Bad Mouth creator Ethan Diamond talks to us about the wonder of making of funny, stupid simple apps. And, in between talking about his mom and some guy's pecs, he gives us some priceless advice about killing it in the app game.

Bad Mouth creator Ethan Diamond talks to us about the wonder of making of funny, stupid simple apps. And, in between talking about his mom and some guy's pecs, he gives us some priceless advice about killing it in the app game.

What is Bad Mouth?
Bad Mouth is an app that lets you make anybody say anything. Basically, you can take a picture of a friend or celebrity, erase their mouth, and speak where their mouth would be. You can make your pets beatbox,  Scarlett Johansson complement your abs, or make your enemies confess their secret love for Nickelback. It's completely up to you.

Here's an example:

Where did you get the idea for Bad Mouth? Were you inebriated?
It's an old Conan O'Brien bit. He'd do fake interviews with a bunch of celebrities who had their mouths cut out, like Arnold Schwarzenegger or George Bush. The idea was way better than my current idea at the time which was to make apps that were so stupidly terrible they were funny, like "Reverse Siri" which would have a robot ask you questions that you'd have to Google and answer or "Sunglasses" where you would hold the front of the phone up to your eyes and it would show a dimmed version of the feed from the camera.

Way to skirt the inebriation question. Can you briefly talk about the process for making an app like this?
I'm working a full time job along side of Bad Mouth, so it's a lot of nights and weekends. A lot goes into making good apps that people don't see. There's creating the UX, finding a designer, making the website, finding cheap hosting for the videos, finding a service to do the image search, setting up accounts on social networks and a ton of other pieces you have to make fit together. Bad Mouth has maybe 7 or 8 screens total in it, and it still took me about four months just to get it out the door. I haven't even had time to advertise it yet.

What's the funniest Bad Mouth you've ever seen?
Little kids make the best ones just because they make no damn sense. Why would a painting of an old man try to trade someone five hundred dollars for two pickles? That's a terrible price for pickles. She'll learn that when she's older.

What does your mom think of Bad Mouth?
Let me preface this by saying that this is a woman who's first text to me was "how are you doing QUESTION MARK" because she couldn't find the punctuation keys on her keyboard. My mother really has no idea what to make of Bad Mouth or the people who use it. I did get her to laugh at her sister's dog pleading for scraps after a meal once though, so I think she's starting to come around.

What's your definition of success? How do you know when you've made something great?
You always hear about that moment when a musician hears their song on the radio for the first time. I want whatever the app developer equivalent of that is. Something like seeing Jimmy Fallon tweeting a Bad Mouth of Nick Jonas making fart noises would make me the happiest man in the world.

Your app is rated really highly on the iTunes store. How do you keep your customers satisfied?
I probably use Bad Mouth more than anybody, and any time something annoys me I write it down and go back and fix it later. It's like smoothing a stone. I just wear away at the things that lessen the experience until there's nothing between my users and what they want to do.

What were you doing before you made Bad Mouth?
I've done a bunch of commercial apps for companies like Delta, American Greetings and WWF (Pandas, not pile-drivers). Usually when you work for those big companies, you're pretty locked in to someone else's design and vision. I've always had the bug to create for myself, so making apps like Bad Mouth is my outlet.

Where do you see Bad Mouth going? If you could do anything with it, what would it be?
Everyone seems to want to turn Bad Mouth into a mini social network like Instagram or Vine and I just don't see it. It's not generic enough to be more than a fun way to kill a few hours, and I'm completely okay with that. It makes a lot of people laugh, and that's a great thing. I do have a lot of ideas to improve what the app's already doing, so you'll just have to wait and see what they are.

Do you have any advice for aspiring app-makers?
Books and classes will only get your so far. The best thing you can do is come up with an idea that's exciting to you and just go and try to make it. It's going to be absolute garbage, but you'll learn a thousand times more from it than you ever would from a book and you'll be far more motivated to work on it every day. By the time you're done, you'll have another, better idea to work on and before you know it, you'll be making stuff that's really great.

What's the most surprising thing about the app business?
Users are weird, man. Here's a short list of things that people have searched for – "tweakers with glass dick", "gapping ass", "cute poop", "girl nipples" and "clown butthole". For my old app, MyFaceWhen, which is an app that creates animated gifs from videos, I used to get email after email asking to allow sounds to be added to the gifs. I thought it was stupid – gifs are literally image files – but sure enough Vine came out a few months later and completely blew me up.

What do you think of Google Glass?
I got a chance to try it out a couple months ago. People harp on Google Glass for a lot of reasons – it's ugly, it's expensive, it's creepy. I think they're missing the major reason it's failing which is that it's really just unbelievably useless. Imagine how few useful apps you could have on a smart phone that had neither a keyboard or touchscreen. There's not many.

What's your favorite app that isn't Bad Mouth?
I have a few. QuizUp is a beautifully designed trivia game, and is my go to time killer. Spring is an app that detects the speed you're running at and plays music that matches your pace as you run. Pocket is a really cool app that lets you save websites and then read them later even when you don't have an internet connection.

… Were you on an MTV show called "Are You The One?"
I had to google what you're talking about, and oh my god that guy way cooler and more successful than me. Those pecs alone are amazing. Thanks for making me feel terrible about myself.

Sorry, Ethan. Hopefully this will make you feel better about your pecs: