Some 15 million, mostly Spanish-speaking quiz junkies may right now have their heads deep into Preguntados. Its 28-year-old founder is building a mini tech empire in Buenos Aires.
BUENOS AIRES — The world's most downloaded app over the past month did not emerge from Silicon Valley.
It is called Preguntados, a general knowledge quiz invented by a 28-year-old Argentine, Máximo Cavazzani. An estimated 15 million people have been playing it in recent weeks. Though most of the downloads have been for the Spanish version, there is also an English-language app with the provocative name Triviacrack.
Though it might sound like a lucky strike, the success is the fruit of a well-charted path of intelligence, intense study and ambition.
"I studied systems engineering because I thought it would be a good way of entering an industry without frontiers, which would allow me from inside Argentina to do something on a global scale," Cavazzani told Clarín, speaking from the office he rents at his father's textile company. "My firm Etermax was profitable from day one."
Cavazzani's career began was when he was studying at ITBA, the Buenos Aires Technical Institute. He devised an app there called iStockManager to manage his stock portfolio. It was eventually bought by U.S.-based TD Ameritrade, one of the world's biggest online brokers.
Cavazzani began to understand that he could turn his ideas into big-time cash, and he saw the potential of a mobile game application, now Preguntados. "The good thing about games is that they're for everyone," he says. "We all want to play."
He says he liked to invent things as a kid, then "as I grew up I realized IT was the engine of change in the world."
Etermax now has 60 employees and if it's sold, it could bring him another significant cash infusion. "Everything has a price," he says. "There have been conversations, but no offer. If something were to happen, it will be because I have decided it was best for the firm and for me."