Danny Rostrata is the founder of Audra – an online platform that allows publishers across all genres to produce creative solutions online.
Human Asia eagerly spoke to Danny recently.
Why made you start Audra?
Danny: We were doing a project for a client who requested us to create and convert a printed book to an e-book. While brainstorming , we asked ourselves a lot of questions on the current state of e-books – from creation , pro-creation, placement, storage, and accessibility. We found that there are no streamlined solutions to publish an e-book, as the process is scattered all over. That was when we started conceptualizing the entire Audra Mobile Publishing ecosystem.
Who are your customers and how does Audra stand out against competitors?
Danny: Our first customer was Nestle Philippines. We met them at an exhibition that we attended. They were launching a brand of milk and used Audra to communicate the benefits of the their product. I think the ideal customer is someone who wants to mix creative marketing and digital marketing, and take it to the next level. In this day and age, to get the consumer’s attention, you can’t just be good. You have to be great every step of the way. Our dream project will be any graphical novel or manga as we can already imagine how to implement a different take on this genre of books.
What are the pros and cons of producing an app version of an e-book as opposed to a standard e-book?
The pros are:
1. you can create any form of story presentation, your imagination is the only limit.
2. you can even create and publish simple games
3. stating the obvious, iBook is to iOS
The cons are:
1. its very difficult to convince a user to download an app.
2. if ever a user downloads an app, it doesn’t stay on the phone for a long time.
3. creation of contents
How did you initially raise funding for Audra?
Danny: Our company has been in the IT business for 15 years, so Audra is just one project that we’ve enjoyed doing. Funding it has never been an issue. Making it a success is another story.
How do you keep your business relevant and engaged with the customers over the last four years?
Danny: After four years of Audra’s conception, if you look around the web there is still nothing quite like it. You can see similar functions and technology used elsewhere but nothing comes close to it as a rolled-in-one solution. Adobe has their e-book creator, Microsoft has something but it is only available online, Apple has a reader which is still only in iOS.
What in your view has been Audra’s greatest achievement so far?
Danny: Audra cuts across all industries including consumer marketing, education, music, video, graphic novels, images, games, medical, publishing etc. Audra is a platform that can branch out in various different directions. It can be the de facto UI/UX. We can even make it to an operating system and it can even produce digital currency.
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Danny, please tell us more about yourself.
Danny: I started my career in technology when I joined a telecommunications company. I was always looking for
what was new and tried to springboard from there. I’m a practicing sales engineer, and I define technology as 10 or 20 times faster and cost 80 to 90% less.
What does a productive day for you look like?
Danny: I usually start my day at around 10 am. I like working late because there is less distraction, however most of my colleagues started working late also, so I’m starting to think that we are distracting each other nowadays. I find inspiration any time of the day. Away from the office, I like going around the city and try to observe anything that I find interesting, or even try to connect other products and processes to our ongoing project.
What mistakes have you made in your journey and what have you learned from them?
Danny: I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Every time you are trying something new, it is already a mistake. But you have to ask yourself, is there a better thing for you to do than to try something new? If the answer is no then that becomes the starting point and the challenges.
What one thing would you love to tell your younger self?
Danny: Don’t rush things, everything has the right fit and the right time. You have to plan, even a 1-2-3 plan, it is still a plan.
What does success look like for you personally?
Danny: To see my colleagues find success and fulfillment in what we do.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Danny: Whether you start early, start late, or have not started yet, find your beginning. I guarantee you it will never end.
You can visit Audra at http://www.audra.pub/
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