Gilbert’s Ugly Meter app company growing with local talent

Source: Hayley Ringle Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal

Gilbert Business Dapper Gentlemen

Ryan Allen, co-founder of the Ugly Meter app.

A little more than a year ago the Ugly Meter app knocked Angry Birds from its Number One perch in the iTunes app store. Since then, its Gilbert-based creators have been capitalizing on the big feat.

For Jo Overline and Ryan Allen, co-founders of Gilbert-based Dapper Gentlemen and Little Box Apps, the creators of the Ugly Meter app, knocking off Angry Birds was a game changer for the company. Their app uses facial recognition software to determine how attractive you are.

Company officials said it was one of the first times in iTunes history two of the same apps were No. 1 and No. 2 on the most-downloaded list: The $1.99 Ugly Meter app and its professional $4.99 version were No. 1 and 2, respectively.

The app has been No. 1 in 71 countries, has 30 million users in 91 countries and was featured on the Howard Stern radio show and the Today Show, among others.

Now, the two are using their experience to advise Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and help large brands develop apps. The two just created an app for the new 2014 Lexus IS vehicle.

The two Arizona-bred entrepreneurs spoke last week at AZ Tech Beat’s Free Lunch Friday event at Axosoft’s office in Scottsdale.

“Disruptive technology is the big buzz word,” Allen said. “It’s crazy some of the things we can do with modern technology.”

The two talked about the evolution of communication, from carrier pigeons to telegraphs, telephones to the Internet.

Now, mobile apps and software are everywhere. So how important is it for a business to be mobile?

“If a business doesn’t have an app, many don’t think the company is relevant,” Overline said. “You have to think outside the box and be creative. You can save money and improve your business through mobile apps.”

Apps can provide a service your company is lacking.

“Look at technology and how it can help your business,” Overline said. “You don’t want to fall behind.”

At one point, the two were talking about moving their 18-employee company to San Francisco, but soon discovered they can find great talent here.

“We didn’t realize how strong tech is here,” Allen said of the Phoenix area. “It’s not just about finding good people but finding the right people, too.”

Overline said the tech scene is expanding in the Valley and people are starting to realize the talent is here.

Categories: New Gilbert Business, Town of Gilbert | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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