Interview with Digital Strategist & Maker Phil Markunas
With global app revenues predicted to reach $44.8 billion in 2016 and grow to $80.6 billion by 2020 (according to Mobile World Live), app development is a key business strategy in today’s market. Phil Markunas at Fictive Kin is an app developer that entrepreneurs are turning for digital strategy, digital products and app development.
What is the name of your business? Where are you located? Fictive Kin. We’re headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, but we have offices in England, Denmark, and both US coasts.
What is your background and how long have you been involved with this industry? Collectively, we have around 250 years of experience. As a company, we’ve been around since 2008.
Have you participated in the creation of any app that is available in the iTunes or Android store? Recently, This. was featured in the App Store. We are also just about to launch a new iPhone app for TeuxDeux, the simplest, designy-est to-do app. Plus a slate of upcoming apps that are a little hush-hush at the moment.
Do you have a favorite mobile app or website? siteInspire and Typewolf are fun. Great places to keep current on design. It also helps that our new website was featured on both. Makes me like them even more.
What are the main differences between desktop/web app development and mobile app development? Context is everything. Whether you’re at work or at the store, using a tiny smartwatch or a wall-sized screen. So the desktop/mobile divide is one part of a larger framework of things to consider.
Do have any advice for inventors and people with new ideas as to how to bring digital products to fruition? A warning and an encouragement. Like anything worthwhile, digital products are hard to make, market, and maintain. They’re complicated, expensive, and require a team of experienced folks to shepherd your digital product through the process of creation to bring it to people all over the world.
That being said, digital products are now our lifeblood. We wake up and go to sleep with them. So making good digital products has become more important than ever. It’s not too much to say that good digital products can lead to a better life. That’s part of our purpose. That’s why we’re called “Fictive Kin,” people who are part of your family even though they’re not related by blood. We want to create true closeness catalyzed by digital experiences, to make our daily lives more enjoyable through beautiful design, and all of these things make the world a better place to live.
Are you familiar with any of the laws regarding patent, trademark law or licensing and how they affect your business? We hire lawyers for that.
Do you have any questions that you think should be asked and answered?
“Phil, what’s your favorite dessert?” Nothing beats a good affogato. Well, maybe an île flottante. And something—anything really—with Nutella on it. This was a surprisingly hard question to answer.
“Related question: What’s your favorite desert?” Death Valley, CA. We helped out a group of Chinese tourists who broke their axle on a sand dune. They were quite friendly.
“Phil, is the digital product creation process scary?”It’s actually really fun. It’s not for everybody, but if you’re asking this question, it’s probably for you.