A photo comparison app that helps you buy the right shirt, or allows you to vote whether you prefer Mr. Sub over Subway, was released last month.
The app is called D-Side and was made by former Conestoga College student Derek Boyko.
Boyko graduated from the woodworking technician program and then took classes in small business entrepreneurship. He is currently a sales representative in Mississauga.
The app idea came along while networking.
“I met a guy who does apps and coding, so then he and I began talking about a couple apps,” Boyko said.
“We had about three ideas … the reason I chose D-Side is because it was the most marketable and the one you could turn an investment on, because nothing is free in this world.”
Making the app was taking too long so they took it to a professional in Toronto.
To make the app more unique they incorporated gender-related information, where a user can see who or what men voted for and who or what women voted for.
“We wanted to do a picture comparison app and as we were doing it we noticed there was a bunch of them out there … we came up with the idea of having gender-related information,” Boyko said.
Boyko explained how the app would be handy by telling the story of how a friend texted him for advice on what dress to wear to a bar, insisting that she wanted a man’s opinion.
The concept for D-Side was conceived in June of last year and it was released on the iTunes app store in February.
“We had projections of getting it released in September … if a programmer goes past their deadline it’s not out of the ordinary, there’s so many little things that can go wrong .. you can misplace a comma in 400 characters of code and that will totally screw up your page and you have to go back and search for that comma,” he said.
Boyko saw the experience of diving in and making an app with the help of others as a way of circumventing a conventional education and jumping into the professional sphere immediately.
We thought it’d be cool to put something on the app store … it was something I was interested in getting into … a technology career. But I already spent my money in college, I already own a house, I’m not going back to university for four more years,” Boyko said.
He didn’t want to give an exact figure but did say making the app cost between $10,000 and $20,000.
He had a scare when the app was initially rejected due to security reasons.
“We got rejected by the Apple store on New Year’s Eve … the whole reason why was because we needed a few lines of text in our end user licence agreement (saying they are not responsible for uploaded imagery) and a way of flagging and kicking off users,” Boyko said.
“It felt like I was running a marathon and then it’s like you tripped or rolled your ankle four feet from the finish line … people are doing the countdown for New Year’s and I’m on the Apple iTunes store. I’m like, ‘what is wrong, why are they rejecting my app?’”
Seeing what people are wearing to events around the world and getting feedback on what you wear are some of the things Boyko would like the app to do for users.
“If you’re going to a mall, let’s say to try on T-shirts, (and) you don’t want to buy two, you just take a photo of each … have a coffee in the food court and hopefully by then you have some feedback to make your decision on,” Boyko said.
The app could lead to a full-time career but for now it is just a fun experience.
“We’re just having fun with it for now. I’m not quitting my day job by any means, it’s sort of a passion project.”
The key for the app is to get to 10,000 users.
“Ten thousand is the magic number in social media … it’s called critical mass, when you have a certain amount of followers where you have clout,” Boyko said.
The aim right now is to get the app to be compatible with social media websites.
“Our next step is to share photos over Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest,” Boyko said.
D-side is currently available on iTunes.