Oh, what a month! July is over and I am sure that it was the best month for Fastr so far! Several interconnected things happened and some decisions were made that will definitely shape the future of our company.
This blog was not being updated for a while with exclusion to some technical details on Fastr app updates, so now we are happy to share more news in one package. As you probably know, we have graduated from Startup Sauna accelerator in June, got seed investment from Startup Sauna Foundation and then went to Silicon Valley in July in search for a better business model, advise and inspiration. As a result several decisions were taken:
1. Fastr Pro app became free and will stay free. You can download it now at http://appstore.com/fastrpro
2. Fastr future is about the way people discover, access and read books.
We have reached 200K total downloads in the App Store in July, 100K active monthly users, and 4* or higher ratings from users in our target market regions – USA, Europe and Latin America. So our users are generally happy with what we do.
But there is one big problem that still needs to be solved – this is the way how users can add books to their reading list in Fastr. We support multiple methods of adding books, but they are still complicated. We were asking ourselves what is the easiest way to access other types of content like videos or music? Netflix and Spotify were like the most obvious answer. So why does this subscription model exist only for music and videos?
This was the moment epiphany for us. All of us like Spotify and what they do for music. We want to be the Spotify for books, was the decision.
And here is why:
1. Users will be able to access our book catalog and add books in one click, no need to search them over the web.
2. DRM problem becomes solved. Do you remember the hassle of removing the DRM to open the book bought in store A with an app from developer B?
3. Sharing ebooks between Fastr premium users becomes super easy and legal. Remember that book sellers did not let you to share ebooks with friends? It was wrong, we are going to fix it.
4. You will be able to follow your friends and see what they are reading (starting reading the same book will be just a click away) and get other social stuff.
5. We will continue to improve our core value drivers – the reader app and the reading experience. You will see it in the next updates, both conventional reading and the speed reading mode will get some exciting new features!
We want to make Fastr more convenient, user friendly, fun to use than Amazon and more full featured than Goodreads (that is actually also part of Amazon). If Goodreads has only the reviews, Fastr will be reviews, ebook reader and ebook catalog – one stop shop for your reading experience! What will be the monthly fee? We are still thinking about the size of it, but it will be user-friendly and similar to Spotify or Netflix subscription fee.
How we plan to make all this happen? With your help of course! If you like the idea of accessing books catalog for a monthly fee, same as Spotify does it for music, please blog about it – the more support we can get from users now, the faster our catalog will be filled with the best titles and presented to the users! We plan to reach 1 million users and launch the catalog till the end of 2013.
Have any questions or ideas? We would be glad to hear from you! Please write to info [at] fastr.io, tweet @FastrApp about it or comment on our Facebook page http://facebook.com/FastrApp
CEO at Fastr