Your HomeKit Guide: How to Make an iOS App for Homekit

Apple’s HomeKit development platform is probably the current pinnacle of Automated, or Smart” homes. This means that it is at the forefront of the Tech Industry. Because, as dedicated readers know, the Internet of Things and a web of connected devices are the future of the business, and the world overall.

So what is HomeKit, and how do you make an app that takes full advantage of all the pretty awesome features this platform has to offer. The rest of this post will take a look at all the features Apple HomeKit has to offer and then we’ll discuss what a successful iOS app for HomeKit looks like.

Want to know more about how to make an app for homekit devices but prefer a more direct conversation? Contact us here to speak to our sales and marketing team.

Homekit Guide: Features

Apple Homekit is a framework or platform intended to encompass all home automation apps. From Thermostat control to automatic blinds, HomeKit is meant to be a comprehensive, one-stop location for all your Smart Home apps and devices. With the advent of the new Home App for HomeKit iOS 10, users can control their enabled home devices from anywhere with an internet connection.

We’ve all seen the commercials: the pretty people for one commercial opens up the Smart Thermostat app while the the pretty people in the other open up another home automation app to close the garage door.

HomeKit encapsulates Apple’s response: a centralized place for all of one’s Smart Home Devices. From Smart light bulbs by Philips to Eve Room Sensors, users gain the ability to control their SmartHome from a variety of iOS Platforms: iPhones, iPad, Macs; heck. we just learned at WWDC16 that the new HomeKit even enables HomeKit for Apple tvOS apps!

Those who downloaded HomeKit will have also noticed that the newest version has better voice-control features and new Smart accessories added to the platform’s capabilities. Here’s a short list of devices (if smart) that are controllable from Apple’s HomeKit:

• Thermostats;

• Locks;

• Lightbulbs;

• Garage doors;

• Monoxide sensors;

• Sprinklers/Irrigation Systems;

• Cameras;

• Alarms and other Security Systems;

• Window shades;

• Even generic devices through HomeKit-enabled plugs can have limited functionality with this awesome platform.

There are other devices, such Elgato (discussed below), allow users even further control of their homes, beyond what was capable prior to Smart Devices. Let’s take a look at what makes a killer app for the HomeKit framework.

Apple HomeKit Apps

1. Home

This app for iOS 10, Home. Home is basically a user’s dashboard for all HomeKit enabled devices, allowing you to control all Smart aspects of your Automated home. The updated version was released a few months ago and features a new, stellar design. Additionally, users can now take advantage of 3D Touch features (i.e. Peek and Pop gestures) and better organizational capabilities. Most importantly Home, created by iOS entrepreneur Matthias Hochgatterer, Home allows you to control pretty much all HomeKit-enabled devices from most iOS devices. The bad news is that it costs $15 bucks – but considering all that the Home for iOS can do? Not a bad deal.

2. Elgato’s Eve

Elgato is probably the single most discussed Smart Home hardware and associated app enabled for HomeKit. It’s free and comes automatically with the purchase of any of the Elgato Eve room sensors (Also downloadable on the App Store). Like Home for iOS, it allows for connection to most Homekit Devices (including some Smart locks), but unlike Home, it doesn’t function on an Apple Watch. Of course, Elgato’s Eve app is free, so there’s always that to consider!

3. Hesperus

Hesperus makes excellent use of the HomeKit API to create an app controls (again) most HomeKit enabled devices, while enabling serious customization abilities. Hesperus is free, but offers more features through in-app purchases. There are some issues with this app (like no extension to the Apple Watch, and the UX is a little clunky, making it hard to manage many connected devices), but for the price, it may be the best HomeKit App on the market.

Your HomeKit Guide: Summary

While free or cheap apps Elgato and Hesperus, are great, Users seem to prefer an app that allows full control of all HomeKit enabled devices, even if they cost. The most two desired features appear to be full control and complete extendibility across all iOS devices.

Additionally, a clean UX and excellent organization of all HomeKit apps, coupled with a high degree of user customization seem to be winning traits to successful venture. Finally, an excellent app for HomeKit allows users to divide their home into sectors or zones.

This allows for better automation and improved User control. Astute readers will notice that we didn’t cover this too much. So, if you want to know more about zones and sectors for better automation, as well as how to design a killer UX app overall, contact SDI now!

Your Apple HomeKit Developers

Ready to start making money of your own apps for HomeKit? Software Developers Inc provides industry-best services, following foundational strategies that have been tried and tested true. Give SDI a call at 408.802.2885 / 408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

How to Write a Good Blog

Blogs are the reflection and thoughts of a person and some become mega-famous while others have their own aesthetic spin which leaves a bold impression on its viewers. To write a blog is tough work but many make it work and it opens up a whole new world of writing. To begin you do not have to be a naturally born writer but understand the basics which I will list below that will enable your skills to refine themselves and give you a fantastic blog.

To write your blog, you need to captivate your readers, have a clear main idea, and use titles, headings, keywords, signal words, and easy access so others can find your blog.

1. Title

Your first step in creating a read-worthy blog is to have a creative title – an idea that you mold into something that inspires others or puts them in awe. It has to grab their attention and bring focus to your main topic.

2. Structure

The second step is to find your voice and brainstorm ideas or write an abstract before stringing them into coherent sentences which would build the structure for your blog. List out subpoints for your topic which you can break into your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

• Introduction should merely introduce your idea, not list out your subpoints.

• Body paragraphs should include why you believe in your topic, links to other sources, and your main idea.

• Conclusion should be clean and give a complex audience also the chance to agree with your outlook on the topic you have chosen to write about.

3. Headings

Search engines can work in a writer’s favor if the writer uses certain headings or echo words- words that can remind readers of information they have already encountered. By reinstating the facts in various manners, you let your readers understand the topic to its best potential. Subheadings can lead other viewers to your blog through the search pages of Google and Safari.

4. Keywords and Signal Words

The third step in this mechanism includes choosing the right keywords that would optimize searches bringing light to your writing and blog. Ensure headlines which would help Search Engines locate your blog to the number one spot or onto the first page of searches. Also, don’t forget to use transition words such as ‘although’, ‘likewise’, and ‘of course’ which will let your readers know that the points you make are important. Signal words like ‘secondly’ and ‘finally’ will also bring attention to certain topics you write about!

5. Revision

The last but certainly not the least step, is to refine the errors and have someone else proof-read it all-the-while asking for their opinion on your article. Update regularly and change up the formats by introducing a video, some demographics, or even a live chat with your readers.

Writing a blog can be challenging and difficult in the beginning but all good things begin with baby steps and by following the ones listed above, you’ll be on the right path to success. Good blogs can rake in views not only from SEO but also from Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, etc. If you write good content, you will get good results!

3 Ways to Growth Hack your Tech SMB or Startup

As an app, website, and software company, we are ideally placed to see how each tool in the tech arsenal is used across a huge variety of industries. After about 20 years in the business, there isn’t much we haven’t seen.

Our experienced, garnered from global corporations to startups to simple entrepreneurial investments, has granted us the ability to grow businesses of any size. But if you’re new to the tech world, it can be hard to see why or how an app, website or software program can help grow your SMB.

To remedy this issue, we thought we’d take a brief look at what each tool can (broadly) do to grow your enterprise venture.

How a Mobile App can Grow Your Business

Let’s approach this from 2 angles: internally and externally.

1. Internal: One thing that September has made clear to developers and market watchers alike is that the office is going mobile. Nougat is definitely emphasizing mobile workforces. Android has made it easier to multitask on writing documents on your phone to responding to multiple emails. iOS 10 seems to be headed in the same direction. What does this mean for your SMB? It means that your employees can work on the go, from home, remotely, or wherever else they need too! It also means that you can keep tabs on your company through real time data analysis on the go.

2. Externally: While apps like Pokemon Go are obvious money makers, there are thousands of apps out there with high revenue potential. Apps for games are almost always profitable, and require little investment. The VR App industry is undergoing exponential growth and will only continue to do so as more VR platforms like DayDream drop. Maybe working with consumers en masse isn’t your thing; plenty of other businesses out there could benefit from a mobile app. Field Technicians (think PG&E or Verizon), healthcare, home repair. A mobile app can grow your business by keeping users engaged, selling subscriptions (especially for business to business apps), and driving in-app purchases.

How a Website can Grow Your Business

Websites abound. There is literally a website for anything, big, small, in between. But that’s because the internet connects entrepreneurs to the largest pool of potential customers in the world. Additionally, you can easily target users on the individual level, or on a much grander scale.

For instance, if you owned a store that sells outdoor sporting equipment 30 years ago, your clientele was locals. More than that, it was locals who were interested in outdoor sporting equipment. Today, a website allows that same company to reach outdoorsy folks down the street, across the country, or on the other side of the world.

Even if you aren’t in the outdoor sports retail industry, websites can help grow your business through better awareness. If you have a website, your brand’s awareness will grow. Even when done by an amatuer, a website will introduce your business to people who would never have heard of you.

When done by an expert web development company, following the best methods in the industry, well…Better organic traffic, faster load times, improved conversions from visitor to user. Good news for you – SDI is one of the best web dev companies in Silicon Valley. Read more about how to create a robust website in PHP here.

SDI even builds more robust Content Management Systems to help manage all of the new user accounts you will get. From Real Estate Loans offices to promotional websites, our developers excel at writing robust code that perfectly suits your needs. Plus, our search engine friendly content is sure to raise your brand’s awareness so you don’t fall through the cracks.

How Custom Software can Grow Your Business

Custom software often gets neglected on a list containing apps and websites. Which is totally unfair; custom software is possibly the best tool for any SMB, startup or global corporation. But unfortunately, custom software just isn’t as sexy.

Again, we cannot stress enough how useful a custom software infrastructure is for the healthy management of any company. While apps and websites are (usually) direct revenue generators, software works differently – though the clever entrepreneur makes a SaaSPaaS platform that can be sold to competitors!.

More importantly though, Custom software works by saving you money through better organizational communication and improved human resource management. But the single most important advantage that a custom software program provides a business: Better Big Data analytics.

Businesses and organizations generate a huge amount of data. CEOs and business owners knew this long before computers. But computers, or rather more appropriately the coding behind the computers, have finally given us the capability to collect and act on this data.

SDI’s robust software programs are designed to take advantage of this reporting capabilities. Useful and industry-specific Key Performance Indicators, real time data reporting, actionable metrics; the whole nine yards. We know how to create successful data-crunching software that puts you in complete control of your business.

Silicon Valley’s Tech Development Company

No matter if you need an app, website or software to grow your Startup or SMB, SDI is a premier development. We specialize in helping Enterprise ventures grow, improve sales, and make money. Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

4 Tips to Create a Winning Explainer Video

With all of the capabilities that apps, websites and software programs provide today, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and turned off a product. In fact, it is likely one of the biggest impediments to adoption and engagement to any tech product; keep in mind that the majority of SmartPhone owners download an app to never actually use it, or only use it once.

The solution to this oh-so-common barrier? An Explainer Video. These are animated videos that briefly explain your product or service in a catchy, fun way. But, as with anything, there’s always a danger. With Explainer videos, there are a few common pitfalls that one can easily avoid, and some tricks to really make a killer explainer video.

Don’t have an app yet? Well, contact SDI and we’ll build one for you – and create the video that perfectly explains what it does! In the meantime, here is a brief guide to how to make an explainer video that rocks your business.

Tip #1: Content is King

The old adage, “Content is King” is still just as true as it was when first penned by tech legend Bill Gates almost 20 years ago. A script is all important when it comes to the success of an Explainer Video. The biggest problem when it comes to writing a script? Explaining every little detail.

It makes sense right? This is your baby and you want to tell the world all about it. And the world wants to know all about it; but if you overwhelm viewers with too much information users won’t use your product. Of course, the flipside is providing not enough information, thereby explaining nothing. The worst offense though – being boring.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind when writing a script:

• Conversational, but authoritative voices are ideal. The tone shouldn’t be lecturing or professorial, but it should still come from a position of authority.

• Levity is key. If there is one universal truth about the human race, we all love to be entertained. So give the masses a song and dance: be fun, make jokes, even push the envelope a little. A little impropriety goes long ways on the internet!

• Focus on what your product does to solve a customer’s need, not all of the features it provides. Features are nice, but users want to know how a service or product will help them in real life.

• 200 words for 1 minute at the absolute outside. Ideally, you want to be closer to 150 words a minute. This is the rate at which most people in the US have a conversation. Too slow and people will get bored, too quick and people will miss key information. Since most Explainer Videos should be in the range of a minute to a minute and a half, plan on a script of about 150 to 250 words.

So to sum up, your script needs to be funny, but informative, brief, but not too brief. You need to get to the point quickly, proving key facts that best explain your product or service. And you have about 200 words in which to it!

Tip #2: Visuals Are Good, But Don’t Go Overboard

One of the most common problems people run into with an Explainer Video is spending a lot of money on really cool looking visuals. Everybody likes something that looks cool (again, we love being entertained!), but when it comes to visuals for Explainer Videos, simplicity is best.

The reason for this goes back to Tip #1: the star of this little show is your script. Think about what you want consumers to walk away with: a better understanding of all the vagaries of your product or service. Visuals can only convey so much clarity, but an excellent script supported by excellent visual can impart more information than either option on its own.

Tip #3: Placement

One of the crucial aspects to an Explainer Video that often goes overlooked has nothing to do with script, development, or any other aspect of creating a video. It has to do with where to post your video; as with everything, it always comes back to design!

You could make the best Explainer Video ever to grace this green earth, but if nobody sees it, nobody will care about it. So placing your video somewhere that maximizes exposure is key. The perfect place to do this is on a website landing page – i.e. the digital “storefront” of your business.

Here are some quick numbers on what a properly placed Explainer video can do for your website (for the full report, see Invodo, a leading industry Analyst Company):

• When placed on a landing page, some business owners saw a 144% visitor-to-user conversion rate for websites;

• Nearly 50% growth for business using Explainer videos as compared to those who don’t;

• Over half of online shoppers use videos to inform their purchases;

• Over a hundred million hours of video are watched a day.

Tip #4: Strongly Consider Professional Help

And no, we don’t mean that happens on a shrink’s couch! What we mean is that this is a vitally important part of marketing your business. It can be essential to the success of any business, tech or otherwise. As such, it deserves real attention.

This means you need animators with experience, narrators who know what they’re doing, and a development team that can put it all together. There are a lot of options out there, but with admitted and significant bias, SDI can do all of that and more. We can honestly say we employ the best in the biz – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481; contact us now for a free consultation and quote.

How Bots Are the Future of Tech

As an app development company, we at SDI know how quickly this market can change. You take your eye off for one second, and a bunch of people is trying to catch invisible monsters from a 20-year-old TV show. The recent rise of a new trend has similarly caught our attention: Messaging Bots.

It feels like we’re just getting used to having apps and already we’re seeing the replacement of our primary form of computer interaction. Well, that’s not entirely true; apps aren’t going away, not even close. But what bots can do is replace all the simple, super basic apps that we all have on our phones. Many Bots can actually replace multiple apps at once, and they’re cloud-based, so your phone memory won’t be hogged up.

But let’s take a step back and just talk about what in the world a Bot is, then we’ll go into the Bot Vs app advantages, and wrap up with a discussion on the future of app and Bot development. Don’t need any more info and want to build your own SMBs Bot? Contact SDI here.

What Are Bots

Bots are essentially an automated program that can operate within and without an app (which is basically a way to store software on your device). Bots are often seen on messaging platforms, notably with the app WeChat – who makes a cool $6 billion in sales every year – but everything from scheduling bots (think HootSuite) to Content bots (what are the top news stories today, Siri?) are all over the place.

A Bot generally operates on “the Cloud,” update automatically, and can have instantaneous access to your phone – literally, just start talking to a bot and it has everything it needs. While this walks the line between disturbing and useful, it’s still pretty awesome – and has big implications for the future of commerce.

Bots use Artificial Intelligence tools such as Natural Language Processing tools to understand and emulate natural human conversation. They use other machine learning tactics to better understand you, the user. Just like machine learning in apps, the more you use a Bot, the better a Bot understands what you need. In fact, many apps already use Bots within their apps to do just that.

The Advantages of Bot Development

When compared to apps, Bots have several distinct advantages:

1. Bot Development is easier, faster and cheaper than app development. They can run off nearly any platform, messaging or otherwise.

2. Growing your Bot’s userbase is ridiculously simple. So simple other bots can actually recommend bots.

3. Phone users tend to be human and humans prefer to communicate verbally. Bots make that much easier.

4. Because Bots can be updated and fixed much, much faster than Apps. In fact, many Bot development companies have been able to offer basically instantaneous updates or corrections, moments after a customer mentions an issue.

5. They’re just easy to use. Basically, a user can open up their messaging platform and ask for some Chinese and a bot will respond, confirm the address and the price, ask if you’re using your usual payment method, and that’s it. Pretty sweet, right?

Facebook just announced at Tech Disrupt SF some recent upgrades to their chatbots (Read more about that here). The CEO of Microsoft (Satya Nadella) basically said Apps were dead, and Bloomberg has announced some notable numbers that really demonstrate how quickly this market is growing:

    ♦ There were double the number of Bots 6 months after their inception, at 30,000;

    ♦ In 6 months, there 34,000 Bot developers; 14 months after the first app launch there were “only” 12.5k.

We already talked about WeChat and Facebook driving purchases, but there’s a new player in the game too: Bazillion Beings. This is a pretty cool startup that makes Bots (or Lifos, as they call them) cobbled together from open source services and codes (i.e. APIs) to create wholly new services, as users need them the moment they need them.

Even better, these Bots need to actually be effective and make enough money to cover their costs, or they automatically die; no unused bots cluttering up the web like unused apps on our phones.

What Do Bots Mean for Entrepreneurs?

There are couple things the rise of Intelligent Bots mean for the business and entrepreneurial-oriented. Sure, you could call SDI and build your own Bot; you’d make some money, they cost little in time or money, virtually no upkeep. All sounds pretty nice, but for a sustainable enterprise venture there are other opportunities here:

    ♦ Bots, like we see with Bazillion Beings, are generally an amalgamation of APIs that provide specific services (or portions of that service). What this tells us that, while Bots are certainly a growth market, APIs are really where it’s at. Build a bot, meet your one service; build an API, and have developers come to you.

    ♦ Messaging apps are quickly becoming the most used app on most people’s phones, if not already there. Yea, there are a lot of messaging apps out there; but most people have multiple messaging apps that they use and there is a ton of money to be made – WeChat’s 6 billion is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The faster the market for Bots grows, the more messaging apps with Bot Support will be needed. Want to know more about how to create a messaging app? Read more here.

This industry is just beginning. It’s had its issues, most notably with an early attempt at a bot emulating Millennial’s language patterns on twitter…turns out, Twitter is super racist. But the verdict is in: While they aren’t likely to completely replace apps, Bots ARE a huge market and will only continue to grow.

Want to know how to develop a Bot-Capable Messaging App like WhatsApp or WeChat? Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

Top 3 Markets to Watch at Tech Disrupt 2016

TechCrunch’s annual SF event Tech Disrupt 2016 is finally here! This event is renowned for, well disrupting the world of tech – what can I say, it’s aptly named. TechCrunch Disrupt is where tech startups and tech giants meet under the same roof to talk about the coolest new projects they’re all working on.

So obviously, this is a big deal for entrepreneurs who want to start their own tech startup – or even something smaller, like a simple app or website. Not only does it clue you into what are the biggest trends in the market, Tech Disrupt also has some of the best techies in the biz. Inspiration strikes everywhere around these guys.

So let’s take an opening day look at what’s already been released and what you should be keeping your eye on. By the way, if you want to know the overall markets to watch in 2016, stop on by our brief guide. First up on TechCrunch Disrupt Agenda, the main event: Startup Battlefield.

Hot Startups 2016

Why do we recommend keeping a close eye on the Battlefield (see full list) ? For a few reasons actually:

1. The obvious one first: inspiration. Sometimes you’ve got an idea tickling at the back of your mind but can’t quite get it all coalesced. Sometimes you need a kick in the intellectual pants to get you that final 10%. Or maybe inspiration will strike like lightning – you never know.

2. Watching these startups can tell you a lot about where markets are heading. As any serial entrepreneur, CEO, or SMB owner can tell you, having advanced knowledge of market movement can pay dividends. From telling you where possible support may be needed to showcasing new technologies, these startups are the future of tech; pay attention!

3. This is the most important reason: Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors. Every one of these startups are giving high quality, professional level pitches. Not only can you get some helpful tips, but you also get to see in what startups the investors themselves are most interested. This can help find the right investors in the right amount of time. By the way, SDI’s Investment team can help you find the right investors – and we can help you build a pitch to win them over!

Facebook Messenger

The biggest news we’ve had so far is Facebook’s Messenger and the Messenger Bots being completely revamped. While we’ve been seeing many of these changes occurring over the last few weeks, it’s now all official and out there. Plus 2 new features that will really help SMBs that use Facebook.

As Facebook itself states, Messenger has connected more than 200 countries to businesses around the world. Bots allow businesses to automatically connect to customers wherever they are; customers who are already interested in your product or service. Need to build your own business’ Messenger Bot? SDI can help there too.

So what are some of these changes? There are the subtle changes to the actual algorithm to help improve Bot speed (a real issue with the first launch). Bigger, they’ve clued in third party developers to the V1.2 launch a little earlier so they had more time to build better bots; plus, they’ve provided more resources and tools so our developers are really cooking with gas now.

There are also 2 new features perfect for businesses:

1. First, Facebook decided to deemphasize bot interaction through text; businesses can now build Web views that use the interface from your own personal website – all without the user ever leaving the chat window. Plus, the web viewer allows businesses to use their own branded UIs, buttons, tools, everything.

2. Messenger now accepts all major forms of digital payment from Credit cards to PayPal. So users can now interact with your website, use your own native UIs and buy your product with a few taps – without ever leaving the chat window.

Fantasy Football

Growing up, if you had told me jocks and nerds would be in the same room and nobody was getting beat, I would call you a liar. But here we are – First day of Disrupt SF and one of the headlining items is DraftKings!

DraftKings and other Fantasy Football leagues use some of the most complex algorithms in the world. Their apps have to push the bounds of the industry in order to make their clients money. In other words, they’ve earned the right to call themselves Disruptive Tech; and they’re making millions!

They’re newest app is a complex aggregator that connects to DraftKings’ website platform, giving it exceptional computation power. Not to mention, they’ve developed a UI that is nothing short of amazing. It manages to show a unique interface for each user and it’s perfectly designed to make a flawless experience

SDI’s Top Development Company

No matter what your tech need is, SDI can help you achieve your goals. We can design, build, and even market your tech business. We’ve built over 5,000 apps, websites, and software programs for enterprise ventures of all types. Want to get a free project quote? Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

How to Build a Multi Million Dollar Game App Empire for the iPhone

We’re 60 days post launch and Pokemon Go is still smashing worldwide records like the Kool-Aid Man bursting through walls. So far, Pokemon Go:

    ♦ Has had the more downloads in its the first week than any app in history;

    ♦ Reached 50 million downloads on Play in record time;

    ♦ Has now surpassed 500 million downloads worldwide on the App Store alone – in 60 days, no less;

    ♦ Users have walked an astounding 2.85 BILLION MILES (Hows that for video games giving your exercise?)

    ♦ Is raking in a cool $10 million in revenue every day;

Apple just released that the App Store just had a 106% growth in downloads (140 billion downloads total). Guess what apps analysts believe is the single greatest driver in this growth: yep, Pokemon Go. Plus, Apple just announced that the game app is coming to the Apple Watch, sure to drive even more downloads.

And the news keeps rolling in: App Annie, the legendary app market analyst company, just announced that Pokemon Go has become the first game app in history to reach the $500 million mark in 60 days. To put this in perspective, the next fastest was Clash of Clans; it took them 200 days to reach the same mark.

If Pokemon Go continues to at its current rate, it will pass $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2016. That’s about 5 months after its launch. More importantly, it seems to have staying power, as App Annie reports. One of the best KPIs market analysts like SDI’s study is user retention rates; they give us a good indication of how engaged a user is.

And where does Pokemon Go stand on this KPI? At the number two slot, right behind Words with Friends – an industry legend in terms of its user engagement levels. So suffice to say, Pokemon Go is doing astoundingly well.

They’re even coming up with clever ways to drive in-app purchases, including partnerships with other businesses. For instance, McDonald’s Japan and another Japanese mobile platform have turned their physical locations into Pokemon “Gyms.”

This drives sales for the retailers and engagement for the app. Plus it opens the way to drive in-app purchases for deals to the retail location (and vice versa) Pretty clever right? Contact SDI for more clever app revenue generation ideas like this one.

Game Apps for the iPhone

With Pokemon Go’s extension to the Apple Watch, plus its huge impact on the App Store’s recent growth, there’s bound to be a bigger and better support network for iOS mobile games. Already, there are some big names getting involved solely on the iOS platform.

This includes but is not limited to the announcement from Nintendo that Mario will soon be going mobile with the app Super Mario Run. Clearly, Pokemon Go has convinced Nintendo that mobile gaming apps are a legitimate and money making avenue for the industry. In fact, Nintendo’s stocks on the US market grew a breathtaking 29%, with a corresponding 18% raise on the Japanese market.

But making a successful app is about more than excellent development. Part of the reason that Super Mario Run – to be released in December – is causing so much clamor is because of its star power, albeit nerd star power: several of the creators of the very first Super Mario Bros game are working on this, including Shigeru Miyamoto.

Marketing for Mobile apps

Star Power. It changes the name of the game. We aren’t talking about Mario and Starmen here; this is the power of celebrities to growth hack an app far faster than it would have been able to grow on its own. We recently talked about this in another post concerning Kim Kardashian’s multi-million dollar mobile game app – check it out to learn more about it.

While Pokemon Go did not have a specific celebrity, it was able to capitalize upon a lingering love for the show and original GameBoy game that many millennials have – a type of star power in and of itself.

By now you’re probably thinking, well that sounds all gravy, but how does the ordinary entrepreneur like me get a celebrity endorsement? Well, there’s good news: there are enterprise resources out there.

Companies like Booking Agent Info offer resources to connect you with both celebrities and a celebrity’s agent. After all, this is a business like any other and celebrities have been endorsing products for a very, very long time. Most celebrities are just looking to put their name on a stellar product. And all you need to build a stellar product is a stellar app dev and marketing team on your side – like the one at SDI.

Build Your Own App Like Pokemon Go

Want to lay down the foundations for your own Mobile Game app empire? SDI can help build you the app to get it started, and we’ll devise a winning marketing strategy to get your app the downloads it needs. Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!

How Disruptive Tech Startups Can Raise Funding

There’s been a lot of doom and gloom about the state of Venture Capitalism and tech startups. Many tech market experts fear that the funding for tech ventures are drying up. But really, that’s a load of bull hockey.

10 years ago, you could get funded for any tech project without really trying. Today, that’s not the case: like every other industry in need of decent funding, there’s a now greater need to develop a pitch that truly shows the potential success (and revenue generation, naturally) of your startup.

The point is that the VC and Angel Investing funding is not going away, not by a long shot. Think about how many app industries represent a multibillion-dollar potential:

♦ Healthcare;

♦ VR/AR;

♦ Gaming;

♦ Business to business; and

♦ mCommerce;

Obviously, this is just a small selection of money-making tech enterprises, but the point is that each represents a market that is worth billions and potentially trillions of dollars. The idea that investors are simply not investing in these areas is ludicrous. These are financial geniuses and the revenue potential of apps and the broader tech world is obvious even to the laymen.

In other words, while the money may be harder to get, it’s still out there. The fact that VCs and investors are being more choosy is actually good news for Startups with great ideas and an excellent pitch (contact SDI to help build a winning pitch!) because it means a larger potential share of the investment money out there.

So what’s going on here? Why are there so many people out there who are worried that the investment for tech projects are drying up? Let’s take a look at what’s happening, and how truly disruptive tech projects like the one’s SDI builds can raise plenty of investment cash.

Accelerated Innovation

The biggest problems facing tech startups today is how quickly technology is improving and evolving so quickly that many startups are falling behind. Think about it: 5 years ago, VR and AR were the stuff of Sci-Fi and futuristic movies. Today, they’re one of this biggest money making areas in the app world – and is changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up.

This speaks to a) the need to hire a top-notch development company that keeps on top of the changing world of tech; and b) the need to think “disruptively.”

While the word disruptive is frequently overused, it speaks to what VCs and Angel Investors are looking for. Just take a look at what Chetan Puttagunta (one of the biggest VC names in Silicon Valley) has to say about Mindtickle:

They’ve created a really cool platform to onboard, coach, reinforce and then update the sales team.” – Chetnan Puttagunta

This points to what investors are looking for: mobile-centric startups that think outside of the box. Because, as any CEO will tell you, training a tech-savvy staff is no simple task. More often than not, you update your staff, only to find out that the training you just gave them is now out of date.

Mindtickle confronts this issue head-on with continual training updates, accessible from a trainees mobile device – whenever it’s needed. This points also to what is really going on in the tech world: not a drying up of funds but a push towards “accelerated development,” or companies that are equipped to respond rapidly and accurately to world that is constantly evolving.

Why don’t we take a closer look at what investors are looking for in a winning tech startup and how SDI can help get you the funding you need.

What Investors Want

Chetnan Puttagunta points to 4 specific categories that he looks for prior to investing in Startup:

You need a sophisticated website, sophisticated social presence, sophisticated re-targeting presence, and a sophisticated mobile presence.

These are all aspects of a robust Social Media marketing campaign – something with which SDI excels. We know how to build mobile websites that will show off your company, provide a good marketing “base camp” and is designed to grow your brand’s virtual presence. SDI can create you a Social Media marketing presence that gets ordinary people talking about your company – constantly.

As Mr. Puttagunta points out, having a mobile-first presence is essential to not only the funding success of a venture but the overall success. From the perspective of investors, pitching a tech idea that’s not Mobile First is like walking into a meeting in 2010 pitching a new idea for a rotary phone.

TechCrunch, online tech magazine and a big tech investment company, recently covered a list of things they look before shelling out money for startup investment rounds. Some of it is pretty obvious, such as honesty and clarity. One of the biggest turnoffs for any investor is an entrepreneur who is not being honest and forthright.

This is why when we build a VC pitch, we offer real projections, supported by real data and actual numbers. In a pitch, We clearly outline every step we intend to take, so investors know our clients are trustworthy and have an actual chance to succeed and payoff.

This includes demonstrating that we have actionable metrics that can be used to judge how well our client is doing (aka Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs). We emphasize this because investors want to know you, as a Startup CEO, knows how to judge the success or failure of your business.

The other big thing investors look for are barriers to competition. You may have the greatest idea in the world; once you’ve dropped your product on the market, others are going to try to copy it. Worse, they’ll be able to do it cheaper, better, and faster. This is why you build roadblocks to competition.

At SDI, we’ve found that the best way to do this is to create a product with lots of complicated, excess coding. This doesn’t add extra time or money to the development process really, nor does it take away from the overall functionality of your platform. But what it does is make it hard for competitors to emulate your success. Plus it gives you a proprietary technology that cannot be legally copied!

This may seem silly, but this was one of the key factors to Uber’s success. They designed an algorithm so ridiculously complex that competitors had to start from the ground up. Which of course means they need to raise a lot more funding.

Even better, it’s going to be harder for them to get VC investment as well. Why would an investor give money out to a company that’s 3 years out from launch, let alone revenue generation? Especially when there’s already a successful company (yours) out there doing it! The good news is that you can call SDI to build you a demo that shows exactly how you plan on beating out the other guys!

Read to get started on your own Demo and pitch for VC and Angel Investors out there? Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!