Founders: Dave Swartz, a marketing professional, and Andrew Maltin, a software architect, became accidental app builders. They set out in late 2008 to hire someone to create apps out of their ideas. After getting wildly varying price quotes from developers and not finding a solution for their needs, they decided to start their own app company.
Apps: The pair created an interactive photo app based on the popular movie, "Ted," called My Wild Night With Ted.
More details: The "Ted" app has gotten more than a million downloads through January as the 2012 movie continued to premiere in more countries. People can import photos into the app and insert the movie's crude teddy bear into the image to share with friends. The company also has created more than 300 other apps in varying genres, including highly downloaded apps Boxhead, Learn to Draw Digital Sketchbook and NRA: Practice Range.
How they make money: Swartz and Maltin make apps based on their own ideas, but they also work as app-makers for hire. Medl charges anywhere from $50, 000 to $75,000 for an entry level project and much more for a complex app that runs on many platforms.
How they work: The company has 42 employees, most of them in Orange County, and is based in a 13,000-square-foot office in Fountain Valley.
Challenges: The founders struggled with balancing time to pursue apps they wanted to make with work-for-hire projects that paid the bills. That meant the same developers sometimes overstretched across different projects, according to Swartz and Maltin. The company recently restructured its development teams to strike a better time-management balance.
What's next: MEDL is testing a social networking platform, called Hang w/, that is built around live video broadcasts.