On making apps for small businesses

Read this from this Wall Street Journal article….

“I’m not sure it’s useful,” he said of the app.

Thats a guy talking about his own app he had commissioned. Oops.

So I’ve gotten into a few email discussions  with students about what to make, what to do, etc. And a while back I posted up Apple’s own submission guidelines for apps they review, and the thing I really took from that was to make something of lasting entertainment value. So even if you get a restaurant on the hook to pay you to build an app, consider (between you and the client obviously) what could be done beyond just a fancy business card in app form. Worst case, you might have Apple’s reviewers just say there’s so little substance, the app shouldn’t be in the store, for example if you tried to just submit a two tab app for a restaurant with a menu and location. Thats a mobi website, not an app.  But best case, ANYTHING is possible. And pitching “ANYTHING” can be more lucrative for you from a freelance perspective. If it was a restaurant app, maybe create a slot machine that pays out coupons (that might skirt the gambling issue, but I think a free coupon game is probably ok).  Or interactive menu with sound fx, so kids can order their food and play a funny sound for the waiter. You have the potential to build something that can actually bring customers back to an establishment IF your app supplements their enjoyment at that business.  And thats an easy sell to the business you are pitching to. Walk into a dentist’s office, tell him you make iPad apps, and have some ideas for a custom app for kids waiting to go in. Aren’t braces like 5 grand? I think any dentist can afford to at least hear out your crazy ideas.

FYI, session 3 part 2 is definitely coming in a few days. Had to pause recording for a bit, but I’m back at it!

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