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
Eating Healthy is a Snap with Dr. Oz’s App Pick
Photo credit: Getty Images
Dr. Mehmet Oz, famous cardiac surgeon and star of TV’s The Dr. Oz Show, spends much of his time giving nutritional guidance to his show’s viewers and patients. But we bet he never thought advice could get as simple as “take a picture of your food.”
Dr. Oz told USA TODAY that he likes the Meal Snap app. Just use your smartphone to take a photo of your food in front of you, and the app calculates how many calories you’re consuming. Bam—food recording is done.
Of course, the app is not always 100 percent accurate, but we still think the simple act of recording our food helps us be more conscious of what we’re eating. You can share your meals on Twitter, Facebook and foursquare if you want some extra motivation, and you can even view your eating patterns over time.