? Tell us a bit of some work you have done in other areas.
Population aging is one of the biggest problems we are encountering and everyone knows it will be getting worse. So some product which has a solution to the problem will be the trend in the long term. It will be an IoT product and robotic also.
Is Clover adapting to new technologies and devices coming along? How?
We are investing time and money in research on a daily basis, not only for marketing but also for engineering and it's all to give employees a chance to learn new stuff. We are experimenting with VR/AR interface, testing chatbots and even programming Alexa for various applications. We had Raspberry Pi internal workshop one day, just to test and see all the possibilities. At the end we had a functional sensor connected to the speaker and every time someone crossed the sensor, you could hear various sounds. It was fun to try some new stuff.
What advice would you give to anyone with an app or project idea who didn’t know how to get started?
First and foremost, read some book about startups. Lean startup and The art of start are my favorite books. If you are not a fan of books, talk to someone who is involved in the topic of your project and try to find out as much as possible. After you gather data from your SME (Subject Matter Expert) talk to different people and test your assumption. If it turns out right, your project has potential, but if you are wrong, go back home and try to look at it from another angle. Your future customers are the ones who will tell you all the secrets and no one else. You have to recognize who they might be and test your app idea among them. A sample size of 7 to 9 people should be just fine and the true answer is when you recognize a pattern in answers.
Check the profile of Clover Studio at AppFutura.