Interview with Kevin Miller, RunRev founder & CEO

For its LiveCode issue iTechnology.am talked to Kevin Miller, RunRev founder & CEO. See the interview below which includes upcoming news from LiveCode and Miller’s personal advices for Armenian app developers.

iTechnology.am: You started your company RunRev in high school to make programming easy and assessable.  Did you ever think that it would be used as an economic development tool in a country like Armenia?

Kevin Miller: When I first started this, I wanted to make LiveCode a global phenomenon and spent many years following this dream.  Did I think it would be used in Armenia?  Probably not!  However, I cannot be more delighted that this is happening.

iTechnology.am: Using Kickstarter to fund the conversion of LiveCode to open source was brilliant.  Many startups are looking to follow in your footsteps. Do you have any advice for what to do and what to avoid?

Kevin Miller: Things to do and:
1. Make sure your campaign has a broad appeal, try to tie in as many trends as possible so that it makes it easier to gain news coverage.

2. Plan your campaign well in advance, get a number of members of your intended audience to give you feedback of the campaign before it goes live.

3. Try and line up as much interest as possible in advance so you get the best possible opening on the first day.

4. Be willing to promote and adapt your campaign continuously throughout the period it runs for.

5.  Make sure you create a strong campaign video and do not run it any longer than 30 days even if you want to make more money.

Things to avoid would be the exact opposite of the above bullet points!

iTechnology.am: One of the great benefits of LiveCode is multi-device and multi-platform.  Do you see any trends or focus on one platform or device over the others?

Kevin Miller: There is a strong trend towards mobile and building mobile apps.  Mobile space, specifically Android is strong, and it is increasing its presence and market share at the expense of iOS.

iTechnology.am: Since Armenia is a small market, developers here focus mostly on world markets.  You recently opened an office in China and sell all over the world.  Do you have any tips or suggestions for new LiveCode developers in Armenia on international sales?

Kevin Miller: Make sure you find a good partner in the target territory you wish to sell in.  If selling directly, list your pricing in multiple currencies and have a good way of marketing into these territories.  Cannot emphasise enough the quality of a good partner.

iTechnology.am: Digital Pomegranate is launching LiveCodeGuru.com in the new Gyumri Technology Center, which is being built by the Armenian government and the World Bank.  Their plan is to create a major development and outsourcing center for LiveCode.  Since LiveCode is so easy, do you feel that there is such a large demand?

 Kevin Miller: Even though LiveCode is an easy to use platform, when it comes to software development, there will always be a demand for contracting due to things like time constrains, resource constrains, or other commercial reasons.  We are great advocates of creating apps yourself and LiveCode makes it easier, but there is certainly times when it is more appropriate to contract someone to help.

iTechnology.am: With LiveCode becoming popular in Armenia, can you please give the developers a quick overview of where LiveCode is headed in terms of features and functionality.

Kevin Miller: This is an exciting year for LiveCode.  We will be bringing out a lot of features, we are almost ready with Unicode which is fantastic as it will allow you to use a full range of international characters.  We have also recently implemented new graphics layers, and in the next few months, we will be optimising graphics performance as well.
At the same time, we are making great progress with our Kickstarter goals – delivery Cocoa shortly, the new webkit browser object and dozens of other enhancements over the next few months.  We hope to start showing off the beginnings of our new theming layer too, but for more of our roadmap, please visit our website.

iTechnology.am:  One last question, on a personal note - You are such an inspiration because not only did you follow your dream, but you were able to succeed and base you company in Edinburgh, Scotland, your homeland.  Many Armenian developers feel they have to leave and go to Silicon Valley or London to be successful.  What do you say about that?

Kevin Miller: While you may not be able to benefit from being in the heart of the Silicon Valley tech companies, there are a lot of reasons why being located elsewhere can make a lot of sense too.  You have lower development cost while the market is global with the ability to sell on the web and through local partners in different territories.  I believe, the best thing to do, would be to try and recreate some of the successes by creating tech hubs in specific locations within Armenia.

iTechnology.am: Thanks Mr. Miller for interesting talk and your advices for Armenian developers.