When it comes to the enterprise, the iPad has become a must-have for presentations. And this has certainly been a big boost for Prezi. The company has a top app that takes advantage of the iPad’s awesome capabilities.
So far, it has gotten nearly 2 million downloads. In fact, Prezi is adding about 1 million users per month! It’s the kind of growth that’s been seen at breakout companies like Dropbox and Facebook’s Instagram.
To learn more, I had a chance to interview Prezi’ co-founder and CEO, Peter Arvai. Here’s what he had to say:
Q: What was the inspiration for the company? Keys to the success of the business?
A: My co-founder Adam Somlai-Fischer is a media artist who was gaining international acclaim and speaking frequently at conferences. He needed a presentation tool that allowed him to show the big picture as well as dive into the details. As an artist, he continued to leave a great impression on his audience with his canvas-based presentations.
My other co-founder, a Budapest University professor, Peter “HP” Halacsy, noticed Adam’s unique presentation tool and wanted to use it for an upcoming talk of his own. He reached out to Adam and used the hand coded platform to create a very well-received presentation.
Afterwards, HP realized they might have a product on their hands. At this point, HP and Adam knew that they needed help to build a company and a product.
I am a serial entrepreneur who has long believed that everything great about humanity starts with people sharing ideas. I saw this technology as a new way to do that. I was inspired by the potential of this idea-sharing technology and convinced HP and Adam to begin working on the project fulltime. I moved from Sweden to Hungary in 2008 to become Prezi’s CEO. HP became our CTO and Adam our Head of Design. We launched Prezi in 2009 and the company has been cash flow positive since year one.
Q: What are some of the lessons from building an iPad app?
A: The most important lesson was understanding that the iPad app (or our iPhone app) is part of a multi-platform family of products that require a seamlessly integrative user experience across different surfaces.
While the prezis people watch on these devices are the same, the experience needs to be tweaked to fit the different use cases. Learning about the nature of how people use these devices to share ideas was very important for us in order to make the experience right.
Q: What do you attribute the hypergrowth od the app?
A: Prezi is a very engaging and fun way of developing and sharing ideas. There are studies that have shown that stories told using Prezi as the medium help audiences understand and remember more of the presentation than compared to using slides.
But there is bigger trend here: the bar on creativity is rising and companies’ ability to survive is increasingly dependent on encouraging creative output. As a company, you are only as good as your recent idea.
This being the case, companies are forced to be agile and produce creativity on demand. Prezi on the iPad lends itself very well to this new trend as it’s mobile, has an interesting and unique platform and can be edited on the go.