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Monthly Archives: December 2008

This is going to sound like I’m selling something, but I promise, I have no financial affiliation with Sliderocket. The service has just made my life so mush easier that i feel like I owe it to them to give them a plug…

 

I met Mitch Grasso last year at an Adobe event in San Francisco. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of his brainchild, SlideRocket. Now, just 2 years after Mitch and Mike founded Sliderocket, the tool is so useful, I don’t know how we have done without it.

 

For those of you who are not familiar with the online service. Sliderocket allows you to create Keynote quality presentations using just your browser. The integrated content management system keeps all of your assets organized – you can upload imagery, video (in flv format), and even your flash content. The tool has all the things you would expect from a professional preso tool: themes, master slides, an intuitive & sexy interface, charts & graphs and much more…

 

But these features are not what make Sliderocket stand above (and I mean WAY above) the rest. Instead of having to use Webex (or some other screen sharing tool) to show your presentation over the web, Sliderocket utilizes a shared, real time content delivery model. Basically, when the “host” of a presentation starts, they send a link to their audience. The audience then gets the deck through the flash player – just as crisp and clear as when you made it. When the host changes a slide, the host application just sends a little message to the Sliderocket servers when then broadcasts to the audience’s deck, forcing their presentation to follow along. Movies, transitions, graphics al keep their original integrity, just as you intended look and behave. You can also provide a link to your hosted preso that let people control it autonomously. 

 

They offer an “offline” player as well – so you can present your slides without needing an internet connection. I personally would rather use Keynote for “boardroom” type of presentations. Mostly because I know Keynote really well and I don’t need to upload my content to a server (in other words, its faster). But for shared presentations over the web – Sliderocket really lives up to their promise to “redefine what presentations can do for you”

 

Pricing starts at “free” and gets as expensive as $20/month(wich includes the hosted/shared solutions) –  if you compare that cost to Webex, its a steal!

 

A note to Adobe Ventures – why have you not picked this company up? In my humble opinion, it is at least as useful as Buzzword, is complimentary to your Acobat.com offerings, and is a great showcase of what your platform can do…

 

UX In A Box

UX In A Box

 

I’m proud to announce that effectiveui has just launched Effective User Experience. Now available for immediate purchase. No need to worry about costly designers or time consuming usability testing. You don’t even need to reach out and listen to your pesky customers! Now, for one low price, you can install Effective User Experience and watch your conversions skyrocket, your employes kiss their computers, and your profits soar…

Act now because for a limited time only, we will throw in our Web 2.0 Expansion Kit at no additional charge! That’s right, you can engage your users with the new “Social Web” with exciting options like FaceBook, MySpace and AJAX – The Internets have never been so easy!

Just Listen to Our Customers:

I’ve been using Effective User Experience for the last three months. I can’t believe how successful the software has made me. My boss loves me, our customers are raving, and it was all installed with a simple, one step process for just a few bucks!  - Eugene Puckfarkner, ABQ Corp

I convinced my CEO to buy Effective User Experience for our employees and we’ve seen an instant gain in productivity. How did we ever live without this unique product? – Edward Throckmorton, Widget Manufacturing 

We are so convinced that you will love Effective User Experience that we are offering a money back guarantee. if you are not 100% completely satisfied, just return the box and we will promptly send you a full refund..

We have been building iPhone applications for the last 10 months now and we’ve made it on the Apple “short list” of partners for iPhone development. Occasionally someone calls that got ahold of that list to get a proposal from us. A common issue we are seeing right now is the same issue we saw in the early days of RIA development. Budgets for adequate design and development of these applications are no where close to deliver the types of experiences iPhone customers have come to expect.

What the app store market has done is create an interesting issue for companies considering an iPhone effort – do you build something quick and get it out there for a little, or do you wait for the market to mature and budgets to increase – if you go for the smaller budgets, the applications will not be up to your standards (and you will almost certainly be disappointed)… if you wait for budgets to increase, will the opportunity pass you by?

To answer the question, we needed to look at the app store as it exist today, and try to pull some useful numbers from it. The first thing that struck us is the sheer volume of applications in the store – roughly 12,000 at the time of the writing of this post, less than 6 months from the launch of the store. The second most surprising item was the number of downloads, 300 million and counting. 

app-store-trend

App Store Growth is Absolutely Amazing

If the above trend continues, by the middle of next year there will be 100,000+ applications and 3 Billion (yes, with a B) downloads of those apps. That means if you start building your iPhone application today, by the time it is released you will most likely be competing with 100,000 other apps for an average of 34,000 downloads per. This presents a HUGE opportunity for some, while an even larger dilemma for others – The upside is obvious: if you create an application for the app store and its even a mild success: cha-ching! The downside is that it will be easy to get lost in the 100,000+ applications.  For a little more inight,we looked at the individual app store categories: we noticed, even today, it would be difficult to create something truly differentiating for a low budget… there are 2800+ games, 1000+ educational apps,  1000+ productivity, 1800+ “utilities”… heck, there are even 100 “weather” category apps and over 800 in the “books” category.

 

Our advice: For those that are considering an iPhone experience next year, you need to make a hard choice. If you decide to go forward, you will need to look at creating something that is truly differentiating - this means respecting the power of the iPhone platform and taking the proper time (and resources) to craft an engaging application. If you believe you will fall short, save your money and and use the built in Safari Browser on the iPhone along with some internal web developers to create a website presence specifically designed for the iPhone.

It is too late to be a “first mover” in this market – it is time to do it right or not at all —

 

update: it appears that I’m not the only one commnenting on the status of the app store application market:
http://www.macrumors.com/2008/12/10/app-store-developers-debate-pricing-and-marketing/ 

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