Tag Archives: iphone apps

Social Media Push

Wikipedia defines the Niche Market as “the subset of the market on which a specific product is focusing on.” Our utility iPhone App certainly will be a niche app (more on the app later,) focusing on a large subset of the Minneapolis Market. We’re certainly not creating hits like the dudes at TapTapTap. By the way, you should really buy their latest app Voices. It’s the most fun I’ve had for 99 cents in a long time.

Voices

According to Positive Space our app has to be one of two things; Scarce or Ubiquitous. “For scarcity to work, you need to be the only application that solves the problem of your users,” says Positive Space. While companies like Smule and TapTapTap excel at Ubiquity, Frypan must find a marriage between relevance and scarcity.

scarce

The importance of a keen marketing strategy for a niche product started to become more clear to me by the day. We’re not going to shoot to the top of the App Store by catching fire and going viral like Voices (though that’d be super sweet). There’s clearly an inherent risk is trying to produce something for a niche market, yet you can limit some of the downside with a sharp focus on the marketing.

Since I’m not actually developing the application, my time is better utilized exploring social media marketing. It’s time consuming, but it’s also free. And right now, we love free. Marketing Profs is an incredible resource for any developer, entrepreneur, or human. Their FREE Social Media Marketing Kit has been invaluable to me as I try to filter through all of the filth online regarding the topic. Since we have no advertising budget, I’ve decided to use four common Social Media outlets to market our app; Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIN.

According to Business Wired, measuring the ROI of Social Media is the “million dollar question.” I’ll do my best to follow our progress using these tools, and will welcome any and all feedback or thoughts about the Social Media outlets in question. If you came to this blog as a result of social media, then we’re off to a good start.

WordPress Blog: $0.00
Facebook: $0.00
Linkedin: $0.00
Twitter: $0.00

Total Marketing Cost: $0.00

Frypan

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The Internet has Websites

When Al Gore invented the Internet in 1969, it was a jumbled mess of binary code, X.25 networks, bionics, and Google. At least that’s my understanding. In reality, the first internet “connection” was made through ARPANET on October 29th, 1969 between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. There was one dude present to witness the event…and he looked like this:

ARPANET

1969 was full of historical moments; The Beatles perform their last live show, Phil Esposito becomes the first NHL Player to score 100 points in a season, Nixon becomes president, and Donald and Doris Fisher founded the GAP in San Francisco. I’m sure the importance of the ARPANET success fell somewhere between The Mayo Clinic’s first hip replacement and Seiko’s production of the first quartz watch.

Phil

The web didn’t really stumble along until about the 80s, with a website that many will remember as Cern.

Today, according to Royal Pingdom, there are almost 200 Million websites, with 31 Million new websites added alone in 2008. Well, the web just got one more (probably 35,321 more since I typed that last sentence).

Frypan Digital launched with probably the same fanfare as 1969’s Men’s Figure Skating Championship performance by Tim Wood. Obviously if you plan on building a product to sell, you must have a face for your business on the internet. I already own iWeb on the Mac, so all that was really needed was some time and $7.69 to secure a web domain from GoDaddy. I didn’t know how to use MobileMe to host multiple iWeb sites, but the fellas at New Mac User had excellent detailed steps on how to get it done.

Clearly a large company branding and marketing push is not in our budget, so I had to dig deep in the nether regions of my brain to pull out the design for the web site. The goal – a brief explanation of the business and contact information. Done.

And as you can clearly see, in comparison to Cern’s first website –

cern

Frypan’s is way cooler –

Total Annual Expenses:
$7.69

Frypan

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Some Direction

I spent a lot of time researching before we made a real push to build a mobile app. One of the many sites that gave me great motivation, and was certainly inspirational, was from the fellas at GLSoft who put out Gifter. Gifter is a shopping app that allows you to send a gift (birthday, anniversary, etc) to almost anyone right from the phone. Pretty cool. But what was more interesting to me was how these guys built an iPhone app for $4873.92.

The transparency was insightful, and gave us a few things to think about. There were some cool links that led to details I hadn’t previously thought about; design, icons, hosting, etc. Now, they also happen to be excellent developers, so the only development cost was their time.

They did spend 62% of their “budget” on the Apple World Wide Developer Conference, which I’d like to think they probably could have done without. But maybe they can chime in here to expound on that decision. They probably could have titled the blog, “How We built an iPhone App for $1873.92” .

Either way, they went from this

gifterdream

to this

gifterfinal

And that’s really the goal. There is clearly more than one way to do this. I hope to show you our way.

Now, first things first….a website?

Frypan

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The First Step – Dream Big

Years ago, a friend and I sat down for a beer to discuss an idea for a product that would clean your feet in the shower. A brilliant idea , for obvious reasons. I can’t really tell you too much more about the product, because I’m sure it’ll be on Target shelves in a few short ten years. But what I can say is, we got together that day to dream.  We met many times for years after that, drawing up ideas on napkins like the rest of the dreamers. Our ideas were great, but too costly to produce. We decided to practice patience instead, and keep spitballing ideas. It’s good for your brain, and good for your psyche. Healthy.

For the past twelve months, we’ve drawn up a few dozen different ideas for the iPhone… all of which are completely awesome. And most of which were already in the App Store. We pressed on. I learned quite a bit from the world wide webs and the fantastic bloggers out in the blogosphere about the development process. Mostly development in fact. Most of the excellent bloggers (whom I will reference often) are developers. They know their shit. I don’t know what they know. Speedbump? Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just go find someone who does know what they know. We’ll see. We kept drawing on napkins till we had it. Our idea (which I will share once we submit to Apple).

That brings us to today. I’m staring at a desk full of loose pieces of paper with stupid drawings and numbers and roman numerals and letters; some completely ridiculous in nature, others… moderately ridiculous in nature. But the piece of paper on top is where we start this blog. Our idea. On a piece of paper. From dream to paper to reality. Hopefully, we can bring the dream to reality. And I’ll share what I learn every step of the way.

Max Fischer once said, “I guess you’ve got to find something you love to do and then…do it for the rest of your life.”

For Max, it was going to Rushmore. For me, its drawing on napkins.

Frypan

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