Dibbz is a London-based startup that is making brand engagement in apps and games more meaningful than the regular old banner ads we’re used to. As one of the Collider12 startups, they are receiving lots of support and mentorship to help their thriving business along. To share what they've learnt, we caught up with Nick and Elliot, the co-founders of Dibbz. 1. How did you come up with the idea?
Nick: Elliot and I are both keen gamers, and we were just so frustrated with banner adverts on mobiles.
Elliot: It felt that mobile games were moving so fast but there was no decent way for the developers to monetise. Good games were getting played less because of the frustration over banner ads.
N: We met while completing our a Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of London, and shared this hatred of banner ads.
2. So you got the idea, but what was the actual push to make it? So many people have a creative idea, but it takes a lot of guts to pull it off.
E: During our degree, we had the chance to pitch our idea to people in the industry. We also went to Match and Hack events to look for developers. So even while the idea was still floating about, we had the concept printed onto paper to demonstrate it to everyone we met.
N: This was in July 2012, and although we did meet people, no one seemed to really run with the idea. We don't blame them, we were so early it was ridiculous to expect anything else.
3. So how did you meet your developer?
E: In the end, a friend posted on Facebook asking for a developer and we found a great friend of a friend to make the first version of the demo. Unfortunately his parents got ill so he had to leave.
N: After this sad set back, we decided we would give ourselves a 3 month deadline to work on it full time, and then call it a day after that if it doesn't work.
E: Everything was moving so quickly, and having those 3 months to work solidly on it made all the difference.
N: We got through to Wayra as well, but we turned it down to work with Collider.
E: And we're both very pleased we chose Collider.
4. How has Collider helped Dibbz grow?
E: Having Andy Tait as a mentor at Collider has been an invaluable experience. He has been the truest definition of a mentor, and been such a great help at events by advising us which ones to go and offering to make introductions.
6. What is the biggest landmark in the growth of Dibbz?
N: Our aim as always remained the same, so probably the biggest landmarks have come in our strategy. With help from Fiona, we decided to no longer make cold calls; we have so many connections from Collider, we have no need to anymore.
E: We were just focusing on games at first, because its what we know and love. However, when talking to an app publisher at an event, they asked if it could go on all games, and so we thought 'why not?' If the demand is there, why limit to games? That's a pretty big landmark too.
7. How do you keep maintain motivation?
N: We are relaxed about working hours, so to avoid the rush hour we tend to come to the offices between 10-11am, and then stay unitl the evening and go to networking events.
E: We really think this new modern way of working is far more productive than the normal 9-5.30 routine. We play games on Fridays, have an shared Spotify for the office, and hold regular debates about which is the best Star Wars. We always look forward to going to work, and even play games which each other remotely in our free time.
8. What's next for Dibbz?
- Be releasing IOS and Android soon
- Affiliates: burger king, ask Italian, vouchers
- Go to the app store to the download it
- Android Launching: 10-50million distribution, t player reactor
- Sods law developed on IOS, give data from the IOS
9. What advice do you give to other startups?
- Networking in startup events, likeminded scene
- intimate community helps each other out, very impressed
- Making intros, seeing new faces,
- Apps Junction, Mobile Mondays, Games Jams great way to meet games developers
- Like Hackathon but for games, gameathon
- LIUG, Google Campus host a lot, Games Developer Lunch
- Using twitter to contact developers as they are active on that
5. How did you expand your team?
- Hired Piers, friend from School
- Found Gurav, Prof in Computer Science, past in ad and was excited and asked to come in and pitch to make it an academic project
- Already had an app in the iStore, entrepreneurial too, built the
- IOS Developer, also designed all the SDK, built it and programmed it
- Pivotal and fundamental to the app
- Hired Piers, Jan, and Gurav in Februrary
Thanks Team Dibbz! keep up the great work and we'll check in again soon.