App–solutely


Digital CityEntrepreneur Brian Cauble has found success by filling a niche with quality products.

by André Natta

As we’re sitting in a corner of downtown’s Innovation Depot earlier this summer, it’s apparent that Brian Cauble is driven and focused. He’s also calm and willing to share himself with others.

He and co-founder Andria Jensen have been working toward the “passionate pursuit for meaningful work and results” that is Appsolute Genius (appsolutegenius.com) since the company’s launch in 2008. They’ve been pretty successful at it, too.

It’s common practice to focus on the latest entry into the world of entrepreneurship, looking to learn what drives someone to step out on their own. While we do glance over from time to time to make sure they’re still operating, we seldom seem to check in with the same excitement on those who’ve been at the process for a while.

Cauble’s path to the startup culture was not unlike a lot of people working a “more traditional enterprise career,” but dissatisfied and looking for something more. He and Jensen identified mobile as a really great area for the next ten years.

“When we first saw the iPhone, it seemed like we were holding the future at the time. It turned out to be the case as the industry exploded,” said Cauble.

He reports that while it is still a boutique-sized firm, the company’s revenue and staff has doubled every year.

Cauble also brought up the types of questions that should probably continue to come up regardless of the stage of the business’s development. “What can I learn? Who really are our customers? What do they really need? What are we not doing? Asking questions, you learn more and more, and you see there’s an unmet need.”

Asking those questions may also help you determine where you can plug gaps in the business, according to Cauble. “We’re doing good work, but what are we doing?” He shared that somewhere between 40 to 50 percent of their work is medical. That focus has helped them figure out how physicians think and what roadblocks might exist unique to that market.

It’s continual gap–plugging. Unless you have tons of money or are ridiculously well–funded, you always have gaps and are trying to figure out what those are. He pointed to the company’s recent hire of a full-time user experience person. “It made a massive difference in the quality of work we were putting out,” said Cauble.

The questions and the focus on quality and gap-filling has also helped their work and their clients get some national attention, including a write up on Fast Company’s “Labs” site in July.

Cauble has also tackled other challenges along the way. He still operates the company out of a co-working space in Innovation Depot called Sparkbox. He also started Birmingham Entrepreneur, a nonprofit focused on providing networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, shortly before the launch of Appsolute Genius. He’s taken time off from the organization recently as Appsolute Genius continues to see growth.

He said there are now plans in the next month to make a big announcement as the organization is joining forces with another group in town and coming out with a new series. A lot of what they’re going to offer is going to improve the ability to offer quality programming.

“The group’s going to take a really big step forward. It will also provide the longevity that ‘just Brian’ running the group wouldn’t,” says Cauble. It will relieve him from having to focus on event logistics and let him instead focus on reaching out to individuals to speak at monthly events. He said he’s always been comfortable reaching out to individuals to speak at the organization’s monthly events. He’s also been grateful for what he’s seen in return.

“Entrepreneurs are overly generous with their time. They don’t have enough, but they’ll still take the time to sit down, talk with you and give you advice. All I’ve ever had to do was reach out and ask. The number of high-level people who’ve opened their doors to me and offered to keep in touch, give me advice about my startup—that is ridiculously valuable and I don’t see most people take advantage of that.”

He says intelligence and hard work are keys to success, but he thinks passion and flat-out determination are probably more important and essential.

“‘I will not fail’ goes a long way in terms of being successful. If you can put those two together with a smart person who is hardworking, you have a shot. If you don’t have those last two things, you’re probably going to give up at some point.”

Luckily, they didn’t give up—and they’re continuing to live the dream.

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