I have a mobile app I'm working on. I developed a working mockup as a PHP site, and I have a friend that I can partner with to build an objective-c version who has a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
The more interesting part of this equation is that I have another friend who went off to Hollywood and became one of those tiny few who become really successful really quickly. It's really unbelievable. I hung out with him again a couple days ago, and was surprised at how little he'd changed.
Afterwords it occurred to me that I could have him pitch the app. I have a relative who works in PR who could probably book some TV appearances for him. I probably have to give him "created by" credit or something like that, but with a name and a pretty face he'd be much more likely to get on TV than I would ever be able to. He always needs more publicity and the morning shows always need more fluff.
What should I offer him? With my development partner I was going to give him some share of the revenue, though I want to own the name/brand/IP, since I have plans for other apps addressing the same market space. Should I offer him some revenue share? I don't know how long he would be interested in promoting the app, he might get bored with it and lose interest after awhile which is my only concern.
I'm interested in any advice that anyone might have.
Two issues come to mind:
1.Make sure the celeb has something to
do with your product (he/she can and
would use it, or he/she is perceived
as an knowledgeable about what your
product is used for). It would be a
waste of a lot of PR effort to have
Peyton Manning endorse accounting
software since there's no tie in. The viewers of the endorsement would scratch their heads and probably ignore it
2.Make sure that you can handle the
volume. Your product needs to be
fully tested and working , feature
rich, and able to handle the volume
(if there is a back end server
tie-in). Otherwise you will create a
large group of dissatisfied
customers who will never come back
once you fix the problem or add the
features they want/need.
In general I would probably pass on using your friend this way.
Perhaps at most I would ask him to try the app and if he likes it or shows interest then ask if he wouldn't mind tweeting or facebooking about it.
Again, I'd keep the relationship pretty clean. He's not the answer to your publicity problem(s).
First of all, good luck with your app!
I agree 100% with Jeff. Ideally, your celeb should have something to do with your app. Secondly, do not launch your app until it is 200% tested and retested and retested. It takes a lot to gain a customer, but very little to lose one (or thousands of them).
As for what you should offer to your friend, well, bear in mind that in many cases, doing business with friends equals losing money and friends. In any case, if you decide to go ahead with your friend, maybe you could offer him a percentage of all sales generated thanks to him. Doing so will save you upfront money (remember that cash flow is the Achilles' heel of any startup) and you won't have to pay him anything if his help doesn't bear fruit.
Maybe your friend could introduce you to other celeb friends who might be passionate about your product.