The Dollar App

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Focus, focus, focus. Then continue to focus. In the freshest of emerging markets like the iTunes App Store and Android Market, your team has to eliminate variables in order to succeed. The first variable that we should collectively eliminate is: Price. Start with the one thing that your app does better than any other app, and focus on polishing that feature until it shines at the $0.99 price point. Charge a dollar because you can deliver that one feature faster, at a higher quality, to more people than if you'd waited to add things and charge more money later. Your one-dollar-app will help you bootstrap your two-dollar-app, and on upwards over time.

Begin with a dollar because there are certain expectations that users have, once they pay just a little bit of money for something. Don't charge too much, or expectations could be inflated. Ship just enough software that your customers recognize value. One dollar can get you valuable feedback and praise, where two or three dollars may get you wishful thinking and complaints. In this talk, Dom describes lessons learned from HP Labs, the MIT Media Lab, Twitter, and Adobe Systems about the value of simplicity and a focus on the mobile market. Case studies include work with the Obama '08 iPhone App team, and the San Francisco-based iPhone Apps company DollarApp.

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  • The Dollar App

    1. 1. The Dollar App A Strategy of Simplicity and Focus
    2. 2. Why a Dollar • Focus • Focus • Focus
    3. 3. Focus on Design • Surf culture • Ocean metaphor • Niche markets
    4. 4. Focus on iPhone • iPhone is a lightning rod • iPhone is a lens • iPhone is a learning device
    5. 5. Focus on Users • Demand: 50m addressable devices • Supply: 75,000+ apps • 1.8b app downloads • 76 countries
    6. 6. DollarApp Principles • Do one thing better than anyone else • Ship as quickly as possible • Embrace The Tier 1 price on the iTunes App Store (US$0.99)
    7. 7. DollarApp Mission • Empower the self-starter • Create a framework for describing an idea • Guarantee simplicity and focus
    8. 8. Mark Twain •“I apologize for writing you a long letter, but I didn’t have time to write a short one.”
    9. 9. Great Design • is supported from the top, and all the way up • comes from small teams • comes from constant focus on design • means pixel-level perfection • means saying “no” to 1000 things • is at least 50% of success
    10. 10. Obama `08 • 22 days • 10 people • Total secrecy • #7 Free App • Over 41,000 phone calls
    11. 11. Obama `08 Demo • Call Friends • Get Involved • Local Events • Media • Issues
    12. 12. Big Words
    13. 13. Big Words Edit on launch Remember last edit Spanish, Italian, German, French Landscape Info
    14. 14. Big Words Edit on launch Remember last edit Spanish, Italian, German, French Landscape Info
    15. 15. Big Words Edit on launch Remember last edit Spanish, Italian, German, French Landscape Info
    16. 16. Big Words – $0.99 Edit on launch Remember last edit Spanish, Italian, German, French Landscape Info
    17. 17. Math Cards
    18. 18. Math Cards • Add, subtract, mult, divide • Touch-and-hold • Grade-as-you-go • Overall grade • Info apple
    19. 19. Math Cards • Add, subtract, mult, divide • Touch-and-hold • Grade-as-you-go • Overall grade • Info apple
    20. 20. Math Cards – $0.99 • Add, subtract, mult, divide • Touch-and-hold • Grade-as-you-go • Overall grade • Info apple
    21. 21. Math Cards Demo • Add, subtract, mult, divide • Touch-and-hold • Grade-as-you-go • Overall grade • Info apple
    22. 22. iTunes Staff Favorite Big Words – February 2009
    23. 23. iTunes Staff Favorite Math Cards – February 2009
    24. 24. App Store Front Page
    25. 25. Spike
    26. 26. #3 Paid Education App Math Cards – March 2009
    27. 27. iPhoneDevCamp (2007)
    28. 28. iPhoneDevCamp 2 (2008)
    29. 29. iPhoneDevCamp 3 (2009)
    30. 30. iPhoneDevCamp 3 Satellites • Portland • New York • Munich • Ukraine • Austin • 20+ other HD locations • 1000+ viewers, live via iPhone & iPod touch
    31. 31. 140 Characters Coming in October from John Wiley & Sons + DollarApp
    32. 32. Thank you San Francisco, California
    33. 33. Contact • @dom – dom@dom.net • @dollarapp – dollarapp.com • @thebook – 140characters.com • @iphonedevcamp – iphonedevcamp.org

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