If you want an idea of how app development is going to change over the next couple of years, consider this. Seventeen year-old Swede Joel Hellermark is one of the first to come from a new era of app developers – ones that have actually grown up using mobile apps. “I started when I was 13. I had all these ideas about apps I wanted to create and I just thought I would do one myself.”
The app he’s developed together with his team of five is a nicely designed video browsing and sharing app designed to create its own community around videos. In that sense it’s a little like the YouTube or Vimeo apps already out there, but Sample meshes their content together, and is building a community around topics.
My first response was that a high school kid reinvented the YouTube app and mixed it with Vimeo, but I think there’s something to this. YouTube comments suck enough that there’s a need for a less awful, more personal community. As much as I can get behind a good silly Youtube video, there’s no way I ever want to comment, and therefore identify with the Youtube community. Sample solves that.
Digging into the way the app works, you can follow your friends feed, as well as topics to get videos in front of you. If you see a video you like, you can like it, comment on it, or “resample” it, which basically means share to your feed. It’s simple, but it’s what you need to get good videos in front of you. It’s funny, but I really don’t have an app that does that for me.
Additionally Sample has put some of their own tech behind the app, making it smooth and intuitive to fastforward though a video by dragging across the screen.
The kid has been proactive as well, counting some power entrepreneurs in Stockholm as advisors, such as Tictail’s Carl Waldekranz, Wrapp’s Carl Fritjofsson, and Christer Gardell at Cevian Capital (who has invested into Sample). Asking how he met Waldekranz, Hellermark tells us he dug into some WHOIS information and found Waldekranz’s number. “I called him up and told him about the idea and what I wanted sample to become. So I went by the office and had coffee.”
Up next Hellermark tells us they plan to sort and categorize videos on the web through hashtags, and additionally they’ll be adding a “popular” section to their app, so you can dig into categories like Sports and so on.
The app is worth checking out because I think everyone likes seeing and sharing those stupid and meaningful videos with friends. Sample curates that for you. The app can be found in the app store here.