Mindful entrepreneur Andrew Johnson on why building your own app wins in growing your business

by Lesley Stewart
Content writer

October 18, 2018
Reading Time: 4 minutes

We could introduce Andrew Johnson as a mindfulness coach and clinical hypnotherapist, but that’s only half the story. By now you may have come across KooKoo, the audio app changing the way traditional businesses deliver their audio content to the masses. But as one of the founders Andrew will tell you, it took a creative and collaborative team to make his vision a reality.

Speaking about building the app, Andrew said: “I was amazed by all the necessary parts that I hadn’t considered.”

Where the idea for the KooKoo app came from

Over the last 10 years Andrew, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, coach and trainer, has created the content for a range of therapy apps aimed at improving our wellbeing and teaching us the necessary mental skills to live better.

And whilst the thought of therapy might conjure images of the traditional brown leather sofa or hoping to find reputable videos on YouTube, Edinburgh based KooKoo is a world away from the traditional. Delve into the heart of this new app and you’ll discover a start-up on a mission: a mission to change the way we access expert, reliable audio content.

The catalyst for building his own app

Like many great businesses, KooKoo was born out of a personal need and is deeply rooted in Andrew’s story.

Andrew’s catalyst was recognizing that most therapists are suffering from the same issue – they are struggling to speak directly to their customers. Traditionally delivered on MP3 files, therapy audio is largely incompatible with a mobile first audience now used to smartphones and an immersive digital experience.

Andrew envisages that all therapists will benefit from KooKoo, as the clever app will allow them to deliver their audio content directly to the end user in an easy to use format.

Forbytes Andrew Johnson Kookoo apps cds cassette tapes turned into mp3s illustration

“The app has come about due to a demand from fellow hypnotherapists who have tremendous difficulty in delivering MP3 audio files effectively to single clients and potential customers, particularly on mobile devices,” Andrew said.

On choosing the right software team

Listening to our favourite audio on the go is becoming more and more popular and the main reason for the success of apps is their sheer accessibility. And whilst it may seem that anyone can build an app in an afternoon and become an overnight success in the app store, in reality it’s not that simple.

As Andrew notes, building an app is more than simply having a great idea. It takes a healthy budget, time, thought, architecture - and a lot of expert technical knowledge. 

Andrew’s previous experience in apps means that he knows the fundamentals of creating a great product, noting that the best apps are well designed, both in terms of visuals and user experience.

Speaking about selecting the right team to deliver a top-end product for a discerning audience, Andrew said: “I wanted to work with a company with a base in Edinburgh and with enough technical knowledge that would lead to a well built, working app in a certain time frame and to an MVP budget.”

Forbytes Andrew Johnson Kookoo app programmer manager carrying pieces completing the whole

Getting started and working with Forbytes

Whilst putting his idea into the hands of an outsourced software team could have raised some concerns, the KooKoo team knew that having specialists on board was key to the success of KooKoo, given his “non-coding” background.

Any worries about choosing Forbytes to build his new app were quickly alleviated in his very first meeting with the team: “I was put at ease by their knowledge and the transparency of the paperwork. Once I made the decision to work with Forbytes, I knew I had made the right decision.”

The experience was a learning curve for the entrepreneur, who was astounded by the sheer level of work the Forbytes software team put in to designing and architecting KooKoo.

From building on his requirements to delivering a slick build, the process has given Andrew complete confidence that the app will be a success. He said: “It’s hugely important to have a specialist that is able to convert a non-tech description into a framework that both the idea creator and technical team can understand.” 

Why success depends on working with the best people

“As a non-coder, I was amazed by all the necessary ‘parts’ that I hadn’t considered.  This means I am hugely confident about the initial build and how easily it will be to scale from it.”

At the heart of the Forbytes ethos lies a promise to deliver quality and excellence, helping businesses grow with a bespoke and deeply personal service. Speaking about his own Forbytes experience, Andrew said: “I have found working with Forbytes to be a very easy and professional experience from the start. 

“It has enabled me to concentrate on the other, non-tech parts of the business in confidence.”

Thinking of building your own app?

Here at Forbytes we use our expertise to help people and businesses realise their full potential. Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

More from Andrew Johnson

Do you want to know more about Andrew Johnson and what he does? We are happy to report that he has been the centre of attention of one of Startup Grind's fireside chats. We covered the event in one of our previous articles.