December 16, 2012
So much for the “new hope of mobile app development” – Facebook released an updated app for Android, which replaces the webview/HTML5 architecture with a totally native implementation. The remake significantly improves the speed and overall slickness of the app, finally making it usable on Android. While we learned that HTML5 is bad for mobile a long time ago, it’s nice to see Facebook thinking the same. Also, in case you are wondering: yes, MobileNoter for Android is totally native too.
May 11, 2011
Microsoft top management has a good reason for their recent agonizing buying spree. Everyone and his dog know that Windows and Office cash cows will be dead one day, and the day is coming fast. Microsoft is really trying to make a move into online, cloud, and mobile – the most promising categories dominated by Google, Facebook, and Apple.
Apple… was a marginal company only a few years ago. Apple passed Microsoft in market cap in 2010, passed Microsoft in revenues in October 2010, passed Microsoft in profits just recently.
Meanwhile Microsoft pays a fortune to buy users from Yahoo, then from Nokia, and now from Skype. That’s right – Microsoft is paying billions just to get the users, not valuable technologies or products (not entirely with Skype, but mostly so).
Every business school teaches that this strategy is not going to work. If you purchase users with low ARPU from someone, the users will continue to bring low ARPU to you. If you try to charge them more, they will flee to your competitor. Those business schools will soon have an excellent case study to support the claim that the strategy is bad. The chart below shows how Microsoft Online Services Division has been doing for recent years. If you have trouble summing those columns up, here is the summary: the Online Division is losing $2.5b per year. Surely you have no trouble picking the trend.
May 5, 2011
Dropbox is one of the best known applications in the world that appeared in recent years. While Dropbox is really useful and a great app, perhaps some creative marketing helped it to go all the way to #1 file sharing app in three years. It turns out that Dropbox cleverly utilizes the same tactics that is commonly used among social gaming companies on Facebook and other social networks.
For example, once you sign up to Dropbox, you are offered to perform 5 of the following 7 steps to get 250MB of storage space for free:
- Take the Dropbox Tour
- Install Dropbox on Your Computer
- Put Files in your Dropbox Folder
- Install Dropbox on Other Computers You Use
- Share a Folder with Friends or Colleagues
- Invite Some Friends to Join Dropbox
- Install Dropbox on Your Mobile Device
Compare this to the 5 steps that Office Wars – an addictive Facebook game – asks to do in order to become an “Office Wars Pro” and get some perks for free (that otherwise would have to be bought for real money):
However, Dropbox doesn’t stop with the list above. More simple actions will get more free storage to the users, like:
- Linking Dropbox account to your Facebook account
- Following @Dropbox on Twitter
- Tweeting about Dropbox to your followers
Every step of the above will get you 128MB more. All this is on top of the “old school” marketing gig: any new user signing up to Dropbox off your referral link would add you 250MB of storage space for free.
It is very easy for Dropbox to utilize this tactics, because they can give away free space in small increments for just about anything: if you Like their page on Facebook, write a positive blog review about them, put Dropbox sticker on your laptop and post a photo of it – the possibilities are endless. It is much harder to do the same for a company that sells software for a one-time payment, like we sell MobileNoter SE. The company could give users discount coupons for the user actions it want to appreciate, but even this is not guaranteed to work – the biggest application store – the AppStore doesn’t support coupons.
October 23, 2010
Evernote just raised another $20m. That’s on top of $9m left from previous round and a claim that it’s a profitable and sustainable business. Makes you wonder why they need all this money. My guess is that’s a preparing for M&A kind of things. Now, some users have comments about this news:
- Do you now have enough to update the Palm/HP webOS application?
- one thing I would ask would be that you streamline and improve the performance of the various clients out there.
- I want to be excited about this but I have seen funding come and go and so many desires of the users go ignored.
We’ll see what the users get out of this new round of funding. I, personally, find the idea of creating a global platform for human memory out of a note-taking software to be a bit, er, misleading. The real global platforms for human memory are Google and Facebook. It’s not the ability to store information, it’s the ability to find information, based on relevancy or your social context.