Season 2, Episode 1

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This is a transcript of one episode of the Samsung Developers Podcast, hosted by and produced by Tony Morelan. A listing of all podcast transcripts can be found here.


Tony Morelan
Senior Developer Evangelist, Samsung Developers

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Drazen Stojcic

Urarity Links

Drazen is the 2020 Galaxy Store award winner for best watch face collection. Not only do we talk about his rise to becoming one of the top watch face sellers on Galaxy Store, but also his fascinating career path. And it all started when he became an award-wining author, after writing his first novel at the age of 16.


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NOTE: Transcripts are provided by an automated service and reviewed by the Samsung Developers web team. Inaccuracies from the transcription process do occur, so please refer to the audio if you are in doubt about the transcript.


Tony Morelan 00:01

Hey, I'm Tony Morelan. And this is POW!, the Samsung Developers podcast where we chat with innovators using Samsung technologies, award winning app developers and designers, as well as insiders working on the latest Samsung tools. Welcome to season two, Episode One. On today's show, I interviewed Drazen Stojcic, the super successful watch face designer behind the brand, Urarity, Drazen is the 2020 Best of galaxy store award winner for best watch face collection. Not only do we talk about his rise to becoming one of the top watch face sellers on galaxy store, but also this fascinating career path. And it all started when he became an award-winning author after writing his first novel at the age of 16. Enjoy.

Tony Morelan 00:48

So I have to start by saying I am extremely excited to kick off the new season of the podcast with one of my absolute favorite designers. Drazen from Urarity.

Drazen Stojcic 01:01

Hi. Hi, Tony. Thank you for having me.

Tony Morelan 01:04

Yeah, excellent. I'm so excited to have you on the show. Let me first start by asking who is Drazen Stojcic?

Drazen Stojcic 01:13

So Well, I guess I could say the basics. You know, I'm 38 years old. I'm from Europe, from Croatia, and married. And I've spent last four years designing watch faces for Samsung devices. And after a lifelong career in all sorts of media related stuff, I found myself in something that I really enjoy doing. And it turned out I was pretty good at it. And so now four years later, I'm I've received the award for the best watch face collection. And is it's been like, you know, a crown after all that hard work and, and time and effort put into it.

Tony Morelan 02:07

So you're saying that if you started about four years ago, doing watch faces, that means you pretty much started at the beginning of this whole opportunity for designers to create watch faces for Samsung. So tell me like, how did you first learn about Samsung wearables and, and then ultimately designing.

Drazen Stojcic 02:23

So I think it's a similar story with most early developers, you know, we are all a bit of gadget freaks. And so I've had Samsung, the very first Samsung smartwatch was because I had a Samsung phone as well. And so when Samsung made their first wearable, I was like all over it, you can customize it, you can do anything, it was just a device that could like measure your heart rate and stare at some very basic stuff, and had a camera on it. Correct. And it had a camera on the wrist. Yes. And you know, at that time, my whole life was around photography. And so having, you know, a camera and a wristband that was like, awesome, you know, I just, I loved it. And so when the new versions came out, obviously I was, I was upgrading. And at some point, a friend of mine, who was my work colleague, actually mentioned, you know, you're pretty good at design. And you all you have all this previous experience with I had some experience with designing mobile apps, for like 15 years ago, for before even Android existed, you know, it was like, the very first touchscreen phones that showed up. And I teamed up with a with a programmer, and we made a mobile keyboard. And so I was doing the graphics and the design, and he was programming. And so he knew all this because we talked about it. And he said, you know, you have to watch. You have the knowledge, why don't you try, you know, there's this cool software where you can just you don't need to know programming because I'm not a programmer. And there's this cool software, you can download it and you can like make your own designs for your watch. And so I downloaded the galaxy watch designer, and now it's a galaxy watch studio. So and I loved it. I loved it. I within a week I had like, watch face ready, and I want to publish it. Yes. It just started from that just you know, pure luck.

Tony Morelan 04:51

Yeah, that's very similar to how I got my start. I mean that. You know, I attended this event at Samsung where they you know, told everybody About gear watch Designer. Yeah. And came home that night and was so excited to be able to, in a sense, do programming without any coding. So I could use all my graphic design skills, but yet create this, you know, interactive watch phase. I mean, it's just, yeah, I bought in real quickly to it. So I know that you've had quite the journey to get to the point where you are now as a watch face, designers doing lots of different, you know, jobs, but all within the same sort of family of everything related around media. Well, yeah. So tell me how you got your start InDesign.

Drazen Stojcic 05:37

So I guess I've always liked you know, even as a kid, I had like, these artistic tendencies. So I would like draw a lot. And I would paint and I would write and do all sorts of stuff, you know. And so my first experiences were basically with computers, you know, and those were computers where you didn't even have an OS on them. I come from Croatia, which went through an armed conflict war in the 90s. And I was just a kid at that time, but after the war, my elementary school, got to the nation in, in computers, so none of the teachers had any experience with that. And us kids obviously, never even seen a computer at that point. And so I think it was like a un donation or some sort of a charity program. And so yeah, and so they set up a classroom for us, that was like 15, or 20 of computers, and a teacher from arts and crafts was assigned to do something useful with those computers. And he was an older gentleman who didn't know English, who didn't know. It was just the Oh, you figured this out. And so he asked kids in the school, it was anybody interested. And I always was fascinated by technology. I think it was like four kids from the whole school that signed up for this. That was like, first contact with, with computers. And everything I did later on was, in some sense connected to it. You know, I when I got my first home computer, I was just like, drawing stuff, all the all the time, I was just like learning software, sketching, stuff, making, I don't know, school, newspapers, stuff like that, you know, everything was, you know, one thing and then the next thing and so, after high school, I was into music at that time. And so I ended up being on local radio station. Yeah. And so because the station was part of like, a network that had newspaper and radio and, and a TV station, I spent next couple of years moving from one to the next. And so I moved from the radio where I worked as a as a DJ. And

Tony Morelan 08:07

so a DJ, spinning music. I mean, yeah,

Drazen Stojcic 08:10

yeah. That's great. Yeah, I actually really did some, like, nightclubs stuff. So I would work during the day on the radio station. And at night, I will be working like cocktail bars. And really,

Tony Morelan 08:22

DJ Drazen.

Drazen Stojcic 08:26

Yeah, and so. And, you know, this is all time before internet. So there's no internet at this point. And so obviously, being in a radio station gets you new music, and then you can, you know, use that music to put on parties. And so, yeah, so it's like, using one job to make money on the side. And so, and then I moved to the newspapers where I worked as a as a journalist, because I always enjoyed writing.

Tony Morelan 08:58

And I think I heard that you actually received an award when you were much younger for you. You actually wrote, yeah,

Drazen Stojcic 09:07

yeah, I wrote a novel when I was 16, actually. And I, when I was 17, I got two major prizes for best first novel in Croatia. That's great from like, really a respected, you know, people in Croatia who are basically in our top of the crops. And so that was also a push that led me into journalism eventually, right. And, and during my journalist days, I had a situation where we were a photographer that was supposed to cover an event with me, he couldn't make it and there was no one else and because at that time, people from my newspapers already knew that I was like into computers, and I have a Like, always chasing something. And so my editor said, you know, we just got these funny new digital cameras, maybe you could pick one up and just take two shots, it'll be fine for the print, you know, just try to keep people in frame, you know, it was. And so that was my first experience with digital photography. And I was instantly in love with that. And so, actually, that day, I would always ask that I take my own shots. And basically, I would, I would take photos of what I'm supposed to do, and I wouldn't, then I would spend the rest of the day shooting like, anything I could find. And I would, I would intentionally only leave some of the photos that I thought were good. I would leave them on the cart for photo editors. So they can see that

Tony Morelan 10:55

they can see your work. That's great. Yeah,

Drazen Stojcic 10:56

exactly. And so after a while, I got a call from the from the photography editor. And it was all like this transitional period where they were moving away from film and classic film cameras into digital. Yes. And so he said, you know, are you? Are you leaving these photos on the cards? Because I kind of liked them? And I said, Yeah, well, you know, I liked this thing. You know, this digital photography seems to suit me. And within a month, I wasn't working as a journalist anymore. I just really, yeah, I just moved on to photography overnight. Wow. And so my photography work, then, you know, I learned a lot of stuff from the, from the more experienced photographers there. But I was also able to get on this train really early of, of this digital photography that was just coming in. A lot of older photographers had a problem with this, they couldn't adapt so well. So, so quickly, you know, it required working with software and all of that stuff that I basically was used to. And so a few years later, I, I partnered up with a very senior and well-respected photographer here in my town. And he had a big production company that was basically multimedia. We had like a video cruise, we had CGI designers, we had sound crews, we had, you know, full multimedia production along with design. And so I did basically the same thing I did before I did here. So I would move from one to next position. And I just kind of learned along the way, too, I have no formal education in either of these things. Yeah. So it's all just learning from other people and learning on your own trying to, you know, get something new, I had a desire to express myself. And so it was always something media related, and now share all of these things from the past. And especially I don't know, there's a lot of, in my past a lot of work with marketing. So working with marketing companies with like, production teams, and you'll learn what clients want, how they think how all of this kind of came together and lead into, into Urarity.

Tony Morelan 13:34

Yes, yeah, that's, that's, it's amazing. I mean, I have to say, I'm extremely surprised to hear that you say that you don't have formal training. Yeah, but hearing about the experiences, all of the years, and all these different areas that you've, you know, had an opportunity to work in, it really shows because I think that's where you Urarity stands out from many of the other watch face developers, it's all of the other assets that are required to be successful. You know, when you see your videos in your photography, you can tell that someone with excellent expertise is putting this together, because it's not just a computer rendition or a 3d model that's rotating. I mean, you actually are taking a camera on a dolly and doing rotation with it. And to me, that's what really stands out because that's pretty unique to see from a from a developer, you know, marketing on Samsung platform. It gives it such a realness, you know, where you actually see the product and it gives confidence when you're thinking about it, should I make a purchase? So I think that is probably one of the biggest factors for your success when I see the work that you do. I agree and that's basically the whole logic. I started doing this right from the beginning because

Drazen Stojcic 14:51

I kind of knew that it wasn't enough to make just the watch face itself look good. So everything else to look at the same level, yeah, so, and obviously over the couple of last years I've, I've, I've advanced further and my, my designs have become better and my marketing materials as well. But the core idea is still the same, you know, if you make, you can make the best watch face ever. Yeah, but if your presentations is not good, it's just the customers won't get it.

Tony Morelan 15:30

Exactly. So I understand that you've already is not just draws in that you actually have partnered with someone who has expertise in, in these areas of like social media and marketing and whatnot, that's helping you. So tell me a little bit about the other person that is involved with, with the Urarity success.

Drazen Stojcic 15:51

So at first, it was just me. And you know, for probably first two years, I did all of this stuff on my own. But then, as I advanced and as I got more and more customers and more and more of this production behind this, I realized that I needed help. And my brothers do dumb, ugly. He just came fresh out of college that had marketing as one of the major classes in it. And so he knew about my watch faces, and he would frequently helped me he and I came up with the name the Urarity.

Tony Morelan 16:35

Yeah, so tell me that. Tell me the history that you came up with that name.

Drazen Stojcic 16:38

Yeah. So because my brother has this knack, for, for coming up with funny names for stuff. And so we would frequently do that for like, all sorts of statements will make up names for the products or for name for names for companies or find, you know, funny word plays and stuff like that, when I figured out that I needed the brand, and I couldn't just, you know, be just me, it needed a brand name. And so we're just talking about this. And so a lot of people think that your Urarity is basically you and Urarity, which it is. But the main idea behind it is basically because the first four letters of the word Urarity actually mean watchmaker in creation.

Tony Morelan 17:29

That is great.

Drazen Stojcic 17:31

Yeah, so we started from that, you know, it was like, because even today, you could see like these shops around the town that had like this art. So it was just, you know, we're just making fun and your charity just popped up somewhere, because I knew it would work well in English. Although it is a bit of a tongue twister. I still liked how it sounded and how it looked. And I like this double meaning because it worked in, in our language as well. And so he and I came up with this name. And then over time, he just kind of started helping me more and more. And at some point, I said, Okay, now, I think you could probably handle a lot of this stuff better than me, because you actually do have an education process. And so my brother has been helping me ever since he's basically the whole marketing and customer support. And all of that is his work. So I'm purely doing the creative stuff.

Tony Morelan 18:39

That's great. That's great. Yeah, it gives you an opportunity to really focus on your expertise and, and allow him to focus on his expertise. So is your Urarity, pretty much your full-time job.

Drazen Stojcic 18:51

Yeah, it has become over time for a long period. I also did a lot of side jobs, but the pandemic changed a lot of that because this is a job that you can do from the comfort and safety of your home. Yes, and my side jobs that were mostly photography related. Basically, there weren't there anymore when all of this started. And so for me, it was like the perfect the perfect job to do during these times where you had to stay at home a lot. Either I've actually used the opportunity to do a lot of the stuff that I would previously maybe put off. So I did a lot of housekeeping you know in the store, cleaned up the descriptions and all that stuff that usually just you know, you don't have enough time to do all of that. And I kind of fine tune to everything that we did. So for us it's been a positive effect in that sense.

Tony Morelan 20:00

Yeah, no, that's, that's, that's great. I mean, there has been a lot of challenges. During this past year for many people on all different areas, I will say you are not the first person who has said that, you know, this opportunity that Samsung has provided to developers, you know, really the, you know, indie designers like yourself, you can still continue to work from your job where it is safe. So that's, that's great. Absolutely. And I mean, even before this, having the opportunity to work from home has been quite a refreshing change for me, because a lot of the work I did before, involved, a lot of traveling a lot of staying out of home, which is, you know, it's great fun for a

Drazen Stojcic 20:42

while. But then as you get older and you need, you get a wife and a house and all of a dog and all of that, of course, you prefer staying at home, it's not as a lot of people are thinking I don't want to stay at home. No, I'm fine. I'm not complaining.

Tony Morelan 21:05

So yeah, back when we were allowed to travel, that's actually when I first met you, because you came out to San Jose and attended our conference SDC 19. So it was great to actually meet you in person, I was very aware of your work prior to that. So when I actually got to put a face to the to the brand, you were already that was a great moment for me, I was honored to meet you. So tell me about that. What was that experience like for you to come out to San Jose and get to actually see the Samsung people in person and also be at the conference?

Drazen Stojcic 21:35

I think it was probably the biggest milestone for me, it changed so much in terms of perspective of what this whole thing is about. Because up until that point, I would have contacts with people from Samsung and from other developers as well. And I still do, but you know, actually deciding to get on a plane and fly on to another side of the world, and then be a part of this great event and the whole buzz and all of these people from all over the world, it was just eye opening for me. Because as many developers or better to say designers in in galaxy store. I don't have a lot of experience with these tech conferences. And so, you know, coming to San Jose meeting people from Samsung meeting, meeting other developers having a talk with them, and just exchanging, you know, opinions and ideas. And I loved it. That that's it. You know, I wanted to do this for real now. Yeah, I think that was the point where it shifted in my head that, okay, this is serious stuff. And there's a great support from Samsung, which it always was there. But just putting a face to the name of all these various contexts they had, it just made all the difference.

Tony Morelan 23:02

And I have to say one of the highlights for me was sitting in a room with who I thought were the rock stars of the designers. I mean, here I was, you know, chatting with you. And next year was Matteo Dini. And then Bergen, Tomas from Vienna studios. And I'm like, Oh, my gosh, man. These are the designers that are just making incredible watch faces on the store. And we're all in this one room together, just you know, having great conversations. So it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face with many of these top designers.

Drazen Stojcic 23:36

Absolutely. And I especially enjoyed talking with you. I think it was one of the best conversations I had there. Just I think we clicked really early on and definitely you have two perspectives on the on the whole thing, you're started as a designer, and now you're in Samsung, so you can kind of relate better to the stuff that we're talking about.

Tony Morelan 24:00

Exactly. Yeah, that was one of the main reasons why I took the position and I think one of the main reasons I got the job was that Samsung really wanted to have someone with that voice internally so that I could be the liaison between taking the suggestions and the challenges that the designers have and trying to give a route to solving some of those issues and making the platform even better. Exactly. Unfortunately this year, we couldn't have the conference because of the pandemic. As many people know we did an online award show and I was absolutely honored to be a part of the team that awarded you the best watch face collection. And you know without a doubt, your collection just is amazing. You know I still I look at the animated watch faces you do I see the videos that you put behind your watch faces as far as the project goes, and you are clearly deserving of this top honor. So tell me, how did you first learn that you were winning this award from Samsung?

Drazen Stojcic 25:10

Okay, so first of all, it was really an awesome thing. You know, I was just blown away by the fact that I got the award. I never, I never really expected it, when I started making watch faces that will end up in me getting some sort of an award for this. or making all of this success that that has happened in the past years, actually, that how I found out was because I got this strange email that said, you know, just to notice that there will be an online event at this time and date and let's stay in touch. I mentioned this to Matteo Dini, you know, did you see there's going to be an online event? And, you know, he said, I didn't get any email about this. She was the winner last year, she said to me, Oh, wait, I know what this is. You probably won an award. So I basically found out about this from a Matteo.

Tony Morelan 26:18

That's funny. That's funny. I want to kind of go back a little bit. And let's talk about your actual workflow. When it comes to designing watch faces. What is the first thing you do? are you grabbing a pencil and a piece of paper and starting to sketch? Do you just dive right into the computer?

Drazen Stojcic 26:34

I think it really depends. Sometimes. I will just get an idea from a totally random spot. Like one of my most successful watch faces, the inspiration for it came from the blue glow around an elevator button that I just liked.

Tony Morelan 26:55

And which watch face says that

Drazen Stojcic 26:57

it was the pulse series. Yes, yeah. And so I was in this elevator. And he was like some hotel. And then there was this button that was beautifully glowing, like pulsating blue. And I was just looking at it. And I loved it. And so I wanted to use that glow and have the similar effect on a watch that I came home. And I started. I started up after effects. And I made this blue ring that was glowing, but it just wasn't working, you know. And so I started playing with motion. And then I figured out that it'd be cool if it looked like it was coming out of the screen. Like it was slowly moving out to the edges. And so I had this thing, and there were no watch hands, no numbers, and nothing else, just this pulsing thing. And I loved it.

Tony Morelan 27:52

So you've created this glowing, really cool animation. What's the next step? I mean, you've got to be able to turn this into a watch face. So are you just playing around with different shapes to create the you know the form?

Drazen Stojcic 28:05

Because most of our watch faces are animated, I would do the animations. And then I would just grab one on screen from the animation series. And then I would start like playing in in just pure to the trying to figure out what can I do? Where could I put some of this simple code stuff going to work one with another? Where are the watch hands going to be? Is this going to be a digital watch face? Or an analog watch face? Is it going to have like a lot of info or not a lot of info and so it's going back and forth. So I would sometimes start with an animation and then edit it 15 times over until everything fits one within another and it's just it's really a tedious process once you start complicating things with animations and animations do complicate things is immensely you know, I sometimes envy designers that can make really awesome watch faces. They're not animated, because I don't know how to do that. So anyway, that's funny. Yeah, yeah. And it's also funny when they tell me Oh, you can make all these awesome animations. And I'm thinking Yeah, but you don't have to make them and you still make us and watch faces.

Tony Morelan 29:26

At that point, are you using illustrator or Photoshop?

Drazen Stojcic 29:29

Yeah, I use a lot of software. So I will use basically the whole Adobe package. So everything from, you know, premiere Photoshop, Illustrator, and I also use 3d software like cinema 4d or even SketchUp for some of this stuff. You know, if I just want to make a quick idea to see how it works. It's just a whole bunch of stuff. You know? Various software's that I'm used to, from before, you know, there used to from my previous work. So it's not like one thing, you know, I'm sure people could do just fine using probably one serious graphics software. But because of the animations, it's just not enough. You need to have like all this other stuff, too.

Tony Morelan 30:20

Of course, just to mention, we both are very familiar with Tomas just checked from Vienna studios, still astounds me. And if you haven't listened to this podcast, go back and listen to it. I'll let you in on a little secret. Tomas uses PowerPoint to create his design. So when I hear you talk about, you know, all the complexity of creating these animations, and you know, truthfully, you know, you have to become somewhat of a pro with Photoshop and Illustrator really to leverage all the tools in there. Yeah, to hear that Tomas uses PowerPoint, I know that you were surprised as I was.

Drazen Stojcic 30:51

I was blown away. I met Tim us for the first time at SDC. And, and we had a really nice time talking. And so naturally, we came to the, to this talk about software, and you know, and he said, you're never going to guess what I'm using to make my watch faces. I was thinking, maybe he's using like, I don't know, some game or something like that. Some of that free graphics software or something more simple. And so when he said, PowerPoint, it blew me away because and this is what I was talking about. So there are developers, they can make really awesome successful watch faces with software that wasn't even intended for this year. And, and they can have great success. Yeah, so it's, it's just so awesome. And I have huge respect for what he does. And, and I totally recommend also listening to that podcast. It was so cool.

Tony Morelan 31:53

I will say one thing that you guys have in common would be the photography after you've created the watch face. So just like yourself, Tomas is doing real video recording of his watch faces. You can see his gloved hands come on to screen and do all the tapping interaction on his face. So again, it's extremely important to find your unique way to showcase your work. And both you and in Tomas have done that.

Drazen Stojcic 32:23

Yeah, yeah. Tomas especially with in because he, he is a he makes premium, like high end premium watch faces that are basically like for, for general public. And so him using the gloves and having all these nice backdrops and everything. It just sort of fits within the brand and with the whole identity and everything that he does. And so I when I start making videos, and I started right from the get go, because I realized that people needed to see this thing in action because it was animated. I also wanted to set up like some of the basic standards, how I'm going to do this, what's going to be the approach and so most of my videos are like have colorful lighting, and a lot of motion. They're always in motion. I don't make static videos because that's also something I wanted to emphasize. The animations give a lot of motion to the watch faces. And so the videos are kind of like even more emphasizing that. There's this you just need to figure out what is the main point What are you trying to do with your designs and then have that same idea taken from the watch face to the screenshots to your app description, to your videos to your online social media. It just all needs to tie into one nice bow and then it works.

Tony Morelan 34:02

Definitely I would say another thing that really stands out. For me when I think of the brand Urarity is color. You do not shy away from color I can tell that you must spend a great amount of time thinking about color. I know we're on a podcast and you can only hear us at this moment but I can actually see you and right now your background in your room is changing in color. You must have some sort of LED lighting the chest Tell me about color and how important it is to you Because I can tell it is a big factor.

Drazen Stojcic 34:34

Yeah, it is it is and actually you know funny things you notice about the background because I would frequently set up my room lights to go with the with the colors on the of the watch face that I'm working on. That's great. Or sometimes I will I will just like use these. I have these cool LED lights that you can customize and all that remotely and sometimes I will just like mix these colors in real life and just see What's, what fits you know what works? And a lot of it helps me having experience within photography, you learn what colors work one with another? How brightness functions, how do we perceive brightness on a screen, it's kind of like, when you're framing the shot for that photograph. It's not that different from setting up various elements on the screen, because you're still trying to get that golden ratio or intuitively program to like certain shapes and certain forms and certain ratios, and certain colors as well. Yes. And so depending on the mood, I guess I'm trying to make or the effect that I'm trying to get, I will use a lot of color, or I will use muted colors. And some sometimes I don't think a lot of people notice it, but not all of my watch phases have like black backgrounds, although they look like they do, they have a slight tint, and it can be just the tiniest amount of maybe blue or green it and, and for me, it makes all the difference. I spend huge amounts of time with color. I don't stop until I'm perfectly satisfied. And now having my brother in all of this. A lot of the times I you know, I will be happy. And he will say I'm not so sure. I think you need to make like, I think you need to change this. And then I was like spend another week changing colors. So it's a long process. It's not Yeah, you know, you don't do it in one night.

Tony Morelan 36:42

I loved hearing what you said just about black that that truthfully, Black is not just black, you can have warm black, you can have cold black. And so I often do that where I'll use the color picker in Photoshop. And you know, if I've done my design, I'll try and find the sort of the feel of the of the face the you know, what's the tone of it. And I'll sample that and then within color picker, I'll go down to the to the almost to black, but it has just a little bit of hint of that. Yeah, whether it's like an orange or a blue or something. Because that then like you said, it ties in that background, that the foundation of the watch face still picks up what feels like that ambient lighting from the other elements. Exactly.

Drazen Stojcic 37:25

That's exactly what I'm talking about. I take a lot of time perfecting my watch faces. And that's why I guess that's why I don't make a lot of them. You know, I'm not like this super producer. I didn't make like 100 watch faces a year? Yeah, it's always maybe 10 or 12, or 15.

Tony Morelan 37:48

So how many total? Would you say you have available on the store?

Drazen Stojcic 37:51

Yeah, so at the moment, I think we have around 100 or 110. Okay, I've made a lot more actually, in these four years, especially in the beginning, I would make a lot, a lot of I think a lot of developers go through this, they will just churn out just bump, bump, bump. But after a while you see that? It's just It doesn't make sense. It's very few hold backs, you know, let it sit for a while. Get everything polished to the very last detail. And then once you're totally satisfied, then you publish. Yeah. And so as time goes on, I'm more focused on making the watch faces as perfect as they can be, rather than getting them out as quickly as possible.

Tony Morelan 38:41

Yeah. And I think that also what comes into play is the support that comes around that watch face. So what you have to do from a marketing standpoint, all of the different, you know, elements that are key to successfully marketing your watch face. If you have hundreds and hundreds, it's hard to maintain that. This way it sounds like you can focus on you know, a smaller collection, but still be able to then put a lot of time into the marketing

Drazen Stojcic 39:05

side of things. Exactly the more watch faces you have the bigger problem you have down the road when it comes time to update and eventually does. So I really think that this is a like a situation where you need to think about not the quantity but rather the quality because in the end, the customers also recognize this, you know, if they see you made 300 watch phases in a year and the year has 365 days, you know you're not sending the right message and I will frequently go and be very critical of my own work. And so after a while I see a bunch of mistakes I did or I'm not totally satisfied with some of my older work. And I will just remove it. I will just take it, take it down, clean up the portfolio, polish it so when a customer comes, you know, they only see the very best, or at least the very best for this moment that I added. I mean, you know, of course, yeah.

Tony Morelan 40:08

So would you mind sharing? How many downloads total? Does he already have?

Drazen Stojcic 40:15

So we're close to 700,000 downloads now, wow, stretched over a period of four years. And a large part of this was paid watch faces, or, you know, I don't know, the exact percent, which was, some of them were free and will frequently use free watch faces to, to promote, or other things that will, for example, in terms of marketing strategies will frequently do like, buy one, get one? Yes. and stuff like that, you know, where a customer still gets a free watch face. But, you know, we also turn them into a painting into a paying customer as well.

Tony Morelan 41:05

So let me ask you, how do you approach that? Does the customer have to show proof of purchase? What's your, what's your approach to that?

Drazen Stojcic 41:13

So we asked them to show us a screenshot of from their, from this store, or sometimes will like, be fine if they can just show a photo of their watch, with our watch face on it, or things like that, you know, any proof is fine. We're not really playing detectives here or anything. Yeah. So on one hand, we want to give something for free on another hand. And a lot of these customers are our returning customers, because they, they are familiar with our watch faces and with our system, and we know a lot of them over the years, there's really been customers that have supported us right from the very start.

Tony Morelan 41:58

What's your approach with marketing on social? Are you doing much in the way of that?

Drazen Stojcic 42:03

When I started with watch faces, my main kind of venue was YouTube, because of the animations and all of that, I just needed a video service that could, you know, show the watch faces in action. So I was building up this YouTube channel for a long time. And then after a while, I also started doing Facebook and Instagram. But it takes time, it really does. And I didn't really realize how much it can be useful until my brother took over and start doing it. Like for real sure. You know, he had only this one thing to focus on. For example, our YouTube channel is close to 2 million views now. And we only have our watch face videos. So that does kind of tell you a lot, there's a lot of things that you can do to promote your watch faces. And so over time, we are also we've also teamed up with some of the more popular tech channels or people who are doing watch face reviews, or who have an interest in this. And so we would team up with them, have them promote some of our work, give some of coupons for free. Sure, something like that. Some discount stuff like that. And Facebook has also been very good for us. Instagram, and, you know, I my brother does so much stuff that some of it even I don't know, you know, he's like, doing stuff on Reddit, on the forums. Tick tock, really are the place. Yeah, I really don't mess into this. So I gave him like free rein to do as he thinks because obviously, this is something that he does and knows better than, than me.

Tony Morelan 44:06

Yeah. Okay. Excellent. And I'm sure across all of this, you're leveraging galaxy store badges. Is that correct?

Drazen Stojcic 44:12

Yeah, absolutely. You know, we, we were actually a part of the galaxy badge pilot program. And so quickly, we, we kind of got this additional step into our workflow. So we will use both individual badges for like certain watch faces, but we are also frequently using our, like, our main badge that leads to our whole portfolio because and as you mentioned, you know, we I think we have a strong portfolio. So sometimes the first thing they see is the whole layout, everything we've done so and it's been very useful in terms of, you know, following the clicks and all of that the statistics and There's a lot of science in this, I guess it's very interesting when you start analyzing the data that you can get from these badges and clicks and all and see what works. What doesn't. Yeah, yeah. Because obviously you're trying to maximize the effect, you're not going to spend time or, or money or effort into something that doesn't work.

Tony Morelan 45:19

Yeah, definitely. So tell me what is in the future for your entity? Is there anything that we can anticipate?

Drazen Stojcic 45:29

Well, so as I mentioned before, we had a lot of success with our mechanical watch faces that have these highly customizable appearances. And so for the last couple of months, I've been toying with this idea of trying to do the same thing, but with digital watch faces. And getting that same wow effect for customers that, you know, oh, sorry. Yeah. Right, great. So just today, I got my new the 21 Ultra.

Tony Morelan 46:20

Oh, did you Okay,

Drazen Stojcic 46:21

yeah, yeah, I just arrived this morning. And so I, like 10 minutes before we started this, I had to transfer all of the data and settings from my old phone, of course, and one of the things that it transferred was also the alarms. So I switched off the alarm at the old phone, but I forgot about the new one. So that's why I went off.

Tony Morelan 46:47

That's too funny. Right. So you were talking about in the future, doing some animations with digital? Yeah,

Drazen Stojcic 46:53

yeah. So I mentioned before that we had huge success with our mechanical watch faces that that had really customizable appearances. And so for the last couple of months, I've been playing with this idea of repeating that same thing, but with digital watch faces. And it's, it may seem like it's a simple transition, but actually, it's not. And it has its own unique challenges, because making digital watch faces is completely different idea behind it and different visuals, and it just needs a different approach. And so I'm kind of messing with that I'm trying to find the best thing that that I think it will be like good first watch face to try and repeat that same success. Sure.

Tony Morelan 47:44

That's exciting to hear. Because I would love to see that your Urarity face in a in a digital form. So super excited to know that we can anticipate that. So before we close off this interview, you know, I have to say your English is amazing. You're from Croatia, but you speak perfect English. I know, there's a little story behind how you learn to speak English. Can you share that?

Drazen Stojcic 48:07

Yeah, sure. So I mentioned before, you know, we had this war thing here when I was a kid. And so during the war, it's not that different from the pandemic, you know, yeah, you spend a lot of time indoors, you know, you can go out, you can play your little kid. And so it just coincided with this period where we got like, first cable TV. And so before that, there was like, three channels all in one language. And that was it. And then, you know, we got like these cool things like CNN and Cartoon Network and all of that stuff. And I didn't know a word of English other than, you know, seeing some of the movies and stuff like that. And so I was just like, I would watch hours and hours of this. And a cool thing was that it was subtitled. So yeah. And so just, you know, listening to the words and seeing the translation below, it just helps so much, you know, with the meaning and with the phrases and with the correct pronunciation and all of that stuff. And then later on came to computers. And with the computers, eventually there came a period where I did a little bit of online gaming, and then you would talk to people from all over the world. And then you just hit too, you know, you got to start speaking and I would frequently talk to people from the US or from England, or even people from other parts of the world. And you know, English was always something I enjoyed, and I just fit so perfectly and because I travel a lot, it's also proven to be really useful for me. Yeah, of course.

Tony Morelan 49:56

So what you're saying is that you learned English by watching Ren and Stimpy?

Drazen Stojcic 50:01

Yeah, pretty much. That's pretty much.

Tony Morelan 50:04

That's great. Hey Drazen, it’s been excellent to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me and much luck in the new year.

Drazen Stojcic 50:13

Thank you for having me. And just you know, I'm very, very happy and honored to be on the podcast. I always enjoy talking to you. And I hope that this year SDC will be possible and that we will meet in person and see the other developers as well, you know, I really missed seeing them last year.

Tony Morelan 50:37

Yeah, no, it'll be great to get everybody back together. Exactly. Excellent. All right. Well, thanks, Drazen.

Drazen Stojcic 50:43

Thank you, Tony.

Outro 50:44

Looking to start creating for Samsung. Download the latest tools to code your next app, or get software for designing apps without coding at all. Sell your apps to the world on the Samsung Galaxy Store. Check out today and start your journey with Samsung.

Tony Morelan 51:00

The POW! podcast is brought to you by the Samsung Developer Program and produced by Tony Morelan.