After such a successful SXSW V2V Mentor Program in 2013, I am thrilled to be among many talented mentors for the 2014 SXSW V2V event. This is really an impressive crew of thought leaders from a variety of industries across the country. No matter where you are in the process of pursuing your dreams, there are mentors that have travelled the path before you and will help you tackle the next steps. The SXSW V2V extensive Mentor Program is the cornerstone of SXSW V2V, designed to provide support, advice and expertise to take your idea to the next level.
But why is mentoring so important to me?
We’re looking to design the perfect insurance app for small business owners. Tell us what features you would you love to see.
Time-saving mobile apps just may be one of the great technological contributions of the last several years. With over one million apps in Apple’s App Store alone, it seems like apps are ever-expanding vistas of opportunity for doing things faster, better, and smarter.
Hiscox is excited about apps, because we’re here to help small business owners in as many ways as we can.
(Welcome to Tapsauce’s new series, where Rocksauce Studios team members will share what they’ve learned and observed during the previous week. Today, we have sales expert David Blakeslee.)
1. Set expectations correctly the first time. This is vitally important when you work with clients in the app development market. And it’s not just important to set expectations the first time — you’ve got to keep setting expectations. Many times, clients have million dollar ideas, but only have a $100,000 budget. In order to keep the team happy and in order to keep the clients happy, I always try to set expectations about what can and cannot be delivered.
Risk is a required piece of leadership. Some people dodge risk and remain unnecessarily safe, but those who do that don’t understand what it truly means to be a business leader.
Once upon a time…
In the early days of FedEx, company founder and CEO Fred Smith had raised a bunch of money to launch a company based on an unproven model. The company did okay at first, but there were a lot of kinks to work out.
But they were getting low on money.
The New York Times published an interesting article today about freedom of speech at work, reminding employers that free speech is free speech whether it takes place at the water cooler, on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. It’s understandable that employers would want to limit the publicity they get via employee’s online; however, doing so may be infringing on one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America: Freedom of Speech.
PipClock is a “post-atomic” clock. Actually, it’s just an atomic clock, but it’s been themed after the Fallout video game series, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by nuclear war. It goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of this series — I found this app because I was searching the app store for any Fallout-related apps available for my iPhone and it popped up! The app is a recreation of the game’s “Pip Boy” device, which stores all of your in-game information and assists you in navigation. For the initiated, it’s very cool.
Let’s talk about return on investment, or ROI. In any other industry, ROI is one of the tools used in calculating the potential success of a venture. Not so much in my field: it’s impossible to calculate in the app industry! Why? It’s simple: the numbers are not released. Apple and Google hold onto those numbers. Because of this, the only time you ever hear the specifics of a ROI in the mobile app world is when a company is highly successful. Only then will the records be made public. Many of my clients ask me what their ROI is going to be and I usually can’t supply them with a direct response. It’s almost impossible to determine, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try!
Last month, our own Q Manning wrote a post called “The Start-Up Survival Guide.” Consider this a continuation of that post!
I have an idea for a new business. What should be the very first thing I do before anything else?
The first step would be to have a plan. Of course, there are many levels to this. Start by working out what income you expect to come in and how big your market is. Once you’ve done your research and taken educated guesses on that, you can start to planning to build a team and an infrastructure that can support and bring in that expected income and cater to your market. It’s important to know your market — even if you’re working in a new field and have no idea what your expectations should be, it’s important to set a goal that you can attempt to hit.
As a business development consultant at Rocksauce Studios, I work with clients every day to help them prepare their project to present to our creative design team. Here’s how it works: I’m contacted by a client with an app idea that they want to develop. I then help them define what they want their app to do, how they want it to function and help create a main features list. When we have a solid project, I assist them in presenting it to the guys in the creative side of things and bring the whole thing to fruition.
When you work in the business side of things, honesty is vitally important. For as long as anyone can remember, sales people have often been portrayed as crooks, shady used car salesman types. It’s my job to win the trust of a client and let them put their faith in me — I need them to trust me and I accomplish this by being on-the-level in every possible way.
At Rocksauce Studios, we build market-based apps. Factory-produced generic apps don’t excite people, and they won’t excite your target market. That’s why each app we make is built with top-level thought, designed to impress and engage. We bring you expert talent from Austin, the city we share with Google, Apple, facebook, Dell, Intel, AMD, IBM, National Instruments, Motorola, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and 3M.
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