The Little App That Could — 3 Mobile Success Stories
The mobile revolution has pervaded every aspect of our lives, from our dating habits to our daily vernacular. If you’re an average smartphone-toting consumer, for example, you probably find yourself asking the ultimate question—“Is there an app for that?”—every time you discover a new business, be it that hip ethnic grocer or your friendly neighborhood florist.
And if you’re a sensible business owner, current stats and a bulk of solid research dictate your answer should be a resounding “Yes!”
Now you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make it big in mobile, but you do have to be inventive. Let’s take a look at 3 SMBs who’ve made it to the mobile hall of fame with some truly cool, innovative apps. With their winning engagement strategies and clever features, these apps inspire awe, and, if we’re willing to admit it, a collective sigh of the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that variety. Well, have faith—there’s still time. Give these budding mobile entrepreneurs a generous round of applause (sorry, couldn’t resist…) and take note.
TrueView looks like it could be the next big thing in online dating. What’s their edge? Good old-fashioned honesty. Let’s face it, with all our good intentions, we tend to give ourselves a generous measure of creative license when it comes to our online dating profiles—“avid rock climber” (tried it once), “extremely spiritual” (a yoga class in 2003…), “love to read” (when there’s a power outage and no access to Netflix). So a little hyperbole seems harmless enough, right? But it usually doesn’t bode well for a healthy long-term relationship. Enter TrueView, a dating app based on the ancient wisdom that we should drop the act and, in a nutshell, just be ourselves.
How do they do it? The service bases users’ profiles on their running social media activity—checking someone out on TrueView is sort of like being the fly on the proverbial wall, or as it were, its digital counterpart. The app tracks users’ Facebook updates, Tweets, etc., and uses the information (favorite music, food, weekend hangouts…) to match them up with kindred spirits. User-friendly features filter out potential incompatibles and enable users to find each other, chat, meet, and if they’re lucky, live happily ever after.
TrueView is so promising, its three co-founders have secured big-time funding, quit their day jobs, and turned their idea into a thriving mobile business.
2. Sit or Squat
Forget the Labrador puppy, forget the fluffy white clouds, forget those cherubic chubby infants. TP giant Charmin has opted out of conventional “cuteness” marketing in favor of its far more practical and nationally relevant Sit or Squat app campaign.
We’ve all been there—it’s an hour into the drive and we’re beginning to regret those four cappuccinos we downed before we took off. And while the rugged among us will make do with some dense off-road foliage, a finicky majority prefers the anonymity of a proper porcelain bowl. So how do we find a restroom that’s not only within tolerable distance, but one that doesn’t trigger an instant gag reflex or scream all varieties of hepatitis? Easy—we use our smartphone.
Sit or Squat geographically tracks your location and offers features that let you find, view, rate, and share public bathrooms across the U.S. If the “facility” doesn’t meet your hygienic expectations, you add it to the map with a red “squat.” If it passes inspection, it gets an inviting green “sit.”
It has to be said, some serious credit is due here—consumer engagement is no small feat when the subject is toilet paper…
3. My Sex Doctor
While the subject of s-e-x has lost much of its hush-hush allure in recent decades, some of us remain at a loss when it comes down to having “the conversation” with our kids. At the same time, as parents, we want to make sure our young ones are not misinformed by their peers, x-rated media, or unqualified sex-ed teachers. And most teenagers are far too embarrassed to “talk shop” with the adults in their lives.
My Sex Doctor bridges the gap with an app that offers a safe, honest, no-nonsense setting where confused or curious teens (or adults, for that matter…) can access reliable information about the birds, the bees, and everything in between. This progressive app, where “all the things you want to know about sex are in the palm of your hand,” is a far cry from the painfully embarrassing high school “health” classes of yore. Teen-friendly features include Topics, Dictionary, and 100 Things You Must Know, to name a few.
Now that you’re armed with inspiration, it’s time to schedule a lunch date with your muse and put your brilliant app ideas into action. There are plenty of great do-it-yourself app creation platforms out there, and once you get started, creating that million-dollar app is much easier than you think.
This post was contributed to The Conduit Mobile Blog by guest blogger Avigail Sella. Avigail is a freelance writer and editor. When she’s not playing with words (or watching House M.D. reruns...), she’s out stalking wildlife, climbing olive trees, or planning trips to the Amazon. She also loves Bach, tigers, and Kilgore Trout.