It’s hard to imagine managing health and fitness effectively without a mobile device. Between fitness trackers, food tracking apps, heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and beyond, our devices have become a critical tool in managing our daily and long-term health.
Jason Curry knows this better than anyone. He is the co-founder of Flutter, a life-changing app for women that serves as a period tracker and health management system all in one. It is changing what’s possible with mobile health apps by using AI to prevent and detect serious reproductive conditions. Many apps claim to change the world, but Flutter actually is one woman at a time.
We recently caught up with Jason, who also has a rich history in mobile app development, to talk everything from building apps at his agency Faction Studio, advice for building app audiences, mobile trends, and more. Check it out below!
CARNIVAL: Tell us about your app, Flutter.
JASON CURRY: Flutter is an iOS app for women’s health. It does basic things like period tracking, but it also has a journal for logging how you feel each day, physically and emotionally. We use the information you enter to pre-screen for signs of various reproductive disease. You can export this information from the app and take it to your doctor. We’ve just recently launched a community feature that allows women to share their own stories and help each other.
You went from designing and building client’s apps to launching your own. How did you decide to make the move?
We’ve built and launched quite a few of our own apps over the years, but Flutter was a much larger undertaking. It was a passion project for sure, as my wife Kristy suffers from a reproductive disease called endometriosis. She really wanted an app like Flutter, but there was nothing in the market that fit the bill, so over the course of a year we made it ourselves. The app has been part of a very personal journey for us too, because Kristy went from having a reproductive disease, enduring treatment, and recently she just gave birth to our identical twin boys Jack and Finn.
What have you learned in the process transitioning from being the agency to the “client”?
We learned that building an app is only about 20% of the business. So much more work goes into product market fit, user acquisition and retention and the myriad of challenges that go into those.
You know that user acquisition is tough, especially for mobile apps. Are there any tips and best practices you can share? How is Flutter getting its name out there?
Our model has been to try each and every documented method of user acquisition, see what gains us some traction, and then do more of what works. This covers a range of scalable and non-scalable methods from content and social media to pay per install ads, tradeshows and events and even printed collateral. Carnival.io has helped us a lot in this capacity, and in particular with user retention. We can send tailored messages to users based on actions they have or haven’t taken in our app over a certain period. That’s had a positive effect on our monthly active user count among other things.
What is the hardest part about launching your own app? What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs and app developers looking to launch their own?
The hardest part is making a real commitment to go for it. But that’s not nearly as hard as being haunted by “what if” if you don’t make the leap. If you’ve never launched a startup or had your own business it’s a bit of culture shock when you do, especially if you’re coming from the workforce. I think that’s what scares most people and prevents them from taking the leap.
My advice to young entrepreneurs is to not read too much into how other people launched their business. Rather, determine what you think will work best for you and then go for it. You’ll learn along the way, and generally very quickly! Entrepreneurship isn’t an armchair activity. I like to make the comparison to boxing. You can read all day about how to box but none of it matters until you step into the ring. You have to step into the ring.
Are there any trends in app design and strategy you think will be huge in the next three years?
Artificial Intelligence. We’re adding this into the Flutter app in two places. First, a chatbot interface to the app. And second, the application of machine learning to the troves of anonymous healthcare data we collect. We’re making it so Flutter can find patterns in the data that a human might not spot. The goal is early detection of reproductive disease that can be treated sooner than later, and avoiding things like surgeries or even infertility down the road.
Now that you built and launched your app, what’s in the future for Flutter Health?
We’re at the point where Flutter is providing a lot of value to its users and we’re growing at a nice clip. But we want to make Flutter even more valuable to our users more quickly and accelerate user acquisition like wildfire based on the model we’ve proven. The fastest way to do that is with funding, so we’re planning to raise a round of investment this quarter. We’re extremely excited to continue spreading the word and helping women everywhere manage their reproductive health!