Category Archives: Mobile Apps

A Guided Experience to SXSW V2V 2013

“South by South West Version 2 Vegas”  at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

 

SXSW V2V offers innovators and entrepreneurs across all creative industries a space to learn the skills, make the connections and find the inspiration to take their ideas and talents to the next level. Join over 1500 thought leaders for this first ever SXSW event in Las Vegas.

The startup and venture capital space is of major interest to all the creative industries that are at the core of the SXSW family of events. Featuring four days of informative panels and workshops, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, networking events and receptions, pitch competitions and startup showcases. If you are involved in building an app, a service, a business, a brand or a community, then this event is for you.

Join SXSWv2v August 11 through August 14, 2013 at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada for extension and re-imagining of the legendary SXSW Austin experience with an emphasis on the creative spark that drives entrepreneurial innovation. Learn more about this exciting event at sxswv2v.com. ($895.00 +travel & meals)

If you are interested in a guided experience by an industry leading technologist, reach out to jratkins@SomethingDifferentCompanies.com. You will have a personal escort to panel discussions, workshops and other events who will add context to the discussion, who can relate the topics and technology to your business, as well as help you make the most of your time and interest. (call for pricing, 214-707-1705)

Schedule Overview

SXSW v2v, J.R. Atkins, guided experience


Why is everyone Hyping Video?

Because if a picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 100,000 or 1,000,000 words. It’s the next best thing to being there. If you are fond of saying “when people meet with me they buy” or when someone understands what we do, they buy, or give, or join us … then video communication is for you.

J.R. Atkins, Author, Speaker, Consultant, Something Different CompaniesThe least expensive and quickest way to share video is to shoot and post from your smart phone. You can do this by using your phone’s camera and mobile apps to share such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and others.

You can also use specialized apps such as Vine, Social Cam, Tout, DigiSocial, and Viddy to capture and post short video segments. Yet, the stalwarts of video sharing are YouTube, Vimeo, your website, and your blog.

Short videos, about 60 seconds, generate interest and are easy to share if they are entertaining, informative or news worthy. Long videos, about 2 minutes to 20 minutes, are great for “how to” help. This is how my son and I learned how to change the oil on his motorcycle.

To get the word out, I recommend companies use email and social media to provide a link back to their video content. It also helps to explain the video in the email or social media post so the person gets the message even if they do not watch your video.

Good luck using video. I look forward to hearing how you are using video to generate results.

Events Worth Considering


Are You Getting Your Share of the $25B in Mobile App Sales

The Wall Street Journal today summed it up well stating that the Mobile App business is booming 5 years after Apple launched the App Store. Read the some of the details below or see the full article at the Wall Steet Journal.

Apps Rocket Toward $25 Billion in Sales

Players in Quickly Growing Business Scramble to Figure Out Best Ways to Attract Users and Turn a Profit

By JESSICA E. LESSIN and SPENCER E. ANTE

The mobile apps industry is booming, with Google and Apple now offering more than 700,000 applications each in their respective stores. But for every Instagram, there are thousands of duds. The WSJ’s Jessica Lessin tells us what makes an app successful in today’s competitive market.

Nearly five years after Apple Inc. AAPL -2.42% kicked off the mobile-apps craze, the industry is booming.

App stores run by Apple and Google Inc. GOOG +1.90% now offer more than 700,000 apps each. With so many apps to choose from, consumers are estimated to spend on average about two hours a day with apps. Global revenue from app stores is expected to rise 62% this year to $25 billion, according to Gartner Inc. IT +2.27%

The apps industry has matured in some respects. Some of the Wild West tactics of five years ago—like scams to accrue more downloads—have given way to more order as Apple and others tighten their rules. App developers are more methodical about marketing their apps and focusing on the few apps that work best.

What’s Your App?

Business leaders, athletes and entertainers share their favorite smartphone and tablet apps.

WSJ’s Spencer Ante takes a look at the explosive growth of smartphone, tablet and smart TV apps and how Google’s Android apps have given Apple a run for its money. Photo: Google, Inc.

How big of a money maker are apps? What country’s GDP is the size of the global app economy? How does app use compare to TV in terms of time spent per day? WSJ’s Jason Bellini has answers.

For every Instagram, the wildly popular photo sharing app that Facebook Inc. FB -0.22% bought for $1 billion last year, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that don’t catch on.

As the battlefield shifts to new geographies, new categories and new devices, developers are still trying to figure out which business models are the most profitable.

The apps industry “is like cars at the turn of the last century,” said Simon Khalaf, chief executive of mobile analytics firm Flurry Inc. “You see the growth of roads and know they’re going to be big. But it is still early days.”

TinyCo Inc., a San Francisco-based game maker that released its first mobile game in 2010, is experiencing both the promise and the perils of the apps industry. Today it has 13 mobile games and revenue is doubling. But every day is a battle to acquire users, said Michael Sandwick, manager of strategic partnerships.

The cost of acquiring users through advertising continues to rise by double digits year-over-year, he said, sometimes more sharply when bigger companies seek to introduce a new game. That has forced the startup to better tune its spending based on data about how people are discovering their games.

“There’s an incredible amount of saturation,” said Mr. Sandwick.

Just a few years ago, the apps industry was simpler. In early 2010, Apple’s App Store had a commanding lead with around 140,000 apps for phones. The market was heavily focused on the U.S.

Apple and Google Inc.’s Play store are today neck-in-neck in terms of smartphone apps catalogs and usage, said analysts. Apple still dominates in terms of money made by more than three to one, according to App Annie.

And there are others also offering app stores—to different degrees of success—including Microsoft Corp., MSFT +0.72%BlackBerryBB.T -3.60% -maker Research In Motion Ltd., and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +2.77%

The app boom has spread to markets such as China, Japan and South Korea. That has led to some apps like social-networking service NHN Corp.’s Line leapfrogging U.S. app-makers in revenue by selling virtual items like stickers.

image

And apps are expanding their reach on devices. They’re no longer just for phones, but tablets and televisions too. The apps are taking advantage of hardware improvements like sensors that can tell an app how fast a person is moving.

In the past two years, consumers have doubled the time spent with apps to about two hours a day, according to Flurry. Yet people churn through apps fairly frequently, making it hard for developers to retain users.

About 63% of the apps used daily now differ from those used daily a year ago. Moreover, consumers focus on a handful—roughly eight apps—at a time.

Michael Duda, a New York-based marketing consultant and investor, said he regularly uses about 12 of the 70 or so apps on his Android smartphone that make his life easier, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Sonos, AmericanExpress and J.P. Morgan ChaseJPM +0.39% .

“A bunch of the apps I downloaded sounded cool,” but he said but most don’t add “utility to my day-to-day life.”

App makers can have a difficult time breaking into a business dominated by incumbents.

Only 2% of the top 250 publishers in Apple’s App Store are “newcomers,” versus 3% in Google’s Play store for Android apps, according to research firm Distimo.

“The bar is so high to build something that is special and valuable and easy to use,” said Jake Mintz, co-founder Bump Technologies Inc., a four-year-old app that lets people share media across phones by touching them. To be more useful, the Mountain View, Calif., company has branched out to share media across laptops too, he said.

Others app makers are coping with the shifting landscape by being more selective about what they build and how they promote their apps.

Michael Bayle, senior vice president and general manager of mobile at Walt Disney Co.’s DIS +0.85% ESPN, said the company recently decommissioned 23 of its 30 Apple apps it had been maintaining, and kept alive its most popular ones.

ESPN dropped an app for Los Angeles sports but kept its popular ScoreCenter app that publishes scores, news and standings from sports leagues, teams and players world-wide.

“It’s easy to make an app but the real expense is in maintaining it,” Mr. Bayle said.

Some app companies are scrambling for new revenue streams and expanding beyond the current leading money pots: ads and in-app purchases.

When music-discovery app Shazam Entertainment Ltd, introduced its first cellphone app about seven years ago, its main revenue came from deals with mobile operators and licensing its audio-recognition technology.

Today it has five revenue streams, including selling ads in apps, a paid premium version of its app and charging television advertisers to integrate Shazam campaigns.

“We have seen revenue drivers change over the years,” said chief revenue officer Doug Garland, declining to comment on its results. “We are figuring out where the best opportunities are and doubling down.”

Write to Jessica E. Lessin at jessica.lessin@wsj.com and Spencer E. Ante at spencer.ante@wsj.com

A version of this article appeared March 4, 2013, on page B1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Apps Explode Into Industry Ready to Hit$25 Billion


Have you Built your own Mobile App yet?

Hey what are you waiting for? Building your own simple Mobile App is easy now with a tool called Yapp App. Granted it may not be as dynamic and complex as Facebook or Angery birds, but you can have an App for your:

  • Events
  • Gatherings
  • Groups
  • Fundraising

Here is a segment from their website:

At Yapp, our mission is to empower people to interact and express themselves. We aim to do this by democratizing the creation of mobile apps so that anyone – even if they lack technology or design skills or resources and time – can create a mobile app for parts of their lives that matter to them.

We believe that app creation is something that anyone should be able to do and everyone will do, but don’t believe one platform can create apps for everyone. The needs of IT departments, brands, SMBs and consumers are very different.

We aspire to make it fun and simple for consumers to create a beautiful, content centric mobile app, or in our case, a Yapp. Yapps are user created, themed, customizable, mobile experiences that can be updated in real time and do not require their own binary.

Yapp Events

Our first product, Yapp Events, aims to help organizations, groups, and individuals quickly and simply create rich and elegant mobile apps to enhance events and gatherings such as weddings, conferences, reunions, classes, book clubs, fundraisers, parties, etc. 


Who are your Advisors?

As a new year begins, many people have their mind on New Year’s resolutions, goals, wrapping up last year, and focusing on the new year. During this time my mind drifted to the role advisors play in our lives.

Build a better 2013 with Advisors by J.R. Atkins

For some people, they claim they have not advisors, yet these people can be found talking to bar tenders into the night or discussing politics with friends and neighbors. However they appear or whatever we call them, we allow and even encourage others to help shape our thoughts, actions and lives.

For other people, we recognize how what we read and think as well as the people in our lives, shape our future. I like to call these people advisors. Let’s take a look at how Advisors shape our business life and contribute to business success.

My life advisors have come in the form of teachers, professors, religious leaders, authors, speakers and very close friends. As a young businessman in the Financial Services Business, I had a Board of Advisors who I would meet with quarterly, on an individual basis over lunch. I’d share my goals and activities and they’d offer their thoughts to help me. For some reason, when I left that business I quit meeting with my advisors and wish I had not. Through various religious organization I have meet with men’s groups on a weekly basis to encourage one another. From these men I have drawn support, insight and accountability to the things I say I wasn’t to do. What a great reflection on one’s self. Certain authors and speakers have come to mentor me such as Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Steven Covey (these three have passed) John C Maxwell, Seth Godin and others. I take what they write and say and apply to my life, I often quote them or refer to their work when I speak and write. A very few, very close friends also count as advisors as I can tell them things that I would share with no others and know I will not be judged. My dad’s mentor told him if he had 3 close friends like this in life he would be very lucky and I have found this to be true.

Another type of business advisors come in the form of Official Boards; Boards of Directors with fiduciary responsibilities and Boards of Advisors with less responsibility, both offering great business insight. If you are looking to grow your community influence, then you might consider serving on a board such as:

  • Non-Profits Boards
  • Association Boards
  • Churches, Synagogues and Temples leadership boards
  • Company Boards, for small, medium, large private companies as well as public companies.

As an example, I serve on an Advisory Board for one of my clients, Copper Mobile. My role is to identify potential candidates for both their Board and Advisory Board, offer insight into the Mobile App industry, help identify market opportunities and refer prospects. In return, I get to interact with quality people on their boards, share ideas with their staff, learn from their projects and help others grow.Mobile App Enterprise Solutions

A friend of mine asked “why I serve on boards?” the best reason I have is because of the good you can do. As a board member, you have a chance to make an impact, to help others, to do something bigger than yourself and it is very rewarding. Another reason to be on a board is for the growth you will experience. You will see and hear issues and opportunities that cause you to be a better you. Finally, as a board member you meet great people that encourage you, challenge you, befriend you and make you laugh.

I have hear people say they are bored enough with the meets they currently attend, so why join a board to be bored. If this is the case then you need to find another board. I still laugh every time I hear of the board for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit; The DART Board J

As I look into 2013 I do have one resolution, to reestablish my advisory network for three reasons.

  1. To have a consistent, regular source of input of others
  2. To be “on purpose” about my business and personal growth
  3. To be accountable to others for the things I say I want to do and be

 

What about you? Do you have advisors, do you serve on any boards? I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Please add them to the comments section below.

Events worth considering


Mobile Monetization Growing Rapidly

As I am often in discussions about Mobile App Development, the question of how to monetize an App is frequent and opinions vary. So when I saw the Blog “MBA Mondays: Revenue Models – Advertising” I thought it worth sharing with my community. It is written by Fred Wilson a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures.  I have included an excerpt below and a link to the original article.

It is true that the vast majority of consumer web apps have been and continue to be monetized with advertising. On mobile that is less true, but becoming more true every day.

Mobile Monetization Growing Rapidly

There are all sorts of ways to generate advertising revenue online. Here are the entries under the advertising category in our revenue model hackpad:

Web & Mobile Revenue Models

This list is most certainly not exhaustive but it does cover the most common advertising approaches and you can see how many there are on the Internet. There has been a lot of innovation in this sector in the past 18 years since the first banner ads were created and sold.

Original Article Link


POP, an iPhone App Design & Prototyping Mobile Apps

When I speak on Mobile Apps, I mention 3 mock up tools:Mobile App stratigest J.R. Atkins recommends POP for IOS App designing

 
As of today I am adding a 4th tool: POP – Prototyping on Paper “POP helps you make interactive prototype with ease. If you can draw, you can design apps. The workflow is ridiculously simple.”
 
Check out the article on the TNW Blog.

Foursquare introduces Explore feature, Does this make it better?

Mobile App consultant J.R. Atkins like the Foursquare AppI saw this on “The Next Web Apps” and thought it worthy of discussion. Do you think these recent changes to Foursquare make it more relevant?

Foursquare has just delivered on the promise of what it’s been doing with Explore for years now. It is making its Explore feature available directly on Foursquare.com, even to those who do not use the service.

Foursquare says that Explore is used over a million times every day. And its now making that feature available even for those who don’t check in or have ever even signed up for Foursquare. This, it says, is part of its efforts to ‘reinvent local search’.

“When we first launched Foursquare Explore, we knew we could make great, personalized recommendations for the 25,000,000 members of our community,” said the company in a blog post. “If a person had checked in at ten places, we could recommend ten more that we knew they’d be happy with.”

Founder Dennis Crowley has always been hot on the idea that Explore has significant advantages to those that don’t even check in or use the apps, and this latest move is in line with that position. Just last week at a Pando Monthly event, he said that Foursquare was “the best local search tool in the planet” and that they were just starting to use the service’s data efficiently. Moving Explore to its website opens up that data to everyone, leveraging the power of Foursqare checkins regardless of whether or not you use the service.

Crowley has said that a key moment in the app’s history was when it figured out that Foursqare was being used to “look for where their friends are, to find things, and as a recommendation service,” adding, “It’s almost like it doesn’t occur to them to check in.”


The Last Inch: A White Paper on the Man-Machine Interface

Please welcome my business associate Dennis Cagan as a guest Blogger. I find his white paper intriguing and hope you do too.

The Last Inch

A White Paper on the New Frontier in Man-Machine Interface.

by Dennis Cagan

Most people in the technology industry, particularly the telecommunications sector, are familiar with the term “The Last Mile.” Wikipedia defines it as “the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. The phrase is therefore often used by the telecommunications and cable television industries. The actual distance of this leg may be considerably more than a mile, especially in rural areas.”

Today, as technology becomes more and more ubiquitous, as electronic communications devices become more and more personal and smaller, and as the applications that are delivered become increasingly granular and specific, “the last mile” ceases to adequately define the final leg of delivering the information, productivity, convenience, or entertainment to a customer – the end user. The Last Mile refers only to the connectivity to a premise, to a fixed physical location. Everyone now knows that the user does not remain there in one place – home or office – for long. A dizzying array of smart phone and tablet products are the instruments that actually transport the application to the user’s eye, ear, mouth – and yes, their fingertips.

This trend is rapidly accelerating. The dynamic nature of the constant advances in hardware devices and mobile operating systems, the enormous variety and depth in application functionality, and the revolution in mobile deployment of social media networks has completely obsoleted the concept of The Last Mile. This leads us to suggest updating the metaphor to “The Last Inch”. As we define it, The Last Inch represents the final distance linking the end user to the technology.  This last gap is closed by a combination of connectivity, mobile device hardware, software – OS (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile) and application, and the user interface.

the New Frontier in Man-Machine Interface by Dennis Cagan with J.R. Atkins

The entire mobility field, from global infrastructure to hand-held products to hundreds of thousands of “apps”, is arguably a new frontier in technology.  Never have all the elements of computing and automation individually and collectively changed so rapidly and continuously over time. As an example, traditional software development for mainframes, mini computers and personal computers was usually a larger expensive project. The development cycles could be measured in years. The revision cycles could also be annual or bi-annual.

Mobile apps have spun that model around. If you take the aggregate effects of new versions and updates to devices, operating, systems, cellular infrastructures and social network platforms, mobility applications potentially need revision on a daily basis, and the development should be considered continuous.

The Last Inch, mobility specifically, truly closes the final gap and creates a new paradigm in the man-machine interface. Devices will undoubtedly get even smaller, possibly even surgically imbedded under the skin behind your ear. However, even anticipating this “Last Micron”, it will be a long time before the characteristics of the technology phase labeled here as The Last Inch will itself become obsolete.

“The Last Inch” is a pending TM of Caganco Incorporated.


The BeanCast talks about Mobile

Author J.R. Atkins recommends Bob Knorpp and the BeanCastMeet my friend Bob Knorpp. Bob produces a podcast that is recorded on Sunday nights and released every Monday covering current topics in Marketing, Advertising, Sales, Technology, New Media, Design … you get it, all the cool and fun things. In episode 211 “Everyone else is Lying” you will hear some discussion on Mobile Apps that I hope you find interesting and informative. Click on the link below, listen and let me know what you think.

http://beancast.evanbooth.com/shows/0211_The_BeanCast_Marketing_Podcast_Everyone_Else_Is_Lying.mp3

GUESTS

Dallas Speaker J.R. Atkins likes the BeanCast


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