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20 Mar 2015 0 Comments


Mobile apps have become big business. Once they came pre-loaded onto mobile phones and were largely distributed by mobile phone carriers. Consumers had limited choice, and developers had limited access to the market. All that changed with the arrival of smartphones and app stores: first from Apple, and then from every other major platform. App stores have been with us for less than five years but already there are more than a million mobile apps available across the mobile platforms. By 2017 the mobile app market is expected to generate $76 billion in revenue. In 2010, I began my own entrepreneurial journey into the mobile app economy and launched a mobile app called Corkbin. I was determined to innovate the way wine recommendations were provided, basing recommendations on a consumer’s previous likes and dislikes rather than on opinions from wine pundits. A mobile app made the ideal tool for capturing the consumer preferences needed to train a recommendation system. Today[1], Corkbin serves over 4,000 active users per month and is available as a free download in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. This book is a reflection of my own experience as a mobile app entrepreneur and will dive into three key topics crucial to the understanding of the mobile app economy: the market, innovations, and marketing. The lessons and insights I gained during my own entrepreneurial journey have shaped the structure of this book. I would not have been able to tackle the task of uncovering and analyzing the evolution and dynamics of the mobile app economy had I not experienced it first-hand. My goal is to provide you with a deeper understanding of the evolution and dynamics of the mobile app economy. Using a combination of primary research and case studies, I hope to provide useful tools and anecdotes for evaluating the market potential of new mobile apps and how to market them. The research findings and case studies also provide food for thought in defining a new business model or reinforcing existing decisions. [1] As of December 2012.

Table of Contents

Abstract Table of Contents Introduction The Mobile App Economy History of App Stores Revenue Models Explained Expectation of “Free” Anatomy of an Innovative Mobile App Business Framework for Innovation Case Study: Evernote Case Study: Foursquare Getting in Front of the Consumers Approaches to Marketing Mobile Apps Hypercycle Marketing Strategy Parting Thoughts Bibliography About the Author


Recently I was asked to share some of my thoughts on how to create visibility for a newly released app. With over 400k apps in the Android Market / Google Play (and over 600k in App Store), the chance of organic discover within app stores are low. Here are a couple recommendations...


Another favorite session at SXSW 2011.

Former entrepreneur, current investor and innovation community leader Charlie O'Donnell will discuss five different patterns of failure often seen in startups that don't make it. It will cover how entrepreneurs can derisk their ideas, maintain momentum, and take advantage of opportunities early on in a company's life cycle. Patterns of failure include: 1) Failure to zero in on a sector's most pressing pain point.


The etherspace has been busy with highlights, tips, and expectations of VMWorld 09 taking place at the Moscone center in SF starting August 31. I'd like to chime in and highlight technology areas that I'll be focusing on while I'm there next week. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Cisco's entry into the server computing realm by providing a platform that unifies network, compute, storage access, and virtualization resources. A "wall of UCS" at VMWorld will showcase 16 racks containing 64 chassis, 512 blades, 4096 cores, & 24 TB of memory. This is where the VMWorld labs are run out of and it is expected that ~1500 users will be accessing the UCS systems at any given time through VMware View.

Earlier this week I read on NY Times about the GPS run craze sweeping through the running community and wondered if there's an iPhone app that tracked your GPS coordinates and "drew" them for you to upload to sites like I found the following apps that sort of accomplishes that. Trails - Primarily designed to record maps while hiking, on bike trips or while jogging directly on your iPhone. InstaMapper's GPS Tracker - Periodically uploads iPhone's GPS coordinate to a website to be shared w/ other people. Neither application does exactly what I'm envisioning. So here goes idea #1 for today's blog... and that is an iPhone application that basically tracks your GPS coordinates and plots its movements over a period of time, producing a "drawing". Sort of a fun / waste-your-time application that can be applied to running, hiking, roadtripping.


As simple as it is to create a video and share it with the world (aka screencasting), I feel that technology for creating a recording of one's desktop interactions (combined with audio) is still somewhat limited. Camtasia is probably the better known desktop/screen recording application. However it only works on Windows. Same goes for the open-source Camstudio. I did find a couple screen recording tools for the Mac.

Encryption of files on a server is often the last gate in keeping unauthorized users from gaining access to sensitive data. File-level encryption is prevalent with tools like PGP. Unfortunately file-level encryption still exposes the OS structure of a server to the hacker. Plus, managing the encryption/decryption of individual files can be expense from a system resource perspective. An alternative would be to encrypt the entire file system and perform the encryption/decryption at the file system level on the fly.