Interview with Taptu for Android CEO, Mitch Lazar


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011
Here is the interview with Mitch Lazar, the creator and CEO of Taptu, regarding his company's recent announcement to bring Taptu to the Android Tablet platform.

>> 1. How long has your company been in business, and how long has Taptu existed as an app?

Taptu launched in 2006 with a focus on mobile search. It was trying to evolve the blue links of search on a mobile phone from a visual perspective and working to index the mobile web so mobile internet customers could easily find the sites and content they were seeking. While the name of the company was somewhat fortuitous, the company did not move into a mobile touch focus until 2007 after the iPhone launched and evolved its strategy to build out its index of the best sites for touch web. The real evolution at Taptu came last year when we felt the need to focus on using our search science and technology to solve information overload or filter failure. With so many Apps coming to market, we saw our consumers hoping around Apps like mad and we felt through search, we could give mobile phone users the ability to bring it all their passions and interests into one place while keeping in touch with their social networks. Last month, we turned over our editorial tools to our customers so they could mash and mix their favorite sources and feeds together and curate and share the things they were into. Through our search technology, we can provide the best crawling, indexing, relevancy and context in an attractive presentation and experience customers welcome.

>> 2. What made you decide to bring it to the Android, and what was the experience like developing for Android vs. iOS?

We have been huge supporters and advocates for Android. We have another product called Wapedia that we brought to Android some time ago and when we launched the new Taptu, we released it simultaneously for Android and iOs. While we never would have imaged the rapid adoption of Android, we are delighted by its success. The fan base has religion and they are extremely loyal. To that extent, we believed it was best to get ahead of the Android tablet curve and provide the best experience for tablet users with an incredible news experience that they can own, personalize and share. While the market is nascent, the next several months will see significant manufacturers release their Droid tablets and we know Android customers will want to have Taptu as a centerpiece to their experience. We also believe prices of Droid tablets will fall significantly making them the most affordable devices in the tablet landscape and providing an early experience for Taptu customers will afford us the opportunity to build on our success and generate their feedback so we can continue to build and improve the service. As far of development for Android, we build this experience from the ground up and we have found it encouraging to work on the platform.

>> 3. What distinguishes your app from other apps on the market that do similar things?

Our key differentiator is that you can be a News DJ. No other product on the market gives you the ability to mix and mash your streams, delete sources, add them or de-merge sources and create new single source playlists or streams. With Taptu, you can be a DJ for whatever your into and share it out with your friends and followers. They can discover new sources of content and stay informed with the latest news of the day or the latest trends in their social networks.

>> 4. What do you feel is the primary benefit that your app provides its users? What makes it cool, useful and unique?

The primary benefit of Taptu is that it's fun to use and convenient. It filters out the news I care about and keeps me in touch with my social networks. You can tweet and retweet from within the App and you can comment and share on Facebook. I feel the Instapaper support is brilliant and this support has come as a direct recommendation from our fan base. So have the themes and the expansion of the Google RSS support to allow for integration of 100 of your Google RSS feeds. The full screen reading is something we are exploring on the Android version as some customers have asked for it so we are looking forward to getting feedback on this experience. We believe Taptu is a great way to discover new sources of content, too. Taptu is a must-have app. It's an experience you'll want to start every day with to catch up on the latest and check many times a day, every day.

>> 5. What inspired the idea for your app, and do you have any other apps that you intend to bring to Android in the future?

The inspiration came from exploring and evaluating how we can use our search tech to reposition it around a content and media experience that people would want to use every day, many times. With my background in content and media, I felt that the way in which we explore, share and read in the digital world is evolving from a reliance on single source media to one where people want to mix, mash and follow. Taptu is a powerful platform and the App is just a demonstration of what we can do with a search engine that has the power to deliver such a compelling experience around media.

As I mentioned earlier, we also have Wapedia, the Wikipedia for mobile and today its sports more than one million active customers.

>> 6. Is there anything else that you wold like to say about your app or your company that you feel is important?

I’d just like to say the thing about our app is that it has our customer or fans at the very heart of it. We’ve been reaching out to our customers about being “guest DJ’s” and the sheer diversity of the streams they’ve mixed up for the app has been great. We’ve got back everything from a classical interior design stream from a San Francisco-based interior designer, to a Hip Hop stream from a radio presenter in Memphis, to a very cool fashion stream from a London girl about town, to a VC blogs stream from a global VC. We truly feel that our app really has something for everyone. And, we're really glad there's been such a great reception to what we've done with Taptu and look forward to the exciting feedback from our loyal Android fans.
I'm glad I got to correspond with you regarding Taptu, and look forward to making the announcement on Thursday for this great-looking app.

Thanks again,
David Storm


Super Moderator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2011
Nice job getting that interview!! This is really interesting