Well, it is not quite the story of two guys working night and day in a garage to launch their company (we’ve all heard that type of story before), but this one does have a great garage-based twist.
Orlando, FLA-based brothers Luis and Alex Perez (pictured at right) created their first app for Windows Phone 7 – way back in 2010! – to help people find garage sales in their local area. At the time, it was one of the first apps submitted to what was then the Windows Phone Marketplace.
“We started developing for Windows Phone in the early days,” says Luis, who oversees the code work for their company Neuralnet. “The platform was unlike anything we had seen in the market before, and we saw an opportunity.”
The results speak for themselves
While they have developed apps for other mobile platforms, they concentrate their attention on apps for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Xbox Live. The decision to focus their energy this way was an easy one for them – all they had to do was compare the results.
“For us, Windows Phone makes more revenue than any other platform,” says Luis. “We did a comparison, and for every $3 we would make on Android, we made $100 on Windows Phone.”
His brother Alex, who handles app design for the team, agrees: “When we develop an app, first it will be on Windows Phone and Windows 8, and then we will think about merging them on other platforms.”
That focus has paid off for the brothers. They have more than 2.2 million total downloads for their two dozen apps in Windows Phone Store, and more apps are on the way. Their content covers the gamut from music apps to games to apps for sports fans – and many more in between.
Focus on the things you enjoy the most
Today, the duo behind Neuralnet have the luxury of cherry-picking the projects that interest them the most, creating new apps based on the things they like, and the things they like to do.
“We look at what we like to do, and what grabs our own interests, and develop for it,” says Alex. They’re both big sports fans, and Alex is a huge fan of theme parks, so apps like Football Pro ’14 and Theme Park Pro make perfect sense.
One of their biggest hits in the Windows Phone Store is Football Pro. There is a free version, as well as an ad-free paid version available for download, which fans requested.
“One of the things that made this app shine and resonate is the simplicity of the app,” says Alex. “Fans want to know a couple of things: what is the score, the standings and news about my team. We make sure that is front and center on the main page, and then you can swipe to get details. For fans that are more stats oriented, and want to see the nitty-gritty, we made that available for them as well.”
The brothers pay close attention to the feedback they receive – whether via email, the contact form on their website or from the comments provided with app reviews and ratings in the Windows Phone Store.
“We read every comment, and then get an average of how many of our users want a certain kind of feature, and then we prioritize our updates that way,” says Alex.
Keeping an eye on the big screen
Now they’re gearing up for new apps that take advantage of Nokia’s announcement last month of new, large screen 1080p displays like the Nokia Lumia 1520. “I’ve been working with the Windows Phone design language, and it is exciting to have more real estate to bring app ideas to life,” says Alex.
At the same time, they are continuing to make improvements to current apps, and are working on a sequel for their turned-based game Imperium. Next year promises to be very busy for the dynamic duo at Neuralnet.