Would You Use Your Own App?

Before launching your app into any application marketplace, you should test for demand. That’s business 101. But before doing that, there is an easy way to pre-test the market for interest: honestly ask yourself, “Would I use my own product?” It amazes me how few people ask this question. We are all parents of our creations, so of course we’d say yes. But like parents raising children, we can’t all realistically say our children are physically fit and attractive. Some can. Others would have to make a case. It’s the same thing for products and services. We can’t all say that our tools are useful, amazing or accessible. If that were always the case, failure wouldn’t exist.

When designing a piece of software, put yourself in a user’s shoes. How hard is it to get started using the app? How much privacy must I compromise? Is it fun to use? Will my friends think I’m cool if I use it? Is it better than another app I use that does the same thing? If you don’t like the answers to your own questions, your users won’t either. Do not be afraid to return to the drawing board, especially when you cannot completely endorse your own product. Save yourself the time and shame if, deep down, you know the truth.

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My Next Smartphone

A challenge to the smartphone market: I expect my next smartphone to have three things:

  1. Near Field Communication (NFC) for mobile transactions
  2. 4G data connection
  3. Quad-core Processor (minimum Dual-core processor)

I am putting my money on NFC (no pun intended) and the future of mobile transactions. I also expect the hardware to help streamline user interface interaction and application processes. Until these expectations are met, I will stick with my aged BlackBerry Bold 9650. I will likely invest in the first device that meets these standards.

Bring it on, Apple and Samsung!