Will Ricketts: local developer and entrepreneur

Home Editorial & Opinion Will Ricketts: local developer and entrepreneur


You don’t have to live in Silicon Valley to start and grow a successful tech startup. Boston, New York, Austin, and even our neighbors over in Tallahasse, at Silicon Tally, are all trying to incubate the latest and greatest ideas in technology.

Recently, I sat down with a local developer and entrepreneur, Will Ricketts. I picked his brain on the subject of his upcoming app, Moskeedo, the challenges for other developers, and the state of affairs of the mobile world.

First off, where did you grow up? Was it around here? Did you go to school here?I was born in Houston, TX but lived in Pensacola until February of 2008 when I moved to Houston. There I worked in oil & gas until I had the idea for Moskeedo. I attended UWF for a short term and studied Computer Information Systems.

If you could give me an elevator pitch about Moskeedo, what would it be?Moskeedo is an innovative social application that connects people to events and gatherings on a location basis using the inherent GPS of mobile devices, and an intuitive web interface. Our startup drives revenue through several innovative streams. Unfortunately, due to the stage that we’re currently in, I can’t really delve into our revenue streams as they’re confidential at the moment, but Moskeedo taps into the market of outgoing individuals who are always on the lookout for what’s going on.

What space do you see it fitting into: events, location, social, broadcast messaging? Who is your biggest competition?

I believe that the lines that divide these archetypes are becoming more and more blurred as the market has seen the rise of less specialized and focused applications such as Twitter, an application that focuses on doing a single thing extremely well. The market and consumer demand/savvy paradigm has changed dramatically in the last 24 months. We anticipate that within 8-12 months of public launch, we will be the most popular source for location based media as our functionality and user benefits will be unmatched. We are currently competing with Foursquare, Eventful, Facebook Places, and Facebook Events.

What made you come up with your idea?The idea started as something very simple. When I moved to Houston, I was constantly combing bars and clubs to meet people and discover new places to go. With this problem in mind, I conceptualized Moskeedo. The original idea was a geo-tagged photo and video sharing application. It has since evolved into something much more useful and attractive to users.

What devices do you plan to be on at launch?Upon launch, we expect to have iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile applications available for install.

With tablets becoming more popular, and the acceleration of hardware in mobile devices, do you see any features that can take advantage of the improved hardware?Tablets are going to be a very big deal for us. They offer the computing power of a notebook with the portability of a phone. A larger screen is definitely going to make looking at maps far easier.

When can I download it and review it for the readers here?We expect to have a beta version available for testing within the next four months. We will release our mobile apps at a later date when we expand our team a bit more. I frequently tweet about the progress we make. www.twitter.com/willricketts.

HTML5 vs Native, go:I believe that while HTML5 based applications hold a lot of benefits for products like ours, our data is too dynamic to take advantage of an offline application cache. A native application is much more effective and efficient in meeting our needs in providing a seamless experience to users.

Any obstacles fellow developers should look out for?The best advice that I can give is to keep quiet about the details of your application’s functionality until you have an iteration that’s deliverable to the public. There are a lot of sharks out there that want to grab your idea and run away with it. It’s fun to talk shop with other developers, but you’re probably the only person in your circle of contacts that has your best interest in mind.

How do you see the state of apps in 2011? Where do you see it going?I believe that 2011 will see an influx of disposable apps of every variety due to the release of “The Social Network.” That movie is going to inspire hoards of ambitious geeks to try their hand at taking a slice of the social web pie. I think we’ll see a lot of new content management systems as blogs are becoming easier to create/update and more popular. This is made evident by apps such as Tumblr.

If you’d like to find out more about the app, visit it at www.moskeedo.com. If you like reading about tech and all things tech business, follow me on twitter, www.twitter.com/william_beard.