[Originally posted on TechCrunch February 9th 2013]
In the mobile world, companies often live and die by metrics: “How are your monthly active users doing? What’s going on with your user retention? How many total downloads do you have?”
These kinds of metrics, which can have widely different implications, can make or break developers. Especially with the Silicon Valley mindset, driven by success stories like Instagram and Socialcam, that says “get users today, make money off them tomorrow.” With this mentality, user metrics often play a larger role than financial figures for some companies.
But what do they all mean? In mobile, daily active users (DAUs) is frequently the standard by which game and app developers are judged. However, the industry doesn’t really have a concrete definition of what a DAU is. Some analytics providers, such as Flurry, use a rolling average, where a user is considered active if they’ve opened the app at least once in the past seven days. Another part of the mobile market considers someone an active user if they’ve used the app on a particular day. To truly define success, the industry needs to settle on what an active user actually is.
Check out the story updating the progress we are making at W3i including a couple of nice quotes from me.
[Originally posted on PocketGamer.biz December 26th 2011]
Kicking off our period of industry reflection on what happened in 2011 and what might happen in 2012 is Rob Weber, senior VP and co-founder of W3i.
The US company is an iOS and Android app discovery and distribution outfit, which works with developers and publishers to launch and promote free games and apps.
PocketGamer: What do you think was the most significant event for the mobile games industry in 2011?
Rob Weber: Over the long term, I think we’ll look back at Amazon’s launch of its first Android-powered device, the Kindle Fire, as the most disruptive event that occurred in 2011 for mobile gaming.
Why? It signifies the first credible threat to the iPad for tablet market share, and it presents a massive future opportunity for game developers given how many credit cards Amazon has on file.
What was the most significant event for your company?
AppX, the $10 million cash extension of our Recharge Studio fund for accelerating the growth of mobile social games.
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
I love what our partner Appy has done with SpellCraft School of Magic for iOS. It’s taken the freemium model and made it fun, and also brought a more RPG-style game to the masses by utilising wizards, spells, etc.
As for a game we haven’t been involved with, that’s hard since 16 of the top 25 grossing iOS apps are currently partners. I suppose I’d have to say Halfbrick Studio’s Jetpack Joyride.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2012?
One trend that will start to have a real impact on mobile game developers’ bottom-line for 2012 will be the widespread adoption of cheap Android tablets, led by the Kindle Fire.
What’s your New Year’s resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
My New Year’s resolution would be to start playing more games on my Android phone. I still spend almost 100 percent of my time playing games on iOS devices.
The resolution I would enforce on the industry is to stop over-hyping things, and start getting back to the basics of what really drives long-term business growth.
IPTV is at the forefront for many top consumer tech companies. At the CES show in January, Samsung announced the launch of Samsung Apps, a multi-device application store which would make apps available for a range of devices, including HDTV’s. As part of their announcement, Samsung named several content partners which were already on-board, including Blockbuster, USA Today and others. Yahoo is also one of the big players in the web TV app space with their TV widgets (http://connectedtv.yahoo.com/services/tv-widgets). Yahoo has apps like YouTube, Amazon Video on Demand, Blockbuster, Twitter and TV Guide.
So, just what will be the killer apps for IPTV? I will explore some obvious, and not so obvious, killer apps for IPTV.
For the rest of the post, go here.
The following two paragraphs were taken from an excellent post written by Donna Fenn. I highly recommend you pick up her book Upstarts!
“Small business owners are typically an optimistic lot, even in the face of dismal economic conditions. But a recent American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor survey found that GenY entrepreneurs are more optimistic than most. “More than three-quarters (80%) of these entrepreneurs have a significantly more positive outlook on business prospects versus GenX and business owners overall (each 55%), and Baby Boomers (52%),” the survey noted. GenY business owners were most likely to be hiring and making capital investments, and least likely to have cash flow issues and to be “stressed out” about the economy.”
Later on in her post, Donna provides highlights from a discussion we had about my experience as a GenY entrepreneur, and W3i-
“Focus on your core competency. Robert Weber’s company, W3i in Sartell, MN, markets third party computer applications and has been growing 53% a year. W3i continues to post significant gains this year because, Weber says, he had the foresight to eliminate divisions of the company that were hogging resources without generating significant revenue. He shut down a lead generation business and sold a mobile applications business “we never really figured out how to integrate into our main company.” With a single point of focus — “to be market leader in applications distribution” — Weber says the company is well positioned for growth this year.”
Read Donna’s full post here
This evening I went online to BestBuy.com to pick up a new monitor for my home office PC. My old monitor crapped out a few days ago, and I’ve been meaning to get around to purchasing a new one. I tend to avoid brick and mortar stores for consumer electronic purchases, and BestBuy.com is usually the first website I start with when shopping for consumer electronics. (Apparently, I am like most other online shoppers… I read a recent analyst report that ranked BestBuy.com as number one in total online consumer electronic sales.)
After using BestBuy.com’s user ratings to sort through and find the best-rated 23-inch monitor, I settled on an Acer H233Hbmid 23 inch Widescreen HD LCD Monitor listed at $209.99.
Thankfully for me, I use a couple of different browser add-ons which provide me with timely shopping related information while I am browsing the web. For this purchase, I followed through a relevant message that came up from PriceGong, which I had installed through W3i’s Install IQ process a few months back. PriceGong alerted me that CompUSA.com had the exact same monitor for $199.99 with no shipping and handling, and no sales tax.
Later on, I proceeded through the checkout on BestBuy.com just to see what my final total would have been had I purchased this monitor through BestBuy.com. With $14.99 for shipping and handling, and $16.37 sales tax, my total would have come to $241.35. I saved $41.36 because my installed application, PriceGong, recommended CompUSA.com while shopping at BestBuy.com!
Most tech bloggers talk down about any application that requires an install, such as Windows applications and hybrid applications, like the PriceGong browser add-on. Most tech bloggers are so caught up in the cloud these days that they fail to remember why operating system integration can be so useful. How can the cloud compete with the kind of timely information an installed application can provide?
About a week ago on Twitter I posted a link to a picture I took of Daren Cotter (Cotterweb founder), Ryan Weber, and myself with the new Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis as a part of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Young Entrepreneur Award event.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal posted quite a few more “official pictures” of the event on their Shutterfly page. To access the pictures, use the password- pictures
and click on the collection called “Young Entrepreneurs”. You’ll have to browse around a little bit to find the ones of the Weber brothers.
This post is in response to Ad Age’s How Brands Can Build a Successful App Strategy-
12 Lessons From Benjamin Moore, Bank of America, Kraft and Others article.
Is it about creating a niche application (see mickeylonchar’s comment), or is it about having an application distribution strategy?
Social media and existing assets can certainly provide a spark to your application distribution strategy, but what do you do if you don’t have many fans to begin with? For the #13th lesson learned, consider “Get other popular applications to recommend your application.”
I’ve been looking at vendors which might be worth considering to drive application recommendations. Here are a few I have come across-
Mobile applications are a great tool for advertisers to increase engagement with their fans if advertisers can successfully generate wide distribution, but what about other application types? Other large media and e-commerce players are quietly getting very significant results from Windows applications and hybrid applications like Adobe AIR and Firefox add-ons. See white paper