September 22, 2010


Taking a call on the world of apps

“I look on app development as a form of poetry in the 21st century,” said Goizueta Business School professor Benn Konsynski.

Konsynski emceed a panel discussion entitled “An App World: The Rise of the Small and the Many” on Sept. 20 at the business school.
Bartender by day and night and app developer in his spare time, Steve Elliott said, “One of the most important parts is promoting the app prior to and after development. You need the marketing behind it to see the numbers you want.” Elliott sells a speech pathology app for parents to help their kids with speech issues.

Michael Morrissey of Google Mobile Services sees two problems hindering the app market: Discoverability and management. “There are 80,000 apps now. How do you get seen and viewed? Developers have to have a way to be discovered easily so not just giant apps are getting downloaded.”

On the user side, Morrissey said, “people have 12 (apps) on average and would download more apps if they had a better way to manage them. When we start to solve those two problems, we’ll see a true explosion in the market.”

Michael Flood of Sprint/Nextel’s k-12 education strategy group sees the biggest challenge for app developers as “management of intellectual property. It’s easy to copy applications.”

He also noted the adoption of these technologies for use by students. “A couple of years ago, schools said, ‘Don’t bring cell phones to class.’ Now districts say bring your devices to integrate in the education space. There’s a lot of experimentation going on and that has raised a lot of questions about education and how students will access materials.”

Jack Neinken, regional sales manager for Apple, said, “We have 250,000 apps in our apps store. Just on this campus, for Emory Mobile, there have been 7,000 downloads.”

He added, “We’re real excited about the iPad. It has resonated a lot in higher education and in the enterprise market. It’s very functional for bankers, consultants. There are 25,000 apps available for iPad.” Neinken called digital textbooks “a very, very exciting possibility for us in the future.”
Jami Becker, who has a company called Nomad Candy, has an architecture degree and background working in the interactive games environment. Having developed seven or eight apps, she likes apps development because “apps have no inventory, cash flow [issues], no risk.”

“The hardest corner to turn,” she said, was coding. “I never thought of myself as a hard-core coder.” But she turned that corner by “going and getting the books and trying and making it happen.”

Becker’s lesson learned in developing and releasing apps: “Work as a partner” with whom you are developing the app for. “What is it they want? How do I make Big Daddy more cash? You always want to keep Big Daddy happy.”

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