Arian Kulp

Apr 20 2012

Arian Kulp talks about AppDreamr, a place for non developers to brainstorm app ideas. Everybody has an idea (or two) for an app, Arian has built them a place to jumpstart the creative process. He also shares his insight on the state of Windows Phone.

Links referenced in the show:

The music in the show, Have Mercy — Big Walter Horton, was provided by Mevio’s Music Alley.

Transcription

  1. Arian 00:00:21

    This is Arian Kulp. I’m a C# MVP. I’m the founder of AppDreamr.com. That’s a site for end users to discuss app concepts and for developers to discover them. The initial focus on the site is Windows Phone apps since the marketplace needs more high quality apps that users need. And I’m doing this just to help Windows Phone out to compete with the more established iPhone and Android platforms. I’m soon going to be adding Windows 8 Metro and desktop app categories to AppDreamr as well.

  2. Ryan 00:00:50

    So I guess the first thing I have to ask is isn’t there already a wish list for apps for Windows Phone called the App Store?

  3. Arian 00:00:58

    Yeah. Well, so interesting. There’s a number of ways people currently talk about apps that they want to see. And actually there’s a UserVoice site that came up right about the same time, like, within a week or two, of when I launched AppDreamr. And being UserVoice it’s all about everybody voting on certain things and seeing what floats to the top. But that site was really about what does Android or iPhone have that Windows Phone doesn’t have. Specifically, they have a, you know, Pandora app. I want to vote up bringing a Pandora app to Windows Phone. My concept was more about there isn’t a good app that does this and so, you know, if I say Pandora everyone knows what I mean. There’s really no discussion on, “Well, what would that be? What do you mean a Pandora app?” You know what that is. But if I said, “Well, I want a new kind of streaming radio app that doesn’t yet exist to fulfill my need. You know, I’ve looked at them all. They don’t do such-and-such.” I would go to AppDreamr and I’d say, “Well, this is my idea. This is what makes it stand out. Here’s a feature list. Here’s some screenshots; I think that might make it look cool.” And people would vote it up in the same way but it’s actually an original idea is the idea. And hopefully it’s something that’s not just a copy of an app on another platform.

  4. Ryan 00:02:22

    Okay. Very cool. Yeah, so it’s more blue skies for one, right? And then, actually, I think that for you and I we have an idea of the landscape and we kind of talk like that. I’m not sure if I coined the phrase “appmanteau” but the idea of, like, “Well, it’s kind of like Pandora and Facebook,” or, “It’s kind of like Facebook for burritos.” And we solve problems in that way by kind of, like, locking them together. But I could see users not even, like, “What? I don’t even know what that is because Oprah hasn’t talked about that Web app yet,” right?

  5. Arian 00:02:54

    Absolutely.

  6. Ryan 00:02:56

    So that’s cool. I mean, and it’s good because you kind of give them a platform that’s specific for end users, right? Because I think there kind of are similar kinds of solutions where it’s more like filing a bug, right? And that’s not something that, you know, normal people, the ones that you want to get the dollars from, they don’t necessarily integrate well with that. So that’s very interesting.

  7. Arian 00:03:17

    Yeah. I think it should really stand out well for the user that their only other opportunity is to go into forums and complain that there’s no app that does this. Or even worse, this is one of my pet peeves, in developing apps, because I have a few of my own apps out on the Windows Phone marketplace, you’ll get the person who gives the app a one-star review not because anything about it is wrong but because it’s missing that one feature that they wish it had.

  8. Ryan 00:03:44

    Right, right.

  9. Arian 00:03:45

    Rather than rating it for what it is; it’s an excellent app, it doesn’t crash, it’s designed well, but it’s useless to me because it doesn’t do this one thing and they give it a star, you know. Huge pet peeve. So hopefully this would be the platform where they could say, “Well, I wish there was an app that did all of those things and also did this feature and did it in this way.”

  10. Ryan 00:04:06

    Very cool. So I’m curious how you came to this idea. Because I, like, to me it seems like it could be one of two ways. Is this more of a, like, you had an app and you said, “You know, there’s no good place for me to complain about an app that I’d like. I don’t have time to build it myself. I’d love it if someone else did.” Or is this more like you’re coming from the way like, “I want to start a little project but I just don’t know what to do.” Like, the developer’s writer’s block?

  11. Arian 00:04:30

    Yeah. I’d definitely put it in the developer’s writer’s block realm, which is funny; you don’t really hear people talk about that. “I’m a developer and I’m itching to write something; I just don’t know what to write.” But it’s a very real problem if you’re a hobbyist programmer. I love writing code and I love solving cool problems and I don’t just want to write another widget that does something that everyone else does, you know. I’m not going to write another RSS reader. I’m not going to --

  12. Ryan 00:04:54

    Right.

  13. Arian 00:04:55

    There’s too many of these specific types of kind of simple apps. But there’s also a huge variety of apps that really nobody is addressing because maybe they’re too domain-specific; maybe they only appeal to a smaller subset of people. And that subset of people might be very lucrative but the hobbyist developer wouldn’t necessarily know about that. Personally, I write a lot of evangelism content. I’ve done some for Microsoft and Intel and other companies where I take technologies before they’ve necessarily even been released. And it’s hard; you can’t really just be searching to see, you know, what are some existing samples I can adapt. You’re trying to find some novel ways of using these technologies. And so coming up with an original idea; it is, you know, just like writing a short story would be where, you know, how am I going to come up with a great idea just on a moment’s notice? I’m being paid to develop twenty of these, maybe. So I love the idea of having a repository where anybody could just go out there and say, “I have an idea. I wish there were something out there that performed this task.” And then I, as a developer, could look at that and go, “Oh, wow. That’s really cool. There’s users that wish there were something like this out there.” Kind of, you know, guarantee some success. I know it’s popular. I know that this app is going to do well. And whether it’s a sample, whether it’s a coding for fun article, or just something I’m doing completely on the side for fun I’m able to address a need that maybe wasn’t really able to be widely articulated prior to that.

  14. Ryan 00:06:22

    That’s cool. Yeah, I’ve definitely been on the same side of that as you are. Like, you see a new tool out there, a new framework, or something and you want to play with it. And, yeah, I get the same way. Like, I don’t want to just build a five-minute blog tutorial, right? I actually want to solve a problem with it and leverage it in a way that makes sense, like, when I’m tinkering. So I get hung up on, like, trying to come up with, like, a good idea. Not necessarily, like, it needs to be a business because it is just, like, an after-hours hobby project, right? But you do want to actually feel like you’re building something worth building.

  15. Arian 00:06:50

    Right. Would I actually use this? Yeah.

  16. Ryan 00:06:53

    Me, somebody, anybody, I don’t know. But, you know, not just yet another carbon copy of something. So it also seems like a good way potentially -- I don’t know, have you got any signals of somebody doing this; like, a good way to kind of smoke test if somebody wants to make an app, right? Like, I wonder if anybody votes for this app if I throw it on here. And maybe if they don’t, I don’t worry about it.

  17. Arian 00:07:15

    Yeah, that’s actually an interesting idea. I hadn’t even thought of it from that point of view. But yeah, that would definitely make sense for a developer to go on here and either to just collaboratively design it as in, “I’m considering making an app like this; help me refine it,” or just kind of silently putting in their feature list and their ideas and just kind of step back and see what happens; see how people respond to it. Yeah, that’s a real interesting use case. I think the site would be very -- would work very well for that.

  18. Ryan 00:07:42

    You know, I think would be great too is sort of, like, a pacifier for that guy that you know that always has an idea and is always pitching you. You’d say, “Oh, you know what? I’ve got a Website. You should go and put -- that’s gold! That’s gold! I don’t have time for it right now but I know a place where you can go write all of that up.”

  19. Arian 00:07:59

    Yeah, yeah. That’s definitely -- and sure. Maybe a lot of those ideas aren’t actually that strong of ideas but once they’re out there and they can be collaborated on who knows what’ll come out of it.

  20. Ryan 00:08:10

    Yeah, you never know. It might not be fully-baked but it might be a, you know, good seed for something else. I mean, everybody’s got an idea, right? That’s what people say. Everybody’s got an idea and now they’ve kind of got this platform so that’s pretty cool. So for targeting, specifically apps for Windows Phone, I haven’t checked in a little while. Are their distribution numbers getting bigger? Do you keep an eye on that or is that just not a concern?

  21. Arian 00:08:35

    I haven’t seen it recently. You know, I know the marketplace numbers keep getting bigger but I also know that there’s definitely a lot more complaints now about some of the shovelware apps that are appearing in the marketplace. A lot of RSS readers, a lot of identical apps that differ only in branding. So it’s a little bit hard to completely take the marketplace numbers seriously. There’s some really high quality stuff out there and there’s an awful lot of filler as well.

  22. Ryan 00:09:04

    Well, and apps aside I was actually thinking about, you know, phones in hands. You know, somebody’s trying to sell this app for a dollar, how many dollars can they get?

  23. Arian 00:09:13

    Yeah, that is the bottom line question, isn’t it? Yeah, and those numbers have never gotten that high yet. It’s interesting because the Lumia 900 now seems to be, you know, it’s that whole flagship phone people actually know about. And I keep reading little anecdotes about, “Yeah, my cousin was asking about it and they’ve never talked about phones at all,” and, you know, that kind of thing. So people are noticing it, apparently, but it’ll be interesting to see if that translates into much more market share. I just saw something yesterday that was indicating that a pretty high proportion of Lumia 900 buyers were converts from Android and iPhone.

  24. Ryan 00:09:48

    Oh, that’s interesting.

  25. Arian 00:09:50

    I was excited to read that and we’ll see how sustainable it is. You know, I’ve been in the Windows Phone game since before it came out. I was writing some of the early samples for it. And I’ve been very excited about it. It’s so much of a better platform than Windows Mobile was, but it’s still -- you know, it’s in its infancy. And it’ll be very interesting to see once whatever they name Apollo when it comes out (Windows 8 or Phone 8, I suppose) that’s going to really bring about, I think, a wealth of new features that people are looking for. As good as the platform is, obviously, there are certain apps that end users want to see, but there does seem to also just be -- it doesn’t stand out enough. Yes, it’s got a neat, slick, fluid interface but users don’t necessarily notice that as much. I hear a lot of complaints with Android because it’s just kind of hard to manage and it can be confusing because different carriers use different skins.

  26. Ryan 00:10:49

    Yeah.

  27. Arian 00:10:49

    Nobody really complains about the iPhone, you know.

  28. Ryan 00:10:53

    Yeah.

  29. Arian 00:10:54

    They’ve got it nailed down. And so you choose an Android, I think, more often either anti-Apple or just because the prices tend to be lower on Android phones. But Windows Phone really needs to get beyond parity where they are now effectively. Yeah, they’re a little better here and there but they’re effectively at parity. And, you know, if early rumors are any indication, Apollo is going to be that big paradigm shift (whatever) -- big jump that they need to make. But we’re talking months out and so that’s certainly not helping their market position.

  30. Ryan 00:11:28

    Yeah. And you can’t even talk too much about, like, what’s coming because then everybody’s like, “Oh, okay. Well, I guess the right time to buy is later.”

  31. Arian 00:11:35

    Exactly. There’s always that problem.

  32. Ryan 00:11:37

    Kind of a big gotcha there.

  33. Arian 00:11:39

    It is, yeah. And to say, “Oh, well, I think by the end of the year isn’t really much,” you know, the thing is people roll off contracts all the time. People are always looking to upgrade. There’s always a steady market of people that are looking to upgrade their phone. It’s really nice to see that Microsoft and Nokia are doing a lot of joint advertising now. As nice as it was seeing Windows Phone in product placement in a few T.V. shows, I don’t think it was the most effective advertising.

  34. Ryan 00:12:06

    Yeah.

  35. Arian 00:12:06

    But now they are. You know, now, like I said, you know, people that don’t think a whole lot about phones are actually thinking about it. So I don’t know. We’re slowly getting there but it’s an expensive game to be in. It’s hard to get carrier buy-in and cooperation. There’s just so many factors in there it’s pretty hard to call.

  36. Ryan 00:12:25

    It was interesting to see -- I don’t know, this was a couple weeks back now. Well, I guess it was just whenever the Nokia phone launched. It was, you know, it was, like, number one on Amazon, which was interesting. I don’t know how that actually translates to numbers but it was really good that day, right?

  37. Arian 00:12:39

    Yeah. That’s what they said, which I have a little trouble believing, honestly. Amazon’s huge, you know. How could Windows Phone possibly dominate their numbers for a day? I don’t know.

  38. Ryan 00:12:51

    Well, I’m not sure what kind of distribution they have on phones though. I mean, most people I know don’t buy phones from Amazon.

  39. Arian 00:12:57

    That’s true.

  40. Ryan 00:12:57

    I bought one that way once, you know. But even, like, I’m kind of one of those weird edge cases that does a lot of research and really cares about what phones there are. I still end up going to the store and buying it though because there’s no competition on price and I walk out with that day.

  41. Arian 00:13:13

    Yeah, that’s a good point. People want the instant gratification of walking the phone and getting it. Even if it’s overnight you just don’t want to wait for it so that’s a good point. And then they had greater availability and I think they had more colors than local AT&T had and so maybe that was part of what made the difference.

  42. Ryan 00:13:29

    That’s cool. I mean, no one really has anything bad to say about them it’s just for some reason distribution hasn’t really got revved up yet but they’re definitely on the right direction.

  43. Arian 00:13:38

    Well, I was very happy that when I went down to my local AT&T store (and I’ve had to go in there from time to time for just various issues and questions and things and this is my fourth or fifth Windows Phone now; my 900) and it’s the first time that they had any idea what I was talking about when I brought it in.

  44. Ryan 00:13:55

    Yeah.

  45. Arian 00:13:56

    They said that the Nokia rep had actually come into the AT&T store like a half a week before the Easter Sunday launch and all of the staff in the store were carrying 900s. So they actually had them ahead of the launch, they had a little bit of time to get excited about it, and even though they weren’t all necessarily going to switch to full-time use of that 900 they finally at least understood what we were talking about. One or two of them were actually especially knowledgeable; I was very impressed. So, you know, that’s really helped. I’d love to see that kind of momentum carried forward.

  46. Ryan 00:14:30

    Yeah. I’ve heard people, you know, they have these stories like, “Well, I think the, you know, whatever carrier’s trying to bury the Windows Phone because of spiffs or something like that.” My experience has not been that anyone’s trying to bury any kind of phone. But when I go in there they simply do not care. You know, like, they don’t have the talking points, they don’t know anything about it, and, in fact, like, I have a tendency to kind of, you know, shoot the breeze with them while I’m waiting on them to do paperwork or whatever. They seem curious; it’s just, like, for whatever reason they don’t have information.

  47. Arian 00:14:59

    I think I’ve noticed that same thing. And they’ll look at it; they’ll go, “Oh, yeah, that’s the Windows Phone, isn’t it?” So yeah, I guess that’s more what it is; it’s almost an ambivalence and an ignorance.

  48. Ryan 00:15:10

    Yeah. Well, hey, you know, if the customers aren’t asking for it why would you research it, right? Like, if all you’re doing is trying to service your customers, like, it’s sort of part of that whole chicken and egg problem, right?

  49. Arian 00:15:20

    Yeah.

  50. Ryan 00:15:20

    But I think, you know, if anyone can move some devices I think, you know, Nokia’s proven that they have a certain insight into that. So let’s circle back; let’s talk AppDreamr a little bit. But it’s awesome to talk about the market because, you know, especially since it’s something that you’re very much looking into. I like to get that information because it’s not, you know, it’s not floating around that much.

  51. Arian 00:15:40

    Right, right.

  52. Ryan 00:15:42

    So what I could see potentially being the elephant in the room with this thing where people are collaborating on app ideas and someone says, like, “That’s my idea and he made it.” I could see that easily turning into, “That’s my idea and he stole it,” right? Like, “If I had this idea how come I’ve got to give you 99 cents like all these other suckers,” right?

  53. Arian 00:16:00

    Yeah. And I don’t really have a great process laid out on the site, I don’t have lots of disclaimers to click through as you submit your app, and maybe I need some of that; I don’t know. One of the things I’ve always loved about the Internet is the spirit of collaboration that’s pretty prevalent. And so I’m very optimistically looking at this as I’m an end user, boy I wish there was an app that did this. I’ve got several options at this point. I can just keep wishing I could do it, I could partner up with somebody and try to start a company to do it, I could pay somebody to just write it and I can own the rights to it, or I can put it out there and hope that somebody makes it because, gosh darn, the bottom line is I just wish there was an app that did that. And getting that app available is the reward, really. That’s my possibly naive view is that, first of all they have to realize that this is not a site that they’re signing up and putting in tax information and liable -- you know, that they’re likely to get credit, you know, payouts from. So I’m kind of hoping that some of that’s just the obvious factor that you’re putting it out there; it’s out there now. I do have the site content licensed under CC Wiki with attribution required. I’m just -- as far as I’m concerned you’re making a community contribution on the site. And so my feeling, ideally, if somebody develops one of these apps, their about page where they pat themselves on the back, they have enough room on there that they can also say, “This app came from a concept on AppDreamr. The concept was suggested by so-and-so. Maybe these two or three users were the top contributors on the concept.” I would just really hope that that would happen, but I certainly don’t have any way of forcing that to happen. As for paying 99 cents like everyone else, it’s kind of funny actually. You know, to me, 99 cents is pretty much a sweet spot. If I was standing face to face with somebody and they said, “I’ll give you this thing for a buck,” I’d hardly think about it.

  54. Ryan 00:18:14

    Right.

  55. Arian 00:18:14

    And, you know, having to go through the clicking screens and going to your credit card and all, it seems different to me than handing somebody a dollar. I really think if somebody said, “I wrote this cool thing. I’ll give it to you on a disk for a buck,” I wouldn’t think twice about it, but I do think twice about paying for apps, right? I don’t know; there’s a weird thing there. But that said, most apps are cheap enough that it’s not a big deal. I would love to see the person who implements the app give those top contributors some kind of token to get it for free. And, really, it’s just a technical limitation. I’m pretty sure you can do that on iPhone; probably on Android as well. Windows Phone doesn’t have a way of doing that.

  56. Ryan 00:18:55

    That seems like that would be a really nice thing to do, right? That does seem like a good gesture.

  57. Arian 00:18:59

    Yeah, yeah. Definitely. And, you know, I have to imagine that if Microsoft gets that introduced at some point, I’ve got to think that would happen. You know, it’s just such a simple thing. Again, it’s 99 cents. If you sell a few thousand and you give away three copies and they’re the people who helped contribute the ideas, I just can’t imagine there being a lot of bad blood there.

  58. Ryan 00:19:20

    Yeah. And it’s funny because the idea of giving someone a free copy of the app, I think, would also seem very different than actually discounting them the app. Like, can you imagine, like, “Yeah, I sold 20,000 copies of the software. Oh, hang on. Let me PayPal you 99 cents.” “Thanks.”

  59. Arian 00:19:37

    Right, right. So I don’t know. I’d love to see that happen. And I do chat with some of the Windows Phone people from time to time and I’ve mentioned that before and I’ll probably mention it again. We’ll see. There’s a lot of things that are on the list of things to do.

  60. Ryan 00:19:55

    It’s early days, right? And everybody has that thing that they want, which is kind of the premise of your app too, right?

  61. Arian 00:20:00

    There you go. Yeah. MarketplaceDreamr will be my next one.

  62. Ryan 00:20:03

    Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting; I’m curious to see if you do get any kind of blowback from people that have these ideas really precious. I think when you’re in more, you know, technical/developer-centric groups you’re more likely for everybody to say, you know, “Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s about implementation,” right? Maybe that’s just ego because they’re the implementing guys, but it does seem like that’s more of a cry. But once you kind of open that circle up to more of a, like, a general entrepreneurial group or something, you know, along those lines, you get outside of the coders, it seems like people hold those ideas, like, the idea of, like, proprietary information and stuff, like, in a very different light.

  63. Arian 00:20:44

    Yeah, that’s definitely true. And really the biggest potential issue I see here is not so much the concept. Again, I mean, with all of it you’re posting it on a public site and so there’s just kind of a common sense factor, which, of course, there’s certain people that never stops. But there is just that common sense factor that you posted it out there. But I really expect that it’s going to be very rare for the person that submits it to also do all of the brainstorming and modifications and revisions. A good concept is probably going to come about because a number of people contributed and weighed in on this and that and voted things up and down until something really cool emerged from the original seed of the idea.

  64. Ryan 00:21:29

    You know, it’s a lot like, you know, people bitterly look back and say, “You know, I had an idea for Facebook too.” Yeah, well so did Tom. Like, lots of people did and they even built them. But, you know.

  65. Arian 00:21:39

    Yeah, yeah. And with this one you could say not only did, you know, I’m not just saying it; I’ve got a date on it…

  66. Ryan 00:21:44

    Yeah.

  67. Arian 00:21:45

    …because it’s on the site. So maybe that doesn’t help; I don’t know. My bigger concern, I guess, in that sort of realm is the design side of it. I’m really hoping that people will be designing prototypes and posting them on here because part of every app concept there’s the title and the description and you can tag it (you know, just kind of that basic stuff) and then there’s features. And features are just lists of, you know, here’s a title and description of the things it would do. I kind of envisioned it as a marketplace entry almost. Or even in going to, like, GameSpot or something and researching a game and what do you have? You’ve got the title, the description, you’ve got a list of the cool features that draw you to it, and there’s always a list of the screenshots or media that accompany it. I guess of the people that I would be most concerned of it would be the people that spend their time elaborately mocking up and doing design work. I would see them feeling a little bit more like, “That’s my property. I drew that, I painted that, I whatever,” and I can see there possibly being some bad blood in that feeling like, “Well, I don’t really want to give that to you for free.”

  68. Ryan 00:22:49

    It’s really tough with design. Like, that’s a thing that’s come up with me a couple of times. Like, the idea of open-source with design. Because, typically, you’re solving a very specific problem, right? Like, in that specific space where sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to, like, you know, open that, right, or to give that away because it’s not solving another problem; it’s only solving this one problem. And then secondly, you know, you start delving into that it’s such a sore spot, like, spec work, like, that realm. It’s very sensitive. Yeah, that would be an interesting problem to solve. I’m curious to see how, you know, if that comes up how you get around that because I haven’t seen a lot of people get around that. I think that the only communities that are really thriving about, like, sharing, you know, artwork or interfaces are very much hobbyists. Like, you think about deviantART, like that kind of thing where they’ll share their customization themes and things like that and that’s cool. But I’m pretty sure that the percentage of those people who actually do design for a living is kind of low, right?

  69. Arian 00:23:56

    Yeah, probably so. And I guess I personally feel that it’s more of an issue with the artwork artwork. I’d like to see, this is kind of lower on my plate but I plan on getting to it at some point, when you go to an app and you have an idea for visualization I’d like it to actually be either a diagram or more of a full-color image. I’d have to think that through a little bit better but I’d like to actually have UI prototyping as part of the app. Either, you know, licensing or creating something to just kind of create fairly simple, you know, squares and rectangles and labels and things so that I could say, “This is how I see the app laying out.” And, ideally, the user doesn’t have to go to a painting app or something. I’d like to have it as part of the tool. But then there’s the other people, especially if they’re brainstorming a game or something but whatever it might be, the creative, you know, a swoosh here, a cloud here, a gradient here. And now you’ve got some real artwork going on in there and that’s where it seems to me more likely that somebody would feel a little more ownership to it. And so, you know, I guess I hope that the worst I would need to do is just put a disclaimer. Anything you upload is out there and if it’s used in the app it should be attributed but that’s the end of your ownership of it. Or even let the person set their own creative comments tags on it or something like that.

  70. Ryan 00:25:23

    Yeah. Yeah. As long as, you know, you cover yourself, like, that’s one thing. I guess I was more even thinking about what are things that might be, you know, barriers to enter; like that kind of thing. I’m really curious to keep an eye on this and see how you solve these problems. I know that if I was looking at it I would be so much bound to this paralysis by analysis thing that plagues me. Like, I’d be thinking about all these different ways. Like, it’s refreshing to see that you just said, "You know what? I’m going to solve that problem when I have that problem."

  71. Arian 00:25:51

    Yeah. For better or for worse.

  72. Ryan 00:25:54

    I think that that is a fantastic way to approach it. And, you know, if no other takeaway from this podcast I sure hope the listeners, you know, kind of can see that and, you know, hopefully follow you and kind of see how it plays out for you.

  73. Arian 00:26:06

    Well, and, you know, a lot of that really was just a pragmatic approach. This has been a dream of mine for two or three years. I had it in the back of my mind I’d like to develop a site like this. Actually it was in my mind about two or three years before I started working on it. And then it was off and on just months and months and months of working on this. And I got to where I said, you know, I want to get it out there. I want to start using it. I want to start seeing the reaction I get and I can’t possibly put in everything that’s in the back of my mind right now. And so I kind of cut it off and said, “It’s fully functional, it does all of these things right now, but I’m going to have to add these other things over time.” And so there’s everything we need to do for the core features right now; for designing and brainstorming and collaborating on apps. And the other things are nice to have and they’re, you know, they’re either in development or they’re soon to be under development. But yeah, I think it is a very important takeaway that waiting for all the features to be developed, first of all, just takes time. Second of all it kind of requires a crystal ball. I don’t want to spend lots of time on a feature that ends up not even being used and pulled out of the app.

  74. Ryan 00:27:13

    Yeah. I can’t agree with that idea more, right? Like, you get that minimum viable product out there and then just iterate on it. Because this app could go, like, tons of different ways, right? There’s so many different ways to focus it. Like, I could see you maybe putting a concept of pre-ordering in with your voting or, you know, like, kind of taking a little bit of a kick-starter way to entice people to build something or, I mean, there’s so many different things you could do but you don’t really know if your users care yet.

  75. Arian 00:27:41

    Yeah. Exactly. I might just steal that kick-starter idea from you. That’s pretty good.

  76. Ryan 00:27:46

    Right? I mean, hey; voting’s great but why don’t you vote with a dollar?

  77. Arian 00:27:50

    Yeah, yeah. And I, you know, UserVoice does that in a kind of interesting way by making votes artificially scarce. You know, you’ve only got x number of votes. They don’t really have any true value to them but, you know, the more you work at it (the more you contribute and participate), the more votes you’re going to end up with. And so you’re not just willy-nilly clicking everything; you’re really actually thinking, “Do I want to vote for this or not?”

  78. Ryan 00:28:11

    Oh, yeah. And I can see tons of ways to kind of create a scarcity, for better or for worse. Like, you could really get lost in the whole, you know, psychology of this stuff, right? Yeah. All that whole, like, Dan Ariely land, right? Like that whole predictably irrational -- the difference the way people act. Like, whether or not it costs a nickel or it costs a dollar or is free.

  79. Arian 00:28:32

    I love that stuff. Yeah, that’s fascinating stuff for me.

  80. Ryan 00:28:34

    Yeah, you could see that really having a huge impact in a project like this. Because it’s one thing to be, like, “Oh, well, I went to this meetup. I’m going to give them five stars because it don’t cost me nothing,” right? And then as someone coming to it it’s like, “Wow, this one’s got all five stars. That’s awesome.” Well, it’s because, you know. Like, how do you make those voting kind of more, you know, high fidelity to what people actually feel about the experience? And, again, a huge rat hole that you can get lost on with an app like this, right? Anything that’s social and voting, that could get really hard really quick.

  81. Arian 00:29:07

    Everything social’s hard; that’s what I’m learning. I mean, it’s probably obvious; I mean, the site’s from scratch. I didn’t use Orchard or any of the other platforms that are out there. It is a .NET; it’s an ASP.NET MVC 4 app. But it’s all from scratch; for better or for worse. I considered using Disqus and I considered using all these various other app platforms to take some features from, but it’s really been good for me just for the experience of doing a lot of this from scratch. It’s given me all sorts of insights into things I haven’t really had to think about because I am so used to using pluggable feature sets. And so tracking pages, whether they’re anonymous or signed in; the fact that an app actually has multiple pages to it because of the features, the summary, the discussion, you know, how do you account an app-view when you have that sort of thing going on? Using OpenID; I decided, I made a very conscience choice early on I did not want to do user authentication myself. There’s, you know, there’s a number of pretty high profile articles about, you know, there’s so many pitfalls to go through and I decided, yeah, I’m just going to -- I agree with that. I don’t want to make a chance of doing it wrong, I’m not a security expert, so I’m going to use OpenID. So I’ve gotten a few people that have complained about that but it’s usually about complaints that are a little bit uninformed. Like, “I don’t want to give you my Google info.” Well, I’m not really asking for your Google info; I’m just linking. You know, they don’t necessarily understand that so I’ve tried to clear that up.

  82. Ryan 00:30:38

    Yeah, that’s a bold choice with your target audience in particular, right?

  83. Arian 00:30:44

    I hope it’s not too bold. Like I said, I’ve only gotten a few complaints but, of course, I don’t know how many people have been turned away.

  84. Ryan 00:30:51

    Yeah, that’s the cruel thing about metrics, right?

  85. Arian 00:30:54

    Yeah, yeah. So I don’t know, you know. I use the (trying to remember what it’s called now) -- there’s a JavaScript library and it just, instead of saying “enter your OpenID URL” it’s just the image of Google, Yahoo, AOL, OpenID. Hopefully that makes it, you know, less scary for people. But yeah, that’s something that I need to analyze over time and see if maybe I’m shooting myself in the foot there. But I’m definitely a proponent of single sign on. I don’t want to make mistakes in authentication and I personally hate creating another account somewhere. So, you know, I don’t want another password so I don’t see any reason to impose that on anyone else.

  86. Ryan 00:31:31

    I agree. I think, you know, OpenID was built for people like you and I, right?

  87. Arian 00:31:35

    Yeah, yeah. But hopefully clicking on Google or Yahoo won’t be too scary for most people. We’ll find out.

  88. Ryan 00:31:41

    We will. Well this just seems like it’s an excellent learning experience all around. And, yeah, I’ll be intrigued to follow progress.

  89. Arian 00:31:48

    Yeah, yeah.

  90. Ryan 00:31:49

    I’d like to have you back on in a couple of months or something. See how things are going; do a little check back with you.

  91. Arian 00:31:53

    I’d love to do that. That would be fun.

  92. Ryan 00:31:55

    Awesome. Well, thank you for your time.

  93. Arian 00:31:57

    Okay. Thank you.