Part II of Lynn’s Day in NY: “Are Apps the Past?” and Other Burning Questions
At our Publishing Business Virtual Conference & Expo on Sept. 13, Paul Shouvik, VP of Business Development at MAZ, is going to be a panelist for a session asking the question “Are Apps the Past?” At lunch on Thursday with Paul Canetti, Founder and CEO of MAZ, creator of the “MagAppZine,” we addressed this very question.
These days, it seems sometimes as if the debate comes down to Apps vs. HTML5, and our panel will be exploring that at the conference. Needless to say, Canetti is a believer in Apps. He likes Apps because he thinks they are vibrant and active in their linkability and access to anything that exists in the internet universe. Says Canetti: “Smart digital content takes advantage of the fact that it’s interactive.” He’s also, of course, a fan of his own platform, which makes app development affordable by providing users with an easy self-service template.
Canetti started as a graphic designer, raised by a graphic-designer father who, while schooling his soon in traditional methodology, was also savvy enough to purchase software as it came along. So while Canetti the elder taught his son the old ways of doing things, Canetti the younger figured out how to use the software and taught dad a thing or two.
Early employment included Condé Nast and freelance work with various publishers and ad agencies, until he “landed at Apple” in 2006. At first he did video editing, audio engineering, and worked on music videos (Canetti is also a musician and sings in a band). He then became involved in internal design around creating and reinforcing Apple’s corporate identity. He moved to user experience at Apple in 2008, working on unification of experience in both retail and telephone environments.
After Apple, Canetti was an iPhone app developer for a year, with some big clients such as Ford. In May of 2010, his world changed with the introduction of the iPad. He began getting calls from publishers to help create affordable apps, and in July of 2010 he and Simon Baumer of Web agency Soapbxx founded MAZ. They were joined by CTO Shikha Arora, who was lead at Adobe on InDesign.
Since app development could be so expensive, their goal was to create an affordable platform to create custom digital content, so as to “democratize the process” and allow for an end product that feels hand-coded. Today they work with hundreds of publishers in over 40 countries.