I recently emailed the CEO of your guys favorite app of all time, Angry Birds! I’m just kidding, I emailed the CEO of Boxcar. His name is Jonathan George and I was very fortunate to get a response from him. I asked him a few questions that are listed below and he was nice enough to answer them for me. Hope you guys enjoy.
1.) Why did you want to start Boxcar?
I started Boxcar on a whim in June 2009. Push notifications had just been released with iOS 3.0 and I had missed a direct message on Twitter from someone. I thought: it’d have been awesome to receive that via a push notification. A few hours later I had a small prototype built. I started it that Friday evening and submitted it to Apple two days later. The first version only opened 2 Twitter clients and you could use it with just one Twitter account. Even though it was ugly, slow and tiny, it worked. It brought a new experience to something that badly needed an overhaul. It’s changed a lot since that first launch.
2.) Why is Boxcar free? I could see paying $10 for this useful app.
Boxcar is free because we want as many people to use Boxcar as possible. Without users, Boxcar wouldn’t be what it is today. We’ll be experimenting with new revenue models early next year, but Boxcar will always be free to download. Of course, if you love Boxcar, you can help support us by using in app purchase to disable the ads.
3.) Are their any big future updates coming to the app you can tell us?
We have several top secret projects underway that may see the light of day, but nothing that we can discuss right now.
4.) When did Boxcar start becoming “big?”
I always thought of Boxcar as being “small” up until Jeff, Josh and Conor joined me a few months ago. Boxcar was a side project until they joined in. If something needed to be done, I’d do it. Now when I wake up in the morning, there is already more done than I would have done in a single day before.
That’s probably the biggest defining moment, even though there are others. For example, I used to tell myself “Oh, someday Twitter will introduce push”. And then Twitter did introduce push, but people kept on using Boxcar for Twitter push notifications. Why? Because we’re great at it. It’s what we do. And at that point you realize you’ve built something that people love.
5.) What do you think when you see your app reviewed on a big tech website or talked about on YouTube?
It’s amazing, really. I still get ridiculously excited anytime I see *anyone* write an article about Boxcar. I always e-mail any press we get to my mom and dad to share with them.
You guys can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org
And during our email conversations he said he takes pride in answering every email and will get back to you. I might not be right away but he will eventually get back.