Persona (Early Access) - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

My team had extensive app development experience in iOS, Android, and the web.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

Handling user-generated video has a lot of challenges, especially when it comes to Android phones where there is a lot of variety in camera hardware. We have been through a lot of QA testing to make sure things work,m and we still hit bugs from time to time.

Rob Simmelkjaer is an American television executive and journalist and entrepreneur. He served as a senior executive and on-air journalist at ESPN, ABC News, and NBC Sports. He is now the Founder and CEO of a digital video interview platform called Persona.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

I'm all over Clubhouse these days, and also am a regular on IG and LinkedIn. I also love Audible for bedtime stories (for both my daughter and me) and Nike's running app to track my runs. And I'm a news junkie, so I'm on the NY Times app all the time.

How long have you been working on this app?

Two iterations of this app have spanned about 18 months of development. It has been a long haul!

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

We want Persona to be a place where users in need of credible information on a variety of topics can find it by booking one of our panelists for a Q&A session. We also want to make it fun to connect with people you admire like celebrities, influencers, and podcasters. Over time we hope to build a deep roster of experts and public figures who can be booked for interactions across a number of fields.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

Our chief competitor is Cameo. What sets us apart is that our focus is on questions and answers -- not just shout-outs. We strive to be a place for learning and exchange of information as well as entertainment and fun. Not only can you book personalized videos from our growing list of influencers and experts, but you can follow their answers and search for them by topic.

Our focus on Q&A also leads us to look for a different type of "talent." Instead of D-list celebrities and reality show stars, we want people who have something to say and an audience of people who want to hear it. Our perfect talent is the podcaster or thought leader who might be booked to speak at a conference or to give a Ted Talk. We give you a chance to connect with them directly!

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

Our biggest planned feature is the ability to book live video (or audio) conversations with our talent and a subscription option.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

We would you to book a video, share and review the app, and to refer anyone they think would be great talent by sending them to our talent enrollment page:

Persona (Early Access)

About App:

Persona is the first social network dedicated to conversations and interviews. We give users free tools to discover the most interesting and important conversations happening every day on a variety of topics, as well as the ability to create and share their own interviews and conversations. Users can conduct interviews in-person or do it remotely using our "ask a question" feature.

Persona’s mission is to be the place where informative, entertaining, and fun conversations are recorded, shared, and discovered. We can't wait for you to join our community!

Categories: Social

Date: February 15, 2021

Developer: Rob Simmelkjaer

About developer: Rob Simmelkjaer is an American television executive and journalist and entre ... Read more



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