Valley investors increasingly aren’t reflecting the smart phone make up of the world. And that’s good for Cover — the fewer of these guys funded, the less competition. Another big advantage is in jockeying for developers. Android developers are (comparatively) the red-headed step children of the tech world. “Think of a company like Square or Path,” he says. “It must suck to be the Android guy there.” His message to them: Come to a place where Android is all we do. It may not convince someone to give up Square-like-equity, but any edge in hiring is welcome these days.
Of course, there are the usual challenges to an app so seemingly basic and utilitarian. How can it possibly make money? Can it survive Android’s much-stated fragmentation issues as it grows? And are Android users likely to be early adopters of something as wonky as a new lock screen?
Furthermore, plenty of people argue that Android’s fragmentation and other challenges make an Android-first proposition too challenging, labor intensive and expensive. But in six months, with three guys, and less than the money it took to launch this blog, Jackson has proved those nay-sayers wrong. Cover may still fail, but it wasn’t too hard or expensive to launch.
As with any startup, there are a myriad of ways Cover could remain a footnote in history as Silicon Valley finally starts to turn its attention towards an Android-first world. But Jackson’s insights that Android-first apps are overdue is spot on. “The numbers always felt big, but everyone around us was always using iPhones,” he says. “Those billion Android users aren’t just in Asia. That crossed a line in the fall of 2011, and it’s so obvious it’s never going back,”