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4 results returned for "Success"

Tuesday, Oct 18th, 2016

Lauren Basil

Lauren
8 Reasons Snapchat Spectacles Won't Last

Snapchat is attempting to stay relevant by introducing their first piece of hardware and changing their name to Snap Inc. Obviously, the Snapchat app is still their bread and butter, but they're exploring hardware as the next endeavor to further the company's influence. I don't see this as the next stepping stone in growing their company, but only time will tell.

That Ray Ban Vision

Let's be honest, if I'm going to buy myself a pair of sunglasses for $130, I'm going to buy myself a pair of Ray-Bans that look great and won't go out of style. Not Snapchat Spectacles that only have one frame available that may or may not look good.

Kim K.

The Spectacles can only be used outside, unless of course you think you're Kim K and wear sunglasses no matter where you are. But truthfully, the fact that they are sunglasses limits use to outdoors and if I were to buy something like Spectacles (for the purpose of recording), I would want to be able to use them wherever and whenever.

Lights Out

To limit the use of the glasses even more, half of anything worth documenting outside is going to happen while it's dark out. Snapchat Spectacles won't do you any good then.

Thirty Seconds

Realistically, that's not a lot of time. Not to mention, you have to prompt the glasses to continue recording past 10 seconds if you want a longer video. The glasses are set to end after 10 seconds in correspondence with the length of a snapchat video. So what happens if you record a longer video and want to upload to Snapchat?

Blurred Lines

Who's to say how good the quality of the recordings will be? We won't know until the hardware makes it's debut and users give their feedback. My guess is that I wouldn't want to use the video many other places outside of the Snapchat app because of the quality.

Sorry Android

Using an Android limits the user friendliness. You have to be connected to wifi in order to transfer the recordings onto your phone, unlike an iPhone user who can easily transfer via bluetooth.

Need an Endorsement?

So far, the only person endorsing Spectacles is the Snap Inc. CEO, Evan Spiegel. That doesn't instill very much confidence in potential buyers because of course the CEO should LOVE the product.

Creep it real

They have the ability to classify someone as creepy. I could be wearing the glasses and be recording my friends and they might not even realize it... or frankly, they may not want to be recorded!

The Spectacles give Snap Inc. a glimpse into the world of hardware, an unknown territory for the company thus far. I can't say this will be their breakthrough product, but it's a start and they will continue to improve the hardware just like any tech company would. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
Push It To The Limit

Your phone is laying next to you. The screen illuminates. You stop what you're doing and scan the screen for something to peak your interest. Low balance alert, damn it. You go back to what you were doing. Every app is at risk of being forgotten, left sitting on a back screen or in a folder labeled "Uselessness" along with the stocks app. Push notifications can make the difference in your app being one of the forgotten, or making it into someone's daily routine. Last year, users who enabled push notifications launched an app an average of 14.7 times per month versus 5.4 times a month for users who did not enable notifications. 3X more launches? Sign us up.

Come on girls, let's go show the guys that we know how to become number one in a hot party show. NOW PUSH IT.

Yes, driving users to engage with your app is the main goal of push notifications. But like most marketing, there is value to be found in other elements. Is it generating buzz? Is it adding value to your brand? Is it creating awareness or building trust with your users? Your strategy should be less focused on clicks, and more focused on ways to build your brand. The language (or emojis) you choose should be consistent with the messaging you use throughout your marketing.

Turn offs include...

Did you click on this article because it looked boring? No. Something about it was compelling. The content of your push notifications need to be compelling enough that users don't turn to the dreaded "Turn off push notifications" option, and instead are persuaded to open the app. The content should be witty and interesting, and provide them with something worthy of their time. If your users don't find value in receiving notifications from you, they will turn you off quicker than cargo pants.

Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me

I am a vicious online shopper. It's a hobby, it's a sport, it's a passion. And like any good online shopper, I filter my search with precision to find exactly what I'm looking for so I don't have to wade through items I'm not interested. You can apply this same concept to your user's push notifications by allowing them to customize their settings so they choose what notifications they want to see. Rather than turning notifications off completely, allow them the opportunity to decide what's important to them. For instance, ESPN's app prompts you to choose which teams you want to receive updates on, instead of just sending you blanket news about sports. Kayak, a travel app, gives you the option to set notifications based on dates and destinations that alert you when a price has dropped based on your criteria. Users are teeing it up for you by telling you exactly what they want to hear from you.

Push, not shove

You don't want to be the whiney girlfriend complaining that users never pay attention to you anymore. Instead, try to use language that is encouraging. Don't shame users into opening your app or try to preach to them that you know best. We get it Yahoo Fantasy Football, you don't agree with my lineup choices. I read the injury report, and I don't need your judgment.

What's in it for me?

Coupons have been around for decades, but they remain relevant because they offer incentive to customers that drive them to visit. Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks provide value to users by offering them a discount or a coupon at specific times. They make them time sensitive to further drive engagement. There is a 5% higher click through rate with notifications that include the words "off" for discounts and promotions. Success is also seen with words like "come" and "only" that create a sense of urgency.

AWWWW, YEAHHHHH

I can't be the only one who immediately thinks of GrubHub when they see this phrase. In fact, its making me a little hungry to type this. GrubHub speaks to their users in a casual, comfortable manner. In addition to using language that reflects your brand, your language should speak to your demographic in a way they can relate to. Bonus points for using their name, with users being three times more likely to convert from a push notification when its personalized.

Timing is everything

When I was researching the best times to send out a push notification, I found that the strongest open rates are 10AM-1PM, with little variation by day. But I'm going to go out on a limb here with my marketing expertise and say that may not be the best time for you to hit send. I suggest you get to know your audience instead. A/B test until the cows come home. And most importantly, know your product. If you are a language app, your user probably isn't studying on a Saturday night, so hold off on push notifications that night. If you're an EDM show finding app, your user is ready to rage Saturday night and would love a push notification at that time. Know your audience and think about why they downloaded your app in the first place. Ignore best practices.

Location, Location, Location

One day I read a review for an app that assured me I would find the best drink deals in town. I downloaded it immediately, ready to start saving/drinking. I promptly forgot about it. A few days later, I was walking to a friend's apartment and ding ding! I received an alert that I was walking near a bar I could be saving/drinking at. The real value in this app was born. It was making my life easier and more convenient. Instead of leaving it to take up storage in my phone, I actually engaged with the app.

Never forget to SQUIRRELL!!

Our attention spans are short. Are you even still reading this article? Have you clicked on three different notifications while you read it? Because our attention spans are so short, we often get distracted and forget that we left an item in our cart instead of actually ordering it. Check in with users to see if they were done with your app to draw some clicks. Remember that your users have a short attention span when writing your notifications and keep the word count low. They should be able to quickly scan to determine if they are interested.

Facebook Birthdays, like, can you not?

I surveyed a few friends about the type of notifications that they liked and disliked. Highest marks go to Poshmark, an app where you can list, sell, and purchase clothing. Poshmark sends out clever notifications multiple times a day that are guaranteed to spark a conversation, a laugh, or a screenshot. As I am sitting here writing this blog post, I received a notification from Poshmark about pumpkin spice. Timely and relevant as always. However, the only thing this notification made me do was get up and get a coffee, not necessarily go sell some clothes. It's not a blatant sales pitch, but they were on my mind.

You gotta pump those numbers up, those are rookie numbers

The other response I received when polling my friends, family, and coworkers was that they have no interest in push notifications, and in fact turn most of them off immediately. A marketer's nightmare. However, a trend did emerge in the select few that made the cut. Most people continue to keep notifications on social apps, like Instagram and Snapchat. The other one was typically a news app, like CNN or New York Times. This is pretty interesting insight into what user's value. First and foremost, they value their friends. They want to stay connected with people. Second, they value the world around them and timely, breaking news. Ultimately, the most important question to consider when you are writing your push notifications is "does this create value for the user?" The ultimate goal should be to make your users life better! Don't be repetitive with your messages. Try to make your user laugh. Is this alert going to help them, or distract them? If you're going to interrupt someone's life, make it a worthwhile message.

Tuesday, Sep 13th, 2016

Paul D'Angelo

Paul
Ready, Fire, Aim

We've all been there before. You need something asap, and resources are scarce. You've been cobbling together a production ready site with the help of a rotating cast of freelancers and friends, and just need this final piece to get you fully operational. You are so close you can taste it. The final pieces are so obvious to you, you begin looking for help with little more than a 2 sentence overview explaining how you just need a quick fix and that a 2 week should be more than enough time.

You narrow down your search to three potential partners, and explain to them how easy this project will be, briefly outlining the simple quick fixes. When pressed for greater detail, you brush them off, emphasizing the urgency needed and how explaining now will simply slow things down. After a few exchanges over price, you settle on a team you like, and get started.

During kickoff, your team digs a little deeper in to your existing code. During the process, they identify a few issues that you had not anticipated, including some API's that you thought would be simple to integrate with, but in fact are not. You assure them that everything else will be a breeze, and agree on a few areas to begin working immediately. A few days later, those immediate areas also need extra clarification, and you still haven't figured out how to proceed with the previous API issue. As you head into the second and "last week" of the sprint, you find yourself scratching your head wondering how at the halfway point, you suddenly have more questions than answers.

This kind of misplaced urgency happens far too often, and virtually everyone loses in the process. While urgency is a key component in most scenarios, if misplaced it can be a counterproductive force that can cause delays or much worse. With a little patience, more in depth discussions prior to beginning the engagement would've allowed for a greater understanding of what was needed, with potential hold ups being identified earlier and mitigated. How do you protect yourself against such dastardly urges??

Slow down
Whether you are starting a new venture, adding a new feature, or simply behind the 8-ball for a deadline, be sure to give yourself adequate time to think through the problem thoroughly. The moments where you feel there is too much to do to stop and think are usually the times that it is most important to do just that. When in doubt, ask yourself what would Ghandi do? "I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one."

Have a plan
You have spent the past 6 months working day and night bringing your idea to life, and you have a deep, intimate knowledge of every facet of your dream. Guess what? Joey Javascript that you just hired most likely is not a mind reader, and it's going to take time to get him familiar with the code, let alone immerse himself in how the platform is going to serve your mission. The clearer the picture you can paint for the team for both the immediate needs and how it relates to the big picture, the more efficiently they will be able to deliver.

Listen to your team
If the oncoming team doesn't have any questions at all, that should immediately set off all the alarms. Anticipate having to spend extra time clarifying issues and do not dismiss any questions or answer them half heartedly. Any Development team worth their code will give their best effort to deliver in a timely and accurate manner, and any questions are to that end. If you are frustrated that the answers seem so obvious and suspect the team is dragging their feet, please remind yourself of the previous revelation that most are not in fact mind readers.

Know when to compromise
You've been working tirelessly to get things just right, so there's no way you were going to give up now right? You can just impose your will on your team to get them to dig a little deeper, and get it to the finish line. While that sounds inspirational, it can also be dangerous. Not only can it create friction between you and your team, delaying launch just to ensure things are "perfect" can cost you valuable time. The sooner you get your product in front of people, the sooner you start collecting real data.

And know when to stand your ground...
Yes I know I literally just told you to compromise, but sometimes you do need to keep pushing for those final details and features. Nobody said this was going to be easy! How do you decide what's what? Ask yourself, is making this feature, functionality, screen etc being x% more perfecter going to lead to a x% greater chance of success of the product? If yes, then adjust your timelines accordingly, and make sure it's right. If not, and your current situation is "good enough", then get your product going as soon as possible, and can continue to refine as you go, armed with additional real user data to help guide you.

Urgency is a tricky thing. While it can narrow our focus and help us achieve great things during intense deadlines, it can also consume us and cause us to completely blow it. You could say that Urgency is to panic, as pressure is to stress, but that's a discussion for another time. For now, just remember to periodically slow things down, especially when you need them to move the fastest.

Friday, Jul 18th, 2014

Laura Meyer

Laura
Twenty Something Success

I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing and inspiring professionals. Through my conversations and my own personal beliefs I have created the twenty something's guide to success.

Rise and Shine
Wake up, go for a run, read an interesting article, or simply meditate and think about what you want to achieve that day. I have yet to meet a successful professional who accomplished big things by hitting the snooze button. When you wake up early you aren't rushed, you have time to relax and enjoy yourself before the craziness of the day.

Mornings are my "me" time. I'll do my laundry, go grocery shopping, cook a delicious breakfast just because and most importantly workout. When I go for runs it is my escape and time to meditate. The streets of NYC are quiet (relatively) and I immediately feel refreshed and ready for the day.

Personal Capital
Don't choose a job based off the salary. Look at the whole picture and weigh heavily on the personal capital you will receive from a position.

My definition of personal capital is the ability to learn valuable skills that you need to achieve your ultimate goal. When I was going through the interviewing process I had attractive opportunities, but when I stopped and looked at the whole picture I knew joining DevShop's fellowship was best for me and my goals of one day starting my own company.

Investing in yourself, is the best investment you can possibly make.

Know your self worth
Being from the midwest I'm naturally more passive, but to be successful you have to stand up for yourself and believe in your self worth. It's okay to be aggressive, if done respectfully.

I spoke with a woman who has worked in finance for 15 years. She said that one of her professional regrets when she was younger was she never questioned her pay or bonus, even though she believed she worked harder than what she was being paid.

If you never ask the question, the answer will always be no. Know your self worth, have the guts, and always ask.

Knowing your brain
Spoiler alert... everyone is unique and different. There are introverts, extroverts, optimist, realist, the anxious and the laidback. One of the most important keys to success is knowing your strengths and how you can use the way your brain works to be the most productive and successful version of yourself.

My brain is all over the place. It is constantly turning, making list, and getting distracted. I have to always be doing something. Recognizing this though I know I could never be in a position with a single task. Instead I am able to exploit my strengths. I will work on multiple projects at a time, I stay organized by always making list, and I randomly will have inspiration for a great idea.

Talk to everyone and anyone
Don't be shy to ask anyone for coffee. The best way to learn and be ahead of the game is talking with those more experienced who have insight. Having great mentors is one of the most valuable things a twenty-something can have. Every professional at any age should have a mentor, but as twenty-somethings we are like clay in the process of being sculpted and having the best sculptures give input is what will set you apart.

When is comes to reaching out to everyone and anyone coffee is the best way to meet them, but if they are busy don't be shy to ask for a short phone call. Lead the conversation and learn as much as possible. Get on Linkedin and send connection invitation to people you would love to have a conversation with. Talk to the guy you next to you in the elevator. When you communicate with people you not only learn from what they have to say, but you build a network and a personal brand.

In conclusion: