By John Houghton on December 4, 2014
By way of keeping you connected to the hot new companies that debut here in Silicon Valley, one in particular caught my eye and it’s called ContactRoom. As you can imagine, a company that does a lot of B2B contracts needs to have a streamlined process and until now we’ve had basic ERP functionality, but the Workday of B2B contracts hasn’t existed until now. Getting a contract signed is part of the sales function and both the selling performance and the legal terms are key. Now companies can track both the sales reps and the terms to see which are performing, or not, and adjust accordingly.
There are a number of wins here. First, all […]
By John Houghton on November 19, 2014
I spoke with Marcus Weller, CEO of Skully today at DEMO Fall 2014. I asked him what advice he would give to entrepreneurs who are thinking about getting involved in wearables. He had some great advice and that is to focus on your core use case and get that right before you move on. I thought that was spot on, because you may have read other posts of mine where Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says, “It’s easy to add; it’s hard to edit – it’s hard to focus.” Apple is successful because Apple has always focused. That’s what entrepreneurs these days need to do and not only that, there are many executives at important […]
By John Houghton on November 18, 2014
One of the things I love about conferences like DEMO Fall 2014 is they get you outside of your normal way of thinking, and that’s what is necessary to be truly innovative. Who ever thought of turning people into ATMs? It’s pretty crazy and it could either go wrong or it could go right. Just like the mobile carriers were disintermediated by WhatsApp, this payment solution by Ali Goss of HelloBit could push banks aside for at least one of their services – money transfer.
International money transfer processes are full of friction. It’s hard to pay vendors overseas, there are hefty fees involved, and it usually requires a special trip to the bank where you fill […]
By John Houghton on March 26, 2014
They say that the rising tide floats all ships. What about a tidal wave? Many people are dumbfounded at the valuations that app companies are receiving, especially in the messaging world, but looking back at history can provide some perspective.
Messaging has been hot for a while, starting with AOL in the 90s, then platforms were developed that integrated the many messaging solutions. Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, and although that wasn’t an app deal, it set the tone. Facebook then bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012; the biggest app deal to date, and it seemed like a lot, but that deal has been totally eclipsed by Facebook’s latest $19 billion dollar […]
By John Houghton on March 18, 2014
“Customers who use the app actually shop with us two times more frequently and spend 40% more than a customer who doesn’t use our apps,” according to Wendy Bergh, Vice President, Mobile & Digital Strategy at Apps World 2014. While many companies want assurance of a return before they invest, Walmart is an example of an innovative company who took a risk by investing in mobile apps without any clear return in sight. By taking a risk and carefully listening to her customers she was able to provide a substantial return on investment to Walmart through mobile apps. It makes sense that Walmart would find this opportunity, because there is a lot of low hanging […]
By John Houghton on March 6, 2014
The most effective way to sell a mobile app idea is to create a complete prototype so that your stakeholders can get a sense of the full experience of your app. People are visual, and by showing your idea in action you can capture the excitement and give a sense of what the app really does. That’s the advice of Marco Paglia, Google’s Design Lead. An effective presentation can help you secure funding or get your company’s buy-in on the concept and design.
In other words, your prototype needs to be fully functional and complete with graphics and transitions. In order to sell the idea, the prototype must be striking and visually appealing. Then it […]
By John Houghton on February 25, 2014
As part of our continuing coverage of Apps World 2014 in San Francisco, I talked to Brent Hieggelke, Chief Marketing Officer of Urban Airship. Urban Airship provides notification services for app developers, and this ties very nicely with beacons that can trigger events like personalized notifications when a user is at a particular location in the store.
Until now marketers could only learn about their customers through their web browsing and mobile app usage, but now data are available on a customer’s physical movements throughout the shopping experience. Can you imagine the possibilities? Thus far, advertising costs have dropped dramatically because of the very precise targeting available through online advertising. Now, retailers can set up all […]
By John Houghton on February 14, 2014
Last week I went to Apps World 2014 in San Francisco with the intent of interviewing thought leaders on a variety of topics, including User Experience (UX). Why user experience? Because if an app isn’t useable, it will fail; and many apps are failing because of usability. When you consider all of the other factors, you can max out each of them, but if your app’s UX (user experience) is poor, the app will fail. The UX of an app is one of the most determinate factors of success. This is why it’s so important for app developers to figure out what good UX is and implement this in their app. A good UX makes […]
By John Houghton on January 31, 2014
Mobile app developers are in demand and will be for the foreseeable future. According to what I’m seeing in the marketplace, projects that were previously shelved due to lack of funding are now starting to get attention and funding. Apple’s iOS is still the first target for an app’s release, with the iPhone being first, followed at a distance by the iPad. This is despite Android’s dominance and having the market share of mobile devices, but not yet having the mindshare. Apple is the number one brand (according to Interbrand), and everybody wants to be associated with it. All a company has to do is develop a good iOS app; however, that’s not as […]
By John Houghton on January 31, 2014
I get a lot of questions about what it costs to develop iOS (iPhone/iPad) apps, and people often wonder what it takes to retain an iOS developer. My company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I’ve hired a lot of iOS developers, so I can share some insights and interpretations about what I see going on.
I checked a number of sources, and it looks to me like the job site Indeed.com has the most accurate numbers. According to Indeed, and as of today, January 30th, 2014, the average iOS developer in San Francisco makes $122,000 per year, while a senior developer makes $139,000 per year. The salary for this job category is […]