Let’s start with some industry information and background:

Mobile specific data is hard to find but research from 2009 shows an estimated 44% of general software projects were late, over budget, or with less than the required features and functions.  Additionally another 24% failed, were canceled prior to completion or delivery, or never used.  An estimated 68% failure rate is staggering given the amount of money and resources needed to deliver a successful software application. 

How about us?  Since 2003 Jam-Mobile has successfully launched over 50 apps, both internally and externally for clients, on multiple platforms including iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Android, Palm, and Windows Phone 7.  This is no small feat given the complexity of mobile software development and the differences between OS’s/devices.  Additionally I can count on one hand the number of App Projects that were started and ultimately did not launch. 
 
So why do Mobile App Projects Fail? 

Simply put, from my experience, a poorly scoped project (Features, Timing, Cost, etc) will doom development from the beginning. Yes your mobile app project is most likely failing right at the start.  Here is the opportunity!

I discuss app projects with clients all the time.  I spend a significant amount of time upfront listening to my clients about the features and specifications of their apps.  Additionally I ask them about the goals and objectives of the project.  I want to make sure, given the technology landscape; their project has the greatest likelihood of success.  It does my clients no good to launch an iPhone app when 85% of their users are Corporate Blackberry customers!

Clearly defining your Mobile App scope is critical to success!  Will your project have some level of scope creep?  Yes, every project does but keeping changes to a minimum helps reduce cost and delays.  A good App developer should continually be engaging you with questions and suggestions.  Keep in mind a good qualified developer brings unique mobile expertise to the table.  I routinely offer suggestions and advice to my clients to make their projects better!  This is critical to success and the foundation for a good partnership!

 
 
I will be speaking at "That Conference" August 13th-15th at Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells. 

Please join me for my session on App Development.

So you have an idea for an App? Think it’s the next Instagram? Where do you start? What technology should you use? What Smarthphones should you develop for? iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7? How do you best target customers and promote your App? Jam-Mobile has successfully launched apps in the iPhone App Store, Google Play (Formally Android Market Place), Amazon App Store, Windows Phone 7 Market Place, and Blackberry App World. Jam-Mobile started developing apps in 2003 and has been in the iPhone App store since its inception on July 11th 2008.

The goal of this Camp Session is to teach you where to begin and how to evaluate your apps potential. You will understand the mobile landscape, tools and methods to develop your app, and keys to successfully launch an App in any App Store. Additionally you will learn the differences between mobile platforms and benefits and opportunities in developing for each! Finally you will discover tips and tricks to prevent the failure of your app project! So come to this session and turn your idea into the next Billion Dollar App!

That Conference
 
 
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Recently I have been working on several mobile projects for companies with very strong brand names.  Project one has recently been “kicked off” while project two is in the initial scoping and discovery phase.  What do these two projects share in common?  The challenge for the respective companies is to devise a way to capitalize on their strong brand and connect with a younger demographic? What is the marketing platform of choice?  How about Mobile!  These companies are in luck because mobile as a marking platform is a great way to connect with this demographic.  In addition to being youthful mobile users also tend to have more education! 

 So what does the research say about Mobile and Smartphone users?

 Simply put Mobile users hit 2 key demographics. 1) US adults between 25-34 have 62% Smartphone ownership, while 18-25 have 54% ownership.   2) Smartphone users tend to be better educated.  (1) (2)

 So what should companies take away?

 If you want NEW, SMARTER, YOUNGER customers think about building an App…   Or Mobile Website or Both.  The point is mobile is now the way users would like to access content and a powerful tool for marketer’s targeting a specific audience.  Smartphone’s are now a great way to connect with your customers!

1) http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2054/smartphone-ownership-demographics-iphone-blackberry-android
2) http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/smartphone-sales-surge-with-younger-demographics-survey/62569



 
 
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Opportunity is knocking!  Its name is Mobile!  In 2011 more and more companies used both social media and mobile to connect with customers.  This trend is only going to continue into 2012.  “The rise of retailer applications or apps for smartphones is expected to intensify in 2012.  Retailers can use the apps to distribute discounts to shoppers, let them know about a sale item and sell products.” (1).

Additionally an estimated 70 percent of businesses still don’t even have a mobile friendly website. Evidence suggests mobile optimized can generate 2 times the amount of traffic for your business. (2)   Don’t miss this opportunity. 

Where do you start?  How about some great classes?

Wed Mar. 7th - UWM - Website Design for Mobile Devices
http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=23062

Wed., Feb. 8th – Mobile Marketing: Reaching Your Customers with Smartphones / Tablet Apps
http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=24864

Or….  How about a Free Native or Mobile Web App Development Consultation?  I would love to hear about your projects.  Contact Us Today!

1) http://www.usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness/story/2011-12-31/twitter-facebook-retail-sales/52306054/1
2http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/8216-70-of-companies-yet-to-launch-a-mobile-site-survey?utm_medium=email&utm_source=topic

 
 
The MiKE Initiative and Bucketworks are hosting a Free Mobile Event and Hackathon.

Topics Include:

Mobile Development: Developing and Launching in 90 Days
Mobile Business: Strategy and ROI
Mobile Design: Mobile Design is for Mobile Users
-  Mobile Business: Mobile Considerations for Nonprofit, Arts & Culture

Locations:

OPEN MiKE
161 W Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee
Inside Grand Avenue Mall, across from The Chocolate Factory and above TJ Maxx
 
Bucketworks 
706 South 5th Street, Milwaukee

More Information: http://www.spreenklertalentlabs.org/made-at-mike/

 
 
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The NEW iPhone 4S is schedule to be released on Oct 14th.  With over 200 million iOS devices already out the iPhone 4S is expected to be another great product from Apple.  Additionally the new iPhone brings iOS 5.0 with 200 plus new features.
 
Is your organization ready?  Do you have a mobile strategy?  Why not?

Fear not if your strategy needs work!  How about starting with some great education and a solid mobile strategy.  Does your business or organization have a mobile website?  The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (UWM) School of Continuing Education is offering a course on Website Design for Mobile Devices on Friday Oct 28th.  The course is a comprehensive look at mobile web including the latest technologies, tools, and techniques.  UWM has great facilities.

Sign up today!  The course is open to anyone! There are still spots available but enrollment is limited!
 
Friday Oct. 28 - UWM - Website Design for Mobile Devices
http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=23062


Class Includes:
  1. Why Invest in Mobile
  2. Design for Mobile
  3. Mobile Input & Interface
  4. Mobile Navigation
  5. Story Boarding Your Mobile App
  6. Mobile Tools: [HTML 5, etc.]
  7. Best Practices


 
 
Jam-Mobile.com an innovator in mobile software development is proud to announce the launch of American Hardwood Species Guide for iPhone, iPad, and Android.  Jam-Mobile.com has partnered with Hardwood Manufacturers Association and Lange Bros Woodwork Co Inc to deliver these FREE reference guide applications.

Download iPhone/iPad version here:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/american-hardwood-species/id454212083?ls=1&mt=8

Download Android version here:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.wood.demo&feature=search_result

App Description:

Everything you need to know about 20 major American hardwood species, profiling the appearance, physical and working properties, availability and typical applications of each. Species are featured in clear, light, medium and dark finishes to help visualize stain combinations of flooring, cabinetry, moulding and furniture co-existing in a single design space.  For serious woodworkers there is also information on workability. An added bonus, each species profile includes images featuring the wood in finished applications.  Located at www.HardwoodInfo.com, the American Hardwood Information Center is the authoritative resource for consumers and professionals seeking information about American Hardwoods. As a service of the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, the Center provides information on selecting hardwood species and building with American Hardwood products. It also offers advice from industry experts on decorating, care and maintenance and design trends.  The Center’s goal is to promote the use of American Hardwoods in home and building products ranging from flooring, cabinetry and millwork to furniture and building materials.
 


 
 
With continued headlines about dismal job growth what growing field is going to produced jobs for 2011 and beyond?  What are the skills required for these jobs?  Think Mobile Technology.  Don’t take my word for it.  Both Info World and Indeed clearly show trending job growth in this area.  What does indeed say where the fastest growing keywords in jobs postings?  HTML5, iPhone, Android, and Mobile App!  What positions are hiring managers and recruiters looking for?  Both Mobile Technology Expert and Enterprise Mobile Developer make the list of hottest jobs.

Seeing these job titles and keywords doesn’t surprise me.  Mobile app development both, web apps or native OS app, are exploding right now.  Companies and organizations are scrabbling to put together mobile strategies for their businesses. 

The biggest challenge I see is finding qualified individuals to fill these positions.  This field is relatively new and changing rapidly.  Universities and colleges are now taking note and beginning to offer classes in this area.  On that point do you want to learn more about Mobile Technology?  There’s a class for that!  In October I am going to be teaching Website Design for Mobile Devices at UWM School of Continuing Education.  Additionally in September I will be teaching a course on Mobile App Marketing at UWM.  I am going to take my 8 years of mobile development experience to teach, coach, and mentor students in this growing area.  I would love to have you in my classes.
 
Friday Oct. 28 - UWM - Website Design for Mobile Devices
http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=23062

Thursday Sep 29th – Mobile Apps Marketing: Reaching Your Customers Wherever & Whenever
http://www4.uwm.edu/sce/course.cfm?id=24322

Reference:
The 6 hottest new jobs in IT
http://www.infoworld.com/t/information-technology-careers/the-6-hottest-new-jobs-in-it-052
Blog.indeed - Top job trends of 2010
http://blog.indeed.com/2011/02/07/top-job-trends-of-2010/


 
 
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iPhone-Myopia” - a treatable condition where individuals see iPhone as the only major mobile platform.
 
When I discuss mobile app projects with clients one of the first questions I ask is: What platforms are you thinking of targeting?  iPhone, Android, iPad, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7?  Often the response I get is: “only iPhone”, “Our customer’s only use iPhone”.  Unfortunately the most likely scenario is their customers use many devices beyond just iPhone.  Developing a mobile strategy for one platform may or may not be an affective approach.  Currently the iPhone represents only 27% of the smartphone market which is 3rd to Blackberry and Android.  Additionally in the United States Android is now the most-used smartphone operating system with 31.2% market share that is continuing to grow.  Why is this?  Android operates on many devices and has exposure to most major carriers beyond just Verizon and AT&T. Android passes BlackBerry
 
Also don’t forget about Blackberry and Windows Phone 7.  Each have their own issues but I wouldn’t exclude them from your strategy.   With the release of Blackberry OS 6.0 and the Torch, Jam-Mobile’s Blackberry app sales have been UP over the last few months.  Lastly Windows Phone 7 Platform has a small market share but it’s backed by tech giant Microsoft.
 
Should you start your mobile strategy with iPhone?  Yes.  Should you consider other platforms like Android, Blackberry, etc?  Only if you want to reach a majority of the market and touch the fastest growing platform Android!


 
 
Jam-Mobile.com a pioneer and innovator in mobile software development is proud to announce the launch of MIndSights Question-It for iPhone, iPad, and Android.  Jam-Mobile.com has partnered with Nth Degree Software to deliver these FREE facilitated thinking applications.

Download iPhone version here:
http://itunes.apple.com/app/mindsights-question-it/id426855706?mt=8

Download Android version here:
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.mindsights2.demo&feature=search_result


Download iPad version here:
http://itunes.apple.com/app/mindsights-question-it-hd/id427422318?mt=8

App Description:

Power up your individual and team thinking with Question-It. Use this app to enhance thinking productivity in these ways:

1.      Meeting participants use Question-It in real-time to facilitate better thinking and meeting outcomes. Become the smartest person in your meeting with Question-It.

2.      Meeting leaders use Question-It to plan and run successful meetings by identifying the important questions the meeting needs to address.

3.      Use Question-It to more effectively think your way through constant workplace change. Boost personal performance, your job and your career by becoming an inquisitive change-adept worker
 
How Question-It works.

Improving personal and team thinking effectiveness and productivity is actually fairly easy. Question-It was developed based on the following two common traits of Exceptional Thinkers:

1. Exceptional Thinkers ask the right questions.

2. Exceptional Thinkers use the correct thinking process.

Asking the right questions gives your mind the best chance to find the right ideas, solutions and actions to take. Question-It has over 550 universal questions that you and your team can apply to any problem, issue or challenge.

Since people can rarely bring to mind all the right questions to ask (at the exact moment of thinking), questions are embedded into 21 of the most common thinking tasks. These tasks comprise Question-It’s Thinking Process that guides you to find the right questions to ask from these three categories:

·        Prime Questions: Key questions that facilitate critical thinking.

·        Fundamental Questions: Standard questions that facilitate basic thinking.

·        Nutcracker Questions: Powerful questions that facilitate deep thinking.

Remember: You are only as good as the questions you ask! 

(Question-It is a MindSights facilitated thinking series application)