Jani Hiltunen, 199 centimetres, played a long career in basketball, but when it was clear he would not make it to NBA and when he got only 2 brief appearances for the national team of Finland he decided to switch careers.
He has built a successful career as a graphical designer and has now switched fully to startup entrepreneurship and launched digital magazine creating tool LiquidBlox earlier this month.
With seed finding from a local business angel Hiltunen and his team have built an HTML5 magazine creator.
Our brief encounter with the tool shows Hiltunen, known for his calm three pointers in his first career, might be on the way to score again.
The publication tool works smoothly with social media and search engines, everything is responsive and works in any modern browser. Copy-paste your text, crop and arrange images, or embed videos directly into the application and launch. It’s almost like “drag and drop” web-design. The user-interface has adopted a familiar navigation language to those of Dropbox, Trello, Wix or Powerpoint.
Hiltunen was working with some heavy Content Management Systems and simply wanted to come up with a simpler solution. “Because this was back in 2012-2013 when the word cross-application was new and trendy. I then understood that social medias are paving a way of building content and sharing it, and the tools of creating and posting ones own content were lacking. You need to be a web-professional to manage so many languages and interfaces from ideation to creation in the design industry.
”The promise of LiquidBlox is simple – anyone can create publications with Liquidblox, no special skills needed. The closest competitors would be Adobes InDesign, Mag+, Ceros.com or Issuu.com. This application is made to streamline the workflow of the print industry, but it would work most ideally with amateurs with limited design skills trying to create online magazines. For example CoFounder Magazine‘s refined look is a bit too much to be replicated by the app, Hiltunen admits.
The application launched the first quarter in 2016, and so far has a few hundred downloads from the app store.
LiquidBlox operates on Amazon Web Services, a scalable cloud platform that lets many users work at a project at the same time and follow the progress in real time. Whether your goal is to update your portfolio, launch a themed magazine or a website this application could be something for you.
The next step is to go from developing, to acquiring users and getting talent to further develop the application.