Social networking has successfully gone mobile a long time ago, enabling many niche platforms to make a breakthrough. We talked about mobile tech and music industry with Elmo Lovano, the founder, and CEO of Jammcard, an app hailed by Forbes magazine as “the musician’s LinkedIn”.
An interview with Elmo Lovano, Founder, and CEO of Jammcard
Jammcard allows professional musicians to build their musical profile and connect with others with the goal of finding new opportunities to work and play. Founded and based in Los Angeles, California, Jammcard is the first verified professional mobile network for the music industry. HTEC team joined the efforts and provided complete rebuild of the Jammcard platform.
Hi Elmo! For starters, can you share with us how did the idea emerge to create a social network for musicians?
After years of touring, I realized that many professional musicians have the same pain point as I do. There were people coming up to me every day saying, ‘I need a guitar player,’ or ‘Do you know anyone who needs a guitar player?’ Or, ‘I need a producer.’ I somehow became somewhat of a musical matchmaker by necessity.
Finding work as a musician is difficult, whether you’re the star of the show or a backing band member. The only way for those with musical talents to find their next gig was via their personal networks or word of mouth. I wanted to think of a better way for the community to stay in touch and for musicians to work together more efficiently.
What would you like to share about what you learned while developing your own social network?
It is definitely harder than I thought it would be. People expect social networks to be as fast as Facebook or Instagram and to have a clear UX. So, when HTEC did the app rebuild, we went with a complete redesign, providing a more familiar UX to users. You could say it’s a similar approach to the Instagram layout, in terms of what gets you where.
Don’t get me wrong – Jammcard’s interface is unique, as it has its own features and is curated for our own audience, we just wanted to have a familiar feel for our members.
The journey from idea to product can be long. The idea might be useful and specific, but the real value comes from the team that translates it into a real, marketable product.
What makes Jammcard a unique network and which added value it provides for its users?
Well, first of all: our tech is fast and safe. On top of that, since Jammcard is an invite-only network, every single member in the app is completely curated by my team and I. So when you use the app, you get to find only the most talented and responsible people. That’s what makes us drastically different than anybody else – our entire database is curated and our technology is top notch.
What’s the reaction from people who use Jammcard?
People are reacting really well, and that is what inspires me the most – the positive feedback. Members are requesting invites left and right, and that, in combination with the positive word of mouth, drives us to be even better.
How do you plan to expand the project beyond the LA area?
The LA only approach is pretty much a product/market test. We’re constantly iterating, tweaking the UX, adding new features. So, by the time we hit the other major music markets, the app is going to be completely polished. We’re still a very small team and it’s all up to finding the right people to champion the app. After all, if you make a product that people genuinely love, then all you have to do is get it in their hands. We are also planning to organize a bunch of events where people will have the chance to see Jammcard in real life. Besides NY, Jammcard will also target Nashville and London in the near future.
How did you connect with HTEC and what can you tell us about the collaboration you have?
Jammcard was having technical difficulties at the time, and I wasn’t happy. I have to admit I was super skeptical – HTEC was going to be my third team. Nevertheless, I went into it and long story short, on the very first agreed date, HTEC hit all their deliverables and turned in the best version possible. So, I instantly committed them and it has been awesome ever since! You have to line up your incentives with your tech team, and we did, and the result has been great.
I’m building my startup the same way I’ve built my bands. The only way to do it right is to create a family where transparency is the key, and creativity and hard work are respected.