Interviewing Calvin Carter from Bottle Rocket – Top Dallas App Developer
Bottle Rocket Studios is a digital technology agency based in Dallas. They specialize in mobile app development and digital transformation. They’ve ranked 1st among the top Dallas app development companies on ContractIQ. Here, we’re speaking to Calvin Carter, founder & CEO of Bottle Rocket, who gives us his thoughts on entrepreneurship, dealing with failure, and the current app market.
Can you start off by introducing yourself and your company?
I’m Calvin Carter, founder & CEO of Bottle Rocket. We’re an award-winning mobile strategy, design, and development company with over 250 (and counting) iPhone, iPad, and Android applications.
What would you consider to be your USP (that one thing that you’re best at!) ?
Bottle Rocket’s top values come serving the user. The way we do this best is through collaborating with both our clients and our teams to design the best mobile experiences on the market. Our ongoing mission is to better our craft so we may do the best work of our lives. At the end of the day, Bottle Rocket builds awesome applications that not only meets standards but set new ones.
What is your take on the current app market? Does it still have life or is it being overtaken by bots?
Back in 2008, we saw a lot of games and gimmicks hit the app market. Now, brands are considering apps and other mobile experiences to be a vital part of their digital strategies and are using mobile to transform their business. This initiative to grow the connected mobile lifestyle will only continue to increase in upcoming years.
What do you hate about apps that you use frequently?
Several apps are designed with businesses in mind, but not necessarily the end user.
How would you explain an ‘app’ to someone who knows nothing about it?
An app is a mobile experience that connects users with information, brands, and entertainment. They help digitize everyday experiences like shopping at your favorite store as well as streamlining enterprise solutions like training and backend management.
Who was/is your inspiration in the tech world?
An obvious one is Steve Jobs. I started Bottle Rocket in March of 2008 as I sat in bed with my wife, who was pregnant with my twin girls at the time, watching a streaming video presentation by Steve Jobs. On that day, Jobs announced that the company was opening up the iPhone’s app platform to third-party developers. I knew that developing apps was all I wanted to do. From there, I developed Bottle Rocket in an eerily similar way to Jobs and Apple – from my Garage. His vision and passion continue to influence Bottle Rocket, as well as myself, to this day.
What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs?
If I could go back and give the younger version of myself one piece of advice, I would tell them “Don’t overthink it – just do it.” Frequently, we’re so afraid of being embarrassed, failing, or not measuring up. If you take away those pressures and concerns and just do what you’re passionate about, you’ll achieve great things.
What do you know now about running a startup that you wish you’d known earlier?
I’ve started a few companies during my time, so I’m familiar with the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. If I had to give advice to others bitten by the entrepreneur spirit bug, I’d tell them to look for opportunities to do something that hasn’t been done before. Embrace failure. Fully commit to whatever it is you are doing. If you keep focusing on doing what you love every day, you’re going to be successful.
Just like any other startup, I’m sure you would’ve hit a rough patch at some point. What did you tell yourself to keep going?
The idea of failure is embedded in Bottle Rocket’s culture. Doing something you’re passionate about has a lot to do not just with being willing to fail, but embodying failure into your everyday work. People fail a lot less than they plan for and after a while, that failure turns into motivation to try something bigger. Technology is always changing and does our opportunities to fail, but that’s what makes it so interesting.
Where do you see your company 3-5 years from now?
In the past few years, Bottle Rocket has grown exponentially by recently opening offices in New York and London. It is our goal to continue growing Bottle Rocket to be a global mobile thought leader in the years.