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Valley app creator’s GLTYR helps market skills, products
Ahwatukee resident Subra “Dr. S.”Sudhakar, co-founder of GLTYR, said he developed the app to help people, schools and small businesses more easily market their skills and products.
GLTYR, which is pronounced “glitter”and stands for “Give Life To Your Reality,”is a content-creation app which was originally launched as a way for people to create a multimedia résuméon the fly from a mobile device, Sudhakar said. But soon people began using the app for dating profiles, greeting cards, recipes, job postings, classified ads and more.
“People want to show themselves off as a real person,”Sudhakar said.
Sudhakar, 46, was born in India, where he did his undergraduate studies in metallurgical engineering. He moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and earned masters degrees in electrical engineering and materials science and a doctorate degree in materials engineering and operations research at the University of Southern California.
In 1996, he met his co-founder, Ram Iyer. They always brainstormed crazy ideas together, Sudhakar said. Iyer is the technologist who built the GLTYR platform, while Sudhakar is responsible for taking it to market, Sudhakar said. They believed that they could build anything in the world, he said.
“Our philosophy is 2-by-2: Give me $2 million or two years, we will build anything you want,”Sudhakar said.
Since moving to Arizona in 1998, Sudhakar worked at Microsoft for nine years before he co-founded his first venture, SchoolCues. SchoolCues is a mobile app intended to create engaging communication between small schools and parents, according to the SchoolCues website.
Sudhakar said he enjoys working with customers and solving everyday problems in people’s lives.
“I love to hear bad news from customers because bad news is good news,”he said. “It gives you an opportunity to solve problems.”
Sudhakar and Iyer came up with the idea for GLTYR last year when they realized that people need to be able to market their skills efficiently and inexpensively, Sudhakar said. GLTYR originally stood for “Give Life To Your Résumé,”but after seeing the many uses for the app they decided to rename it, he said.
The app, which allows the user to add a photo, brief summary and contact details as well as 30 seconds of audio and 30 seconds of video, is meant to be easy to use while establishing trust, Sudhakar said.
“Your email or your paper communication does not build that, but if you add a picture to that message, a picture is worth a thousand words,”Sudhakar said. “To that picture if you add audio or voice it’s the next higher degree of trust. And to that voice or audio you add a video, it’s the highest form.”
Social media and other websites do not allow one to establish trust the same way, he said, and many small businesses do not have the money to market products. With GLTYR, a small business owner can share their product with as many people as they want at little to no cost, Sudhakar said.
“That’s my vision,”he said. “That’s why we created GLTYR.”
GLTYR already has a diverse customer base, despite the fact that Sudhakar has yet to begin officially marketing the product beyond word-of-mouth advertising, he said.
Sadha Parasuraman, who teaches scripture and art from his home, uses the app to connect with students and share lesson plans. He said he likes that it creates a Web page that he can update at any time and that his students can access from any platform.
“It’s a very concise Web page that gives you just the right amount of words, just the right amount of things that you need to let them know without being verbose,”Parasuraman said.
It’s a “landing place”for students to see homework assignments, class notes and announcements, he said. All he has to do is send a link to his students, he said.
“I can update that Web page dynamically whenever I find time, from my smartphone, wherever I want to,”Parasuraman said.
He said the app also has personal uses, such as sending invites to birthdays and social events.
Barbara Danielson, who teaches voice and piano lessons, said she uses GLTYR to advertise her abilities to potential students. She said the app has already brought her two new students just from posting her GLTYR link on Facebook.
“What I liked was the fact that you could actually have them go and hear my voice so that they know that I have had the background I’ve had, because I’ve done opera, etc.,”Danielson said.
GLTYR is currently a minimum viable product, which is the most basic product a consumer can use, Sudhakar said. In order for the product to progress, people must find value in it, be willing to use it, and be willing to pay for it, he said.
“It’s yes to all three, so now we go to the next version,”he said. “We are frantically and feverishly working toward the next version.”
Sudhakar said that they plan to have an enhanced version of the app done by Thanksgiving in order to be ready for the holiday season. There will also be a payment engine added, with a subscription price of $99 per year, he said. Sudhakar said he thinks the price is justifiable for small businesses and schools on a tight budget because every GLTYR link is a multimedia Web page and setting up a website can be very expensive.
“My whole goal is, I like to build products which have a purpose in life that people can use and find value and repeatedly use it,”Sudhakar said. “That is my metric for success.”
Future plans for the app include creating more extensive platforms for classified advertisements, greeting cards and multimedia profiles for executives of mid-sized companies, Sudhakar said.
“We have a lot of plans, and it’s exciting to say the least,” he said.