I’m excited to share that Abra is featured on this week’s Planet of the Apps!
Planet of the Apps is a new series from Apple Music celebrating the world of app development. The format is simple: each app developer has 60 seconds to make their “escalator pitch” to the four advisors (check out mine here). If you match with at least one advisor, then you work with them over the course of several weeks to prepare your app and your pitch for a round of funding from Lightspeed Ventures (a well-known Silicon Valley VC fund and early investors in Snap).
Abra is also currently being featured in the iOS App Store, which marks the first time that a digital currency or bitcoin app has ever been featured in the App Store.
I have so many cool memories from filming the show over three months in late 2016 and early 2017. Most of them involve meeting entrepreneurs from all over the country, several of them still in high school! As someone who has pitched my company literally hundreds of times over the course of my career, it was still a unique experience to do so in a Hollywood studio environment.
The advisors on Planet of the Apps don’t come from Silicon Valley and each one brought something unique to the table in relation to Abra (warning: spoilers ahead!):
- Gary Vaynerchuk’s honesty and passion shows through in every interaction. He has an electrifying entrepreneurial spirit.
- Gwyneth Paltrow is a global icon. She seems to be successful at anything she does and is incredibly insightful regarding the people that she surrounds herself with.
- Jessica Alba’s commitment to honesty and transparency is something we strive for at Abra. She is a true role model for entrepreneurs who want to send a positive message with their great products.
- Will.i.am has an amazing personal brand with global reach. He simply seems to “get” the average consumer and understands modern pop culture better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
In the end, I chose to work with Gwyneth and over the course of the show, she set up some valuable and fun meetings, including a FaceTime session with Brian Chesky, Co-founder & CEO of Airbnb. His advice — to focus on making a product that a core group of people love before worrying too much about scaling — has really stuck with me and has helped guide our decision-making at Abra over the last few months. (You can see a brief excerpt of our conversation on the show).
I’d like to thank Linh, Steve, Rachelle and everyone at Propagate (the producers of the show), who made the experience so much fun. A couple of them even bought bitcoin because of Abra and our talks in between shoots! Special shoutout to the other founders from Episode 8: Thomas of WiTag, and Kyra and Ben of Tabu.
To any app entrepreneurs considering applying for the next season: be prepared for a huge time commitment, but also for a lot of fun. And be honest with yourself about which advisor can truly help you the most. Being famous doesn’t make you a genius but success does leave clues.
I’ll have more to share later but for now I want to encourage you to watch the episode, download Abra and help us spread the word about an app that I believe will change the world, one user at a time.