Allow me to let you introduce yourself
I'm Cody Powell, cofounder and CTO of Famigo, where I specialize in the development and delivery of cross-platform, mobile experiences for users of all ages. I’m a dad and a husband, a graduate of Trinity University, an ardent supporter of the Texas Rangers and Manchester City, and I make a mean mojito. You can follow me on Twitter at @codypo.
What is Famigo?
Famigo helps families find and manage apps. Part of this is through our own Android app (iOS is on the way!), the Famigo Sandbox. The Sandbox catalogs all of the apps on your phone and finds the stuff that’s safe for your kids to play. Then we build a kid-safe play space on your device, so your kids can play the stuff they like without accidentally calling your boss or deleting your contacts. In addition, we also have an app recommendation engine that’s optimized specifically for kids; if you’re looking for the best free educational apps for a 4 year old, we’re the people to talk to.
What are the biggest lessons you've learned so far while working on Famigo?
Measure everything. Since we are constantly building and testing our Sandbox app, it’s easy to get fooled into thinking we know exactly how our users will interact with it. That’s not the case, though. It’s only through integration and analyzing all of our usage data that we truly learned which features were most compelling, where the biggest UX issues were, and which parts of the app our users never discovered.
I know that you guys want to work with developers. What kind of developers are you looking for and why should they work with you?
We’d like to work with any developers who are looking to tap into the family audience. For certain great apps, we can certify them as Famigo APProved, highlight them across our app recommendations, and even bundle them with the Sandbox. We’re working to make Famigo the trusted family brand for mobile, and the best way to do that is by constantly getting great apps in front of our users. Developers can find out more on our site.
What’s the most exciting technology announcement you’ve seen this year?
I’m excited about Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. There are no shortage of Android tablets, but few of them have managed to craft a compelling user experience around the larger form factor; the Kindle Fire is the only one that comes to mind. It’s very exciting to see Google enter this space with both a wealth of mobile content in Google Play and a supercharged, new device.
What phone(s) are you rocking right now?
Oh boy, I have a lot of them at any moment. Right now, I’ve got an iPhone 4S, a Samsung Vitality running Android 2.3.4, and an LG Optimus V running Android 2.3.7. In terms of tablets, I am a big fan of both my iPad and my Kindle Fire.
What apps do you use most?
Instapaper, Amazon Instant Video, Twitter, MapMyRun, Yelp, PBS Kids (my son is a Curious George fanatic), and of course, the Famigo Sandbox. I’ve also been playing a lot of NBA Jam lately on various Android devices. The early 90s are alive and well in my heart.
What's your team on NBA JAM?
Even though I can't stand them in real life, I play the Lakers. Bryant and Gasol are a pretty stout duo! [editor's note: Steve Nash approves]
If you had one piece of advice for your fellow developers, what would it be?
Stop fiddling with it, just ship it.
Last question, what’s your go-to move in ping pong?
When I’m serving, I like to swing slightly too hard and bang the table on my follow-through. It’s a great way to unnerve the competition. I refer to this move as ‘Shock and Awe’.