First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
David Rogosky: Thank you for asking. Fortunately, my 11-year-old son, my parents, and the rest of my family are safe so far. I hope the same goes for you.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Spartan Apps
David Rogosky: I am going to speak on behalf of both myself and my business partner.
My business partner, Arslan Hajdarevic, who is located in Sarajevo, is a tech genius who built his own video game at age 11. He and a friend built Spartan Apps in 2013, releasing them into the app stores in 2014 at the young age of 16. Spartan Apps is a portfolio of workout/fitness apps available in the Google Play and Apple app stores. Arslan is self-taught and has since learned all aspects of the app business. He and I aspire to make Spartan Apps the # 1 fitness experience in the app store.
I started my career in finance. After 25 years of not fitting into the corporate world, being laid off several times, meeting a woman who lives halfway around the world, and with mounting financial pressures on supporting my son, I decided to pursue a different path to financial and personal freedom by taking a chance in the app world. Given that I had no development or business experience in the industry, I decided to purchase an existing portfolio of apps rather than build one from scratch. That’s how I met Arslan, and I have been involved with Spartan Apps since 2017, first as a “side business,” and now full time since April 2020.
How does Spartan Apps innovate?
David Rogosky: We are a very small company relative to our competitors; just 4 of us work full-time, and a few part-timers. Arslan and I have daily conversations about strategy and vision. We constantly refine our plans. We always take a long term view, and we do our best to maintain an open mind and discuss anything and everything. This allows us to think creatively / outside the box, and we do things differently than most of our large competitors. We focus primarily on efficiency, lean but scalable infrastructure, product, and retention.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
David Rogosky: Initially, we were one of the rare businesses that benefited from the virus. More and more people were looking to work out from home with apps to replace their gym membership, given the quarantines. We have since seen our business return to pre-COVID levels.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
David Rogosky: We were in a very fortunate position not to experience any layoffs or furloughs. The competition in our space has intensified enormously, and it requires us to consider taking more risks, as well as focus a little on marketing efforts in order not to fall too far behind.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Spartan Apps in the future?
David Rogosky: Arslan deals with stress by working more lol. Then he crashes and sleeps for half a day. I try my best to do a minimum amount of exercise each day and stay on a regular daily routine. We are all feeling the stress, though, and we feel everyone’s pain out there.
Because we are a small team fighting to survive, it’s all hand on deck, working hard, etc. If we can become comfortably profitable, we aspire to keep everyone to 30 – 40 hour work weeks, with Quarterly bonuses and a mandatory one week vacation every Quarter. We will continue to pursue incorporating as much work/life balance as possible into our company’s culture.
We have the vision to create the #1 fitness experience in the app store.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
David Rogosky: We have many competitors – Freeletics, Runtastic, BetterMe, just to name a few. Aside from raising capital, the only way we can survive is to build a better product with a fraction of the resources. We must be creative and hyper-efficient.
Your final thoughts
David Rogosky: Thank you for the opportunity to allow us to speak to you. Please, everyone, stay safe!