Am I The Only One On Earth Who Thinks Mailbox Sucks?

Mailbox app,iPhone,gmail,startupsI stood in line to get the latest app phenomena mailbox. I’m an early adopter so I was able to get into the app about 36 hours after my text message saying it was officially ready. I went through the process of downloading the app that showed me how many people were behind me and how many were in front of me. When I actually got into the Mailbox app there were over half a million people behind me.

To that, the creators of Mailbox get a big fat well played. They created an ear piercing buzz and created hype that will never be replicated quit that way again.

I’ve heard and read so many stories about how impressed people are with mailbox. A couple of my journalist friends seem to love it, even ones with much larger publications than nibletz. I can’t seem to figure that out one bit.

I also just read this piece on Business Insider, it’s a love letter from Cablevision’s PR Guy Jim Maiella, who’s been using email just as long as I have. Again I can’t figure this out.

I would assume that some of my journalist friends at larger publications than nibletz receive more email than I do. Perhaps I’m wrong, but for the record on a week day I get between 300-500 new emails on my main account.

I try to separate accounts where my important account is one address and my account for PR folks to bombard is another, but I’m talking about my “important” account, that’s where I receive 300-500 emails per day.

I can’t see how Mailbox was designed for anyone who gets more than a handful of messages a day, or anyone who’s corporate account is with Gmail.

So let’s go over why I think Mailbox sucks.

long pressing and swiping right can take entirely too long for people who receive a high volume of messages.

Quick deletion

All of the promotional mentions before Mailbox was released said that it would allow you to delete email quickly. I’d say a good 90% of my emails can be deleted by just reading the preview line of the email.

To delete an email on Mailbox you need to long press to the right. This may seem cool and hipster but it takes a lot longer to long press to the right than it does to simply batch check a bunch of emails in the GMail app or the native iOS app and then hit trash.

There’s also the issue of the wrong swipe. I tried the first few days to use the long press and swipe deletion method but every once in a while I swiped too fast telling the app to take an entirely different course of action.

While later is a great feature, Mailbox doesn’t bring through the rest of your folders, again troublesome for someone who is more than a casual emailer

Folders Suck

When I installed the Mailbox app it added a few cool delegation folders to my GMail account. The later folder is the one I liked the best.

What it didn’t do is allow me to take the actual useful emails that I needed to keep and put them into the folders they need to go into. I found myself going to inbox 0 and then trying to keep up with Mailbox so I could use it but it wasn’t a pleasant experience to say the least.

The first two days using Mailbox I tried to keep emails I needed to delegate until the end of the night and then go back to the computer and delegate them accordingly but that just ended up being one more headache.

I’m definitely not one of those “email haters”. I love email I would much rather someone email or text me than actually talk on the phone. Talking on the phone takes too long and requires a secondary form of input if the person is talking about something important. For instance if I take a phone call from a business colleague about business, I’m most likely taking a note on a computer, phone or iPad so email takes out an entire step.

I was under the impression that Mailbox would improve my efficiency… not so much.

I’m still waiting for an email app that will allow me to one click and create a calendar item in Google Calendar and than click back to the contact, record and keep them all together. Yes I’m looking for a GMail CRM.

After this posting though, Mailbox is going into my trash box.


New York Startup CheckOutTheLatest Gets Deeper YouTube Integration Through App

Checkoutthelatest,New York startup,startup,startup appLast month we covered a new New York startup called CheckOutTheLatest. After interviewing them and spending a little time with the platform we quickly realized that they are the mother load of all video aggregation startups.
“The idea came to us a year ago while on twitter. People were always tweeting @ us hoping to get us to “Check out” their latest Youtube videos or go watch their vimeo vids.” co-founder Deni Belanich tells us in this interview about  how they came up with the idea for a super video search engine.
Now, has just added a powerful web app aimed to help YouTube content creators get more subscribers & more click backs when uploading new videos.

The new feature allows users to subscribe to any YouTube channel with their Facebook accounts. The site allows users to search for any YouTube channels along with videos. When a user goes into a channel they will have the ability to subscribe to that channel using their Facebook account. In addition to searching, has made it easy for users to find channels they like by using the same channel names that are found on YouTube. For can be found at the difference being a YouTube account is not  necessary to subscribe to the channel or to be alerted when new videos have been added to the YouTube channel.

The ability to subscribe to YouTube channels using Facebook unlocks the potential to reach literally 100s of millions of people who do not have a YouTube account but do have a Facebook account.  YouTube content creators now have another huge pool of potential users they can “hook”, users who never had the ability to subscribe to their channels.

Another huge benefit to YouTube content creators is that users who subscribe to their channel will be notified of a channel update via Facebook notification. No longer will YouTube content creators need to depend on their subscribers allowing YouTube to send them emails to get alerts, or depend on their subscribers to sign into YouTube and view their subscriptions. Subscribing through, a subscriber will be notified via Facebook instantly when a video is uploaded to a channel. There is no need for the subscriber to come back to the site to check their subscriptions in order to receive the alert, or to allow their email inbox to be spammed with videos in order to receive alerts. This is a much better solution to converting alerts to views and it is beneficial to both the subscriber and content creator.

The quickly growing, will not be stopping at Youtube either. They plan to include Facebook subscriptions for more video sites like Vimeo and Dailymotion. The video giants are next to be converted to a much more user friendly way of subscribing and sharing video content.

The pivoting features when creating the next rockstar mobile app

Appscend, Developer's Corner, Guest Post, startup devs,mobileOr if we’d rephrase it, how long would it take before a user would give you a hug because he had a good experience with your app? Why? Besides having a great app in terms of users and success, hugs are less expensive than bandages.

We talked about what mistakes you can make when developing a mobile application. But it would be presumptuous to just point out mistakes. Now we’re going to focus on what you should never loose sight of if you want your mobile app to become the next app rockstar.

We’re going to highlight on what makes an app a great mobile app that people actually like, what can make it a viral app, what features are sine qua non and how it can grow beyond its limitations and get a lot of users patting you on the back.

1. This cannot be stated enough….UX, user experience, la experiencia del usuario, you get the picture

Think about Angry Birds. Yes , I know, everybody keeps beating the drum on how that game took over the world.

Even so, whether intentional or no, it really hit the nail in the head when it came to psychological impact and reasons. Why do people play that game? Let’s analyze it for a moment.

As people, we like to destroy things in games, and it’s no wonder why games in which you throw birds at entrenched nasty pigs ( and scream evilly and cute) would be addictive. The micro-physics in Angry Birds creates a unique user experience each time you catapult those frowny birds into everything. What mobile app mechanic can we learn from this example?

Simply put, when developing an app, create the possibility for the user to customize his own experience as much as possible. If it’s a social app, then let them customize colors, icon sizes, buttons, etc. If you’re gunning for a business app, then you should focus on what content the user deems to be relevant : such as choosing preferences over certain information providers (like newspapers, business blogs, etc.) so they won’t have to check each bit of info one at a time. ”

Make a user feel like he can play with the app in more ways than just tapping a few buttons and closing it. In doing so, you gain a greater level of user engagement and retention. Make it fun and easy or in other words, make creation a part of the user experience. It’s their app at the end of the day and making it feel even more personalized will go a long way for them to remember you.

2. Push notifications = a light tap on your shoulder to improve the day

Push notifications. They can mean anything from alerts, products, offers, updates, beeps, images, anything.

They are essential to the success and survival of a mobile application. From getting certain discounts or new updates on an app, PN’s can remind your users that your app either is still there or that you can ease their day.

For example, a way Foursquare created and maintained user loyalty was through push alerts. When a user was 10 check-ins away from becoming mayor of a certain location, it would provide an incentive to continue using the app.

The key words of push alerts are : targeted, context, geo-points, geo-location, timezones. Unlike ads where often you can shoot blindly and hope for a catch, push notifications mean you know your niche and if you do it right, you’re going to expand it.

3. Contact points, friend invite, developer and customer feedback = visibility and friendliness

In the App Store or Play Store, you’re going to find apps by the bucket. So how exactly is that shiny piece of code you wrote going to attract any attention?

Simple. The user knows who developed it, who published it and what to expect. Reviews are golden. This should be done with simplicity unlike web browsers, where you have to create an account (a uselessly tedious business) to post a comment or a review. A one tap, one touch contact point (i.e. address, mail, phone number, forum) where you tell the developer or the company of that specific app what it’s all about.

Without contact points, the user will feel isolated with his app, which is quite the opposite of what a mobile phone means. Your app philosophy should emulate this concept.

Also, don’t forget about social one touch sharing, like Facebook, where you like the app and want to share it with your friends or invite them.  Another useful trait is bug reporting from users. Although the chances of encountering a bug on a mobile app is rarer than a few years ago, it’s a great way to quickly correct mistakes through on time feedback.

4. Social integration – if you want your app to be known it has to support social interaction

People like to talk about their mobile phones, that’s a given. What they can do, how they pay their bills and don’t have to wait in line, how they filmed their cat doing a back flip and so on.

We’re going back to the Angry Birds analogy. So what was one of the leading causes for the proliferation of this game? Social interaction.

Among many other of its traits, one of the things that made the game such an immersive experience was interaction and competition. You could play the game and see the ranking of your friends on Facebook for example. And that really made users want reach the top rankings and use the app more

Gamifying your app is a must. If you make it fun for users then you’ll set the stage for a memorable experience. Monetizing an app is nearly impossible if the app is a headache to use or it’s simply too complex without any reason. It’s all about psychology and the things we tend to remember were those bits of info encapsulated in fun emotions.

Again, it’s about simplicity that has infinite ramifications. One tap sharing and fun comments from users to their social companions is the most powerful form of communication that leads to brand visibility and retention.

,,Extremely useful for understanding user experience : 48 psychological facts you should know”

According to Susan Weinschenk, synchronous activity bonds the group. Your mobile app will be popular if it supports features such as interactive ratings or reviews (either through smart push notifications or an easy to scroll comment bar, either from friends or experts). Buzzword: Interactivity = popularity.

5. Cross-platform compatibility

Or one code to rule them all.  It means that a program developed as cross-platform is fully capable of operating on any mobile phone regardless of what operating system that phone is running.

Application development frameworks offer the beauty of code reusability. A magnificent and useful app such as Google Maps would have been a hell to program for one OS at time.

They don’t just cut down development costs and time pressing situations, but they offer the advantage of updating the app as quick as possible. Thus you can ensure you can deliver content /updates to your app faster and users will have higher retention and appreciation. If the app you’re going for is a native one, then having cross platform tools will give you a boost in ensuring fast delivery for updates and changes.

6. If less is more, then great apps mean a dialectic of simple and brilliant implementations

Great mobile apps are very task-focused. A nice analogy would be the classical saying ,,Do you want the short version or the long version of the story?”. With mobile apps the same truth applies. The hardest part in any area is to make something simple.

It’s quite easy and tempting to fall into the mindset of ,,Yeah, we need a button for that, and a scroll for that one, 50 side scrolling screens and so on.” But tablets and smartphones aren’t desktops. Quite the opposite of what people were saying at the dawn of smartphones, which was ,, A computer in the palm of your hand”. It’s a little more than that.

Because the screens are small , you need clear buttons and a precise functionality. Here’s a good example of rules for a clean and simple design.

A stunning app is one that incorporates complex ramifications in a few simple buttons and touches and not dozens of buttons for just one thing. Don’t rush when mulling over complexity and needs. Think about the old military saying. ,,Slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. Just what do we mean with it? Well, the nature of mobile, being on the run and everything. Even though people spend more time on their mobile than on their desktops, one of the reasons for this is clever and fluid simplicity.

7. Analytics are the backbone of where your app is going

Besides finding out how many users actively use your apps, other bits of info can be the turnpoint in knowing what to add or what to cut out in your app. Analytics can be combined with smart push notifications to deliver the most relevant content where it matters and when it matters.

They are also a boon when taking the pulse of in-app purchases and polishing monetization strategies.

The key traits of mobile app analytics are:

  •   Acquisition and user metrics such as downloads and new user   
  •   Engagement metrics such as retention, crashes and conversions     
  •   Outcome metrics such as app sales and in-app purchases

We could mention other traits a great mobile app should have but that is dependent on the nature of the app itself. QR code scanners are useful in retail and shopping. In-app ads are starting to become a little more refined but then again, this is solely linked to what you want to do with your app and if ads are going to be your main monetization plan. Other things we could highlight would be GPS coupons (repeated visits to a certain place give customers a bonus or discount), loyalty points and promotions.

A viral app has the possibility of creating an online community by itself if it’s done right.

And there we have it. Now these are just the main elements when designing an app that has the possibility of becoming viral. In the end it comes down to basic psychology and user experience. The pivotal features you need to always consider is how your app can spread through social media. To give a soul to an app means to make it interactive and unbound.

And the most coolest trait is that your app will do most of the heavy lifting and actually market itself, leaving you with a lot of monetization options rather than picking a niche and crossing your fingers. Elements such as customer points, badges, in-app money, rewards, they all gamify and create more engagement, fun experience and all round good user reaction.

Unless you’re putting one time apps intentionally, all of these will lead to your own app success story.

This is a guest post by Appscend ( — the all-in-one cross-mobile performance based application platform. Appscend offers its customers the fastest cross platform development technology available on the market today together with a complete list of backend technologies that ensure application & user management, a powerful push notifications platform as well as app analytics, ad-integration, in-app purchases and over-the-air distribution services.

Monster Offers Is Daily Deals On Steroids With Nearly 60,000 Deals

Monster Offers, Daily Deals, startup,startupsOrange County California daily deals startup Monster Offers is a daily deals startup on steroids. Where most daily deals startups, outside of sites like Living Social and Groupon, focus on one particular area, Monster Offers is aggregating daily deals across several platforms. This gives the user a one stop destination to search for deals on just about anything.

Monster Offers gathers deal offerings from such discount providers as Groupon, Living Social, DealFind, Goldstar, and nearly 100 others. Assisted by a new partnership with Sqoot, Monster Offers can now save you tons of time and money, putting at your fingertips thousands of daily deals from 100 or so deal providers, with many offering discounts of up to 99%, all searchable in one easy location – from your web browser, your Smartphone or other handheld Smart device.   The service, now available from both websites, identifies where you are geographically and begins populating the freshest and best deals near you. And based on your location, you can then filter your search based on keywords or by category, and then sit back and check out the recommended deals (including the National Deal of the Day)!

Indeed, there are hundreds, if not thousands of daily deals providers that provide unique offerings to today’s consumers, recently reported to be $2 Billion in industry sales annually. Monster Offers has had success, and remains well positioned in this growing marketplace, with its unique, one-of-a-kind approach through the Monster Offers Smartphone apps, and now adds a web-based search platform. Displaying thousands of deals each day, Monster Offers aggregates them in one convenient place, eliminating users having to wade through countless irrelevant offers just to find one that they’re interested in. The company remains dedicated to its corporate mission of delivering a robust and user friendly interface that allows buyers to organize their deal information based on geographical setting, business type, category, and keywords.

Monster Offers looks broadly across the other daily deals sites to return something that can be as national or hyper local as the user needs. This comes in handy especially for travelers who may have a local daily deals routine.

Other features include:

  • Hyperlocal list of daily “Monster Dealies” in up to 14 categories and 60 subcategories in your local market, all easily accessible with the press of a button.
  • View deals from hundreds of daily deal providers, including Groupon, Living Social, EDeals, iCoupon, Goldstar, DealFind, Zozi,, Signpost, Double Take Deals, and many more.
  • Get the best deal in the country with the “National Deal of the Day” — straight from the Monster Offers “Monster” himself.
  • Utilizing IP addresses, map deals from the pool of over 30,000 potential offers, available right to your physical location in real time through your web browser, or the Smartphone App available for download.
  • In the Monster Offers App, adjust your preferential settings to a specific radius that reflects your daily travels.
  • Share deals with friends and family through social networking sites (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more).


SideCar Acquires Ride Sharing Competitor Heyride

HeyRide,SideCar, Austin startup,ride sharing, startup, acquihire, acquisitionRidesharing has been a very popular means of transportation in Europe for many years, it’s just now starting to take off in the United States. Startups like RidePost, who recently graduated from the Iron Yard accelerator, and HeyRide have started a trend in peer to peer ride sharing.

San Francisco based SideCar has, by far, been one of the most popular ride sharing platforms to date. With SideCar you use the companies web based and app based platform to find someone “going your way” and then book a ride with that person. Unlike Uber and Halo users aren’t relying on pricey, already existing ride for hire drivers. Rather, with these kinds of apps you’re just looking for someone going the same place you are. These apps essentially take the ride bulletin board off the campus wall and put it in an app.

HeyRide, was a startup founded two years ago when the founders were embarrassed by the lack of adequate transportation in their hometown for SXSW. People were tweeting, updating their Facebook status and finding other ways to use the web to communicate the need for rides. The HeyRide team turned that need into an app that took off and quickly spread.

Now, with less than a month to go before SXSW 2013, SideCar has acquired HeyRide for an undisclosed amount.

“We’ve heard from people across the country and around the world that they want the SideCar community to take root in their cities and towns,” said Sunil Paul, CEO of SideCar. “Heyride’s talented team has developed a unique design and experience that will help take the rideshare movement we started here in San Francisco nationwide. We are thrilled to welcome Heyride to the SideCar family.”

SideCar and Heyride have a shared vision for empowering communities to solve transportation problems. Heyride’s world-class user experience and design team will join SideCar’s product team to focus on creating an outstanding experience for SideCar drivers and riders. Heyride’s assets include its critically acclaimed iPhone application for ridesharing available at

During its initial launch phase SideCar will be available for drivers and riders Friday and Saturday nights from 5pm – 3am in West LA, Venice, Santa Monica and Culver City in Los Angeles; and downtown Austin and Philadelphia. Expanded hours and days will follow as the community grows. SideCar is actively recruiting drivers in New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington, DC. Drivers can sign up to be part of the community at SideCar’s free mobile application is available for download for riders via the App Store for iPhone and GooglePlay for Android users.

How SideCar works
SideCar matches everyday drivers with a car with people nearby who need a ride. It’s like getting a ride from a friend or a neighbor when you want it. Riders place a request to share a ride by setting a pick-up and drop off location using the SideCar app. Once the request is accepted, drivers can be viewed approaching in real-time. Riders can make a voluntary donation at the end of the ride.

SideCar has many features in place to keep riders and drivers safe. All SideCar drivers are pre-vetted for safety. All rides are tracked and passengers can share their progress and ride status in text, email and social media. Donations are made through the app, so the entire experience is cashless and hassle-free. The SideCar community sets and enforces high standards for safety and quality. Drivers and riders rate one another and people with low ratings are removed from the SideCar community. SideCar’s safety features can be found at


Bonfyre: The Official App For The Startup Conference

Bonfyre, St. Louis startup, the startup conference, appWith the startup conference a little over a week away we want to make sure that everyone knows what app to use to keep up with all the action at the biggest startup conference in the U.S., whether you’re at home or at the event.

Bonfyre is the official app for the startup conference. Download the app today from the iTunes app store then join the Bonfyre for You’ll be able to keep up with the schedule, panels, speakers, startup village and everything happening in Grind City February 10th-12th.

Bonfyre debuted their most recent version of their app at DEMO in Silicon Valley last fall. They also partnered with the Powder Keg conference in Indianapolis.

Just as they did with PowderKeg, Bonfyre will allow entrepreneurs, startup founders, investors, panelists, and startup support to keep up with all the conference go-ers in the event’s own channel.

Nibletz has been reporting on Bonfyre since last year. They’ve raised $750,000 dollars so far led by the St. Louis Arch Angels and Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, who sits on Bonfyre’s board. To date, the St. Louis startup has partnered with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams for three games.

Not only that but one lucky person that downloads and registers for Bonfyre for the conference will walk away from Memphis with a brand new iPad Mini (16gb wifi only). It’s that easy.

Check out Bonfyre for The Startup Conference here

If you don’t have your tickets for The Startup Conference we don’t know what you’re waiting for, luckily it’s not too late.


Top 10 blunders when developing and managing mobile apps…from a puppy

Appscend,Mobile apps, developers, startups,nibletz, guest post“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” – Mel

This is Devie. Besides being the avatar of cuteness he’s an eccentric mobile app developer. Devie is quite
skilled when it comes to the mobile landscape in general and as such it would be wise to pay attention to
what he says.

The mobile app world has passed its infant phase but it hasn’t quite reached full maturity yet and many
developers and companies still make mistakes when it comes to putting out apps on the market.

To this end, Devie has helped us in making a list of the top 10 overlooked mistakes when developing and
managing apps. Heed his words carefully, otherwise, you will make the same face when disappointing your
clients and users, the same face Devie makes when he tips over the coffee cup (which happens roughly twice
a day).

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 mistakes:

# 1 Forgetting that you’re developing for real people

Apps are built for real people and not ,,the idea of people”. In other words UX or user experience. User
experience doesn’t mean just the interface. The UI is just a part of it. UX is everything from the moment
when the user finds out about the app, reads the description, installs it, sees how it works, when he needs
it, if he smiles, if he frowns in confusion, etc. When designing an app, think about how your regular user will
react to it.

Your app should have a precise functionality in mind, a natural flow like opening a book and an intuitive
design. A user shouldn’t be forced to study an app manual to use a mobile application. Especially if he pays
for it. Always remember : the end user experience is your primary goal.

# 2 Your mobile app looks like a quantum mechanics diagram

In other words, complexity doesn’t necessarily imply cool design no more than simplicity means the absence
of it.

In the case of smartphones, think about the iPhone for example. Do you really want to put 20 buttons and
features on a small screen? Just because you can code your app to do anything you’d like, doesn’t mean
you should. Unless you need an app with a lot of details (such as a media and entertainment app), your
app will take time away from a user instead saving time. Often times, simplicity wins 9/10 over complexity.
App functionality and design shouldn’t be drowned in useless buttons, unnecessary scrolling and being so
complicated that it makes you forget how you got to a certain section within the app.

# 3 Don’t make people squint, the screens are small

So you have a brilliant idea about creating an app. You’re going to corner the market. People will praise you
and cheer you on the streets. You’re the new Michelangelo. You might have created the new Sistine Chapel,
but unless you find a way to put it on a 3,5 inch screen you’re just going to let all that work go to waste.
Instead of trying to paint as many details into your app as possible, let them appear one at a time so your
users aren’t faced with a maze of buttons and too much detail. Let them savor the experience.

# 4 No app scalability

There are a lot of apps out there that have the potential of growing but they were built with only a few users
in mind. Unless you’re intentionally putting out one time apps, you should take into consideration that one
of the reasons you are developing mobile apps, is because you want to reach as many people as possible.

Think about this one. What would have happened if the moment when Angry Birds really got popular,
the app was only designed with limited playability and only for a few thousand users? it would have
become ,,One of those games I played for a couple of days and that’s all“. ,,That’s all” isn’t the phrase you
want to hear when your app is reviewed.

# 5 The app itself isn’t your main source of revenue

The main source of profits isn’t the mobile app. In-app purchases and in-app advertising are. In 2012, more
than 3/4 of the global app revenues came out of in-app purchases. Don’t forget the interactive feature of in-
app currency, for example customer points when shopping. Most apps are sold for 99 cents or $3. You might
reach 2000 users, but your only going to make $2000-$6000.

Developers aren’t different from rockstars. No, developers, you’re not the next Jimi Hendrix…yet. We’re
talking about the fact that most money rockstars make isn’t from cd’s and songs (especially with torrents
nowadays) but from concerts. They make their daily bread from offering interactivity and memorable

,,Fact : Apps don’t make a lot of money. The content they deliver does.” – Devie

Such as it is, most apps are free anyway and all apps should be free. Why? Because psychologically speaking,
why would someone buy a product they haven’t even tested based on a 3 line description of how awesome
it is. If it isn’t free, then a free trial should be implemented so customers can know what to expect.
Monetizing mobile apps isn’t about selling the app. The app is a medium for revenue and not the end goal.

# 6 Ads can make or break an app

Not all mobile apps are madefor mobile ads. First of all, the smartphone or tablet is not a desktop pc. When
building an app, say for a restaurant chain, an ad that offers coupons or discounts might work. But right now,
banners and spray and pray ads are most likely to backfire on your user experience.

Another thing you should never do is integrate ads that have buttons looking like a natural extension of
the app. Spammy and intrusive ads that gobble up the screen when the user is in mid-use of the app often
begets negative reviews and complaints. Mobile ads are a tricky business. The question you should ask
yourself is :,,Will the ads cut into the user experience and make monetization impossible or not?”

Mobile app success stems in the first place from the user reaction and not just from the fact that your app
was downloaded – Devie

# 7 No points of contact, no user feedback, no improvements = no cookies for developers and companies

There are a lot of apps out there that stand only to gain from updates and improvements that never seem to
arrive. Not all apps have to implement points of contact for developers /companies (such as a mail address
or forum), but it doesn’t hurt when you want to ,,actually!” see how your app is perceived and how it can
be improved from the users themselves. No points of contact sometimes means that you’re telling the
users ,,That’s all we offer and nothing more, so don’t bother us”.

# 8 Poor push notifications pushes users away

Or even the very lack of push notifications for that matter. Apps such as news apps stand only to benefit
from the smart integration of PN’s and they keep users retention at good levels. However, poor PN planning
can ruin your app. PN’s should be relaxed like when a friend calls you and tells you about a good movie that
just came out. But if he’d call you every 5 seconds to tell you about every TV channel, you’d think about
choosing your friends more wisely wouldn’t you?

There are apps for example, that help you find coffee shops on the map. A badly planned PN would be when
every 2 minutes when a user walks an extra 600 ft, an annoying update about a coffee shop a few streets
away suddenly breaks his train of thought. Or if even disturbing users while sleeping is a guaranteed way

to screw up your app. For more details on what you should and shouldn’t do with push notifications, check
out Push notifications, the do’s and don’ts.

# 9 No analytics and no idea what your app is doing on a saturday night at 3:00 a.m.

Analytics or another way of saying app behaviour and user behaviour is a must when you want to understand
what’s happening when your app is ready to grow u p and see the world. The ability to monitor and study
app usage, users characteristics, how long do they use the app, how many times and so on is vital.

Without analytics an app faces fully fledged uncertainty on the part of developers. Not knowing whether
your app really becomes popular or it has been slowly dying leaves you with a blindspot that’s going to affect
investment and results.

# 10 Targeting too many platforms or too few

Apps are fickle children and sometimes they want all flavors of the ice cream or other times just one.
Consider the value proposition of your mobile app. If you’re going for native on multiple platforms, then
really really take a few steps back and consider if it’s worth it. A lot of business /enterprise apps are
preferred to be on tablets due to the wide screen that allows presentations, pitches, reports and getting
quick news from business blogs and magazines.

Rather than developing for 3-4 mobile platforms, such as iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or Blackerry,
make careful considerations about this next question : Can I waste valuable resources such as time and
money developing for multiple platforms while my competition puts out an app before me?

Going for a one size fits all is good in a lot of businesses but the technology for doing this in mobile apps isn’t
here yet. Rather than targeting a lot of platforms, develop an good and polished app for one or two main
platforms such as iOS and Android.

Conclusions : These are just a part of the big questions and mistakes you can make when developing and
managing mobile apps. Other things we could highlight would be : little or no integration with the device’s
native features, apps that are developed requiring user immobility which is the exact opposite of ,,being
mobile”, lack of social network implementations and so on.

The main key ideas you have to keep in mind is UX and targeted needs. Like Rebecca Flavin , CEO of Denver-
based Effective UI said some of the elements of UX: usable, useful and enjoyable. The three cherries of
creating an interactive and engaging user experience.

Take heed of what Devie said and as a company or developer you’ll be able to brag to your friends that you
saved thousands of dollars and created stunning apps because you listened to a puppy.

P.S. – We wanted to put the cherries on top but Devie would have ate them before we got to the end.

This is a guest post by Appscend ( — the all-in-one cross-mobile performance based
application platform. Appscend offers its customers the fastest cross platform development technology
available on the market today together with a complete list of backend technologies that ensure application
& user management, a powerful push notifications platform as well as app analytics, ad-integration, in-app
purchases and over-the-air distribution services.

Meplus 1 Making It Easier For Everyone To Pay

Washington DC startup Meplus 1 is a new company looking to make it easier to pay in a variety of locations. Meplus 1 is an iPhone app that will soon be available on Android as well. The app integrates with already existing POS systems like Micros, POSitouch, Dinerware, Digital Dining and POS.

Customers use the iPhone app to open up a tab at restaurants and other establishments. As they order they add to the tab and at the end of their meal or transaction they use their credit card information, safely and securely stored in the app, to pay, hence making life easier for consumers, merchants and busy servers.

The app is similar to Tabbed Out and the TGIFriday’s app, but more robust in the POS systems that it’s capable of interacting with.

Now at the end of a meal a customer doesn’t have to wait for the server to bring the check, take the check back to reconcile and then bring the check back to the table. It’s also safer for customers in that they don’t have to hand their credit card over to the server. It’s all done within the app.

Meplus 1 is also not limited to just restaurant tabs. Their app is great for bars, lounges, restaurants and night clubs. They also provide five layers of security which prevents fraud and chargebacks which can be costly to both consumers and merchants.

We got a chance to talk to Justin Broady, co-founder of Meplus 1. Check out the interview below.

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Learning from Instagram’s Faux Pas! Guest Post By Moe Glenner

Instagram,startups,startupOnce again, a technology-based company has exposed to the world their classic misunderstanding of change. In Instagram’s case, the failure was two-fold: a failure in planning and an even bigger failure to communicate. In late 2012, Instagram tried to generate revenue by sharing its users’ photos. (The new policy has since been retracted.) Unfortunately, the company’s new policy was not communicated properly and resulted in a predictable firestorm of bad publicity and the loss of a number of users. Instagram’s public change failure can provide important lessons for anyone or any organization pursuing change.

Lesson 1 – Planning for Risk can Make-or-Break the Change Initiative

While we would like to believe that Instagram planned for potential risk emanating from their new policy, it’s clear that if they did, they didn’t do it very well. Instagram’s risk planning failure is especially poignant given recent missteps by Facebook and Netflix. The media and users closely scrutinize any and all policy changes, especially those involving privacy. As users, we have become very educated and involved with changes to the technology platforms we use most. Similar to many technology applications, Instagram struggles with revenue generation. The attempted policy change was undoubtedly, an attempt to generate revenue. Somehow they didn’t plan for any backlash and their immediate retraction only served as direct proof of this lack of risk planning. All changes must plan for probable risks and have ancillary planning for other risks. Ignoring this rule, will most likely lead to change failure with its resulting costs.

For organizational changes, risk management is a serious endeavor and must be handled appropriately. While it is impossible to identify every possible risk, it is possible to identify risk categories. By this identification, response plans are put in place to immediately address a risk pending its categorization. The key to successful identification is communication.

Lesson 2 – Honest, Relevant and Timely Communication is Critical

Unfortunately for Instagram, the only communication was in full damage control mode. While appropriate, the communication was much too late to save the change and did little to mollify many users who subsequently defected. The time for communication is prior to, during and after the change has been implemented. This communication must be honest as to intentions and goals. It must be relevant to the specific change initiative being forwarded and it must be timely to the current stage of the initiative.

Communication must be honest, constant and consistent between the project sponsor, team leader, team members and those affected by the change. In the planning stage, a wide array of resources must be utilized to establish categories and then identify probable and potential risk. Honest communication allows for robust dialogue between team members and subject matter experts and the formation of a realistic risk plan. Once the change initiative is started, communication becomes especially critical. Lack of relevant and timely communication will lead to confusion, fear, resentment and even pushback to the otherwise appropriate change initiative. All of these negative results will severely and potentially fatally impact the likelihood of success. Thus, there is no such thing as over-communication but lack of communication is real and must be combated.

Above all, this is the time to be brutally honest and realistic with ourselves and our colleagues. We have a tendency to take on goals and internal change projects that are overly ambitious. Once the initiative is started and the going gets tough, we start compromising with ourselves and questioning the likelihood of success. Honest communication, internally and with our support team, allows for greater probability of realistic goal-setting and realistic achievement.

If Instagram’s goal was to generate revenue, their change initiative should have planned for a potential backlash and it should have been communicated in a manner that incorporated the risk strategy and allowed for meaningful dialogue during all stages of the change initiative. By learning from Instagram and others like it, we can effectuate successful and enduring change in the future.

Moe Glenner is the founder and president of PURELogistics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in organizational change. He earned his MBA at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from Villanova University. Glenner’s new book, Selfish Altruism: Managing & Executing Successful Change Initiatives ($13.95 | Amazon), explores best practices in organizational change. For more information,

The team is at CES 2013 Check out all the startup stories out of the International CES

500 Startups Backed, Speek, Releases iPhone App

Speek, DC startup, statup news, launchLast year after TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, most people thought that conference calling app Uber Conference was the bees knees. They had won the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield and were all the rage from the big publications. Meanwhile, back in the Washington DC suburbs Evite founder John Bracken and co-founder and PandoDaily contributor Danny Boice were busy working on Speek.

Speek is actually the easiest way to execute great sounding conference calls. Everything is handled through a web/cloud based interface and all you do to initiate a call is direct the participants to  your Speek page, for instance mine is from there I can control who’s in the call, file sharing, information and anything else that pertains to a conference call.

The whole process is extremely easy and doesn’t require jotting down pin numbers or long codes, which can be quite cumbersome driving down the highway.

Well today Speek has released their iPhone app which makes it just as easy to initiate conference calls from your iPhone as it is from the web (although it was pretty easy just using a mobile browser like Chrome).

With Speek’s iPhone app, you can make super simple, free and visual conference calls. Reserve an easy-to-remember username (i.e., for your calls, instead of fumbling for a traditional phone number and PIN.


  • Talk instantly with one-click calls
  • Know who’s joined the call
  • Know who’s talking
  • Share images from your phone
  • Comment, mute and add/remove participants

Avoid the hassles of traditional conference calls with:

  • No telephone numbers and PINs
  • No scheduling
  • No elevator music
  • No interruptions

Check out Speek in the iTunes app store and go register your user name before all the good ones disappear. If for some reason you want to try it out feel free to Speek to me at 

Join the nearly 1800 people who’ve bought tickets to the largest startup conference in the United States, more info here!

Cardigin Gets To The Root Of Customer Loyalty For Their Loyalty Platform

Charlottesville Virginia startup Cardigin isn’t about rewards games, checking in, or loyalty cards. Their loyalty platform gets to the roots of what customers are actually doing in their favorite establishments and then allows businesses to play right into those trends to keep loyalty customers coming back for more.

In the past two years we’ve all seen that loyalty and rewards startups are literally a dime a dozen, however Cardigin’s founder and CEO Rob Masri saw that everyone was doing it wrong.

“We witnessed first-hand local establishments attempting a myriad of conventional approaches to their loyalty programs – buy-10-get one-free punch cards, keychain fobs, paper coupons, social media, check-in games and daily deals – none of which produced significant profits or customer retention.” Masri told us in an interview.

Cardigin, Charlottesville startup, Virginia startup,starutpsCardigin has an iOS app and an Android app as well but Masri knows there are still a lot of customers out there that either aren’t using their smartphones for things like loyalty or are much more comfortable without fumbling with technology while grabbing a latte. That’s why businesses using Cardigan can sign customers up with just their phone number. Once the establishment has the customers phone number they can start earning loyalty rewards real rewards that they will use.

Check out the rest of our interview with Masri below.

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Fitness Startup PumpUp Picks Up The Pace Again With iOS App

Pumpup, Canadian startup,Waterloo startup,startup,startupsBack in May when the high princess of startups inside the valley Sarah Lacey suggested there were no good fitness startups we found out about Waterloo startup PumpUp.

What makes so great are a number of things. For starters the three founders behind know their roles and do them well. In an industry that can run a little top heavy on the ego side they have the entrepreneurial founder, the sales, marketing and bizdev founder and of course the athletic trainer founder. You couldn’t have a fitness startup without one.

The UI is intuitive and it’s made for the average person, not the overly buff set that don’t need the gym as much as us normal folks.

Now, to make things much easier to manage PumpUp on the go, they’ve released an iOS app for iPhones and iPod Touch, both devices that make it into the gym while you’re working out.

With over 40% of new gym memberships cancelled in less than a year, people are looking for an easy-to-use solution that gives them the guidance and motivation needed to get fit. By asking a few simple questions about people’s fitness goals, where they want to work out and the equipment they love to use, PumpUp automatically builds a highquality workout designed specifically for each user.

PumpUp is meant for people who want to get started with a fitness routine but don’t know what to do, or those who want to take their fitness to the next level. PumpUp shows users what to do, how to do it,and over time, adapts their plans to ensure they continue to improve.

“People aspire to be fit and live a healthy life but most people find difficulty in reaching their goals,” says Phil Jacobson, co-founder & CEO of PumpUp. “We’re simplifying the experience by asking you what you want and taking care of the rest. Getting fit doesn’t have to be tough; people just need to be shown what to do. With PumpUp, that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The PumpUp App is available as a free download on the Apple App Store on iPhone or iPod Touch at PumpUp is free to try for 30 days and costs $4.99/month on an annual subscription. To celebrate the launch and New Year, an annual subscription for PumpUp is only $2.99/month for the rest of January 2013.

Pumpup your startup everywhere else at The startup Conference, details here!

Joist Helps Contractors Be More Efficient On The Go

Contractors spend a lot of time on the road and working on various projects. Typically they have to keep hand written notes in notebooks and on clipboards and then either they transcribe all that information themselves into Excel or Word, or take it back to the office for someone else to do. For some smaller independent contractors that typically means their significant other is spent doing data entry instead of savoring what little time they have outside of “work”.

A Winnipeg startup called JoistApp is looking to solve that problem. JoistApp is a mobile app that contractors can use on their iPad, iPhone or Android device which allows them to manage their business on the go.  Contractors can create invoices, create estimates, send invoices, manage projects and accept payments on the go.  Sure there are plenty of business management apps out there but JoistApp was created specifically for contractors.

Joist app, Winnipeg startup, Canadian startup, startup interviewsWe got a chance to talk with Brendon Sedo, co-founder of JoistApp, check out the interview below.

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Startup Weekend Company Breadcrumbs, Lets You Know Where You’ve Been

Breadcrumbs, San Diego startup,California startup,Startup Weekend, startup interviewA San Diego startup, called Breadcrumbs is helping people keep track of where they’ve been using their smartphone. It’s like automated checking in but could be more useful later on. Maybe you want to keep a journal of the places that you’ve been. Perhaps the next time you’re in a city or town you want to easily be able to recall a place you ventured into on your last trip. We travel so much around here that it’s easy to mistake some downtown areas with others.

Breadcrumbs is innovating at the EvoNexus incubator in San Diego, alongside other great startups like Nulu Languages, TomNod, Antengo, Barc, and Fashinoning Change. The company also received a $50,000 seed investment from Qualcomm Labs.

Breacrumbs is another success story out of Startup Weekend. Founder Joel Drotleff had pitched the original idea at San Diego Startup Weekend, citing the fact that he could never remember how long he spent at the dog park. The other co-founders joined him for the weekend project and now today they have a product in the Google Play store for Android and the iTunes App store.

Breadcrumb’s Sean Dominguez told nibletz in an interview:

“It’s a pretty cool story. We all met at Startup Weekend San Diego back in June when Joel, our CEO, pitched an idea for creating a self-tracking application since he never knew how long he was spending at the dog park. We all thought it was a cool idea, joined the team for the weekend, and ended up taking the Qualcomm sponsored prize that weekend – as well as another prize at Qualcomm’s event Uplinq two weeks later.”

Obviously they caught the most important eyes at Qualcomm who has continued to support the venture. We got a chance to have a more in-depth discussion with Dominguez check out the rest of the interview after the break.

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