Evernote’s Cautionary Tale: Quality Growth is the Name of the Game
Jan06

Evernote’s Cautionary Tale: Quality Growth is the Name of the Game

The CEO of Evernote, Phil Libin, responded to a critical blog post written about his company this past weekend. The blog post, written by Jason Kincaid, focused on his disappointment with the app which he was (and is) an avid user. Libin’s response post was entitled, “On Software Quality and Building a Better Evernote in 2014” and outlined the issues that were brought up by Kincaid (a high profile tech blogger) and how Evernote was going to fix them. According to Libin, the changes have been in the works for a couple of months and were not a direct response to Kincaid’s post. What Evernote Got Wrong Simply put, Evernote got caught up in gaining new users by adding new features instead of focusing on building the usability of their app. Instead of building and maintaining a quality base product, there were more additions that were not well thought out or executed. Glitches, bugs and other signs of an unreliable product have been popping up for a while now, as evidenced by Kincaid’s post and the comments under Libin’s post. If we look back into history, businesses that try to go past their means without attention to the quality of a product usually don’t succeed in the end. At its core, Evernote is a great app. It is popular because its easy to use and extremely useful. You can use it to record or remember almost everything: receipts, notes, voice memos and pictures. The problem with Evernote currently is that the quality of the app did not grow as fast as the app did. Libin’s post indicates that users can expect improvements and a great attention to detail in 2014. The plan laid out by the Evernote CEO is extensive and involves completely rethinking the way whole parts of the app work.  App Builders: Take Note Evernote is one of the most popular apps available but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. We all use our smartphones so much that apps with glitches automatically aren’t some of our favorites, so it will be vitally important for the future of the app industry that quality is focused upon. Include thought out usability, start with a good interface and build from that. Be intuitive and trustworthy. Have a support staff that can handle problems and complaints. Grow, but grow with purpose and a plan. Revenue is the endgame but only a quality product will last in this fickle and ever growing industry.  Evernote is already trusted and used but without addressing these concerns that their avid users are facing, their base is lost. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to...

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Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions with Apps
Dec30

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions with Apps

The New Year is quickly approaching (tomorrow is New Year’s Eve…yikes) and once again, people are reviewing the past year and looking ahead to start anew. For many, the New Year means stating a New Year’s Resolution – an optimistic but often empty promise to, in some way, improve your life. The good news is that we are entering 2014, a year full of new and innovative programs to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions with apps! The most common resolutions have to do with saving up more money, losing weight and vowing to travel more. To take care of these resolutions, try adding a few of these common but helpful apps: Mint.com One of the most popular money management apps on the app market, Mint.com allows you to keep all of your bank account balances in an easy to use interface. Set up a budget within the app and activate alerts to ensure that you stay within it. This is a great app to have in your library even if you aren’t making a resolution to keep a budget.  MyFitnessPal Use the free app, MyFitnessPal, to track your food intake and your exercise with this free app. Find healthy recipes and an online community, which can help you stick to your resolution, also. If you have a resolution to drink more water, this can be a great tool to keep track of how much you’ve had. Kayak A great source to find great deals on flights, hotels and car rentals, use this app to find the best time to fly for the least amount of money. Book early to get the best rates and follow through on your vow to travel more! Way of Life A habit-building app that helps you track and build positive habits with visual charts and notes. Set your own goals and use this app to hold yourself accountable. 30/30 An awesomely simple app, set tasks to a time limit to accomplish more productive things throughout your day. If you have a problem with procrastination at work or school, this is a great option to improve your time management. Livifi Choose from 40 different lifestyle goals on the app and set achievable targets to attain them. Get useful tips on how to accomplish a particular goal, also. The app is meant to help one live a healthier...

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Check Yourself: Target Credit Card Breach Affects Millions
Dec20

Check Yourself: Target Credit Card Breach Affects Millions

A phishing or malware attack, which is expected to have infiltrated 40 million transactions, at Target compromised some credit and debit card users information. The Target credit card breach began on Black Friday (November 27th), the busiest shopping day of the entire year and continued for two weeks afterward, until December 15th. Whoops. That’s what Target is saying this week as they are warning RedCard (Target credit and debit card) and other buyers to frequently check their bank statements for suspicious spending. The breach only affected those who shopped in store and not online. Target CEO, Greg Steinhafel, confirmed the credit-breach on Thursday. Law enforcement has been involved and the issue has been resolved, but customers are still steaming and rightfully so. Breaches are more common than you might think in companies across the board, but this is a particularly bad time of the year for Target to be compromised. Many companies do not have adequate protection against breaches, but historically have not lost a ton of business because of it. The popular company has set up a hotline for customers to call if they have any questions, or to find out if their information has been compromised in the breach (although you might be on hold for about 45 minutes) and a frequently asked questions page has been uploaded on the site. Target will bounce back from this situation if they handle customers in the best way possible and respond quickly to their questions and...

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Autoplaying Video Ads on Facebook: Will They Work?
Dec17

Autoplaying Video Ads on Facebook: Will They Work?

As one of the most popular and most used sites on the internet, it’s no surprise that advertising has become increasingly important for Facebook and its (sustained) growth. The new phase of advertising growth on our News Feed will be rolled out soon and will arrive in the form of autoplay videos. That’s right, we have no choice but to look at the commercials in between creeping on friends and messaging our family. Autoplaying video ads on Facebook will begin to be largely rolled out this Thursday. In the testing period of autoplay video ads on Facebook, it is said that the engagement was significantly higher than videos that did not autoplay. To this statement, I can simply say, “Duh.” The likes, views and shares have all increased dramatically because users don’t have the option to look away (well, yeah we do but it’s Facebook). Facebook is spinning this new avenue of advertising as a chance to get higher quality ads on our News Feeds. In reality, it’s a way to gain our attention quickly and quietly, since the ads do not have autoplaying sound (thank goodness). Social media sites are experimenting with advertising and right now Facebook has the stability to test the limits. Video content has been largely untouched online, which is probably due to a universal aversion to being advertised to without consenting to it (YouTube ads, anyone?). How much will Facebook be charging companies for the ads? Upwards of $1 million a day for a short commercial. Are you worried about the ads taking up bandwith on your mobile device? So was Mark Zuckerberg. When on mobile, the ads won’t autoplay unless you are connected to wi-fi. That’s considerate! The move to autoplaying video ads on social media is a sign of a changing of the times. Mobile and social media is starting to quietly (or not so quietly) take business away from traditional television outlets. The experience of watching shows has changed pretty dramatically in the past couple of years with the ability to instantly watch any show you want on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu....

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Google and Wedding Planning: A Match Made in Heaven
Dec10

Google and Wedding Planning: A Match Made in Heaven

For all of those tech-loving couples out there, you can start planning your nuptials with Google. In a seemingly bold jump from email and online maps, Google has provided tools customized to help you plan your wedding. The tech giant suggests announcing your engagement through the use of Google+ Hangouts, locating a venue with Google Maps and setting your budget with the help of Google Docs. None of these tools are necessarily new but the scope of what their popular apps can be used for has definitely been broadened. Social Media Wedding It’s no surprise that social media has infiltrated the wedding planning world. Couples tend to spread the word of their engagement through Facebook with a picture before the family knows. Save the dates have started to be sent out over Facebook events. Pinterest has become a staple of the wedding planning process as couples find elaborate themes, food and more over the product-sharing site. Google wants a piece of the lucrative wedding pie. The biggest plus in the Google Wedding organization toolkit is the option to easily make a website for the wedding. Wedding websites are very trendy and allow a couple to tell the story of how they met, easily share wedding day information and allow easy access to the registry. Encouraging social media interaction with Google+, the company suggests having guests post photos from the reception in a shared folder. This new avenue for creating a social wedding will certainly add to an already important part of a modern wedding. Although the services that Google is offering through the wedding toolkit are not necessarily new, the idea of planning a wedding using apps is fresh and will end up making the web giant some serious revenue in the future. Easy Planning Aspect Google is known for the lightning quick access to search engine results, which will no doubt be an alluring fact when couples start planning their wedding. The idea of planning your wedding on Google seems as easy as clicking a couple of buttons. The execution and usefulness of Google Weddings is yet to be seen but may end up changing the way many look at the traditionally tedious act of planning nuptials. No More Invites? Google Weddings suggests using a Google+ event to invite friends and family to your wedding. The app suggests using a beautiful theme or using your own photos to make the invite more personal. This part of the Google Weddings idea was not very well thought out and I can guarantee that your aunts, uncles and grandparents will likely not understand why they didn’t receive a hardcopy invite. I’d wait...

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