Steven Arkonovich Creator of Big Sky on Alexa – Voicebot Podcast Ep 90

Steven Arkonovich is a professor of philosophy at Reed College by day and a leading Alexa skill developer by night. He began developing Alexa skills in 2015 before the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) SDK was even released and is best known for having the top-rated Alexa skill for weather. Big Sky has over 2,500 reviews and a 4.5-star rating. That puts Big Sky in the top 20 for skill reviews overall and number one in the weather category. Number 2 is Alexa’s native weather skill with about one-ninth the reviews and 2-star rating.

Steve has also become one of the first developers to successfully add monetization to his Alexa skill. He discusses the breakdown between free and paid user features, free user metrics, conversion rates, the impact of price changes and more. In a world where few people openly share their Alexa skill data, Steve is refreshingly open about how Big Sky performs in a number of categories.

An extraordinary element of Steve’s story is that he had never done any software programming before starting with Alexa and he still has developed some of the more complex skills on the platform. All of his skills involve some form of account linking and third-party service or device integration. Steve earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from UCLA.

Show Notes – Steven Arkonovich Interview

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