Have you ever written down a great idea on a scrap of paper, only to have it vanish a few minutes later? Well, not anymore. After a little BEWD and Dash, Sean is on the road to success with his app Trapper, a writing tool that helps people capture ideas in the moment. Don’t take our word for it—try it for yourself! You can download the app in the iTunes App Store.
Tell us about Trapper.
Trapper is a writing tool that helps people capture ideas in the moment of inspiration, work on those ideas while mobile and then write at their computer in a distraction free setting.
What’s Trapper’s value prop?
We all live really busy lives and our passion projects usually get pushed to the side because of time restraints. Trapper was created to help writers take the creative process with them no matter where they are. This enables people to chip away at these big passion projects in the midst of the beautiful chaos of life.
What is the biggest misconception about your product in particular and the market at large?
Most people compare us to a note taking app or a todo app. While that isn’t our purpose, Trapper can certainly be used in those ways. Trapper’s goal is to help our users tell stories that they may not have been able to tell without the app.
What were you doing before you started the company?
I worked in marketing at another startup called Smartling before taking some time to learn to code. I then tried to start a travel company to help people have more culturally authentic travel experiences, but it was way too big of a project to pull off without funding. I switched over to something smaller that I could launch with just my wife and I.
You’re on the road to success! We’ve heard you’ve had interest from potential partners. How do you assess which of these opportunities is the best fit?
Another writing company was interested in partnering with Trapper. The main thing they were offering was an existing customer base to help promote Trapper. I had to decide if it was worth giving up the equity to tap into their audience or if it was better to market Trpper myself. I come from a marketing background, so ultimately I decided I could produce the same reach by myself.
How has General Assembly been helpful to you since you completed your course?
The biggest thing has been staying connected to my classmates and instructor. I have developed quite a few little projects that I have sent around to get feedback on. Plus, Dash is a great way to refresh my skills, especially if you have been working in Objective-C for 3 months and need a fun refresher on front-end.
This is the second company you’ve cofounded with your wife. How do you two divide roles and responsibilities as cofounders?
I do about 80% of the work and my wife chips in the other 20%. While she only does 20%, her 20% is probably the most important. Her main responsibilities are design, branding and giving feedback on my work. She spends much more attention to detail than I do, so she reviews everything.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
For your first venture, pick an idea that you can build yourself and makes enough revenue to produce some type of profit. In previous startup attempts, I have wasted so much time on business plans, meeting with investors and potential technical cofounders. If the product is good, the right people will come to you.
Who’s your favorite teacher and why?
Steven Nunez, my BEWD instructor. He didn’t just teach us a bunch of syntax, but taught us how to learn to program. That made the transition from Ruby to Objective-C or any other language pretty easy.
Nelson Igunma is an Alumni Stories Lead and keeps our NYC campus running day-to-day as part of our Front Lines team.