June 13, 2014
This week, I had the pleasure of meeting a team with a truly amazing product, Lightricks!
Lightricks is a new & quickly growing company located in Jerusalem that is aiming to make photo editing accessible to all. So far, their first product, Facetune, has done just that.
How long have you been around for? Give us some background.
Lightricks was founded in early 2013. We started as a bootstrap company, meaning that we had no investors. We released Facetune for iPhone on March 2013. Since then, we’ve released many updates, plus an iPad version. Facetune achieved great success, reaching the #1 top paid app rank in 100 countries. Our success allowed us to grow, and currently Lightricks has 18 employees. We are working on more products, in addition to improving Facetune.
Who are your competitors and how do you differentiate yourselves?
People often mention Photoshop as a competitor to Facetune.
Facetune is different from Photoshop because it is much easier to use, and is focused on specific tasks. This allows every user to achieve the same results on mobile devices, that once could only be achieved by professionals using expensive software.
There are also some other apps on the market that are aimed at portrait retouching, but none of them are as powerful and as easy-to-use as Facetune.
What are some challenges that you guys have faced and how have you overcome them?
Because of our extremely limited budget and lack of connections, Lightricks faced a lot of challenges as a young startup.
Two additional issues we encountered as a non-funded, small bootstrap include:
1) PR: When we launched Facetune, we had trouble getting media coverage. We solved it by trying to utilize any connection we could find. It helped that Apple had featured us, and that the users really loved the app (Facetune has an average user review of 4.8 out of 5). These days, it is easier: we are more well-known in the industry and now work with a PR firm.
2) Hiring. We are located in Jerusalem, but most of the talent is located in the center of Israel. In addition, we were lesser-known than large companies, yet still had to compete with them for recruitment. We succeeded by talking to each candidate individually – showing them our existing technologies and promising potential. Today, since we have grown and have a good reputation, it’s a bit easier to hire. However, we are always looking for great developers and designers to add to our team 🙂
What tools do you use for communication? What are your needs in communication?
For simple communication, we use email and phone. For communication relating to tasks or projects, we use Asana. We also use Google Docs and Skype, as needed. As most of us are located within the same office, we also communicate face-to-face.
The most important thing for us in regards to communication tools, is minimum overhead and maximum functionality.
Whats coming next for you guys?
Our Android development team is working very hard on the Android version of Facetune, which should be coming out in the next couple of weeks, and a windows phone version is also in the works. In addition, we’re working on a brand new product which we hope to release in few months, that is definitely going to change the world of mobile photo editing as we know it.