Robbie Strazynski

Gambling affiliates with an eye on the future know that breaking into the mobile market is a good move, but many aren’t quite sure what it involves.

While plenty of partners have optimized their sites for mobile without difficulty, creating their mobile app is another story entirely.

To get a better picture of what it takes to get a mobile app off the ground, we recently sat down with Robbie Strazynski of Cardplayer Lifestyle. He’s just released a mobile poker notation app called Poker Notes Live and has plenty of good advice for affiliates who are looking to develop their own mobile apps.

Poker Notes Live is a smart-notation app that allows online and brick-and-mortar, poker players to  take notes on their opponents’ play wherever they go.  Because it’s scalable and customizable, it can be synched with a PC to help create a database of player stats.

Here’s how Strazynski took his app from idea to reality.

The Germ of an Idea

Strazynski first came up with the idea of an enhanced poker note-taking app while riding to work on a commuter train. As an experienced affiliate, he’s always on the lookout for new ways to monetize his business. After talking it over with friends, the group decided to press forward with a mobile app.

Though the group worked on market research and development for several months, they continually met dead ends. After deciding the cost of development and research was too much, Strazynski’s friends bailed. Strazynski, however, didn’t let go so easily and his persistence was rewarded.

About six months ago he ran across a developer who had already been working on an app that was remarkably similar to the one he envisioned on his own. Strazynski took a chance and asked the developer if he was interested in a pursuing a partnership.

After all, with his experience running a poker affiliate site, and his own interest in poker, Strazynski brought some real value to the deal. The developer agreed and a partnership was born.

Working with a Developer

While Strazynski took an unconventional approach to finding a developer, his work with that developer was a textbook case of how the development process should work.

For starters, both men were equally committed to bringing the app to life, and got along well on a personal level. This is incredibly important because the app development process involves a lot of back and forth, nailing down details as the shared vision comes to life.

Here’s how Strazynski describes the partnership:

Neither of us had much money to invest, but we both have an unshakable belief in the app’s potential to succeed. As such, luck would indeed have it that we became ‘natural partners’ and we have duly dedicated ourselves to investing the time and energies to make Poker Notes Live what it is today.

Strazynski points out that working with an experienced mobile developer is an absolute necessity, as there’s little crossover between app development skills and basic web-design skills.

From a strictly technical viewpoint, he says the toughest part of the development process was optimizing the app for all the various devices and screen sizes.

Poker Notes Live provides in-depth, scalable note taking in-person or online.

Bringing the App to Market

Any experienced affiliate knows that building a great product, website or app is only half the equation; getting it into the hands of customers is the real challenge.

This, however, is where the marketing skills developed over the course of an affiliate marketing career definitely come in handy.

To get Poker Notes Live started Strazynski alpha tested it with poker player friends and plans on using social media to grab more attention. The app’s been on the market for about two months now and has been downloaded almost 1,000 times.

While developing Poker Notes Live, Strazynski and his partner stuck with the Android platform due to its larger market share and lack of hurdles bringing it to market. (Though an iPhone version is in the works.)

Advice for Appreneurs

Strazynski’s experiences taking Poker Notes Live to market were largely positive and he says he wouldn’t change a thing. His advice to others is to be really committed to the idea, and find a developer who is just as committed:

A major part of why Poker Notes Live has worked for us is that we both know and love all things poker. I believe that the better you know your target audience, the better your potential for success…So, when selecting a developer, you’ll make your life a heck of a lot easier (and your app much better) if they truly understand for whom the app is being developed rather
than just possess the technical app development skills.

Poker Notes Live is available to CAP readers for a free 30-day trial and costs $.99/month afterwards.

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