00:00

Episode 28: Tech & disruption: That mobile madness

00:00

All Xero Gravity episodes

Hosted by Elizabeth Ü and Gene Marks

Technology continues to disrupt the flow of business, making it more important than ever to understand the powerful role apps can play.

How can you combine mobile and apps in your business? How are they being used across the world? What would a planet without them look like?

In episode 28 of Xero Gravity, hosts Gene Marks and Elizabeth Ü explore mobile applications and the opportunities they present for small business.

Joined by Mark Paddon of Guide Kick, and Redmer Schukken of Ice House Corporation, Gene and Elizabeth ask some pointed questions about app development and use. And delve into their connection to online security and the streamlining of business operations.   

All that and more — including why Southeast Asian businesses are bypassing desktops and going straight to mobile — from the delightful duo of hosts Elizabeth Ü and Gene Marks!

Small Business Resources:

Guest suggestions:

Xero Small Business Guides: Understanding cloud computing

Episode transcript

Hosts: Gene Marks (GM) and Elizabeth Ü (EÜ)

Guests: Redmer Schukken (RS) and Mark Paddon (MP)

--------------------------------------------------

Xero Gravity Promo

Anncr: You’ve just tuned into Xero Gravity. A podcast for small business leaders and entrepreneurs across America. Now to your hosts: Gene Marks and Elizabeth Ü

--------------------------------------------------

GM   Hi everybody and welcome to Xero Gravity, this is myself, Gene Marks and we are talking with my co-host, Elizabeth Ü. Elizabeth, we have a technical conversation coming up so I’ve got to prepare you on this. I mean neither you or I, or our mobile app developers, but I mean, we – we both come across a lot of small business owners that are looking to develop a mobile app for their business. You must see this a lot at Xero, right?

EÜ   Yes, well – and I will confess that one of my clients right before I joined the team at Xero, I was helping develop a travel app for iPhone, so speak for yourself, I have been in part of a team developing a mobile app.

GM   All right, I’m glad to hear that, I really am. Because I – I’ve never actually been involved in a mobile app development project myself but I refer other mobile app developers to our clients and – and I know there’s a big interest in doing that. So, yeah, today what we’re going to do is we’re going to have two people that are in the mobile app world. One of them, his name is Redmer Schukken, and he’s a member of the board of directors of a company called Ice House Corporation and they’re a mobile app development firm. That’s what they do. You – if you want to have a mobile app done, you outsource it to them.

  And the other guy that we’re going to talk to is a guy named Mark Paddon, who’s CEO of a company called Guide Kick. And Guide Kick offers mobile apps for museums, to navigate your way around museums, which is kind of interesting: so two different perspectives. Do you have any, do you have anything specific you want to ask those guys?

EÜ   Well I have a lot of questions. I think that several of our listeners might be ready to take the plunge and develop their own mobile apps at this stage, and so I’m really curious what it’s going to take to make that happen for our listeners.

GM   Yeah, I agree and – and I want to cover things about security and mobile devices that are needed and all of that. So again, if you’re looking to develop your own mobile app or if you’re thinking of doing it either in house or having it done, you know, outsourced, but you want a mobile app for your company, this will be a great conversation for you to listen to, I am sure. So stay tuned — we’ll be back in a few minutes and we’ll get those guys on the line.

----------------------------------------------

Xero Gravity Promo

GM   We’re part of the Xero Podcast Network and we’d love you to subscribe to the show in iTunes.

EÜ   And leave us a review. The link is in today’s show notes on xero.com/podcasts

-------------------------------------------

GM   We are very excited to have two great guests with us today. We are going to be talking a lot about mobile, mobile technology, mobile devices and all things regarding mobile.

  Alright, so we’ve got with us on the line here Redmer Schukken. Redmer is a member of the board of directors of the Ice House Corporation, and we also have Mark Paddon, who is CEO of Guide Kick. Guys’ thanks very much for joining us.

  Let me flick back to you Redmer and ask, tell me a little bit about your company. You’re a member of the board at Ice House. What does Ice House do?

RS   Yeah so Ice House stands for Indonesian Centre of Excellence, and then we basically we make mobile apps. So we make them in – most of them are developed here in Indonesia, and we have offices in Silicon Valley and in Singapore and Australia. So we sell them for customers custom-made in the US, Singapore, Europe, Australia and here in Indonesia. And we try to make a more interactive and more vibrant experience than most other mobile companies do.

  We have some in-house applications, but we have like a platform that does Augmented Reality. So magazines here in South East Asia our – our own can subscribe to that. But most our work is subcontracting work so we – we develop – for instance, two years ago I guess, our most famous app was the one for Star Trek. Paramount Pictures wanted to make an app when the movie was launched — Into Darkness — and we built that app together with Qualcomm.

GM   Awesome and what did you do in a prior life before you were involved with Ice House?

RS   Oh, so before I had a company, we were one of the SAP-certified implementers in Indonesia. So we built SAP. We did that for about 10 years. So 10 years doing SAP I think it was about enough. But it gave me a solid background when I set up the back office for – for Ice House. And before that I was with a startup company in the US — we did biz intelligence. So I’ve basically been in the IT segment most of my – or all of my career I would say.

GM   Alright, cool. So Mark, tell us a little bit about Guide Kick; you are CEO of this company.

MP   Yeah, so Guide Kick is a startup in San Francisco. We have a mobile application platform for museums, and historic sites, and places powered by tourism. So – so we’re live at three museums in California right now, at the DM Art Museum, the Legion of Honor and the Hearst Castle. So basically what we have is a platform that has 3D maps and you can kind of explore at different buildings, see the interiors and where different points of interest are inside. Indoor navigation that tracks you as you move around the space, and then kind of a, you know, intelligent comment delivery. And the tools that power it, like analytics and kind of the – the web application, to kind of support the content and build that experience, you know, behind the scenes.

GM   All right, so as a company that makes mobile applications for museums — so just to make sure I understand — so museums are your customers, correct? And you do specific applications for them? Do you outsource any of the application work that you do, or is it all done in-house?

MP   All the development work is done in-house. We have a pretty, you know, small kind of new and lean team so, but we’re definitely focusing on local development.

GM   We are talking about developing mobile applications for your company and, you know, I guess the first thing that I just have to ask; I do have a lot of clients that are interested in maybe developing a mobile application.

But let me start with you, Redmer. You know, as a company that primarily makes its, you know, its money from having companies outsource their mobile app development to them, can you give me a few reasons why a small business would want to outsource their mobile app development rather than doing it in-house?

RS   So, there’s multiple reasons for this – to do this. Right? Number one it’s – it’s now, especially if you’re based in Silicon Valley, it’s very difficult to get engineers. I mean there’s so much demand now, so there are not many engineers out there. Number two, if you get them, it takes time to onboard them, to train and to keep them happy, to get a development team. A mobile company, especially in the initial phase, is able to do that. Right?

Number three, is that a lot of people who have these ideas don’t know what is possible at this moment with mobile. There’s so many things to do like, you know, geo-location base; you can do Bluetooth Beacons for indoor location; you can do Augmented Reality, all – all kinds of stuff that you can do, which we can typically show them from previous customers (what we have done). So normally they get new ideas from that. And finally, especially with development houses like – like Ice House, you get an economic advantage as well because we have a lot of engineers here in Southeast Asia. We can work much cheaper than you could do it for – if you could do it in the US.

GM   Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, so all those reasons, you know, would convince me to actually outsource development. But Mark, you’re doing this stuff internally, and you guys must have had this conversation internally about should we – should we develop this stuff, you know in-house or should we have an outside firm do it for us? What led you to actually hire people and do it in- house rather than outsource it?

MP   Well, for – for Guide Kick we have a platform. So it’s something that, you know, we focus on creating these experiences for these different museums and so that’s really our – our expertise and, you know, our specialty. So this is – we’re building one, you know, base of software; our engine that we create and maintain, and that we can distribute and create these different you know, awesome, white-labeled apps that are all kind of powered by our core technology. You know, so that’s why it’s important for us to engineer and build and design the product ourselves, you know, and then distribute it to our different customers. So that’s sort of how – how it works and how we structure our development internally.

EÜ   I’m just wondering how you help your clients identify the target user for your apps. I mean obviously not everyone at the museums where you’re building these guides, for instance, will be using the mobile guide. So how are you working with your clients to help identify which audience you’re actually building this for?

MP   Well, I think, you know, across the board, museums really want a way to focus on the younger generation and the millennials coming into these places. You know, there – there’s a pretty established kind of older base of donors and fans who are coming, and maybe prefer the older technology. But they really want to create something fun and engaging and accessible for – you know, for a younger audience, and build kind of the next generation of fans and, you know, enthusiasts of art and culture in these different museums.

EÜ   So Redmer, I’m wondering if you have clients coming to you — clearly you’re in the business of developing mobile apps for these businesses — but I’m wondering if you think there’s a time that’s too soon in a company’s life cycle to be looking at developing a mobile app? So, you know, do you ever recommend that your prospective clients look at perhaps maybe building a mobile version of their website, or do you think that it’s never too soon?

RS   Sometimes, and I think a couple of times I’ve had but this is more like with, maybe like, you know, friends with my dad who said, I want to advertise you know, some consulting business and I say, well let me do a normal app. But I would say 95% of the time it’s the opposite and especially I think that it’s truer here in Southeast Asia, rather than in the US. Because here in Southeast Asia there’s this – this phenomenon going on that the whole desktop is being skipped. Right? So it’s the natural progression to go from website or desktop applications to mobile. Whereas in Southeast Asia the whole desktop is being skipped so people will go directly to mobile phones. So it’s more than true than anything that if you are not doing mobile, you’re basically, you’re going to lose it. Especially in the B-to-C business.

GM   That’s great. Mark I want to get back to you as well. When you’re developing mobile apps, one of the biggest issues I hear from my clients is about security and people are always wondering about how their data is secured, and whether or not it’s, you know, should it be hosted by somebody outside of their company, should they do it inside of their company? So what – what security concerns do you think business people should be looking at if they’re going to develop their own mobile apps?

MP What I can talk about maybe is permissions especially for users. You know, so – so in our case, our apps require stuff like your – your location and – and Bluetooth and notifications for it to work properly, because the app comes to life when you’re walking around in a museum and activating content and it’s tracking your location. And so I think, you know, it’s – it’s an obstacle to properly design and – and implement and present these notifications and then justify why a user should, you know, give it to us and make that possible.

GM   Redmer, what about you? I mean I promised I would come back to you on the topic of security itself, and permissions obviously are very important. But what about securing the data? And you know, your clients must ask you, I mean how secure is their data, and you know what steps are you taking to make sure that information is not being breached?

RS   So there’s actually, there are two different things. We’re talking about privacy, right? Permissions and security, right? So privacy is obviously, it’s like you know, how much data the users are willing to give up, their location, their email address, the Bluetooth and everything, right? And then there’s the security of it, right? So in that sense we have typically two kinds of customers; one that have their own backend, so they have a website by itself already; and one that we develop both the back end and the front end for them. And unfortunately it’s not always that clear that security is an issue. So we always advise them and say, listen from the start you have to design it in such a way that it is secure, right? So we design the back end: from the start we design, you know, where there’s encrypted connections only between the client and the back end. You know, we have to do authorizations for every single API call, right? It’s a bit technical but basically that every time the app talks to the server and has to be encrypted, you have to authenticate to make sure that it’s actually the client that you’re talking to.

 So normally that goes okay, and then we would also recommend that you do what we call a penetration test, right? You have a third party come in and test, especially the back end to see if it’s secure and all. Unfortunately, normally when there’s an issue is when the customer has their own back end and they’re not always aware that this is an important thing. Or they think, oh we’re still small so we’ll deal with it later. Right, well we say, you know, actually if you want to think about security, you have to think about it from the start because if you have to redesign your back end later on it’s going to be much more costly than if you do it from the start. So unfortunately it’s typically the other way around. We inform the customer and say, you think about it, right, and the customer is concerned with us.

I think nowadays most of the companies are not hosting themselves anymore. I mean, that’s one of the things that of course, we – we chose Xero as well, right? In this new economy it doesn’t make sense to host your own servers anymore, unless you have like a really specific in-house system. But I would say 100% of our customers host the data somewhere else on – typically on Amazon or – or another data center, right? So I think that is typically assumed that it is, you know, the data centers are better at securing the data themselves in-house.

EÜ   So let’s say that several of our listeners are really excited, they’re already on board; they understand that early adoption of mobile is going to be part of really standing out from the crowd or at least not getting left behind. I mean, Andy Lark on Xero staff, has a famous quote, that early adopters eat the late adopters, so they’re ready. What decisions do these small businesses need to make before they come to a service such as Ice House to build their mobile apps? What sort of specifications do they need to have in mind before they would call up someone to help them build their mobile app?

RS   Yeah, so number one is this stuff, and you need to have, some people have an idea, but they don’t have dedicated people to – even though if they outsource it — need to have someone dedicated from the customer side that knows what he or she wants to do. If you don’t have it you’re going to go back and forth and back and forth with ideas and you’re going to waste a lot of time. So you need to have somebody dedicated to know – not to know how to code, but how – to know, make decisions of what it is going to end up in the app — yes or no.

The second thing you need to know, think about is platform, right? Some companies want to do old platforms at the same time and it used to be, IOS, Android and Windows Mobile and then Blackberry. Now it’s only two left basically, right? But you’ve got to think about a strategy if you want to go directly to platforms, or you want to do one first because it’s more economical to do one, because the second one can maybe copy the first one. Or you want to do both of them at the same time, right? Because it’s just going to test – take more time in development and also in testing — essentially because especially on the Android platform — there’s a lot more devices you need to test on. So those are the main key things that you – which you need to think about.

-----------------------------------------

EÜ   Alright, so now it is time for our “What I Wish I Knew” segment. So do – I’m going ask both of you for a piece of advice, something that you wish you knew early on into your career. So Mark let’s start with you.

MP   Sure. Yeah, so I want to talk just about the kind of importance of, you know, early customer testing and iterative development. So I think, you know we had a tendency early on to build more than we had to, to kind of get an idea out there and get it in people’s hands and get it going. So I think one of the biggest pieces of advice I would have to developing a mobile specially is to get something functional. You’re going to learn, you know, so much more than what you probably assumed ahead of time.

EÜ   Are you using live focus groups or are you running your books through a particular service, or how are you testing?

MP   We try to, you know, get people in and using it as – as soon as possible. You know, so – so very early on we’ll bring people into the office and we’ll have a prototype of the app and we’ll be, you know, recording their interaction with the phone and then the kind of their kind of – their facial expressions as we’re walking them through different tasks and then learning from that, and then as it matures, you know, we’re bringing them onsite into the museum and having them explore with it and then learning from that. And then we’ll see what the trends, what are, you know, 80% of the testers all experiencing with issues or – or confusion. And that’s kind of how we will prioritize what we, you know, focus on and what we improve first.

EÜ   That’s great. Redmer what about you? What do you wish that you knew early in your career?

RS   Well, it’s actually similar. When – when I was in the SAP world everything was Waterfall, right, we had to – it has a design phase, you have to define everything and that typically wasted a lot of time. You spent half the project on just getting all the requirements into place where you don’t even know how it’s going to work out. And now actually with the Agile way of development it is a much more flexible way. So basically every two weeks you have a deliverable that you can actually test, that you can play around with, tweak it and then adjust the requirements as you go. Now, it requires more budget control. You need to make sure that – you know, you can’t say up front how much it’s going to cost, right? So you need to play with the requirements in the budget. But in the end it delivers a much better experience than trying to define everything up front without even knowing how the app is going to turn out. Don’t try to define everything up front. Do it while you develop, and it’s just iterative Agile process.

EÜ   And so Redmer, for our listeners who may not be familiar with the Agile method of development, maybe you could say a little bit about how that works and some of the things that you might actually deliver within a two-week period.

RS   Yeah, so the Agile development is – we define the development what we call sprints, and we used to do weekly sprints. But that was a bit too much, so now we have bi-weekly sprints. So that means you start from an initial requirement set and then the customer will define okay, what goes into the first two weeks, and you just start to develop that first. And it might be for instance, the log-in screen or the welcome screen, so you deliver that after two weeks and then the usual play around with it, test it, and get feedback on it, right? And then when you get into the second sprint, right, that feedback is automatically incorporated.

And then the second thing is that it’s not so much specifications or specs like we used to call them in the old, right? but It’s called stories, right? So customers will have to write stories and we use the Jira tool for that, same as Mark I guess, where you have to say, okay, well when I log into that app, I should be able to log in with Facebook, Google and with an email ID, right? Then if I have an email ID I will have to submit a password. The password will have to be at least seven characters with numbers and it’s all – you write the stories like that basically. And then those stories are then actually allocated through the system to developers and the developers will then put estimates to it, right? And we call these complexity points. So that is actually a way of them monitoring what will go into the sprint. So there’s the main difference with the Waterfall. With the Waterfall you just have a huge document and then sign off on it and that’s it, right? Whereas with Agile every two weeks you’ll have a deliverable and you can actually basically stop at any time. Of course at the end of it you still have a whole testing cycle where you make sure that you do the security, the load balancing, full integration testing. But actually every two weeks you have a deliverable, right? A new version of the app that people can use.

GM   That’s great, so you know, we’re hardly talking about devices and I know a lot of people are, of course, they’re interested because you know, everybody is about a smartphone world. We always tell our clients — and I could be wrong — that if they’re going to be looking into mobile app development, it always seemed that the – you know, the Android platform, that operating system was a better platform to develop a mobile app on because it gave you that much more flexibility and freedom and there’s theoretically more developer tools. Do you guys agree with that? I mean let me start with you, Mark. Do you think that it makes a difference whether somebody develops something for an iPhone or the Android? Is there any benefits or – or weaknesses– you know, between both?

MP   Yeah, so at Guide Kick we leave development on iOS and that’s because it’s easier because there are fewer devices to support. You know, when we launch a new product where we’re – we know it has to work on, you know, four iPhones. And that’s it. And we can test it and it works, but when you enter the Android ecosystem, and especially when you’re building sophisticated customized experiences, you have to potentially support, you know, thousands of devices and there are edge cases for all sorts of different things. So I think to create an analogous experience it takes a lot more development work to create a really, solid polished Android app.

GM   What do you think Redmer? Do you think it’s better to develop something for the Android platform or the iPhone, or do you not care?

RS   I think I totally agree, it’s not a matter of better, right, but if you talk about easier, yeah. Apple has of course, there are sometimes issues with approval cycles or you know, what can go and cannot go in the app store. They’re very – very strict about that. But it’s totally true the main differences are testing, right? So it used to be only an iPhone and an iPad — now we have different kinds of iPhones, but at least it is limited and typically all users will be in the latest iOS. So we always support the latest OS and one before so at the moment it’s OS9 and OS8.

If you go to Android, oh, there can be four or five different versions of the iOS, right, and sub-versions too. There’s different sizes, even tablets, fablets, phones – so it’s a much more difficult testing cycle on Android.

GM   Fair enough. What I was told, and again, I’m not a developer in training, but I was told that once you do develop, say an iPhone app, converting it or doing it for the Android platform is not that difficult to do. In other words – there’s conversion tools to do that. Is that – is that a fair statement to make here Redmer? Or do you think that – are you starting from scratch?

RS   No, so the conversion tools, they – they don’t really work. So we’ve used one project that – you know, there’s these general tools that you code it once and then it compiles for both platforms. They don’t work; the experience is horrible. So we don’t do that at all anymore. But also it’s very personal as well, you know? You have either an IOS or an Android developer. If you ask the Android developer, he will say at all times the Android platform is better because blah, blah, blah. Even we have two camps in the office right, the Android and the iOS camp. If you ask the iOS developer, he will say the same. He will say, “Oh no, iOS is much better because… .” All kinds of reasons. So it’s also, in the end, a subjective. It used to be like the old Windows versus Mac; now it’s Android’s versus iOS, right? Which camp you’re in, it’s very – people are very loyal there.

GM   I love that, we’re talking in depth about, you know, writing your mobile apps, doing your own in-house, or maybe outsourcing if you want to have a mobile app for your company. But you know, just ask, I mean you guys are in the mobile world. I mean Mark, let me – let me ask you. Just – what, can you name me a couple of mobile apps that maybe you guys are using in your business that you love and increase your productivity, that’s out there. I mean as a mobile app expert, what you recommend to our listeners.

MP   So first of all, you know, I’ll say that for a small team, and for a small startup, like, you know, we all have our – our personal smartphones and kind of the apps enable us to operate very effectively as a small team. So we use Flowdock for team communication and syncing up and coordinating on tasks, and what everybody is doing.

GM   Flowdock, okay.

MP   Yeah, so – so that’s a really cool service. You know group emails, we manage our development work, so you know, tracking tickets and tasks on mobile in Jira or on Trullo, which both are really great mobile apps.

GM   Redmer, what about you? Give me – give me a couple of mobile apps you guys are using internally or stuff that you would recommend to a business owner that’s trying to improve their productivity.

RS   Yeah, so when we decided on all the systems in the back end; first of all we said everything has to be in the cloud. I don’t want to have any servers on premise. So obviously Xero is one of them we use, right, and the mobile as well. Then I think we use the Jira as well for productivity, and we use Harvest, which is time tracking, which is very important for billing our customers. That is a mobile app as well, and then we use Asana for issue management, which is similar to Trullo but just that, you know, I guess a slightly different front end to it.

-----------------------------------------

GM   Alright, so let’s move on now guys. We have a great segment that we love to do on this show that is called “The Elevator Pitch.” This is a pitch we’re going to be asking you guys to actually deliver: a pitch for a certain product or a service. The winner between the two of you guys, all right, gets to take home a $100 Amazon gift card. So I’m going to give you 90 seconds to make your pitch to us, and before I tell you what the pitch is, we’re going to judge you, Elizabeth and I on – on five different things.

Number one is make sure you identify the problem, make sure your pitch offers a solution to that problem. Make sure you identify the target market for this product or service that you’re going to pitch us. Your products or service must have a compelling, you know, marketable name, something fun or cool and your pitch has to be creative and outside of the box.

People are so tired, I know I am super tired of having to recharge my battery every two hours in my smartphone and sometimes I wish we can go back to the good old days 10 years ago where, it wasn’t a smart phone. It was just a flip phone or just a regular, you know, phone, that you use that didn’t seem to take up so much battery power; it could last all-day or longer.

So here’s the pitch. I want you to sell us on a – on a product that’s as infallible as those phones back in the day that lasted really long with a good battery life. And you want to give us a new name for it, and you want to tell us what that phone will do. So you each are going to have 90 seconds to do this, so let me – let me start with you Redmer, are you ready?

RS   Alright I want to tell you this morning about a fabulous new product, it’s called the B Phone, the Basic Phone. It’s going back to the old days of the robust Nokia’s and Eriksson phones where things just worked and you didn’t have to re-power it. And the main advantage of this phone is it doesn’t run any apps, so that means you’re going to be far more productive. There are no interruptions of your staff or Facebook, or Instagram, for What’s App, for Google Hangout, Skype: any of these apps won’t run on this phone. The only thing you can do with this phone is call and you can send SMSs. There’s a special feature built in to make sure you don’t count too many times on SMSs because it doesn’t have a regular keyboard or a soft keyboard on the screen, but it has one of these original zero to 10 dials on it. So you have to use a system called T9. So T9 is not that it doesn’t work, but it’s just not as easy to use, so people won’t be tempted to actually use the SMS function of this phone.

So in short: the B Phone, brand new device, it’s reliable, you save battery, once a week charging and it’s going to be great, it’s going to take over the market, so buy your phone now.

GM   I love it! An actual phone that is a phone, right? That is a great idea. I like that a lot. All right, Mark let’s see what you got. Give it to us in 90 seconds.

MP   So I want to tell you about the Adventure Phone. It’s a phone for the outdoor enthusiast and adventure market. So think back to the last time that you were on a hike, you were in the woods and you were trying to make a phone call to get rescued because you were lost and you were out of power and you dropped your phone and the screen had smashed and the glass was destroyed. So with the new Adventure Phone it’s like an old-school brick phone, beautifully redesigned, the battery lasts for months. It’s impeccable with calls and service; you can even entertain yourself with snake, and we’re servicing a huge market and it’s going to save your life. So that’s my pitch.

GM   I love it, I think that’s great. All right, so Elizabeth, let’s hear, you’re the one that’s used to hearing all these pitches, what do you think of these two pitches?

EÜ   Wow, so this was great; so I have to say that I was very, very impressed with the problem that Redmer outlined. The new phones are too distracting. There are too many interruptions that come up because you’ve got notifications from all your different apps. So that was a pretty hilarious damnation of the current state of mobile phones. It’s true; your staff is getting distracted. So I – I have to guess at your target market, because you didn’t really explain who the target market is exactly, although you did mention staff. So I’m going to assume that this is for employers to buy their staff if they don’t want their staff to be too interrupted over the course of the workday. And then yes, as far as the solution, this is great. It doesn’t run apps; it features the very innovative old school T9 typing so that even though you can send text messages, it’s hard to type them, so you won’t be as tempted. All you can use it is to call. And I thought the B Phone name was also great, this basic phone and your delivery: totally tongue in cheek. Very creative, very funny.

But as far as Mark goes, you had a very, very clear target market, these adventurers. The name Adventure phone maybe not that creative, but so very clear what it is, and then a month’s long battery, a very innovative solution again. I don’t even think we had old school early OTS phones that offered a battery that lasted for a month. I do remember my old Nokia did have at least five days of battery life. So going to several weeks or a whole month, that’s – that’s great. So I think maybe your target market is a bit small, and always good to have, to know your audience and know whom you’re pitching. I mean you never know; it’s like the GoPro. People that are holding the Adventure Phone, they’re about to have a big adventure. Maybe people will buy it just to have the look of being about to go out into the wilderness. To have an unbreakable phone where they can play snake. This is a tough one, but I would have to say in the end I’m going to give Redmer the edge for his delivery.

GM   It’s a tough – look we’re supposed to grade on a scale of zero to five, I mean both of you guys are 4+, you know.

EÜ   4+.

GM   Yeah, it’s 4+. I’m going to give Redmer a little bit of an edge, but Mark it’s a tough one, because you’re offering like months of battery life and if there’s one thing that drives me nuts about my phone, right, is like battery running out. So you’re really enticing me with this. But at the other – on the other side, I’m not really an outdoor enthusiast. You know, I’m pretty much of a TV watcher. So I got to give you back points on that. So I’m going to have to give Redmer a little bit of an edge as well. So I think we should declare Redmer the winner. $100 Amazon gift card certificate, which I hope you enjoy.

EÜ   So have you got a more innovative business pitch for an old bar or flip phone with great battery life? We’d love to hear it. Take a video of yourself delivering a 90-second pitch or shorter and post it Twitter. Use the hashtag #XeroGravity for a chance to win a $100 Amazon voucher.

GM   So both of you guys; thank you very much. This was a lot of fun, we learned a lot. Look, it’s a technical conversation but this conversation is really geared towards people that are looking to build their own mobile apps; there were some technical answers that they need to – to tough questions. And I think you guys really provided them well. Thanks for coming.

MP   Thank you very much.

RS   Thanks, thank you.

EÜ   Bye bye.

RS  Bye bye.

-----------------------------------------

Xero Gravity Promo

-------------------------------------------

GM If you have any questions you’d like answered on the show...

EÜ …tweet us at Xero using the hashtag #XeroGravity. Or, text us your questions to 415-813-9878. We’ll answer them on next week’s show!

-------------------------------------------

GM Alrighty. All right, well that was actually more technical than I expected Elizabeth, What about you?

EÜ Well it is a technical topic and I still think that we had lots of great information for our listeners, and in particular I think what really stood out for me was Redmer’s advice as far as what to have in place before you go about trying to commission your own mobile app. Particularly around staffing and making sure you have the right people on board to work that project through, and then also deciding which platform, iOS or Android, or both, if you have the stomach and the budget to handle both of those of those at once. I think those were great decisions to make before you start going out to put out your request for proposals.

GM I agree, and you know, Mark’s comment about, you know, permissions. I mean a lot of people get wrapped up in security of the data and all that, but you know, his company is all about making sure people have the right rights to get access to the application and the data and I thought that was a really good point as well. So, yeah it was good stuff and yeah it was a technical conversation, but I really think if you’re looking to develop a mobile app in-house or outsource it, I think it’s the right information you need. So look everybody, thank you very much for joining us, which was a lot of fun. Elizabeth thank you for being such a great co-host with me.

EÜ Thank you.

GM Guys, everybody; thanks so much. Have a good week; we’ll see you next week.

-----------------------------------------

Xero Gravity Promo

Anncr Do you want 30% off Xero’s beautiful accounting software?

Head to xero.com/signup and use the promo code XEROPODCAST to get a discount on a 6-month subscription. It’s valid until March 31st, 2016 for small businesses new to Xero.

--------------------------------------------------

Read more>

You may also like