Fun, fun, fun!

So Hazel and I spent two days this week at AppNation IV, which was held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.  Great place for a trade conference, easy BART access, and a brand new CITY Target store across the street.  We go to several shows at the venue each year, and this was our first time to AppNation.

So What Did We Do?

The show floor isn’t the major attraction at AppNation, though there were a lot of small developers exhibiting in The Garage and Flurry Village; the larger companies like AdMob, GreyStripe, etc were segregated from the small guys and I can’t remember which big space had the loveliest barista station on the first morning, but the coffee was much appreciated.

The big draw at AppNation seemed to be the workshop sessions/speaking sessions, and there were some good ones.  The PR seminar was very well attended, and I sat in on a keynote by an Amazon mobile rep who had some really great figures in his presentation.  There were a lot of Big Data presentations going on, though I think we’re all going to be burnt out on the nomer before much longer.  I’m going to file it away with curated and disruptive in my personal peeves folder.

Back to the New Stuff

Neat new apps, some of them approved and launched the night before the show started were abundant, strewn with some that should never see the light of marketing day.  I’m also amazed at folks who will hitch their wagons to a star like Facebook, especially in light of the current Twitter feed situation.   Seriously, if you build a business around another business, you better have lots of Plan B’s.  I don’t care if the business is NASCAR or Instagram, hell, look at what the companies who make a living as remoras on the NHL are going through this year.

Quick list of the consumer apps that stuck in my mind (and I had cards stuck in my bag!) –

  • – Michael seems really sincere and has a cool idea.  Restaurants sign up to ‘compete’ against each other with you, me and other consumers as the judges.  Win, win and win.  All parties should gain 5 pounds.
  • – a travel site, but not selling airline seats or hotel beds for the night.  More of an experience driven situation,  giving out loads of great tourist ideas and then monetizing their app by selling you them at a discount.
  • – turn your tablet and your cell phones into an offline multi-player gaming experience and have some real people time while you’re doing it.

And the ones that should prove helpful to app developers –

  • – voice driven helpdesk, feedback center, which should be something that every app developer/marketer considers.  You will have unhappy customers and someone needs to deal with them.  The easier you make it for the customer, the quicker they’ll become satisfied customers.  We had fun razzing Christian about his wardrobe, so that counts for a point on the board as well.
  • – Hendrik and Winnie were in the display next to where we set up camp for the second afternoon, they’ve got a neat video summary product that I would tend to see as much more of a white label product for developers (think Aviary in video but not an editor, confusing, I know) to leverage some really cool technology into user engagement.
  • – we certainly can’t forget our new Irish friend, Brendan, he stayed to entertain us a bit and chat us up about encouraging our clients to consider true localization, not just translation, of their offerings if they’re selling in non-English markets.

We’re good on trade shows for a couple of weeks yet, next stops will be EmMeCon in San Francisco, where I’m going to discuss the reality that is the monster we call social media and how it’s sucking the life out of all of us; then Haze and I will be flitting about at MacWorld to see what’s new and exciting there.  Cheers!