👋 I'm Alex, a 14 y/o iOS Developer from Ireland. Ask me about my news app with a twist, Swiipe, and how I gained over 900 upvotes on ProductHunt. AMA

Alex Goodison
Sep 12, 2017

Hi, I'm Alex and for my 13 weeks of holidays in the summer, I built Swiipe. I have always wanted to make a news app, but it HAD to be different. As time progresses, I see that my generation's attention span is shortening and if greeted by a long article of text most teenagers will turn away. This is why it has to be a new experience. It had to be fun, it had to be interactive and it had to get them coming back repeatedly. (Hopefully, I have achieved that) Swiipe isn't just a news app for teenagers, I hope that it is a news app for everyone and that everyone can use it. How it works is simple: Swipe left to dismiss the article, right to save the article for later and tap the image to view the article.Swiipe Home Page

Last Saturday, I submitted Swiipe to Product Hunt with the hope of ~70 upvotes. After getting 2 in the first hour, I contacted Product Hunt themselves to take Swiipe off of the website. Luckily, they told me that it would be on the front page the next day and 'would I really want to take it down?' And sure thing, the next day I was there on the front page. As of Saturday 10th, I have 900+ upvotes on Swiipe and I was the most upvoted product the day I was featured. Without Product Hunt my life wouldn't have been crazy all week long, but I've enjoyed it.

Product Hunt: goo.gl/SwgVB2

App Store: apple.co/2wv0Ex4 

I welcome any questions about Swiipe, my life or anything you can think of. Thank You 👍

Conversation (79)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

How do you find your best business developer as co-founder for your news and how you both communicate? 

Sep 14, 2:56AM EDT0 Reply

What will be your next project app after this? Do you see this as a long term thing for you? Why or why not?

Sep 12, 8:55AM EDT1 Reply

Initially, I saw Swiipe as something to do for the summer but now I am looking at possibilities of continuing it for long term which I do have ideas for other projects in mind.

Sep 12, 12:03PM EDT0 Reply

Can you share more of your other projects initiative? 

Sep 14, 2:57AM EDT0 Reply

What kind of news does the app focuses on?

Sep 12, 6:27AM EDT1 Reply

Swiipe contains some of the most popular news sources in the world which focus on many different topics. After downloading Swiipe you will be shown multiple news sources from different categories such as 'Technology' or 'Sport'

Sep 12, 12:06PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 5 replies

Why did you choose a news app in particular?

Sep 11, 10:06PM EDT1 Reply

I have always been interested in the different ways people perceive data and especially the news. That's why I created Swiipe which has a focus on the visual of the news story which is the image. I also just wanted to create a new experience to get more people to read the news. 👍

Sep 12, 12:07PM EDT0 Reply

Were you inspired by Tinder to make the design of this product like this? What did you code this app in and are you planning to go to college in the future to pursue a degree in coding?

Sep 11, 8:55PM EDT1 Reply

The swiping part of Swiipe is inspired by Tinder while the rest is my own ideas. It was coded in Swift 3 which is quite easy to get the hang of in a short space of time. In regards to the college degree, I'm not sure yet. In the meantime, I am going to continue working on Swiipe 😉

Sep 12, 12:12PM EDT0 Reply

What do you want to work as when you're older?

Sep 11, 6:32PM EDT1 Reply

I never really had any idea of what I wanted to do when I was older, but after my launch on Product Hunt, I would love to work in the tech industry and just do something like Swiipe but just on a bigger scale

Sep 12, 12:01PM EDT0 Reply

Where do you source the news articles for your app?

Sep 11, 2:30PM EDT1 Reply

I currently source them from Newsapi.org but I’ll be soon changing the way I get the news...

Sep 12, 7:29PM EDT0 Reply

How do your parents feel about what you've managed to achieve in the school vacation time?

Sep 11, 12:58PM EDT1 Reply

To be honest, they are very happy and supportive of me, especially after my launch. They also help me with expanding on my app ideas, so I give them credit for that also.

Sep 15, 1:46PM EDT0 Reply

Hey Alex:) Thank you for being here with us, it's a pleasure! What is the reaction of your friends to the sucess of Swiipe? Do you think it motivates them to start learning things as well?

Sep 11, 7:28AM EDT0 Reply

Hi, sadly the truth is way different. Firstly, I haven't showed Swiipe to any of my friends. I keep my App Development life quite secret to be honest. If everyone was to know about it, I would be known as 'the App Guy' at school which is something that I don't really want. Also, I can almost guarantee you it will not motivate any of them to start learning things. That is the sad truth, but I can't avoid it.

On the other hand, I have motivated people from all over the world to starting learning new things through Product Hunt and I hope to continue to motivate people to learn new things every day :)

Sep 11, 12:33PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

What got you interested in app development in the first place?

Sep 11, 7:11AM EDT0 Reply

My dad is a programmer and has been for most of his life. I have always been interested in tech and apps, so I decieded to just make the apps for myself, then I found out that it is something I love to do.

Sep 11, 12:34PM EDT0 Reply

That is really cool, that your father shows you his skills and that you are able to comprehend them and create your own technology. What advice does your father give you about your success?

Sep 12, 11:28AM EDT0 Reply

How long did it take to create your own app - did you really finish it within the holidays?

Sep 11, 6:59AM EDT1 Reply

i spent a lot of the holidays figuring out what I wanted to make and it took me about 3 weeks of work to make Swiipe. Pretty quick when you have nothing else to do

Sep 12, 7:31PM EDT0 Reply

Obviously you don't yet have a degree in Computer Science or programming, how did you learn to develop apps?

Sep 11, 5:16AM EDT1 Reply

YouTube provides great free tutorials and udemy.com has decent paid tutorials. A combination of the two really helped to teach me how to develop iOS all

Sep 12, 7:33PM EDT0 Reply

How did you manage to make this app in such a short time?

Sep 11, 4:53AM EDT1 Reply

When it's all you have to do and you keep focused, it's surprising what can be achieved. I did go outside while developing Swiipe but I did spend a bit of time inside and got a bit carried away at times. 

Sep 15, 1:50PM EDT0 Reply

What are your plans for university? Will you go?

Sep 11, 12:04AM EDT1 Reply

I'm not too sure yet. I'll just wait and see how far Swiipe goes. I might go but maybe not. 50% chance I'd say.

Sep 15, 1:48PM EDT0 Reply

Have any big app developers been in touch yet & if not, will you get in touch with them?

Sep 10, 10:50PM EDT1 Reply

No big app developers have been in contact yet, but I don't think I'm going to contact them just yet as my schedule is very busy, but it is something I plan to do.

Sep 15, 1:54PM EDT0 Reply

Who inspires you most in the App development field?

Sep 10, 9:41PM EDT1 Reply

I don't really have one person that I can pinpoint, but I do appreciate how Snapchat has become the app that it is today. In Ireland, it's the only app teens use

Sep 15, 2:02PM EDT0 Reply

Will you go to the next WWDC to show off your talent?

Sep 10, 4:09PM EDT1 Reply

I'd love to. I'm going to apply for a scholarship next year and hope to get picked because I would love to go

Sep 10, 5:00PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Would you say you were inspired by other apps such as the popular dating app Tinder?

Sep 10, 3:11PM EDT1 Reply

The swiping interface was inspired by Tinder, it's something that people are familiar with. While the rest of the app is all my own ideas.

Sep 10, 5:03PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Have you considered calling tv stations and newspapers to get your app and your story more traction?

Sep 10, 2:42PM EDT1 Reply

Yes, but I am contacting online news sources. Luckily, I was approached by one of the biggest tech/entertainment news sources in the world to write an article on Swiipe and my story but I will be contacting more news companies myself.

Sep 10, 5:11PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

What's next for you on the app development scene?

Sep 10, 2:37PM EDT1 Reply

As Swiipe did so well on Product Hunt, I will be developing Swiipe further, adding new features to keep people interested. But, I do have a few smaller projects coming up soon but I hope to have another big app out there in the next year 👍

Sep 10, 5:09PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Are you making money with your app already and if so how?

Sep 10, 12:50PM EDT1 Reply

I am not making any money at the moment, but in the future, I will be making money through affiliate links.

Sep 10, 5:04PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Did you work on this completely alone, or did you have a small team?

Sep 10, 12:33PM EDT1 Reply

Everything is done by myself, but if Swiipe gains in popularity, I will look into hiring an Engineer.

Sep 10, 5:06PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Hi Alex, You are an inspiration for other wannbe developers of your age!! Congratulations and wish you the best :). How do you plan to monetize your app?

Sep 10, 10:54AM EDT1 Reply

Thank you 🙌 I plan to monetize my app through sponsored articles and affiliate links to products on Amazon

Sep 10, 5:07PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

How did manage to learn app development at such a young age?

Sep 10, 10:23AM EDT2 Reply

YouTube provides a vast array of free tutorials on App Development while as I had a little cash to spare, I paid for a course on Udemy which helped teach me the basics. It is hard to find time to work on my apps, but usually after homework I try to work on Swiipe 👍

Sep 10, 5:08PM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

Have you got any proposals to buy the app? As in the whole thing? Would you sell it?

Sep 10, 8:02AM EDT1 Reply

So far, nobody has offered to buy the app but for the right price, I would sell it. 👍

Sep 10, 10:01AM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies

What did it change getting those votes on Producthunt? How many downloads did you get? Did you get a lot of people contacting you?

Sep 10, 7:47AM EDT1 Reply

Without Product Hunt, I wouldn't be here hosting this AMA. This week, I have gotten 1000+ downloads on Swiipe and certainly, my inbox is more full than ever before. I have definitely enjoyed it and you should see a few articles mentioning Swiipe soon. All in all, Product Hunt was my main source of publicity for Swiipe. 👍

Sep 10, 10:07AM EDT0 Reply
Show all 3 replies
Ask your question
About #TechAMA

Your source for anything and everything in the world of technology.  From cellphone reviews to the Oculus Rift. You won’t want to miss one AMA Event here!

Interested in participating? Our user-friendly channel makes it possible for anyone to create an AMA on just about any imaginable topic that’s relevant to technology--and you. Just click the button on top right called CreateAMA.

The #TechAMA channel (http://www.TechAMA.com) is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.