Nomino is an app that was founded by three Jamaican friends living in Los Angeles – Rochelle Thwaites, designer, Talitha Watkins, marketing executive and Dule Hill, actor/producer.
Made in Jamaica Catalogue caught up with Rochelle Thwaites, CEO/Founder of Nomino, and asked her to share some insights about the Nomino App – what it is, why it was created, how three friends became inspired to create an app and what advice she had for other Jamaicans who would like to develop apps.
Can you describe Nomino for us in 140 characters?
Nomino changes the way we share photos – one challenge at a time. Create your own challenges, solve your friends’, win points, redeem prizes!
Why an app? Why not a website?
Today everything revolves around smartphones and mobile apps are an extension of that. For Nomino, developing a mobile app was the ideal choice. Apps are easily accessible, convenient and extremely powerful in reaching our demographic. We launched with iOS for iPhone but our next goal is to launch on Android.
What was the inspiration for Nomino? Was there a problem you were trying to solve? Or an experience you hoped people would have?
The inspiration came from a spectacular view I came across while driving through the Malibu canyons in Los Angeles. I instantly thought, if I were to post this, I wonder how many people could guess where I am? After researching it, I realized that taking photo sharing to the next level by adding a gaming element to it had great potential. We weren’t trying to solve a problem, just saw an opportunity to fill a void.
Why did the three of you decide to work together on this app? When was that “aha” moment that three friends with established careers could try something as new and exciting as this together?
We are all very good friends who just happened to possess the right ingredients to bring the idea of Nomino to life. With my creative vision and background, Talitha’s digital and marketing expertise, Dule’s social media expertise and industry experience, it was a no brainer. Working on this together has been an amazing experience.
What is the most important thing you hope users get out of this app?
Enjoyment. Photo sharing has become such an integral part of our lives, that I love that Nomino adds the element of being fun and challenging to it.
What is the first benchmark for success that you have you set yourselves?
There are many but I think the most notable was having the opportunity to launch with USA Networks’ TV show Psych.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years in the mobile app space? More apps? Social only or other kinds?
5 years is a long time in the app world. We are just taking it one day at a time and seeing where the future takes us.
You are all Jamaican. How do you think your cultural heritage has helped you or will help you in this journey?
We are all very driven, focused and determined. I believe those qualities definitely stems from our Jamaican culture.
If you could say anything to the Jamaicans in Jamaica and in the Diaspora who are making apps or would like to, what would that be?
If you have an idea, act on it. Things happen very quickly in this industry so it’s crucial that you stay ahead of the game.