Google Play: Keep building (Stories from successful startup founders)

selling my last startup, my husband and I traveled
around the world, and it was during our
travels that we came up with the idea for Hooked. This is the bench
in Costa Rica where I loved to write and
think of new ideas. Hooked is an app that tells
short stories in the form of chat conversations. SARAH ABDULLAH: I love writing. I grew up reading beautiful
literature in Arabic and I really wanted to
share that experience with the children. And the only way to reach them
is to speak their language. I decided to create
Makooky World after years of dreaming about it. Makooky World is an interactive
offering stories, songs, and games all in Arabic. KIM TAY NAYLOR: Koi symbolizes
perseverance, hardship, and attaining the highest
goal that you can have. Zen Koi shows the journey
of a koi from a baby koi to a dragon. Which koi are you playing with? SPEAKER 4: I’m playing
with the yellow koi. MARIA MARTINA SANTORO:
My mother and my aunts told me that no matter
what challenges you face, learn how to fall
so you will just stand up again and keep trying. And I think that’s
influenced the way I work. SARAH ABDULLAH: The
beginnings were not easy because it’s a completely
new medium for me, but they were worth it. I did not have any investments. That meant that I needed to
put my time, my own money, and have a very small team. MARIA MARTINA SANTORO:
When we started, we didn’t have experience
in the game industry. We are people from film and
animation and comic books. We have really
different backgrounds. We learned a lot
working for others, but what we really wanted
was to make our own games, tell our own stories. And it was kind of
difficult to get support. KIM TAY NAYLOR: Creating Zen
Koi was a hard journey for us, and we decided to go ahead
with it even though we didn’t have much money to complete it. The launch of Hooked
was definitely scary. I had a lot of doubts. You know, my biggest doubt was,
am I just a one hit wonder? MARIA MARTINA SANTORO:
After all these years of struggling and
learning, it was amazing when we finally got to work
in our own game, Realms of the Void, a
turn-based strategy game. KIM TAY NAYLOR: With
the first 20k installs, we were really relieved
and happy that it finally came through and that
players are playing our game. Right now, Zen Koi has a total
of nine million installs. PRERNA GUPTA: We kept going. And after a year of
iteration and testing, we translated the app in
seven different languages and launched all over the world,
and Hooked was the number one app in over 25 countries. We had over 13.5 million
installs on Android. SARAH ABDULLAH: What gets
me out of bed every morning is knowing that I’m going
to go and create something that I wished to
create my entire life. KIM TAY NAYLOR: Zen Koi was made
possible with a little luck, lots of perseverance,
and support from family and friends. SARAH ABDULLAH: It’s a
very important message to pass onto my
daughters that they can do whatever they want to do. As their parent, I
have a responsibility to show them that I am
achieving my own dreams so that they know they
can achieve theirs. MARIA MARTINA SANTORO: I’m very
lucky to have found our team. No matter what the
future will bring us, we will just keep working hard
and keep doing what we love. PRERNA GUPTA: When
you’re building a product that you love and that you
want to see out into the world, it really keeps you going. This is the way you want to
have an impact in the world.

24 thoughts on “Google Play: Keep building (Stories from successful startup founders)

  1. I can relate so much to this video. In the last months, after one year of slow growth, my Android app reached 25k downloads. This brings me a lot of motivation to keep developing my ideas

  2. I am a software engineer.. I lost my job 7 months ago. Due to unemployment and plenty of freetime. I decided to reconsider my dream to become a android developer. And i got a very good android app idea… and i was about to start my app development , i broke my laptop accidentally.. And dat laptop was the only thing i had..
    But no time to cry… No matter how bad the situation will be.. I will achieve my goals one day.

  3. How inspiring! I personally know Kim of Zen Koi and know how hard she and her husband worked to make their game the success it is today. 9 million downloads is a testament to their skill, perseverance and optimism. And this being a Women's Day video, I have to add that Kim is an incredible woman who somehow manages to raise 2 amazing kids while running a business. I'm so lucky to be her friend!


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