Rob Woodbridge and The May-Boss-Weil Continuum of Mobile Apps

Rob Woodbridge Everywhere else cincinnati

Rob Woodbridge gave an interesting talk during Everywhere Else Cincinnati. “The Top 4 Mobile Business Models and how to Optimize Them for Revenue” was a title that may seem bland and boring. So many times at conferences you see sessions entitled things like, “SEO for eCommerce,” or “Optimize Your Facebook page for Conversions,” or “The Perfect Investor Pitch,” or some such thing. More often that not, these are the sessions that attendees leave after 5-10 minutes out of boredom. However, this session ended up being one of the most enjoyable of the conference.

Rob Woodbridge Everywhere else cincinnati

In the first, of what actually proved to be many, sessions that required audience participation, Woodbridge called four audience members to the stage – interestingly one of the participants was Jared Steffes who spoke the following day. Woodbridge lined the four up on the stage, three on one end and one on the other and Woodbridge in the middle (Not sure how I did not get a picture of the formation, but @_everywhereelse got a pretty good one here). This formation represented what Woodbridge dubbed the May-Boss-Weil continuum of mobile apps.

May-Boss-Weil Continuum

Woodbridge’s continuum is a really good way to think about the life-cycle of mobile apps. There are more than 1.7 billion applications available in the various app stores and with the average number of apps per smartphone at 41. Woodbridge argued that the great majority of these apps are crap. But, some really useful applications live on forever.

May

The May of the continuum represented the Mayfly. The Mayfly has the shortest lifespan of any animal on the planet, lasting from one to three days. This section of the continuum contains the majority of mobile applications, and was represented with the three audience members. This end is were the one-off apps live: the fart noise makers and the knock offs of Angry Birds.

Weil

The Weil in the continuum is named for Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google who argues that in the near future, technology will enable humans to live indefinitely. This end of the continuum is where the Google Maps and Twitters and Evernotes live, possibly forever.

Boss

Rob Woodbridge Everywhere Else Cincinnati

The Boss is named for the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss sits right in the middle because, as Woodbrige put it, he is not really retired and he is not really going 100% anymore; he is neither too old, or too young, just the Boss. Woodbridge argued that this is the part of the continuum that application developers should shoot for.

The continuum holds because, Woodbridge went on, application developers are chasing the almighty download. This is a losing strategy, and there are many other metrics that are a much better indicator of quality than downloads; namely average monthly/weekly/daily usage. According to Woodbridge, “Chasing downloads is chasing death.” Rather, the best approach is to build something that is great, and monetize in one of the four ways outlined in Woodbridge’s discussion:

1. Brand Reinforcement

This strategy really only applies to established companies and works best for physical products. Woodbridge brought up the examples of the Krispy Kreme and Stella Artois applications. The Krispy Kreme app lets users know when they are close to a store and will notify the user when the donuts are “Hot Now.” The Stella application allows users to find close bars that serve Stella and sort by various filters such as distance and rating. This value-add approach is a great way for established brands to engage mobile.

2. Freemium

For the freemium approach to work, you must build a really awesome product that people use. Evernote is the best example of a freemium application. The success of Evernote particularly, and the freemium model more broadly, lies in the usefulness of a product. The oft-quoted remark from Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin speaks to this: “The easiest way to get 1 million people paying is to get 1 billion people using.” Build something awesome, and people will pay for an upgrade.

3. Premium

This one is fairly simple, just charge for the app. Be it $.99 or $999.99, charging an upfront fee is a simple way to monetize an application.

4. Data

This is a unique approach. Woodbridge brought up the example of Ubiqui Health. Prior to launching any product, Ubiqui surveyed doctors and patients about health issues, particularly which issues with a real lack of information and data available. It soon became clear that there was a real lack of data around migraines. Thus, they built a migraine tracking application and sold the data to pharmacies and doctors. There are plenty of ways to employ this approach, but it takes some creative thinking.

While, certainly, there are many different avenues through which to monetize a mobile application, the four highlighted by Woodbridge offer the greatest chance at success. Woodbridge finished on a note that we can all agree to, “Banner ads fu*king suck!”

Andrew Thompson is the Managing Editor of TechFaster

 

Entrepreneurs Have Smart Ideas And Smart Phones

Smart phones, guest post, startupsThe best entrepreneurs usually aren’t organized. Sure, they may keep their paperwork in order and clean up after themselves, but inside, their wheels are cranking out a thousand ideas per minute.

Luckily, modern entrepreneurs have a number of tools to help them keep things running. The most indispensable accessory? Smartphones. These powerful devices keep entrepreneurs productive on the road, at home, and wherever else the job might take them.

Apple revolutionized the smartphone industry when it introduced iPhone in 2007, but Samsung, HTC and Blackberry have also emerged with impressive devices in 2013. Your smartphone is your closest companion. Choose wisely and you’ll keep your business on track

Apple iPhone

The iPhone is a design marvel, but the App Store is what peaks startup owners’ interests. Android and Windows also have app stores, but they don’t quite stack up. Apple owns a 73% market share in app industry, according to Forbes.com. Google is next at 27%. For entrepreneurs, that means Apple is still king of the apps, with such titles as Evernote, a cloud-based note-taking app, and Osito, a personal-assistant app. Apple’s iPhone isn’t the cheapest device ($200 with a two-year contract), and it usually doesn’t come with the cheapest service, but if you spent much of the day on your smartphone, iPhone offers the best overall experience.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Samsung made the year’s biggest mobile splash to date when it released the Galaxy S4, a massive device in size and ability. But entrepreneurs may prefer the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, an even larger device with a few extra business-friendly features. The Galaxy Note 2 comes with a stylus for note-taking, a common habit for entrepreneurs. Techradar.com lauded the Galaxy Note 2′s strong battery life, an especially important trait for on-the-go business owners. T-Mobile offers the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for $130 down payment and $20 per month.

HTC One

Plain and simple, the HTC One is the best piece of hardware on the market today. With it’s aluminum body, frontal speakers and Ultrapixel camera, the HTC one took its place with iPhone and Samsung Galaxy on the top echelon of smartphones. Startup owners may wonder if the HTC One has the apps to back up great hardware, but HTC uses the Android operating system, which boasts the fastest-growing app store, Google Play. HTC appears to have business owners in mind, too. A may press released noted that the HTC One offers firm 256-bit encryption for strong security and Sense-enabled productivity opportunities.

“Customers want the freedom to choose the device they use on the job, and companies want to know that devices brought into the workplace are enterprise ready,” HTC executive director David Jaeger said in a press release. HTC appears to be on the rise, making the HTC One an appealing option for entrepreneurs.

Blackberry Z10

Experienced entrepreneurs probably have a soft spot for Blackberry. These devices reigned supreme in the business world before Apple changed the game. Unfortunately, Blackberry held on too long to the QWERTY keyboard, and now it’s playing catch up. The Z10 is Blackberry’s latest touch-screen flagship. The Z10 is particularly interesting for businesses who use Blackberry Enterprise Services and Blackberry Balance. All three can sync together, simplifying life for entrepreneurs.


Andrew White is a mobile app developer and freelance writer originally from the Pacific Northwest.

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Starbucks Paying The Way For Mobile Payments

Starbucks, Mobile Wallet, Mobile Payments, Startups, Boosterville

No one will ever own a computer in their home.

No one will ever put a phone in their car.

No one will ever need Microsoft Word on their phone.

No one will ever pay for things using their phone.

All of those statements have been proven wrong by technology. The last one–proven wrong both by technology and by America’s favorite coffee shop, Starbucks.

Through their mobile app and their easy to use pay-at-counter system, Starbucks is now reporting that 1 in 10 purchases is paid for by mobile app, the company’s Chief Digital Officer Adam Brotman reported during their earnings call on Friday. In addition to the growth of paying by mobile, loyalty cards were up 30% year over year, which is also tied into their mobile app.

This is great news for startups like Dwolla, Boosterville, Paytango and the countless others that are relying on people moving from physical wallet to digital wallet.

Starbucks is leading the way in terms of mobile payments at huge retail chains, but Paypal is actually breaking into the mainstream as well. Paypal account holders can now integrate their Paypal Mobile app with a phone pin (set up in app) and pay for their purchases at the checkout at places like Home Depot, Champs, Babies R Us, Dollar General and several other retail establishments.

Some entrepreneurs, like Boosterville CEO and co-founder Pam Cooper, are integrating mobile services a la Starbucks. With the Boosterville app, mobile wallet and loyalty & rewards are being integrated for fundraising.

While mobile payments are on the rise, startups like PayTango are taking it to another level with biometric wallets. Services like PayTango, which is currently beta testing in Pittsburgh and California, allow users to pay for things using their finger print. At CES earlier this year we met with a startup that is hoping to use retina scanning technology for payments as well.

Sometimes all it takes is one big name (Starbucks) to adopt a technology. Before too long, even grandma will think it’s normal to pay from her phone.

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Voices Heard Media Helps Brands (Including Startups) Engage Their Customers

 

Voices Heard Media, Knoxville startup, Tennessee Startup, Startups

These days, customers expect more from brands. Gone are the days when we make a purchase and walk away. Now, we often spend time and effort researching major purchases, and we care about the companies where we choose to spend our money. With the advent of social media, we have come to expect a high level of engagement with the companies we love.

Tony Runyan puts it this way: Two-way communication is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.

But, that engagement can be expensive and difficult for companies to maintain on their own, which is where Voices Heard Media comes in.

Voices Heard Media provides a suite of plugins that increase customer engagement. Their products include apps that handle contests/sweepstakes, trivia/quizzes, social media streams, live Q&A sessions, video polls, and conversation around a brand. They work with big names like Disney, Food Network, and Fox Sports.

Will Overstreet founded Voices Heard Media in 2007. In his former gig as an Atlanta Falcon and sports broadcaster, Overstreet noticed that a simple conversation with a fan increased the likelihood that the fan would buy a jersey, listen to a show, or tell friends and family about Overstreet’s brand. He realized that there had to be a scalable way to take that kind of interaction into the digital world.

Tony Runyan joined the company in 2008 and made the initial big sales they needed. Now the VP of Product, Runyan develops new products, among other things.

So, what can the Voices Heard Media products do?

When I ran into them at the Southland Summit last month, I recognized the Food Network site on their display computer. The company wanted to increase engagement on their site, so they had Voices Heard Media create a Q&A session with the most recent The Next Food Network Star winner. The idea was simple enough: visitors sent in questions over one week, then Aarti Sequeria answered them. But the magic happened when, after the event closed, it still continued to drive traffic and interactions on the site.

All products from Voices Heard Media work on a company’s website, mobile site, and Facebook tab. The company sees this flexibility as absolutely necessary in today’s digital world.

They may work with some of the biggest names in the country, but they also handle smaller, local-focused companies like news outlets, political campaigns, and creative agencies.

Their prices are pretty startup-friendly, too, starting at only $50 for a basic package. And they can bring the same expertise they’ve built with big brands to your new company.

Check out Voices Heard Media and see how they can help your startup engage your audience.

 

EE-FORENTREPRENEURS

Picslinger Combines Photo Sharing And Gaming

Remember those scavenger hunt games you played as a kid? In college, my sorority pledge class played them with Polaroid cameras. (Remember those?!) We’d race around campus, taking ridiculously embarrassing pictures and the team that embarrassed themselves the most usually won.

Now, with the ubiquitous smartphone camera, these games can be even more fun. At Chicago TechWeek, Kyle caught up with Picslinger, an app that combines photo sharing with scavenger hunt games. You can even earn real life flair with your pictures.

Check out Kyle’s interview, and stay tuned for more great startups from Chicago TechWeek.

SocialRadar is 8 Weeks Old, Raises $12.75 Million

Social Radar, DC Startup, Funding, Startups

The 10-person team over at SocialRadar is asking, “What Series A crunch?”

Eight weeks after formally founding the Washington D.C.-based company, they are now announcing a $12.75 million round, led by New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, and SWaN & Legend Ventures. Notable angel investors such as Dave Morin, Steve Case, Kevin Colleran, Ted Leonsis, and others are also joining in.

So, what is SocialRadar? The company’s website describes it like this:

Today over 1.1 billion people have smartphone devices that can broadcast their locations. Over 2.8 billion people have social profiles online. In the future, the power of your smartphone’s location will inevitably be combined with your social network – allowing you to walk into a room and already be aware of the people around you and how you are connected to them.

SocialRadar believes they are building this technology now.

At the 2013 CTIA expo, CEO Michael Chasen explained that they first developed technology that monitored all the top social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. Then, when a SocialRadar user walks into a room, the GPS on their smartphone will locate all the people they might know and explain how they know them. No more standing around awkwardly in a bar, only to realize your best friend from college is sitting just a few seats over. When  you enter the bar, your phone will let you know who’s there.

What differentiates them from other “people finder” apps is privacy. With SocialRadar users control who–if anyone–can locate them.

The company is preparing for their beta launch, coming soon to iPhone and Android. They’re also building a version for Google Glass, which seems to be a perfect fit.

Chasen was formerly a co-founder and CEO of Blackboard, the online learning platform that sold in 2011 for $1.7 billion.

You can sign up for the public beta on SocialRadar’s website.

Revealed: What It Takes To Get A Top 10 Rank In The Apple App Store

With so many mobile-first and mobile-focused startups in the world these days, one of the biggest hurdles startups and app developers have is breaking the highly coveted Apple App Store Top 10. With many startups, that are truly starting from the beginning, without the help of a rock star team, cracking the top 10 can make or break a company.

Reading those words may be scary, but that’s the breaks with literally millions competing in the same space.

Trademob analyzed 72 campaigns conducted over an eight month period from August 2012 to March 2013. The analysis revealed average CPI’s (cost per install), during boost campaigns as well as data about the required volume of installs necessary to achieve a position in the top 10 of Apple’s App Store in each country.

Trademob found that installs required for top 10 status in the “free” chart for Apple’s App Store in the US were 3x as high than the UK, the next ranking country. Likewise the US also had the highest cost per install.  They also discovered was that even if an app cracked the top 10 in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, they still wouldn’t necessarily have the installs needed to crack the U.S. top 10.

The data set specifically looked at boost campaigns and their effect on app installs for iOS. It also highlights the “organic uplift” achieved from a boost campaign.

” In order to rank in the top 10 of the iOS App Store, an app must achieve a high number of downloads within 72 hours. App marketing boost campaigns can boost an app’s ranking by generating (buying) large numbers of downloads in a short amount of time. The downloads achieved during the last 24 hours have the biggest impact on the ranking position”. Trademob wrote.

If you’re an app developer and a mobile focused or mobile first startup, check out the data below.

 

Mobile tips, iOS tips, iOS rank, startup tips, TradeMob, Infographic

 

Now check out this infographic: 10 Rules For A Great Startup Idea

nibpartner1

 

Pittsburgh Startup PayTango Will Make Sure You Never Lose Your Wallet Again

Paytango,Pittsburgh Startup,YCombinator,TechCrunch DisruptLast month we brought you this story about Pittsburgh startup, turned Y-Combinator company, PayTango. They were one of the first in the biometric wallet space.

When we spoke with PayTango co-founder Brian Groudan at TechCrunch Disrupt he acknowledged how crowded the biometric mobile wallet space has gotten after their videos and pitch decks started popping up online. We talked about New Jersey startup PulseWallet, that we met at CES 2013 and Groudan pointed out another biometric mobile wallet startup that was also in the Startup Alley at Disrupt.

PayTango was one of the first in the space and for now they are focused on smaller networks where they can really get a feel for the technology and what it can do.

What is PayTango and a biometric wallet?

Well by now everyone has heard the term mobile wallet. We all know that you can use your NFC enabled phone and other forms of mobile commerce without having to bring credit cards along. What PayTango and other startups in their space hope to do, is to eliminate the wallet altogether and use your finger print as your wallet.

Using a biometric wallet is not just easier and more convenient but it’s a lot safer when it comes to fraud.

PayTango tested on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University and has also tested in some health clubs as well. While students who signed up for the beta can use their finger print to pay for meals, there’s also the capacity to store your entire academic history in the cloud, accessible by finger print.

While only saying that PayTango is looking at a lot of different uses, it’s easy to see that the team behind PayTango is looking at a much bigger picture than just syncing your American Express card with your index finger.

Groudan was actually excited about all the competitors in the space because it gives PayTango more market validation.

Check out our interview with Groudan below and for more info visit paytango.com

We’ve got more startup coverage from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 here.

DisruptVJ

Rovio’s Angry Birds Makes Another Move Towards Disney [sxsw]

Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka and me at Rovio’s SXSW party (photo: NMI 2013)

Three years ago when we first met Rovio’s chief marketing eagle, Peter Vesterbacka, and he was talking about Angry Birds toys, balloons, books, restaurants, airplanes and tv shows, we thought he was nuts.

The following year when we saw him at the launch of AngryBirds Space at SXSW12 his vision was coming together. We had seen him speak throughout the course of the year as Angry Birds became more than a household name. At an event in Hong Kong Vesterbacka was talking about how they had to rip off the rip offs to keep up with the phenomena of Angry Birds merchandise.

Angry Birds, Angry Birds Toons, Rovio,startup,Finnish, Finland, SXSW,SXSWi,SXSW13At South By South West this year we got a chance to talk with Vesterbacka and Mack McKelvey a mobile marketing expert and consultant to Rovio. She told us that the company had recently taken over several McDonald’s restaurants in China and launching a separate game called Angry Birds McDonalds.

In the midst of all the startup and PR hype at SXSW, Rovio Entertainment hosted a swank pool party high atop Austin Texas. This time though they weren’t introducing the next wave of the game. They were talking about bigger and better. They were launching a new cartoon and media network that would stream through the Angry Birds apps. They also launched the Angry Birds network with several cable operators.

The apps alone give the Angry Birds network access to over 1.3 billion users (with a B).

The Angry Birds network will feature original content centered around the game characters. You can watch the Angry Birds network on the most recent versions of the game and on select cable operators.

You can find out more here.

Check out more of our SXSW coverage here.

Henry Blodget On Which Screen Is Best: All Of Them [video][SAI]

HenryBlodget,Business Insider, startup,mobile first, Ignition MobileHenry Blodget, the CEO and Editor In Chief, at Business Insider, kicked off the Ignition Mobile conference in San Francisco this past Thursday. Blodget’s long and storied career in investment, media and technology makes him an expert in all things mobile.

While everyone, startups specifically, are inundated with the words “Mobile First”, that doesn’t necessarily jive with the way things in the world really are.

During his quick keynote Thursday morning, where he showed 105 slides in less than 15 minutes, Blodget showed one photo of the newsroom at Business Insider, where his reporters are still using monitors, big monitors, small monitors, horizontal monitors and vertical monitors.

So is Blodget saying “mobile first” is wrong?

No, towards the end of the presentation he said that companies need to be everywhere. On the big screen, the phone, and the tablet.

Consumers are consuming content anywhere and everywhere. People are reading websites, downloading apps and watching videos everywhere from the bathroom to the boardroom.

In this video Blodget actually talks about how the TV is just about a thing of the past and more people are using their tablets in the bedroom.

The Business Insider empire is one of the quickest growing media sites in the world, and they continue to grow every week. If you’re running a startup this is definitely food for thought:

Check out our other coverage from Ignition Mobile.

Business Insider’s Ignition Mobile: Henry Blodget On How We Use Mobile

20130321-094037.jpg

Business Insider’s Ignition Mobile conference kicked off this morning in San Francisco. To kick off the general session, Business Insider’s CEO and Editor In Chief, Henry Blodget ran through 105 slides in just under 15 minutes, basically providing an overview of what’s going on in the mobile industry’s to date.

Is this relevant to startups, and startups everywhere else?

Of course it is. Mobile is the fastest growing technology space in history. Mobile is now outpacing traditional PC sales, and most people have not one, not two but three or more screens.

Mobile usage is increasing ten fold. Gaming, music, social, video and of course search are dominating mobile.

Mobile, specifically tablets have increased in the bedroom. Consumers are consuming content on their iPads laying in bed more so than watching tv.

Mobile is giving advertisers a much more holistic approach, but Blodget warns that mobile is extremely intimate and advertisers with intrusive ads are going to lose. Blodget sees value across a variety of opportunities for new mobile apps and mobile startups.

Check out the video below:

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
Brooks

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
experiences.

,,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 (www.appscend.com) — 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.

Israeli Startup Intucell Acquired By Cisco For $475 Million

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An Israeli company that created a technology that allows cell phone towers to communicate with each other, has just been acquired for $475 million dollars.

Business Insider reports that Israeli startup Intucell, started four years ago, and prior to this acquisition, had only raised $6 million dollars. The initial investment round had one investor, Bessemer.

After Bessemer’s investment was reported in 2011, AT&T quickly started using the technology.

On Wednesday, All Things D suggested that this was a very good investment for Cisco. The report by Arik Hesseldahl suggests that strategically this makes sense because of the relationships that Intucell has with wireless carriers globally.

Another key factor is the technology deals directly in computer aided, customizable software to control networking.

The idea is basically this: Software controls can define and dynamically control the size and configuration of a network, rather than swapping out hardware. Hesseldahl said in his piece.

DC Hot Tech Startup Gryphn Finding New Problems They Solve Every Day

gyphn,dc startup,startup,startup interviewOne of Washington DC’s hottest startups is Gryphn. This mobile security firm released their ArmorText secure text messaging application for Android users last summer and they’re constantly hearing from customers that they’re solving a new problem every day.

“we are still discovering all the problems that Gryphn solves. People come up to us at events and tell us how our products can be used for public notaries, insurance resellers, journalists… you name it. We are staying focused to solving regulatory compliance problems for Healthcare, Finance, Government, Law Enforcement, First Responders and Defense.” Gryphn’s CEO and co-Founder Navroop Mitter told us in an interview.

Back in June the team had grown enough that they took over the space of fellow DC Startup JESS3 which relocated to Los Angeles.

Much of their success is coming from innovating in the security space in the sectors where security matters most.

We got a chance to catch up with Gryphn. In the interview below they reveal how they got their name Gryphn. Check it out:

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