First-time app developer Ed Lewis takes to the slopes
You may think all a passionate skier needs in life is a lift ticket, fresh powder and some friends. But apparently, a sweet app is also essential. Take it from app developer Ed Lewis, a life-long skier, who took his zeal for snow sports and turned it into his dream app, SNOCRU, along with his company SNOCRU LLC.
While it may be the 29-year-old’s first shot at app development, you wouldn’t know it. We see this former photography major taking a ride to success with his multipurpose location-based app, built to enhance the social aspect of skiing and snowboarding.
- What was your inspiration for SNOCRU? Are you a snowboarder or skier yourself?
I am a lifelong skier. I snowboard as well, but that can get ugly since I just recently started.
My inspiration came December 2009, I had planned a vacation to Utah with one of my closest friends. He had to drop out last minute, so I went on without him. Since I was skiing alone, I started to think of ways to meet other riders, besides just asking random people on the lift or hiring a guide. So began my long journey of creating SNOCRU.
I wrote a business plan after my trip, which, I must say, is so embarrassing it’s funny to look at now! But, it got the ball rolling on what will be some of the most memorable experiences of my life.
- What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about your app?
My favorite thing about SNOCRU is that it’s finally a reality! I know many people have put well over two years of work into their dreams, but SNOCRU has been a journey. I’m really proud of SNOCRU and of everyone who made it come to life.
I’m also proud of the “Near Me” button. I love being able to see where my CRU is—seeing it on a map makes it so easy. And if I’m somewhere unfamiliar I can easily find the closest restaurant, bar, ATM, gym, etc. It’s all there at the tip of my finger.
As for my least favorite thing about the app, I’d have to say that’s the hours and hours of sleep SNOCRU has deprived me of. The sleep isn’t lost to negative things; it’s lost to new ideas and creative ways to make SNOCRU better. When you’re passionate for something, it’s very hard to turn the creativity and desire off.
- What kind of feedback have you received from your app users?
Two Canadian ski clubs, Concordia Ski & Snowboard Club and Club de Ski Snow de l’Université de Montréal, both voluntarily started spreading the word and even put SNOCRU on their websites. It’s a small thing, but it means a lot.
We are still very young, but the SNOCRU users have been extremely supportive. I personally write an email to every new user and you’d be surprised how positive and supportive everyone is. I suppose if we didn’t create something great the responses would be different.
- What advice do you have for young developers?
Patience, patience, patience. When you want something, you want it now. But more often than not, life doesn’t always work out that way. Good things come to those who wait — isn’t that the saying? But you also have to stay focused. Focused on where you want to go and how you’re going to get there.
- If you could share your app with any famous person, who would it be and why?
Probably someone like Seth Morrison, Jeremy Jones, Sean Petit or Travis Rice — a person famous in the ski and snowboard world. It would mean a lot to our brand, SNOCRU, if we had their approval. If not them, then Shaq. Doesn’t he have several million followers on Twitter? That could really improve our user count!
Apps I Love
Hollywood’s Heartthrob Turns App Investor
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Leonardo DiCaprio has been one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs since his performance in Titanic, and he has preserved his reputation as a worthy actor with other hit films such as Inception, The Departed and Catch Me If You Can. But DiCaprio is switching gears from show business—whether it be for a side gig or a change in career—by investing $4 million in the app Mobli.
Going off of the tagline, "See the world through other people’s eyes," Mobli is a social network where users can share photos and videos, and the app automatically tags each post with a location or major event in the surrounding area. Users can also follow channels that display photos about a particular topic, such as Leo himself.
Mobli CEO Moshe Hogeg told The Huffington Post in October 2011 that Leo’s not much of a tech guy, but he is very excited to be involved in the marketing aspect of the app. “He believes in the vision of the company and thinks that this is the future of media. He wanted to get on board in the beginning, influence it, and give his input into the company.”