Graduate: Denys Zhadanov
Course: Business & Management, graduated 2011
How did you get started?
On the day the iPhone launched, back in 2007, we saw the opportunity to help people be more productive and efficient, stay paperless and keep our planet green. Along with my brother and two friends, we came up with the idea of making a file management / reader application for iPhone.
Apparently, it was a very good idea! ReaddleDocs was in the AppStore on the very first day of its launch. It quickly became popular and with this early success, our business grew rapidly. Readdle has become well-known for its iOS business and productivity applications, hitting the top of the AppStore charts .
The application market is very specific. You can become popular and super profitable if you manage to make a mind-blowing app, but fierce competition (over 400,000 apps) makes it harder to break through. Moreover, it is almost impossible to get through to the influencers who can spread the word about your product. That is why our timing was so important - we managed to get mentions by O'Reilly, BBC, Bloomberg, Cnet, Gizmodo, USA Today and more.
How has your time at Aston helped you and your business?
Aston equipped me with the most important tools for running a successful business: the ability to network and analyse. It was a great year for me. I met hundreds of people, became the course representative, and an Executive in the Marketing Society. Despite the challenging course, I managed to socialise and explore different cultures. To be honest, I would have liked to have spent more than one year as a student at Aston!
I think Aston supports its students really well, both personally and academically. Staff were very responsive and caring and interested in my thoughts and opinions. I enjoyed talking to lecturers who had real business experience - they provided helpful suggestions and comments on my business.
How is the business going and how are you finding being an entrepreneur?
Readdle recently turned four years old and we have many achievements to be proud of. Our applications currently serve over 3.5 million active users worldwide. Influential tech writers have praised many of our products.
Despite our success, we are always looking to improve and innovate. Having recently launched our newest application Card Scanner Pro, which ranked 2nd in the US for Business within 24 hours of release, we are now looking towards greater things including the future release of an ambitious enterprise project accessible by corporations and large businesses across the iPad.
Being your own boss is very different from working in a big corporation. I think it's much more challenging and exciting. Entrepreneurship requires organisation, motivation, enthusiasm and agility, as well as plenty of common sense and a will to succeed.
The best moments are when your work gets noticed by influential people and when your business is profitable. It is an amazing feeling to get hundreds of emails from our users, thanking us and saying that our apps change their businesses and personal productivity. We are also proud that we keep our planet green by bringing the latest technologies to tablets.