In 2009 Steve Jobs just announced the launch of iPhone 3Gs and there were probably less than 10 thousand apps in the App Store. We wanted to start a mobile development company as we realized the future would be mobile and everyone was going to be carrying a small computer in their pockets. We needed to find a kick-off project in order to gain some experience as no company in the market was willing to hire a team with no track record.
Being a movie fan since childhood I realized it would be great to have an app that could provide you the list of Oscar nominated films so to know not only what to choose to watch in the cinema, but also to know what to look out for. There were no Oscar related apps released yet so we decided to embark on this project.
We first contacted the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts to ask for permission and one of their lawyers granted that permission with certain rules that we had to comply with. The app couldn’t generate revenue, we weren’t allowed to use any images of the ceremony or the Oscar statuette and we had to make clear to users that we didn’t had any affiliation with the Academy.
We then embarked on creating the first version of “Meet The Oscars” where you were able to see 2009’s nominated tittles per category and as a sort of checkbox mark which ones you’ve watched and which ones you didn’t.
The response was great, we got great reviews and most users would thank us for adding those flags that helped them mark which movies they watched and which ones they didn’t. This was the simplest of ideas but it marked a way for our company, our mantra has still be to “look for the flags” in each project. Those simple details that make the whole difference.
Years past by and we included new features. The entire Database that took a long time to copy and correct (many times thanks to the help of our users that pointed out some mistakes). We included the Wish List feature, prediction games and launched the app on Android. After 3 or 4 years the same lawyer from the Academy that approved the project wrote to ask us to change the name of the app cause when you looked at Oscars it was the first one to appear and they’ve included a new section on their web called “Meet the Oscars” so we had to change it so that it was clear we were not affiliated to the Academy. They accepted “Meet The Awards” as the new name and we are still among the top search results whenever you look for an “Oscars” app.
We haven’t generated any revenue in all of these years but we are happy to have provided a service to our users.