Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where is our App. at?

I have a few confessions to make. But first… you know the old tale about the hairdresser who let his own hair grow so long he couldn’t see what he was cutting any more? That’s me. We run innovations projects all the time for clients. We have a process and a methodology which is rigorous, tried and tested. Yet here I am supposedly ‘innovating’ my own ethnographic iPhone App.:

  • I don’t even have an iPhone. And once it dawned on me that I needed one to test my App. it was too late.
  • I did virtually no competitor analysis.
  • I have no idea how much to sell my App. for.
  • The developers had to keep tweaking and sometimes completely changing things because I changed my mind so often. I.e. no clear brief or specifications.
  • I need a web based service to accompany the App. yet I haven’t even started to set out the specifications and we are only a few weeks away from launch.
  • The App. has a ‘share’ button alongside the ‘send’ and ‘save’ buttons. Share allows a researcher to send an interesting event/observation which is not confidential to a central archive open to all our App. buyers. As yet, I have no central archive because I have no web based service. Put simply, the button will not work.
  • As well as ethnographers, planners and the like, the App. will be a great tool for consumers to download and make themselves available to researchers - e.g. to take part in video diaries - on the central archive . Again, I have no central archive because I have no web based service, yet.

Many of the above issues are down to funding – I have gone over budget by a factor of 2 on the App. However, on a positive note, there have been a couple of rather exciting developments.

After the Research Magazine article – I have my good friend Paul Edwards at RI London to thank for sending my Ethnosnacker link to them – many individuals and a couple of large multi-nationals got in touch. One of the multinationals was based in the US and as I was already going to be in NJ for another meeting, they suggested we meet. They told me they wanted the App. for all of their marketing, research, branding and agency teams around the world. We are still talking. The second multinational is based in London. They wanted to know about the web based service and what it could/couldn’t do. Their idea was to give each of their panelists the App. to use in research diaries and the like. I am still in talks and I will keep you updated.

At this very moment I am busy writing and rewriting the blurb which will accompany the App. on the App store site when it’s finally launched. Once done we will send it to Apple for approval. This process will take, I am told, 2-3 weeks. And then, and then, I will have perhaps the most anxious wait of my entire life as I wait for the first reviews to come through.

Update: As of Thursday 19 November 2009 - two days after writing this piece - I have a 16Gb 3Gs!


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