Peter's notes

General Conclusions

  • Education space seems "ok", but seems dominated by hardware-enabled apps
  • Creating a new instrument is visionary, but unlikely. Could be more fun than useful, eg. a keys/theremin for your computer?
  • Production seems pretty out of reach
    • The amount of added functionality would be multiples what's been invested so far
  • Hypothetical markets
    • Is there room for a super-casual music production element?
    • Should we just market AS a game?
      • osu.ppy.sh
      • They have a community around beatmap reviews, etc.

Considerations / Risks

  • Inherently solution-first
  • Hardware limitations
    • N-key rollover? Mac keyboards do <6 keys. Seems ok. My Windows bluetooth & wireless only does 4, seems tougher
    • Latency? Would be a deal-breaker for using this like an instrument
      • Much better on wired than wireless/bluetooth, but ever so slight. bit jarring
  • Production likely more forgiving on fidelity / latency
    • Relative sizing vs. complexity. Music production greater market than education(?) Music production $1bil
    • What’s the easiest music production software out there? Lil Nas X has a tiny keyboard β€” seems more doable!
    • Next steps on music production:
      • Try making music ourselves
      • Talk to people who could have produced music


Music Production

Assume our space is casuals.

  • Competitors: FL Studio, GarageBand, Ableton
    • All pretty intimidating
    • Hour-long "simple" tutorials
  • Limited interoperability between these solutions
  • bounce.town is picking up traction, but what is it?
  • Production layout - tilted 90 degrees
    • Familiar with other production software


  • A market for this exists on mobile. Rhythm tap games are a dime a dozen. All monetized, probably decent entry even for a copy if we have an angle

Music Education

Landscape: hardware-enabled vs. software-only

Perceived pain points

  • It's difficult to learn a new instrument in a "fun" way, but not impossible.

Piano hardware-enabled

  • Synthesia, Phase Shift, Yousician
  • Mobile: Simply Piano, Yousician
  • Midi Interop between piano keyboard <> software.
    • Low-latency, full-capture
  • All seem to have pretty similar UIs, Synthesia might be most popular
  • Hardware-enabled apps have larger audiences others (eg. Simply Piano has 328k reviews). No substitute for the real thing

Guitar hardware-enabled (for reference)

  • Good
    • Plugs into existing guitar
    • Guitar-hero-esque. Nice!
    • Reviews are generally positive
  • Bad
    • Super busy β€” is guitar truly learnable in this interface?
      • Chord work is tough, but maybe not impossible

Various iPhone apps

  • Pretty crowded overall
  • Tactile, non-game, non-hardware: Reviews ~6k range (600k users optimistically? Seems high)
    • Touchscreen better than keyboard? Prob not
    • Examples: Piano Academy, Yokee; Piano for iPhone
  • Instructional:
    • How do these guys have installs?
    • Flowkey
  • General observations:
    • Pretty crowded overall
      • [Peter] On a phone, apps are pretty commoditized
        • Download a couple apps, never reuse it. Low stickiness, low switching costs
        • Need some really meaningful differentiation
        • Organic traction on an iPhone is niche
        • Everyone wants to learn an instrument
      • Hard to disrupt from inside the app store
    • Price range: $3 lifetimes - $30 yearly (Piano, Impala Studios)