Fab.com

One of the startups that I am a fan of is Fab.com.

I discovered it the last year in the summer and since then I follow their movements.

Their core beliefs are:

Why I like them as a company

  • They have a mission
  • They are passionate about it and you can feel it
  • Their mission is related to making people more happy by using design
  • They are consistent in they way they approach users across the different channels
  • They sell design and care about design
  • They invest on mobile from almost the beginning, (they use to even have a mobile friendly home screen, which i don’t see anymore… so let’s point that out as an improvement point)
  • They inform and interact with their users allowing them to give feedback using various channels.
  • They allow suppliers to find them and interact with them too
  • Their design is simple, easy to use and they definitively invest on UX

Why I like the product

  • I just love design as well!

The invite only method totally worked for me and my friends. Pity we still can’t buy from here (spain). I do receive the daily newsletter that I use not only to follow the steps of the company but as well to let me inspire.

A part of their newsletter

Their app

So congrats to the Fab.com team you are doing a great job!

This is the invite link for those that want to use it: http://fab.com/e2oerh

Why talk if you can text!

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We all are using more and more data on our mobile phones! and that is a fact! and so far the effective cost per MB decreasing, but I not sure if the total amount we spend on data per month is lower as well, I would guess that it is not.

In any case women as heavy users of mobile and social media are the ones texting the most, and it is very clear that teens just can’t live without texting.

Why is texting so cool and practical? Because:

  • You send the message when you need to
  • Receiver can read it when they can
  • You can have multiple conversations at the same time easier that with voice
  • Texting is more discrete as people around you don’t hear you; the sender chooses who can see it
  • It is easier to share the text with more people than share a voice conversation and therefore it can be more social
See below how different ages use data as well as how all of them are using more!

 

US’ digital behavior

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The infographic below reflects part of the US’ digital behavior. Some of the relevant points you will find in it are:

  • Still people like to spend their time on social media, blogs, games and email
  • Everyone ! is active on social networks, people under 17 and above 65 a bit less but not that much
  • People love Facebook and women love to share in it
  • Teens love Myspace
  • Apps that they love are games, weather and social media
  • People under 17 do use Linkedin as well
  • More women watch video on social networks, but men watch longer

Overview of App Markets

The current amount of apps is LARGE, and the chance that users find the app they are looking for is becoming a less easy process. But when there is space for complexity there is as well space for simplification.

Going to iTunes to search an iOS app or going to the Android Market to search an android app may sound the most common scenarios. The truth is that there are many markeplaces out there! All of them are meant to help people get the apps that are relevant for them.

This means not only that we as users will reach those specific marketplaces when looking for something, but it means as well that brands and developers have to be aware of the benefits they may reach by using those marketplaces to promote their apps.

Below you will find an overview of some of them:

 “Native” App Marketplaces

App marketplaces that are focused on their own platform. They offer the most reliable overview of how many apps are available for those platforms. They usually have a mobile and a web version.

“Operator/Manufacturer” App marketplaces

Operator and Manufacturers can have their own marketplaces. In some marketplaces operators may charge the cost of the app in the operator bill.

“Monoplatform” directories

Directories focused in one platform. Offering the customer an overview of apps, but also giving the customer suggestions, tips, social media features. In order to download the app the customer is redirected to the “native” app market.

Social recommandations directories

Similar to other app directories but using social algorithms to give recommendations to the users.

Independent marketplaces

They act as an intermediary between developers and consumers. They usually can deliver applications for both feature phones and smartphones across all major platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone and Symbian among others.

Themed marketplaces

Marketplaces themed by a brand (not the manufacturer of the handset) of by a specific topic.

Examples:

Feel free to send me any marketplaces you feel I may have missed. Thanks for your collaboration!

Why are companies doing a poor job of serving women?


I read an interesting article about female consumers. Find the complete article here: Female Economy

Many brands fail to address the needs of female customers. When trying to do this they fall in the same mistake… make it pink, add some hearts, a little mirror etc….Cars are designed for speed and not for utility, which is what really matters to women. No SVU is build to accomodate a mother who needs to load two small children into it every day. Fitness clubs are many times designed for men, bright lights, electronic equipment, sweaty men and equipment for bodybuilders. Most of the tools out there (motors, medicine equipment etc) are designed for men as well.

What is the reason of this? is the glass ceiling stopping brands to address women needs?

Some other related links:

Masdar city of the Future: Sustainable, zero-waste and car-free, will this dream come true?

I recently watched the BBC Human Planet documentary. If you have not watch those yet, please do 😉 www.bbc.co.uk/humanplanet/

On of the things that I was not aware of, was the building of the Masdar city (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masdar_City), which aspires to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world, with approximately 6km2 . Masdar City is an emerging global clean-technology cluster that places its resident companies in the heart of the global renewable energy and cleantech industry. You will Masdar City at 17km from Abu Dhabi, Masdar City. The capacity is for  40,000 residents and hundreds of businesses, and it will integrate the full range of renewable energy and sustainability technologies, across a living and working community. As with most dynamic technology clusters, the city has a top-notch research university that is a source for innovation, technologies, R&D and highly skilled graduates.

Masdar city

Boxnet and Mobile apps

Technology is reaching a point in which users and customers feel that almost everything is possible and that everything can be done almost for free and fast ;).

I am of course exaggerating, but it not uncommon that a customer comes with a high level description of an app he/she wants with all the features he knows from the web world and wants it asap (3 weeks ..no? 6 weeks?… hmmm) and hooooo surprise surprise sometimes they may not even have a backend… but well you do IT stuff, right? so do it as well…. 3 weeks…uh! we really need to be live by ….

While we have already learned that building an app without a back-end is painful process for all parties involved… back-end, front-end, customer etc… What we usually do, is first do the back-end, and after that is tested and finished start building the front end. Depending on the triviality we may overlap the last weeks of work, but we prefer not to.

Months ago, while I was trying to please one of our customers, I discovered how handy it can be to use boxnet as a “back-end”. Many of our customers want a dynamic backend system that allows them to upload different type of files, building that cheap and fast is usually not possible.

Boxnet has its own mobile apps, and they are very handy as document repository apps, but many of our customers want a fully customized experience when it comes to B2C apps or B2B apps (sales support apps, distributor apps etc…). Building an app using the APIs of Boxnet allows us to create a graphical experience fully integrated with the main objective of the app and the brand.

The advantage of using a tool like this is that you save the time to build a custom backend, and that you can start right away with building the app. The other avantage is that the interface to upload the documents is just great, it looks nice, it is easy to use and has all functionalities that the customer could wish.

If you are curious you can check here some of the APIs available for mobile:

http://www.box.net/developers/mobile

Session @ ESADE MBA Part Time


Last Friday I gave a session @ESADE about Mobile Marketing cases. The session was part of a module called “Dirección de Marketing Digital” given by Franc Carreras Social Media Expert and founder of Somos Digitales (Thanks Franc!!)

In this session we went through several interesting national and international case studies about engaging consumers through mobile.