photoLast night at the Black Dog Brewery, Creative HQ hosted its second Startup Garage event, a Startup Wire featuring Ben Bradley, co-founder of iPhone photo-editing app PicFX.

The web/graphic designer and photographer flew down from Auckland to offer insights from his startup journey to an engaged crowd of Wellington entrepreneurs. 

As one of Instagram’s earliest users, Ben saw a gap in the market – grungy and textual editing options he was into at the time were simply not available. He teamed up with developer David Boyes and launched PicFX in February 2011 to fill this niche. He has been living and breathing the startup environment since. 

“Instagram has provided us the service of being able to connect with all our users in the click of a button. You can really delve out who is using our app and what people want,” said Ben.  

Giving advice to the crowd, he says the best way to grow is by “influencing everyone around you and trying to stay ahead of what’s trending.” Building close relations with influential corporations such as Apple and Starbucks have been instrumental to PicFX’s success. 

Staying close to your founding team is important as well. Ben also credited the organic and honest relationship he has with his co-founder David Boyles for the app’s continued success. 

After surpassing 1 million users and cracking the App Store’s top 10 photo-editing apps, Ben decided to leave his full-time job and fully dedicate himself to tackling the “ever-growing market” for PicFX overseas. 

Thanks to all who came along. The next Startup Garage event is a Startup: Open event at Cric HQ. To get inside the office of the cricket social network, sign up here:

By Jane Lawrence

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