Julian Edelman, the wide receiver for the New England Patriots who made a spectacular catch late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 51, needed a mobile app for his personal brand, JE11, that he uses for tracking his businesses, such as merchandise, social promotions, and other non-football pursuits.
He'd met Trish Kennedy, who co-founded Zudy with her husband, Tom Kennedy, at a charitable event for the Patriots during Edelman's rookie year in 2009. The trio became friends, and when he wanted an app for his brand, he turned to their company to create it, explained Trish Kennedy.
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"When I met Julian, he was extremely interested in business, and he knew that I had a company and he asked me a lot of questions about it and I was really impressed. Not a lot of football players ask me a lot about my technology, but Julian did," Kennedy said.
Zudy used Vinyl, its no-code enterprise application development platform, to create Edelman's app in one day. The platform is used for creating apps in days or weeks instead of taking months, and Edelman's app was particularly quick to design because of its simplicity.
Vinyl was publicly released by Zudy in 2016. "It's only our first full year of selling. It's been great. We were shocked at how much hunger there was for these large enterprises to get out applications much faster than they were," Kennedy said.
Other than the app with Edelman, the company works mainly with large corporations such as iHeartRadio and Brooks Brothers. Kennedy said, "Eventually we'll expand into mid-size [businesses] and even smaller, and eventually I'd love to be able to put Vinyl out and have people do online training and build their own apps."
Kennedy said she and her husband have been creating tech companies for 30 years, and their last company, BackOffice Associates, built a platform called CranSoft.
"When we sold that [to Goldman Sachs], he said, 'I'm not done yet, I've got one more.' He said, 'This time I want to build a platform where you can build applications where you don't have to write any code, and those systems are completely agnostic to any data system and can sit on top of any legacy systems,'" she said.
"All those systems are very divergent, and it's not a simple thing to be able to sit on top of all those things and act like all those things. It took us about 2.5 years to build Vinyl. We finished and rolled out a private release in 2015, and we had specific companies that agreed to be test sites," she said.
For Edelman's app, they integrated it with all aspects of his personal business, including merchandise for Super Bowl LI. "He's not a large enterprise and certainly not our target market, but it was simple to integrate with his websites and apps and his social promotions. It's helping him to track engagement and things that are working and things that aren't and keeping his brand in front of people. It was a really fun app to build," she said.
The top 3 takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Zudy created an app for Julian Edelman in one day using its Vinyl no-code enterprise application development platform.
- Tom Kennedy, co-founder of Zudy, had previously created the CranSoft platform, which he eventually sold to Goldman Sachs.
- Vinyl was rolled out in 2016, and other customers include iHeartRadio and Brooks Brothers.
This story was originally published on February 3, 2017 and updated on February 6, 2017.
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Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.