Vator Box


How mainstream can iPhone app Smule become?

Zynga's Mark Pincus joins the Box as our guest host to analyze the popular app maker

Innovation series by Bambi Francisco Roizen
April 28, 2009 | Comments
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Last month, Apple’s iTunes App Store saw more than one billion apps downloaded. One of the top-paid apps is the Ocarina, whose creator is Smule. The Ocarina turns the iPhone into a flute. This week, we take a look at Smule by watching co-founder Jeff Smith’s pitch.  Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, was our guest host, joining me, Ezra Roizen and Zynga’s mascot – Lyla. 

Here are some observations and highlights.   

- Excellent pitch. Great idea. It’s a simple enough idea that anyone from a brilliant venture capitalist to a brilliant waiter can say, “I get it.” This is “exactly something I’d invest in,” said Pincus, who likes the macro opportunity.    

- The Ocarina costs $.99 to download and Smule is generating money today, making it even more attractive from an investment standpoint.     

- There’s a rich opportunity to position Smule as a mission-based company since it's introducing something amazing to the world. 

- While Smule has turned our phones into a musical instrument, is it really bringing music to the masses if it requires a lot of skill to play it?  It’s one thing to quietly playing Texas Hold’Em while sitting in a crowded airport. It’s quite another to be playing the Ocarina.

- Clearly this company requires a significantly high IQ to work there. It's created something groundbreaking and novel.

- We'd like to see Smule turn the IPhone into a guitar or piano and we'd like to see Smule sell sheet music through the iPhone. 


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Description: Smule develops interactive sonic applications for the iPhone and other technology platforms.   Smule is developing the new sonic net...
Description: Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are avail...
Mark Pincus
Founder and CEO,
Bio: Mark Pincus is a leading Internet entrepreneur, having founded and established four successfulcompanies.  His latest venture Zynga, ...
Jeffrey Smith
Bio: Jeff is the CEO and co-founder of Smule. Smule, developer of I Am T-Pain, Ocarina, Glee, and Magic Fiddle for the iPhone/iPad, is buildin...
Bio: Advisor-to and commenter-on emerging ventures.

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