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Kevin Rohling has an engineering background, business savvy and significant experience leading and managing teams. He came up with the idea for cisimple while working as the CTO at a previous startup. When he went looking for a simple, easy solution for setting up continuous integration for his engineering team he came up empty handed and knew this was a great opportunity.
John Frost is a serial entrepreneur with a background in Business Development and Marketing. At 23 he co-founded a company that he helped grow to 6 divisions with operations in 7 countries and eventually to a public listing on the NGM stock market. He and Kevin met through a mutual friend visiting from Australia and ever since John has been driving sales and business development at cisimple.
Cisimple’s cloud services automate the continuous testing, build, and deployment of mobile applications and SDK’s. Tight integration with Github and Testflight means the setup process takes minutes instead of days and all without the cost of setting up and maintaining build servers.
MO: How did you come up with the idea for cisimple?
John: Kevin decided to build cisimple while working as the CTO at a startup in the mobile space last year. One day he decided that the engineering team needed a Continuous Integration solution in place to assist with builds and running tests. When he went looking for a hosted solution (with credit card in hand) he was genuinely surprised when he found that no solutions existed for mobile applications. This unfortunately meant that he and his team had to spend a significant amount of time setting up and configuration servers manually.
MO: What inspired you to launch a business together?
John & Kevin: After meeting online at eHarmony (jokes) We had a mutual friend who we both know from different occasions. John studied with him back in Australia and Kevin met him at a startup weekend event in San Francisco. It wasn’t till John landed in San Francisco it was recommended they both meet up and talk about cisimple.
MO: How do you make mobile developers’ lives easier?
John & Kevin: CI has a number of advantages for mobile developers, but I will not dive into that for our readers. In a nutshell, build and test solutions help development teams maintain quality as teams grow and products become more complex. However, setting up a build and test solution can take developers days or weeks, but with cisimple developers can setup this solution in minutes.
MO: In terms of marketing your site, please share one tip that has really worked for you?
John & Kevin: We are still a young company, but being listed with publishers, such as betali.st, hacker news, crunchbase, angellist, LinkedIn have been a huge help. Also social platforms like twitter (@cisimple) and Facebook have help use attract and acquire new customers.
MO: What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?
John & Kevin: Within mobile development the challenges are endless. We focus on helping a small part of that equation by saving companies time, money and effort. There are lots of opportunities for many entrepreneurs to be creative in this space, it just picking one niche area that is beneficial and sustainable.
MO: Can you talk about the expansion of your platform to aggregate additional services that add value to mobile developers?
John & Kevin: This is on our roadmap but we believe cisimple will grow into a platform that aggregates together services that help mobile developers improve quality, simplify distribution and automate development tasks. This platform will not only own the compilation process but it will be a single entry point for managing testing, distribution, releases and more.
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