>> CORZINE: Good evening. Hi, welcome to Girl
Geek Dinner #5 How to Succeed in Mobile. Thanks, you guys, for coming out tonight on a stormy,
trafficky, awful night out there. I really appreciate it. Hope you got some food and
got some drinks. The bathrooms are back through the cafe area, if you need those. And we will
be having some coffee and desert afterwards and more networking. So if you can stick around,
if you want to chat. My name is Kriz Corzine. I’m the moderator tonight and I’d like to
introduce our panel now. Oh, and Angie Chang is basically the brainiac behind this, if
everybody can give it up for Angie. She’s done fabulous job at the Girl Geek Dinners.
Thank you, Angie. And thanks to all the Google staff for all the swag, Holly, Mike–and thanks,
you guys, a lot. Just a couple of things, you can take pictures in this room. That’s
fine, but please do not take any photos outside of this room. You know, as you probably suspect,
Google has some IP things going on, so. What else? We are being filmed for YouTube. So
if you have questions at the end, we’re going to try to run mics out to people. Please try
not to yell out questions in the middle because we weren’t, aren’t going to be able to capture
that very well. We’ll try to capture everything on the mic for future generations at the very
end. So why don’t we get started on how to succeed in mobile. We’re start down at the
end, Christina. Christina is formerly of YouTube and currently of Pickv. She worked on the
UI for YouTube and also worked on setting up the mobile platform for YouTube, is that
correct? Karyln Neel of eBay who is disclaimer, we work together and–but she is not my boss,
so it’s okay. She put together a lot of the eBay mobile app for the iPhone and is even
currently being brought in to do new flows for eBay’s mobile. Angana–I’m sorry, I don’t
like to trip in over your name because I want to say your last name. She is here with us
from Google. So an Android PM working out for all your questions about Android and the
Nexus One. She’s the one in the green sweater. Mary Ann Cotter. Mary Ann Cotter is an entrepreneur.
She won one of the first Android prices for her fabulous design, Cooking Capsules, and
she is just wrapping up the newest, what is it, the feature part, recipe book?
>>COTTER: It’s a [INDISTINCT] recipe book, recipe collection out.
>>CORZINE: Yeah. The newest recipe collection that is brunch so for all of you food fans,
check out Mary Ann’s app on Android. Sarah Allen, the fabulous Sarah Allen. Sarah Allen
does a lot for women intact. She is pretty much everything I go to. I love her to death.
She does a fantastic ruby on rails tutorial, and classes for, specifically for women who
are new to development. And she is currently CTO of Mightyverse, it’s a new mobile company
based in San Francisco. And then we have Corrine Chan. She is–what is your title exactly at
Chictopia?>>CHAN: Co-founder and CTO.
>>CORZINE: Co-founder and CTO. Co-founder and CTO, the two CTOs are together, of course.
Formerly of Wells Fargo, Corrine worked on the mobile app at Wells Fargo as well and
production management. Could you say that’s pretty accurate? Yes, working close with UED
mobile development, yes. And that’s our crew so thank you guys for coming. We’ll start
out, you know, I just wanted to do a brief overview. How many people here are working
currently in mobile or they’re working in a company that has mobile available and you’d
like to work in it. Okay, cool. And who here knows nothing about mobile and you don’t–you
came to figure it out? Great, great. Okay, good. That’s good to know, excellent. Just
kind of a brief overview for the panel, we’ll start out the first question. Basically this
is about context, why did you guys get involved in mobile? What attracted all of you ladies
to the mobile side of either YouTube, eBay, doing it yourself, working within Google,
you know, within the larger organizations you worked for, or as an entrepreneur? Let
me start with Christina. Sorry, I’m kind of picking on you because you’re the farthest
away.>>BRODBECK: I think for me, I was always
sort of interested in mobile. I had done my grad school project on instructional design
for handheld devices. And the first two years I was at YouTube, I worked on the desktop
site. And I kind of wanted to do something that was fun and different and innovative.
And at that time, you know, myself and then my friend, we both decide–who’s actually
currently my co-founder at Pickv and YouTube. In general, we saw that, you know, 3G was
coming out more 3G hand–devices will be coming more popular and that, you know, YouTube content,
its small net-sized content, right, and it fit very well in the mobile device. And we’re
like, “Hey, let’s just give this a shot and see what happens, right?” Like now is the
time to do this and it turned out pretty well, I guess.
>>NEEL: So, I started being interested in mobile probably back in 2001. I was working
for a company called Quidnunc. It was a British-based digital consultancy in the States. And way
back then, the company allowed basically all employees to explore kind of their interest
in new technologies and back then broadband was used as a word that was considered a newer
technology; pretty funny. So, of course, I was very interested in mobile back then, but
only dreaming of the possibilities because the technology and the networking carriers
just didn’t have the possibilities that we were talking about with, you know, the old
Starbucks marketing when you walk by it. So there are so–basically, when I came to eBay,
I had an opportunity to work on the iPhone application. This was before the App Store
launch. So we’re one of the 10 featured at www.dc, and when the opportunity came up,
I definitely jumped on it. It was basically me and a product manager, and we launched
the app and it was a great success. So that’s kind of how I got involved.
>>GHOSH: Purely by accident. So, some 10 years ago, I joined Ericsson back in North
Carolina, Research Triangle Park. And after I joined the research team, I understood,
wow, the potential of the technology and the wireless and ever since then I loved it; mobile.
I cannot even think of a carrier outside wireless. After Ericsson, I was at Sun, and now I’m
at Google all doing wireless mobile to our phones.
>>COTTER: I think the glarf for me for mobile was I like to look at a platform as a, think
about what’s unique about it. If it’s new, like mobile as it was emerging, the fact that
it was emerging, and this is sounds a little silly, but the fact that it was mobile, something
you couldn’t take with you. And that presents a whole bunch of unique opportunities, I think.
And so that was exciting to me. And then also, Android kind of lured me in once I started
just investigating mobile because it was open and there was a way for independent developers
to get in the gates which there wasn’t really so much elsewhere at that time. So that’s
what kind of lured me in. And the Android developer challenge, that’s a good incentive
too.>>ALLEN: So I’ve actually been historically
uninterested in mobile. I always felt that people were really only interested in it because
of the gadgets and that the lock that the carriers had stifled creativity. But in the
last few years, mobile phones are more powerful than computers were when I started programming.
And I think that even though they’re more constrained than today’s computer, it’s really
exciting because of the capabilities of the mobile devices. Let them do things that computers
can’t really do, kind of like what you’re saying. And so, I got really excited about
mobile and have gotten into mobile development in the last year actively. And I’m just really
interested in the new different types of apps that you can’t do on desktops that you can
do on mobile.>>CHAN: I basically started becoming interested
in mobile as it came to sought, to seek me through Wells Fargo. I had an opportunity
to go into the mobile banking development group there. And the reason, one of the reasons
I thought it was very appealing was because that was the, this was probably around three
years ago where still a lot of people were carrying around Razors and maybe BlackBerries
but it was way before iPhone. And you can kind of see the emerging, you know, the PDA
out there, that it was going to become the next wave of, you know, the technology was
going to be focusing on mobile devices. And coming from a PC kind of web app development
world, I was sort of plateauing on that and I was curious as to how mobile development
was different from just your typical web applications. So, that’s how I started getting into it.
And then once iPhone came, it really was a validation that the mobile industry was really
where it was going to be. And so with Wells Fargo and also with Chictopia now, we have
our own iPhone app here too. That, you know, that’s where it’s leading and now even further
with Android phones, furteher validation that we’re in the right space.
>>CORZINE: Yeah, and I got into it for the devices. I was blissfully unaware of the carrier
kind of oppression of anything interest that you really wanted to do working. And trying
to get on deck with a carrier was a big wakeup call at a former start-up that I worked at.
And, but, I could see the potential. It was like 1994 or 1995 all over again. It was just
amazing. Plus, you could carry this around. It’s like I have cheat sheets in there sitting
right here, you know. So that to me; it was just powerful and impressive. And so that
brings me to the next point of like, you guys, you create things for mobile, what do your
users want? Can you talk a little bit about how you discover what kind of–what you’re
going to put out there for people? Not so much the technical side per se but kind of
a bigger like, you know, what’s the user feedback and what kind of things are they looking for?
What do people want in a phone? And personally, what do you want on your phone? Let’s start
with Corinne.>>CHAN: Oh, Okay. I mean, having an application
that’s mobile means that, you know, you have to think about what does the customer want
to do on the go? And with the Wells Fargo application in particular, there is, there
are actually three different kind of platforms that they have. One is text spanking and that’s
essentially SMS where you can view your account balances, et cetera, just read only information.
But then you can also use the browser on your mobile device and then view your balances
and do bill pay and transfers. And then there’s also the applications, downloadable applications,
such as the iPhone app where, you know, it’s very similar to the browser experience with
added features for the app. And one of the things you think about is you want to do something
immediately on your–but you’re not at home so what would that be? One is you need money
with Wells so, you know, ATMs. How can I find one easily based on where I am and now with
how many phones have GPS that is one of the big things that you can leverage. And I think
with the lot of apps, that’s one of the primary assets for the phone that is very unique to
it that the PC doesn’t have. The other is just what kind of things you have to do, kind
of, you don’t really have the time to go home to do it. So in this case, stuff like paying
your bills. Or if you’re like, your daughter calls up and says, “I need $200 right away
because I want these pairs of shoes,” you know, like, “Can you transfer that money over
ASAP?” and you know, you have your phone there and you can do that for them. Stuff like that.
Or the other one with our app with Chictopia, we think about, “Well, you’re not at home
but you just want to pass the time because you’re standing in line and, you know, you
want to just do something.” And so, one of the things we have is you can browse photos
and just kind of, you know, if you like to do that and, you know, that’s something you
can do. I think that’s where games kind of come into play for apps, so.
>>ALLEN: I’ll chime in. I totally agree with you in terms of thinking about what you can
do with the mobile phone that you can’t do anywhere else and what do you need to do when
you’re stuck somewhere. And what we’re doing at Mightyverse is we’re really interested
in how people communicate across languages and across cultures. And we have, the iPhone
App let’s you, “But you can download right now, just look for Mightyverse.” We just released
it three weeks ago. The app lets you access native language, recordings that are video
recordings. But we don’t really know exactly how people will use this app. We have all
sorts of ideas. We could spend the next year developing our ideal app before we release
it. Instead, we thought of the smallest possible feature set that we could possibly bear to
release and we released that. And you might look at the app and think, “Oh, what are they
thinking?” But what we’re doing is we are working with people who are interested in
using language that they don’t, that they’re not native in and working with them to figure
out, to test the use-cases and to see what features they need and what the app really
resonates with. And this is, you know, sort of a practice Vogel development. And I think
it’s a really neat opportunity because you have this mobile app that people can use in
their real life and you can witness how people use it in the context of their real life interactions.
>>COTTER: Excuse me. I think people really want something they can use in their everyday,
and that’s why in our case with Cooking Capsules, it’s something that makes life easier. And
that’s what I want from an app. I want something that–there’s too much going on already, too
much complications so something that simplifies your life; so the simpler the better. So you
know, you said the very least feature set that in the beginning that’s what we’re doing
too. It’s just watch, shop, and make. I mean, its watch a little cooking show, like two-minute
cooking show, find out how to make something; shop with your built-in ingredients list on
your way home; go home; make it with your checklist. And, you know, and there’s such
a temptation to keep adding all these bells and whistles and, of course, you know, everybody’s
saying, “Oh, you could do this and you could do that,” and say, “Oh, yeah, I could do that.”
You know, but you got this really stop and be very deliberate about what you add because
I think really what people want is simplicity and that’s what I want too.
>>GHOSH: Something of interest to me is like to see how people are using their mobile phones
outside the U.S. especially in emerging countries. While I hear stories about mobile phone being
the only communication mechanism in that city or village and they share this phone amongst
the community to talk. Sometimes that’s also the only way they are accessing the Internet.
That’s pretty powerful.>>COTTER: Uh-huh.
>>GHOSH: That’s really powerful. I heard stories about farmers in Brazil using the
mobile phone. There’s one mobile phone. They use it on an hourly basis to check the prices
of coffee beans in international market so they can time their setting of coffee. That’s
pretty, pretty amazing.>>NEEL: I think, ultimately, technology should
make people’s lives better. Help them make better decisions. Like you said, helps simplify
their lives. So when, fortunately, when I was creating my app, our community is very
vocal. So you were talking about how do you create things that customers want and how
do you know that you’re doing that? So we also tried to keep things very simple. And,
you know, I thought about people, what do they need when they’re out and about, you
know. Like I said, making better decisions, should I buy this thing now or should I buy
it later? You know, do I want to be more socially responsible and buy a used one? I’m a business
owner and if I don’t get that–return that communication, I might not get that sale.
And so I need to maintain my business and keep things going while I’m out and about.
So, those were some key things that we looked at just hours and hours of listening to our
customers to help create a better product in the end.
>>BRODBECK: I think I definitely agree with everybody here that start with like a base
feature set, right, and then iterate upon that and keep it as simple as possible. And
one thing that, you know, I definitely learned is people don’t have a lot of time when they’re
on their mobile device, right? It’s usually a short period of time. They’re at the doctor’s
office or, you know, on the train or something like that. And so, you know, at YouTube, we
definitely took that into consideration when we were designing the UI. For instance, when
we added related videos to be closer to the video thumbnail on the watch page our views
went up, right? Just an easy way to expose more content so people can, you know, find
it very easy in a short period of time. But then, I’m also constantly surprised by mobile.
Two things that, you know, I don’t understand how people, you know, why they’re using it
this way and it’s very surprising. Which is why, like mobile for instance, we thought
that browse would be more popular on mobile than search, right? Because it’s kind of difficult
if you don’t have a QWERTY keyboard to type in you know the name of the video. But actually,
what we found was that people search more instead of browse on a mobile device.
>>CORZINE: Yeah. Yeah, there’s a lot of unexpected that you get depending on who your audience
and who your users are. Yeah, I noticed that the same way as we were setting up that social
network online or on mobile and doing a barebones framework. The same kind of thing like we
kind of have an idea of what people how they used it and we kind of understood what some
of the things were they need but you set up with that barebones and you put it out there,
and you really listened hard and you worked closely with your community manager or the
person who’s doing the, taking care of feedback. And, you know, you just rapidly put stuff
out there that people demand if they’re screaming for it. It’s a good idea to try to work it
into if you can align it with your business strategy. Work it into the, what’s you’re
releasing. How many of you guys have worked with WAP? Or is anybody working on an agnostic
platform? Is it mostly, are you mostly working with apps, you know? Doing the WAP site, no?
Okay. Sarah, I expected you to be more agnostic with phone gap and…
>>ALLEN: Well, specifically, I’m not doing any WAP stuff. But, I do a bunch of cross-platform
work and it–while–And I have a consulting company, which is helping me fund my little
start-up. And my partners and I still have separate jobs and I have a business where
we do mobile apps for people. And we’ve used a couple of technologies where mobile is a
technology that let’s you build a single source and Ruby code and HTML and CSS and build the
same app across multiple platforms. And PhoneGap is another one that let’s you do multiple
cross-platform targets. And those platforms will let you target a number of different
platforms; which is really helpful if you have a pretty broad, if you need pretty broad
adoption and if your App has a UI that works well with fairly standard UI elements. For
something that is very integrated with video, it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you have
game-like interaction. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. But for the majority of mobile apps,
if you want to just extend your presence to mobile using one of these cross-platform frameworks
can make a lot of sense.>>CORZINE: And some of you may have known
Symbian opened up that, I think in the last week, Android is considered much more open
than Apple’s iPhone platform. Do you guys have any, you know, comments about some best
practices working in either/or, and kind of what you like or why you either–if you made
the decision or if you helped made the decision which direction you went with deciding which
platform you want to go into? If we can talk about that a little bit, that’d be great.
>>CHANG: So, I can speak a little bit about how I guess Wells makes their decisions. It
basically was a time-to-market thing and also a demand based on how many users are on that
particular phone. So at the time, we were responding to iPhone because there was, we
could tell that there was a huge spike in users that were using the iPhone. And it only
made sense for us to jump into that whole industry of creating an iPhone app, so that’s
how we kind of got started with that. And there definitely is a ramp up in learning
Objective-C if you don’t already and a whole process around getting that application into
the store which–with Wells, I wasn’t really that a part of that. But with my own App with
Chictopia, it definitely did feel some of the pains with putting that in the store which,
you know, I, it’s interesting for if you’re coming from a technical background, you learn
a new language. So for me, I mean I was happy to do it. But, you know, just to expect that,
there is a little bit of transition with that. I think one of the appeals with that Palm
is trying to do, with the Palm OS, is that it they’re trying to make it a lower barrier
to entry and make it just, you know, using HTML and CSS and you’re able to, you know,
put up an app easily. As well as, you know, with, I believe, Android with it being Java
based that a lot of people are already using Java. And there’s a lot more people that know
Java versus Objective-C, that it makes it a lot easier for people to create Apps on
there. And I personally think that’s going to take off a lot faster than Palm but yeah.
>>ALLEN: Yeah, I want to add something about WebKit.
>>CORZINE: Sarah is a developer.>>ALLEN: Oh, yeah. Just speak to the developers
in the audience. But I think it’s important to even realize, you know, as a business owner
or making any decisions or technology decisions about mobile that it’s really exciting that
we’re seeing a lot, seeing a number of different platforms adopt WebKit. So it’s on Android
and iPhone and now, Palm. BlackBerry has announced that or has acquired a company that has a
WebKit-based browser. Unfortunately, I hear that BlackBerry is still planning on doing
its proxy server. So you’ll get dumb down HTML pages for web applications, which is
very unfortunate. BlackBerry, please change that, if you’re watching. But in terms of
application development, you can, what a number of the cross-platform frameworks do or you
can do in your application is you can put a little mini web browser embedded into your
app so that you can develop your application in HTML and CSS. And with the WebKit because
it’s got such sophisticated graphics capabilities, then you can end up having something that
looks just a native UI and have it run it across most phones because actually developing
in five different languages and then getting that, it maybe fun for the first release,
but then it stops being fun.>>CORZINE: Makes developers very popular
in mobile; job security for developers. Ladies, get into development please.
>>Community for the developers.>>ALLEN: Exactly.
>>COTTER: So I think the question was sort of what…
>>CORZINE: What practices and…>>COTTER: Right. Yeah, I’ve only have ever
been on Android so far and the reason that, yeah, I don’t even know how to address best
practices exactly but, the reason that we chose the Android is because it was before,
that was before either of the app stores. I mean, it’s before Apple’s app store and
before the Android market even existed. But there is the promise of the Android market.
I mean, it wasn’t explicitly stated but it was like we’re opening this out for developers
and there is sort of a–do you remember that kind of PR thing? There was like a, what,
tell us what it was. It was like, “We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t provide some
conduit for which developers could distribute their apps.” Or something like that. And that
was sort of the refrain. Yeah, and that was right. And so I knew that there was going
to be something approximating a store of some sort or some way to distribute the app eventually.
So, and then I, you know, I came from a web designing background and so just got into
mobile just when this Android buzz started happening. And just when the Android developer
challenge had been announced, I found out about that. And I’m not a programmer. I consider
myself kind of a developer but I’m not a programmer, I’m a designer and an experienced designer
and, you know, look and feel whatever so I approached programmers. And on the Android
message board found all these programmers who wanted to develop something but didn’t
have an idea or didn’t have, you know, whatever. And so we ended up, you know, entering the
Android challenge and winning the top 20 of the Android developer challenge. And so, you
know, I’m all for Android. I’m a big fan of Android after the $125,000 from the challenge.
But no, I just think, I’ve always believed in the promise of it. And I’ll never just,
you know, say, “Oh, well. This is, you know, iPhone killer. This is better than iPhone.”
It’s just the whole concept of it; the whole openness of it. And the fact that there’s
all of these devices and not only the just handhelds but all these other devices possible
and that’s kind of why we’ve started with Android. And I think it is nice to do a cross
platform but like you said, you know, it’s great to have it on other platforms but then
you have to maintain it, you know. And that’s no small task to keep doing updates for all
these different platforms. So I think you kind of have to pick and choose.
>>GHOSH: Well, of course, I’m bias so all I would say, I would love to see great apps
in Androids.>>NEEL: And that’s the plug for the evening.
So, we obviously evaluate each platform based on the reach. We want to obviously reach the
largest amount of customers that we can. We obviously support the majors because that’s
when they give us the largest reach. I’d say we probably got our biggest bang for the buck
with the iPhone app because we basically came out with the announcement of the App Stores.
That was a huge both PR opportunity for us as well as just a lot of our customers. We
were going to, we have an annual conference call “eBay Live” and a lot of our customers
were watching. They’re already managing their business like, you know, checking their business
on the actual Safari browsers. So we also use a lot of WebKit implementation because
we basically create one version of the site and internationalize so there’s a lot of just
cost saved in that way, so.>>ALLEN: Are you using WebKit in your mobile
app?>>NEEL: We are. Item Description and PayPal
over the native app and new features to come.>>BRODBECK: I know at YouTube we definitely
have a very multi-faceted approach, right? We had a downloadable application and then
we also have the iPhone App and then we had the mobile website. And personally, I’m a
very big fan of, you know, the mobile web just because, you know, globally, there’s
a larger reaching and it’s more scalable in my opinion but so definitely like cross platform.
>>CORZINE: And I know one of you told me a story about how Steve Jobs said he loved
your application. So, anybody else want to tell their tales of triumph and how much Google
loves their application and gave you lots of money? Or, you know, just, let’s talk about
some of the like a really great things that happened and came out of your mobile development.
And, you know, an anecdote would be great if could talk about some of the good things
because I know we just talked about, “Oh, yeah, it’s hard,” and you got to pick one
platform. But, yeah, tell them some of the good stuff. Karyln, do you want to start?
Because you’re blushing.>>NEEL: Are you referring to me? No, so Jobs
said, he called us, he loved our–he called it, “This is the meat and potatoes app of
the top 10.” So, when we worked…>>CORZINE: Which is good if you’re vegetarian,
right?>>NEEL: But, yeah, we were meat and potatoes,
so. Honestly, that whole process was quite interesting. I mean, there was like a lot
of people being considered for the announcement. And so, it was–I felt like I was on American
Idol, seriously. And everyday, we go back and make our pitch and, you know, there was
some major companies that didn’t practice their keynote everyday and they got on stage
and choked and so they didn’t make the final cut. But it was a very interesting process;
very fun.>>ALLEN: I can tell a story?
>>CORZINE: Yes.>>ALLEN: So, one of my partners, Glen, just
went on a trip to Japan with one of our advisers, Tye Roberts, who is the CTO of Gracenote.
And he took Mightyverse along with a few dozen Jap phrases in Japanese so you can go and
look on Mightyverse for, “I am Ty Roberts, CTO of Gracenote” and other exciting phrases.
But he actually, they did, we’ll have a little movie that’s coming out soon. But he went
to, he recorded like, “Where can find great coffee?” And they went to, they stopped in
the subway in Tokyo and played this phrase for this Japanese woman in the shop and she
spoke rapidly in Japanese in ways that they didn’t understand. But they, we had done several
used cases before and prepared for this and so they had the phrase, “Can you show me on
the map?” So, she went and got a pen and showed them how to get there and they took the next
subway stop to this great coffee spot and had great coffee in Tokyo because of our great
mobile app.>>ALL PANELISTS: Yey!
>>CORZINE: That was great. Good going.>>COTTER: Well, I guess I kind of told you
a bit about the Android developer challenge but that was, when you said, winning American
Idol, that’s what that felt like too, you know. And the aftermath as well, like the
past years has been like, you know, everybody’s waiting for your next album and its like,
“Yeah, oh, no! How do we all do that?” you know.
>>NEEL: It’s a lot to live up to, huh?>>COTTER: Yeah, it is, it is. But, yeah,
but when I really thought I was dreaming was Wired Magazine chose us as their top pick
for an indie Android apps. And that was just, I couldn’t sleep that night. I was just, you
know, at geek heaven, right? And then, time.com chose us as their favorite, or the woman who
wrote it, chose as her personal favorite Android app. And then, she wrote an article for Time
Magazine about cooking apps, which, you know, there really weren’t cooking apps until we
started this. I mean, there was maybe a few but none of this, you know, none really to
speak of until, you know, time had passed. So now, there’s this article about cooking
apps and then she chose us and our little six recipes. She said, “The six recipes were
thorough and it turned out to be my favorite, this little Android app.” So that was exciting;
exciting time, so. Lots to live up to so stay tuned, we’ll try.
>>CORZINE: Anyone else want to comment? Anecdote? No? How about abject failure, poor, misery?
Come on, Corinne, I know you have a story.>>ALLEN: Oh, can I tell you about our first-use
case?>>ANG: Yes.
>>CORZINE: Talk about the first-use case.>>ALLEN: We’ve been getting a series of user
tests. Actually, they’re not user tests because we’re not testing the users. All my usability
design friends can correct me. So, we put together a bunch of Italian phrases for another
adviser who is going to Italy, who didn’t speak a word of Italian. And so he’s got the
Mightyverse app and he goes into this store and he has found, you know, a delightful platter
that he wants to buy and he finds some suitable Mightyverse phrase to connect to the shopkeeper.
And it plays the phrase and then the shopkeeper starts talking excitedly in Italian for 10
minutes. And he feels completely alienated and he decides that Mightverse is maybe not
for him. So yes, from this, we really learned that certainly at this point in our development,
Mightverse really works well if you have some fluency in the language. Some, you know, you
can sort of have some hooks and you’re going to actually be excited if somebody babbles
to you in their language rather than being, you know, freaked out because you don’t speak
a word of it. And that kind of learning is really invaluable, but it was a little sad
right afterwards.>>COTTER: User feedbacks sometimes in the
market can be humbling. I mean most of the time, ours has been really, its almost always
the same. It’s, “We love it, more recipes please.” And sometimes, they dock us because
we don’t have a lot of recipes. And sometimes, they give us four stars because they love
it and they want more recipes. It’s kind of funny the perspective but every once in a
while you’ll get one like, “I hate it.”>>CORZINE: Or, “You suck. Why don’t you fix
this? I’m never coming back again until the next day.”
>>COTTER: It’s not really the most useful feedback. You know, “I hate it.” Okay, what
do you do with that exactly? But anyway, it’s entertainment.
>>CORZINE: Christina, anything over you want to share? Or about your new, are you bringing
your new site to mobile, or.>>BRODBECK: I mean, we plan to bring it to
mobile right now. I mean, we just, yesterday we launched in beta, right? So we’re starting
small, right? Hopefully, we’ll bring it to mobile.
>>CORZINE: Yeah, I add some stuff, add some things.
>>CHANG: I just want to, I guess, shares–it’s partly best practices, I guess, which I forgot
to touch upon on that last question. But, you know, when you’re designing anything with
mobile and when you work for a bigger company, because I–there’s a lot of talk about, you
know when you create your own one, you know, a little app that’s you and maybe another
person. You can control kind of how do you want to do it and it’s great to do. Keep it
simple. But then when you get into a big company you have your different lines of, you have
your business, you have your development folks and you have testers. And just to have them
all kind come together and figure out what do you want to do on the app they can get
kind of challenging because you from a technical point of view you want to make sure you want
to get it, the business wants always to get it out as fast as they can. And if you’re
a developer you want also do that but also make sure it’s right. And there’s always a
lot of compromise back and forth. And then when you have the business such as what we
had, we had a little bit of just confusion of, “What do you even want on this app?” And
if businesses know what they want on the app, how can you really just kind of follow and
keep up to pace. So we had a lot of those, you know, challenges with, you know, with
some of our development cycles. So just kind of word of thought is that, you know, that’s
one aspect that I think that people kind of miss. Another thing also as a best, well,
another challenge we had, because we came from developing mobile applications before
iPhone. We had to kind of figure out how do we use, get the WebKit look and feel for iPhone
on the Safari, you know, browser and, you know, make it look like you’re coming from
an iPhone without like creating a whole new parallel code base. So we had like a whole
bunch of, you know, challenges around that which I think even now I still doubt because
there’s still, you know, non-iPhone apps out there that have browser capability. And so
you have to keep in mind who your whole audience is. It’s not just your smartphones. It’s still,
you have to think about the little ones that don’t have that still and are, you know, using
your application, you know, on mobile. So that’s, that’s something that we try and cater
to. We also had–and just even testing because there’s basically how many phones out there?
And being able to safely think that you’ve covered all of your bases for all different
phone types can be quite a challenge when you’re going through your cycle. It makes
it a lot easier when you know you’re just doing like an iPhone app or an Android app.
But when you’re doing, you know, a mobile application for your browser on your phone,
it actually is quite heavier on the QA cycle. So I don’t know if anyone here is at all experience
with that too but it’s…>>CORZINE: Oh, yeah.
>>CHAN: Yeah. It’s definitely, you know, a pain point.
>>CORZINE: Right, yeah. And let’s not forget design because it’s very important in mobile.
And designing when you’re deciding what platform you design for. There’s all kinds of structure,
it’s very different from the web as I’m sure many people know already. And following some
best practices so especially if you’re doing like, oh, you know, things for browsers, you
don’t want to break the page and all those great colors that you put in and all the tiny
prints like, “Take your phone outside and look at your page in the sun.” And this is,
you know, how people are going to be looking at it and using it. Just to remember that
human beings are looking at this and that they want information fast. Don’t load too
many things on the page because it won’t–yeah, it won’t call back from the server fast enough.
If you know, I think the rule is what, 2 seconds if they don’t get the page back they start
to think it’s broken. So it’s even faster than on the web. They have more tolerance
on the web on a computer than they do on the phone, so. Just to keep those kinds of things
in mind. I saw and quickly plugged, there’s a woman in the Mid-west named Barbara Ballard
who has a fantastic design library for mobile if people are interested in that area. And
she’s really a great person. So check out her stuff online too.
>>ALLEN: Yeah, I totally agree that if you’re doing mobile make sure that there is somebody
who does visual and interaction design on your team. If there isn’t, find somebody.
A visual and an interaction designer who knows their stuff is going to make your code be
5 million percent better. But I wanted to chime in but, about what Corinne was saying
about use cases and stories. In building mobile apps for other people, I found that if people
can actually articulate how somebody who would use their app, they are on the path to success.
And it’s amazing how many people can’t do that when they have decided they want to build
the mobile app. And there is a tremendous number of people who think that what they
need to do is take every feature on their web application and stuff it into a little
tiny mobile app. And if everybody can’t do everything that they could possibly do on
their website or in their desktop application that they will have failed in their agenda
to release their first version of their mobile app, because all of their users are asking
for this. So I would, I think that’s…>>CORZINE: Which is not true.
>>ALLEN: Well, I mean, if you aggregate what–especially if you have a mature product, this is really
tough. So I’m making fun of people. But it is a really tough call. And you have a mature
product and you’re talking to a thousand customers. And if you aggregate what a thousand customers
are asking for, you will find that they want every feature that you have because there’s
a reason that they’re in there, right? And somebody wants to access them on mobile. So
it is really tough but the more that you can have a really focused story like Corinne was
saying, the more you can be successful.>>COTTER: The more that you can look at it
as a different platform that you can provide different things rather then just being an
extension of the website. I think that’s a lot people and a lot companies say, “Oh, we’ve
got to go mobile.” And what they mean is, “We’ve got to take all our brochures and all
of our, you know, our website and just cram it unto a mobile phone somehow,” you know.
And that’s not really what it’s about. It’s about, you know, offering something uniquely,
something specific to mobile, something that you can only do that’s only useful because
it’s with you. And I don’t know, I think there’s too much pressure to just duplicate like you
said, just replicate everything from a website and it’s not practical. Or is it really desirable?
>>BRODBECK: Yes.>>GHOSH: So the other thing that we have
seen is consider the uniqueness and the nuances of the specific platform that you’re developing
an app for. So, just thought you have a very, very successful app on one platform, just
bringing it over to another platform doesn’t guarantee success. So sometimes we have seen
other app do very small changes in the UI flows. A few UI tweaks the interaction changes.
That is huge from an experience perspective. So I just wanted to bring that up as well.
>>NEEL: I would also add to being very brief and very focus with whatever you create and
thinking about the user on the go, is to maybe not just think about mobile but think about
how every channel might work together to offer a customer experience. How someone might use
your product on the go. How someone might use your product in their living room? How
someone might use your product on the computer? Thinking about how all of those things come
together, it gets very interesting. I’ve also really enjoyed some of the simplicity that
I’ve created on mobile and bringing that back to the computer, that’s been really fun as
well, so.>>CORZINE: Karyln, are you volunteering to
host a cross platform discussion?>>NEEL: Maybe.
>>CORZINE: Is that what that was?>>BRODBECK: Yes. I definitely agree with
everybody that keeping it simple is the most important thing, I know. So we originally
had our, you know, very basic mobile website version which is, you know, you use the up
and down keys on your phone to literally go down. But, and then we’re like, “Okay, let’s
make something that’s cool,” right? And we tried to have, you know, a much more like
scroll bars and things like that in the UI and it just didn’t work, right? And then when
we came out with our mobile website, the touch screen version, right, we went back to with
the linear layout and we found that even though it’s touch screen, linear layout definitely
worked best. And I think you know the most basic that you can keep something and don’t
put too many, you know, too many extra visual features in there and things like that, it’s
probably the best.>>CORZINE: Let’s talk about the future a
little bit, a future. I know several of you have some opinions about where you think things
are going next and what you would like to work on next. Let’s talk about mobile future,
you know, things like, augmented reality and projector phones and the potential of like,
maybe, one day seeing actual TV on your phone networks. Oh, did I say that out loud? But,
what do you guys think about what’s coming next and what would you like to work on in
the future as well? And that could be five minutes from now or 10 years from now.
>>CHAN: I guess it’s sort of a general kind of technology, but I see, you know, now that
we have a lot of touch kind of stuff with screens and with, you know, with the phones
that I foresee kind of like–if you guys have seen Minority Report, you know, where basically
it’s sort of–excuse me, a virtual kind of projection of stuff where you end up, you
know, moving a computer. I actually really see that that is something in the near future.
It’s–I think it’s going to be there. One thing I think is really cool that I see now
with just the phone screens being so big. The bar code usability basically going more
to a paperless world more than we do now where, you know, you just scan your receipt for a
movie or the airlines and you just use that and that’s your, you know, ticket to go in.
You just have it on your phone, you don’t have to print out anything else and I think
that’s really neat. I think a lot more things are going, or a lot of people are going to
accept that and have scanners for your phone and as screens get more sophisticated and
you know, crisper.>>ALLEN: So I’m looking forward to phones
becoming faster, that must be obvious. But I do think that something interesting happens
when computers become faster you start, you know, in the types of leaps that we’ve seen
in the last 10 years with mobile and the last 20 years with desktop computing. You’d start
to be able to do fundamentally different things that, and of course, higher bandwidth that–we
start to see the right, right–immediately, I think we start to see these lines between
the mobile and the desktop blurring. You know, like, we should be able to toss a document
from our phone to our desktop like that, you know, what’s his face, you mentioned, Minority
Report. And I think that, that, you know, that line blurring even more like why should
I have to actually think my phone, why do I have to make contest decisions about these
things, the phone could just figure it out for me. And making interfaces intuitive is
actually very, very hard. And it does require to manage amount of computer power, and I’m
really excited about when we can start to do more and more interesting things because
the phones would be faster. And I really think that we haven’t scratched the surface of what
we might do with these phones because we’re a little constraint by our desktop gooey origins
and I think as we start to have this different input mechanisms and, you know, we start to
really be able to do more interesting things with the camera and the video recording, and
the voice recording and we have more and more of those–more and more of those APIs accessible
to application development and not just stock on some other chip on the phone as they are
in some platforms. I think that–I think it will get very exciting.
>>CORZINE: Do you feel, like, that’s maybe why we’re behind several countries as far
as our phone development goes? It’s not just the carriers, it’s our imagination as well
that they are hitting the Internet for the first time on their phones and we have desktops,
we have expectations? Do you have any sense of that or feelings about that?
>>ALLEN: I absolutely. I mean, I think that I’d love the stories I’ve read about cell
phone novels in Japan. Have you guys heard about this? Where–so in Japan there are people
who create novels by typing into their cell phones and they get published on websites
and some of these have been so popular that they even published these books, but the idea
is that they’re not only can you author them in your cell phone. But then they’re formatted
for your cell phone so you can read them on your cell phone. And this just speaks to,
you know, in a place where they’re–most people access the web through a mobile phone rather
than through desktops because landlines are so expensive there. Almost every–this phone
is the ultimate personal computer because you don’t share your phone with anybody the
way you share your, you know, most people in the United States, not probably most people
in this room, but most people in United States share their computer with somebody and I think
it just, it creates a completely different experience and completely different usage
model.>>CHAN: Just for your last question. My–one
of my old bosses who–he’s originally from India and he was saying how he came–he went
back there once and everyone was just, you know, doing stuff on their cell phone. Stuff
like even, you know, buying a soda from a vending machine, it was, just payment through
the phone and that stuff that’s, you know, definitely not here. But I think one of the
reasons also that, you know, they do use a lot of their cell phone and not–and we don’t
is also, you know, money as, you know, like for instance in India–almost everyone there
has a cell phone, but they cannot necessarily afford to buy a PC desktop and they might
not have you know, the power capability that also house that and, you know, the stuff that
goes along with it. And, you know, just even financially, it’s–makes more sense for them
just to have everything mobile.>>COTTER: Question? What is the question?
>>CORZINE: How about the future?>>COTTER: I got so absorb. Yeah, I was in
Japan, in my mind. I’d like to go to Japan just on a field trip and just check out what
they’re doing over there. Wouldn’t that be–let’s do a field trip. Can Google sponsor?
>>CORZINE: Yeah, Google, sponsor us. Field trip.
>>COTTER: I do think there’s just such imagination in Japan. I mean, I don’t think it’s happening
anymore but there was–what was it, SoftThink that had OS on the–oh, it’s too far back
at my brain I think to totally remember but it was, it was a very immersive experience.
I mean it was almost like a–well, it was a little virtual reality. I mean it was like–and
that was a sort of standard on your little phone. My friend Ericka here probably knows
about it but, yeah, it was just standard. I mean, it was just–and it wasn’t just kids
using it, it was 30 something and all kinds of people using it and it was–because it
was so intuitive and even though it was really almost videogame like where it’s cute little,
you know, cute little characters punching in the doors and opening a door. I mean, there
was actual commerce going on and all that kind of thing and I don’t know what the current
state of that is, but I mean things like that seemed to go over very much. I mean people–the
adoption rate of things like that is so much higher somewhere like Japan. I mean that people
just…>>CORZINE: Yeah, the last startup I worked
out was a Japanese company and that’s what they were trying to bring over was that kind
of a virtual goods and avatar-based reality. The issues that we ran into here, like, they
can do all these great stuff in Japan because they have really robust network. They have
flash on their Nokia phones, the handsets were–so much were–we were constraint by
both the carriers that there’s no flash supported. So, you know, that there is a little bit of
technical catching up or leapfrogging that United States now has to do in order to get
to that place.>>COTTER: Yeah, also just catching up to
Europe. I mean, now that, you know, things are finally kind of changing with the carriers
but, I mean, that’s been years and they don’t, I mean, everybody in Europe knows what a SIM
chip or would it, you know, yes, what a SIM chip is, you know, like just–I mean I remember
my aunt in her 50s or whatever, who’s talking about the SIM chip and I’m like that’s so
interesting, you know. I don’t even–I, you know, I barely knew what to do in terms of
just what–how to handle having a mobile phone over there and my and dabbled my cousins,
like, “Oh, just, you know, just go to the store and get–or I’ll give you my junker
phone and then just, you know, just fill it up and whatever.” And I’m like, “Oh, they’re
just so cool, you know.” Just put some minutes on it or whatever and hear that sort of more
foreign to us. But, yeah, but I’m excited, of course, about all the, you know, cooking
related things, you know. I’m kind of, I just love, I mean cooking up as itself I think
just comes from me being sort of a futuristic and interested in how things could be so much
easier and how technology could be such a part of your life and such a powerful time
saving way and also just enhance your life, not just, you know, for the utility of it
but just for the pleasure of it, the enjoyment of it. And so I just love the idea of all
the things that could potentially happen with appliances, you know, refrigerators, ovens,
countertops, you know, having a screen on your countertop. I mean even these new iPads
that came out, you just think, “Oh, wow.” You could just have that, you know–it just
started my wheels training about what would cooking councils look like on that? And what
are the, you know, different things that we could do with that medium since that’s a whole
different medium from the mobile phone which is a different medium from the web, which
is a different medium from print, you know, and how can you kind of take elements of all
those and maximize it into what’s offered that’s new, with these new things coming out,
so.>>GHOSH: So, mobile phones having better
hardware, faster hardware, bigger screens, I’m kind of excited with two, two categories.
One is AR, augmented reality. You’ll see Layar, it’s a web browser in Android market as well
as Wikitude. These are like you hold your phone out; there is information overlay on
top of what you’re seeing. You are traveling, you hold it out or the phone sees and tells
you. It’s like your personal guided tour. So I feel like that’s–there’s a huge, immense
potential of crazy, crazy Apps there. The other thing I feel like we’ll see a lot is–mobile
devices have not been traditionally been a gaming devices. We have seen a lot of games,
really good games, but I think, like, with a faster processor, GPS graphic, graphic processors
as well as great controllers and hardwares. I think we are getting into spaces where gamers,
game developers would seriously consider those devices as serious games. We hear a lot of
games being multiplayer, cloud-based. So I think we are going to see good titles in the
game space and thus, on mobile devices as well.
>>NEEL: So, I’m not going to burn the dead horse of mobile payments but you know, Emma
Commerce (ph). But I think they’re going to see a lot of workarounds and a lot of things
coming. Already in Miami-Dade County and to Los Angeles, they have pilots where you actually
can pay now–pay for your parking with your phone. So I think we’re not going to have
to wait for the device makers, the carriers and the banks to figure this out and figure
getting the chips in your phone. I think you’re going to start to see workarounds from companies
such as Paypal, et cetera, to get around that. I’m also very interested also in the interfaces
coming to your home. I would like to see interactive television go a lot faster and a lot further.
I’m very tired of Comcast and DirecTV and experiences that we get, “Yawn.” We’d love
to have, you know–see the stuff with the appliances move forward a lot quicker. I mean,
imagine your, you know–in the morning, your refrigerator tells you to bring your umbrella
because it’s going to rain this afternoon. It tells you what medications to take. It
tells you your resting metabolic heart rate, and hey, you better not eat that. So I just–it
can’t come soon enough.>>BRODBECK: I really like where things are
going right now with, you know, being able to connect to the cloud with your mobile device.
For instance, when I lost my Palm Pre and I had to get a new one. It was great that
everything was there once, you know, I got my new device. Something I would really like
to see happen more is, you know, mobile education. For instance, you know, like people in Africa
being able–you know, that’s the primary way that they’re connecting to the Internet, right?
And having some way that they could, you know, watch a lecture or something like that and
then interact with the teacher. I don’t know, personally, I think that’s–I’m very passionate
about that so that’s really interesting to me.
>>ALLEN: Yes. I think when I got [INDISTINCT] I might end up being one mobile device per
child. I mean, you know, these days, mobile devices have such power that, you know, we’ll
probably see that happening first, which I think is really, really exciting.
>>CORZINE: Okay, we’re going to start to wrap it up so we can do some Q&A, and the
last thing I’d like to ask from you, speakers, I’m going to put you a little bit on the spot.
In one line, maybe two, tell me how to succeed in mobile, plug whatever it is you’re working
on, and let me know if you’re hiring, that’d be great.
>>ALLEN: We can start in the middle?>>CORZINE: Yeah, we can start in the middle.
Okay. Because I know you have to think about that, we kind of put you on the spot.
>>ALLEN: So, to succeed in mobile, try something, get experience, really understand the platform
whatever the heck you’re doing, and then you’ll do great things and focus. To plug my own
stuff, download the Mightyverse iPhone App. Yay. Tell me what you do with it, send me
mail. If you need a Mobile App or a web application, you can also hire my team at Blazing Cloud.
>>COTTER: How to succeed in mobile? I guess I’m still figuring that out. I mean, we’re
not profitable yet but you know, that takes a while, so succeeding in mobile and in terms
of that, you know, still trying to figure all that out. And so–but yes, I guess just
keep it simple. I guess there’s different approaches, you know, you can neither do the
sort of throw it out there rapid iteration, scrap it if it’s not working approach, or
you can really do the long brain-storm, come up with the idea, refine the idea, really
get the user experience idea. But keep it simple nothing, you know, and that’s kind
of what we did. I think we put a lot more thought into it from the get-go and I think
that is kind of important no matter what project you’re doing what–to like you said you need
user experience designer. It’s amazing how little this is understood. Like how programmers
just want to program something without it having been designed first. It’s sort of like
building a house without blueprint, you know, it doesn’t make any sense. So, I think one
way to succeed in mobile is really to think about it in advance of even starting to think
about building it. I mean at first, think about the user experience, think about the
person using it, think about the actual consumer and what they’re going to do with it and why
it’s useful. Make something that’s truly useful, you know, or fun, you know, it’s fine too.
But just think about the user first because it’s amazing how much that doesn’t happen,
so. Anyway and–oh, yeah and download Cooking Capsules. Right now it’s the Cooking Capsules
Taster, that’s on the Android market, and I haven’t checked numbers super recently,
but we have over 60 thousand downloads so far which is really cool. And we have eight
recipes and the first one–it’s four French ones, four Indian ones, and we’re coming out
with another ones very soon that’s a brunch recipe. So, eight brunch recipes, like how
to make your own Eggs Benedict and quiche, and whatever things like that. So, anyway,
keep a lookout for that and let us know what you think and follow us on Twitter at Cooking
Capsules, and say hello.>>GHOSH: So how do you succeed in mobile?
I think I’m going to repeat here, focus on end-users and be very, very agile. And yes,
we are hiring.>>NEEL: I’ll start with that too. We’re hiring.
No, just getting it out of the way. How to succeed in mobile? I would say if you have
an idea or a spark or anything, go after that. And if you–if you’re a developer and you
don’t have a background in user experience or vice-versa, partner with people network
and get together with people, I mean, because they can push you on your ideas and make them
even better. So I would just say, to get started, get out there, partner with someone and get
your ideas out there and people see that you have great ideas and the next thing you know,
you’re creating the next experienced for mobile, interactive TV, et cetera.
>>BRODBECK: Makes sense. I’m going to have to agree with pretty much everybody here is
keep it simple, also launch early, iterate often, right? I think that also works for
just online in general and check out pickv.com. It basically–it’s a dating site that matches
people off of their common interests like their favorite movies, music, TV shows and
books.>>CHAN: Yes. I mean I agree with everyone
here but essentially, you know, when you’re creating something on mobile, figure out what
it is–the problem is that you’re trying to solve for your user and work out some design
flows of how that will make sense for the particular device that you’re thinking of
developing on for. And my little plug, check out chictopia.com, it’s a fashion social media
site so it connects people that are inspired and with fashion whether you’re looking for
inspiration or out there to express your style, you know. It’s a way to connect with people
that have a common interest in fashion like you and we’re also hosting a conference in
New York for New York Fashion Week. So if you happen to be–and basically, it’s discussing,
you know, the topic of how online has really affected fashion and social media, how that’s
impacted the fashion industry. And, so if you are in New York next week, we have a conference
on February 13th, so, you know, please check us out.
>>CORZINE: And, I guess–see mine would be, you know, take your craziest idea and shop
it around out there because it’s likely that someone else will either really like it or
have the same crazy idea and go big and then edit it down. And, you know, do the stuff
that you’re really interested in because the passion will keep you going. And let’s see,
my Twitter is @krismet, K-R-I-S-M-E-T, my shameless plug. I don’t Twitter during my
events but I Twitter other times, not while I’m working. And now we’re going to open it
up to Q&A and also remember that we have desserts and coffee in the side. Yes.
>>My question is for Corinne. I wanted to know how you got Wells Fargo to let you do
their iPhone App, being the big huge monstrous organization they are. Why did they do this
inhouse rather than just farm it out to somebody because I’ve seen other larger organization–I
work for a large company, we have mobile Apps, you know, and you going and you look, oh,
we bought somebody or we shipped it to Estonia or something like that, and it works great,
it works fine. So I think it’s really, really cool that you, actually, you’re on a place
where you actually got to do something like that. So maybe you could just talk about how
you got to do that?>>CHAN: Sure, well, you know, to be honest,
I think they, you know, the business folks actually did look at third parties to assist
us with creating the iPhone App. But, what happens with that is there is a lot of overhead
in the negotiation, you know, of getting the contract and to then produce the timeline
to produce the actual application. What it turns out, we’re also doing some work in Parallel
to that, some in-house work in parallel to doing the negotiations and what we found out
is that, you know, we could actually get a time to market even faster because we happen
to have the expertise in-house. So we just chose to go that path this time. It’s not
to say, you know, I’m not there anymore but it’s not to say that they may not use, you
know, they may use another company for the next iteration so it’s…
>>[INDISTINCT].>>CHAN: We are mobile development so, we
did have some people that had picked up Objective-C and, you know, did at least the necessary
things that we were required for the feature set that we wanted to put out there.
>>Hey, Karyln, can you talk a little bit to that too? eBay have something like 4 billion
hits a day and it is a very big company and it has in-house mobile?
>>NEEL: Yes, so we have an in-house mobile department. We do all of the development for
the WAP site in-house. For iPhone development, we still farm it out, however, all of the
requirements and designer done in-house. For our first release on the iPhone application,
we did that in five weeks only, so smokin’. So in order to move that quickly, we kind
of needed to basically have that access non-stop during that time. I worked with a lot of outside
agencies and in-firms, it does require a lot of hand holding, I find, so just based on
the customer background and knowledge and just having to move fast, that’s been our
approach so far.>>I work at Stanford University where we
have the luxury of having an amazing class called Introduction to iPhone Programming,
it’s all free, available online and through the iTunes store and it’s all video and Apple
actually sponsors the cost which is just great and I’m just wondering if there’s anything
like that for the Android platform because it’s actually how I learn the program for
the iPhone and it would be amazing if you have a resource like that for Android.
>>GHOSH: I’ll definitely check back, it’d be awesome to have one.
>>Oh.>>GHOSH: I hear we are working on it.
>>you have to plug-in your ear. Okay.>>I keep hearing about the debate between
PDA development to become a robust versus the mini-computer becoming smaller. So where
is that debate and how relevant is it to you guys? Have you guys ever heard of that?
>>Anybody, anybody?>>CHAN: No, I can’t comment.
>>ALLEN: Well, I’m–I really don’t care to be frank. Basically, I evaluate new devices
as they come out whether they’d be something that seemed like we’re seeing Linux on mobile
devices right? And I think that’s probably what you’re referring to as a mini-computer
getting smaller.>>Right. Or you know, just being usability.
I mean, where do you think that’s planned this one? Our consumers want to have, you
know, the bigger PDAs are do they want smaller computers, you know?
>>ALLEN: I think they’re just emerging of it and I think people don’t care what chips
that’s inside, right? And right now, the distinction between a PDA or a phone and a computer is
really that its chipset which is arbitrary. I mean, it’s like people don’t understand
the difference between a desktop App and a browser App even though, as technology is
for like, well of course, ones on your desktop. But, frankly, they’re both on your desktop
and nowadays they look awfully the same. And so I think people, people sometimes they want
big screens and sometimes their screens’ too big to carry with them. And I think we’re
going to see more mix and match type of things. We’ll see a lot of experimentation with this
all in one kind of things like the iPad and I certainly hope we’ll see more, more things
that, you know, get near each other and exchange data. So, I think it’s going to be like–I
kind of remember reading about when motors were first developed and you would buy a motor
from the Cirrus catalogue and then you’d get your coffee grinder and your attachment and
then get your different attachment that allowed you to do things with your motor. And I think
that’s where we are with computers, you kind of get your computer and you attach things
to it and then maybe you get another computer that sort of in the form packed or a mobile
phone. But where seeing these chips invented everywhere and they’re going to be in the
refrigerators and counters and watches and earrings and you know, whatever. And you know
our–whether we like it or not, the objects around us are just going to get smarter and
I think they’ll…>>COTTER: And cheaper.
>>ALLEN: And cheaper.>>COTTER: Or less expensive.
>>ALLEN: Yes.>>GHOSH: So I have a question for you from
an App developer perspective. How do you see like exporting your App on these devices some
of which are like larger screens some are smaller or some are in between?
>>NEEL: Actually, I was going to speak to that exact point is what we’re seeing here
is, at home, and on the desktop, you get these screens that are getting larger and larger
and larger, and then on the other side you see smartphones and things such as the iPad
and, on and on. And so creating for these type of experiences is starting to get very
difficult because you’re seeing things get wider and wider. So how do you create an experience
that can work on this huge monitor as well as on this tiny phone? So it gets very challenging
to maintain all of those experiences and I wonder how we’re going to do that in the future?
>>ALLEN: Well, I think that as the machines get faster, it’s easier to have this intermediary
frameworks that help, right? Like, 10 years ago, you had to do everything really custom
for the each device and you had to write native code that was really, really highly tuned
and it was very, very expensive in terms of time and effort to create a mobile application.
And, so it wasn’t just that the carriers stifled creativity, just the effort it took stifled
creativity. And I think that now it’s much easier. There’s there these frameworks that
do you UI for you. You can have these different affordances that the platform gives to you,
and I think that just as we’ve seen with desktop development, when we got bigger and bigger
screens the platforms did more for us. And, I think that either the device manufacturers
are going to do some stuff that really helps or developers will invent it on top of that
because it is inevitable. If you have to continue to develop software for five different, fundamentally
different platforms you will invent a way to make it easy because, you know, otherwise
you lose your mind. So, I think that it is a challenge and it’s an interesting challenge
and we have, you know, it’ll be awhile before we figure it out but…
>>I like someone to address the future of Mobile Apps versus tools developed in the
cloud. Specifically, a few days ago, I wasn’t aware of this but, I guess, Google voice for
the iPhone was disallowed, it’s 1.5 by Steve Jobs. He just didn’t want the App, it competed
or whatever. So, immediately, Google went around and you can get the exact sound Google
voice by just going on the iPhone on the web so what’s the difference here of developing
Apps as opposed to going on the cloud?>>ALLEN: I can speak to that. I think the
most, I–maybe my corner of the world but, it seems like most mobile applications have
their fingers into the cloud anyhow. And web applications are having more and more powers
that are kind of like mobile applications, you know, in terms of being able to access
the device capabilities. You know, click the call being the simplest one, and then you
can have voice controls which then you’re talking on your telephone but you’re doing
things that you might expect or happening on your native–on your phone through an application.
And, you know, I don’t remember who was talking about like developers will find work around,
right? The–when you can’t do it on the device, you do it in the cloud. If it’s more convenient
to do it in a cloud you do it there. The–you need to do it on the device when it’s offline,
when you can’t reach the cloud. But, hopefully, you know, that more and more we’re getting
coverage everywhere so maybe it won’t matter in a few years. So I think right now, we do
have some challenges because, you know, instead of you have to build whole bunch of [ph] code
in one place and it won’t run in the other place and you have to shift strategies when
technology or organizations get in your way. But I think that just, you know, right now,
we have a lot of choices and that can be a painful thing and it can be a really delightful
thing. I hope that answers your question.>>Hi, I’m an executive director of a non-profit
and we work to get sixth, seventh, eighth graders interested in science and technology.
And I think that these teenagers are really untapped market for mobile applications. And
I’m wondering if you have any ideas of where I can go or just off the cup ideas about how
we can get teenagers to appreciate and love technology through their cell phones and developing
mobile Apps for them?>>ALLEN: I think that’s a great age to target
for developing. I got myself boxed for a minute and say that I think programming is a life
skill. I think every fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth grader should learn to program,
not because they will become software developers but because if you have that kind of thinking
you will succeed in our world 20 years from now, 10 years from now. Because every software
application you use has an expert feature that you kind to have to be a programmer or
think like a programmer to use, so really apply what you’re doing. And there are a number
of different organizations working on ideas for teaching kids to program. I think there’s
a challenge in mobile devices because most kids don’t have smart phones and those are
the easiest ones to program. But if you could get smart phones in the hands of kids then
they could be programming in languages like Ruby or JavaScript, which are very accessible
to Navas Programmers.>>So what do you guys think about mobile
money? Have you touched upon it before and you talked about the future but, I mean, I
definitely see a future being mobile money. I just came back from Kenya and it was remarkable
to see on my iPhone someone sent me cash. So what do you guys think about that? It’s
altered jailbroken [ph] and locked that’s why I could do that.
>>CHAN: I think we do that today, right? I mean with…
>>NEEL: Paypal has member to member, look I can send you money but are you speaking
from bank, okay.>>[INDISTINCT].
>>NEEL: Right.>>[INDISTINCT].
>>NEEL: I think a lot of the third world countries too–like a lot of people don’t
even have bank accounts so, they’ll go in and get the phone and use that basically as
their bank account. So, part of it’s infrastructure obviously…
>>[INDISTINCT].>>NEEL: There’s a lot of things we should
have here.>>[INDISTINCT].
>>GHOSH: One of the challenges is interfaces are not standardized so it’s very difficult
to talk between them so I have been in mobile like standards. A few years back and the challenges
we faced are the banks have different interfaces, their current different organizations have
different interfaces and it was very difficult from our perspective to develop an App that
could talk to basically anyone. So that’s one of the challenges. So I know there a lot
of challenges organizations can create. Cause [ph] organizations and banks are trying to
solve it, but it’s really, really a bottleneck and a challenging process.
>>CHAN: You know, I think that could be the direction where we’re going. I don’t see it
any time in the near, near future just because I think even the US public is really kind
of hesitant to do stuff that can just if, for instance, if their phone was stolen, or
you know security-wise that when it comes to their money, I think the US is a little
more hesitant about making it easier sometimes for people to access their accounts. So I
think that tends to be a challenge, but then, you know, basically security regulations and
all of that to that slow it down.>>[INDISTINCT].
>>ALLEN: I don’t think it’s cultural like there, I mean, there’s cultural differences
that make it longer to adapt, adopt here but I think you’re right that it is inevitable.
Like it’s just too easy and there are ways that, you know, to make it have the privacy
protection that we, you know, people demand here and have the security and address the
security issues which frankly had been addressed overseas in some ways much better than we
have we’re addressing here. But I think that when those things happen then, you know, we
won’t need credit cards, we’ll have you know, these electronic transfers and it’ll make
commerce much easier and more fluid. I do think the–and I do think we’ll see micro
payments being much more cost effective and that will change the types of things that
we buy and how we pay for things. And I think it will get interesting in that way because
credit cards create some odd pricing models that we currently have. And the things that
I think we’ll see that are part from commerce and part from just the power that having a
computing device be attached to you or carry around with you will do is it’ll give individuals
more power to be small business owners to conduct commerce, to be producers even if
they don’t have their own business. I think we’ll see user-generated content, so called
“be monetized” so that–you’re seeing that a little bit now with Youtube and what not.
But it’s still pretty rare and you kind to have to be a professional even if it’s so
called user generated content, but I think we’ll see that individuals with individual
skills will be able to use those skills to produce you know, whether it’s writing or
spoken language or applied whatever skills they have wherever they are and you know and
contribute to the economy in ways that we’re not seeing, I think a lot of our skills being
used today.>>We have a few more questions and we could
always carry on this conversation over coffee in a moment.
>>Hi. Have any of you developed for the iPad and if you haven’t why and if you have what
specifically–did specific to the iPad not just the iPhone?
>>ALLEN: I guess that would be a no.>>COTTER: I just heard about it the other
day.>>NEEL: We’ve examined our App on it and
it looks awful. Don’t believe what you saw in the videos. It blows up basically one pixel
into two so, your App can’t be reinterpreted seamlessly.
>>My question is…>>COTTER: …I worry about that, you know,
how–if the whole App Store is there and it’s intended for these small devices and then
all of the sudden, it’s just…>>NEEL: Well, I would question though…
>>COTTER: …rendered on a…>>NEEL: …should we just reinterpret a small
App for that device? I would want to create a whole new experience.
>>COTTER: Right, right, me too.>>[INDISTINCT].
>>NEEL: Yes. Yes, but I would want to look at the–how to create a better experience
per mobile experience, since the mobile device rather than just the straight desktop experience
which can be overly complex anyways.>>I have a sort of a two part question, this
is more about mobile ads, I didn’t hear anybody talk about that. And, well, in general, the
mobile ad seen and what do you guys think about that? And the second part of my question
is more about Android and do you have something equivalent to AdSense for a mobile Apps similar
to how ads since it works for someone’s web application or something new?
>>GHOSH: So I’ll take the Android question. So, I’m from the Android team. So, Android
to–from Android perspective, we develop a platform. It’s a Google monetization product
is very, very separate from the android platform, so.
>>Well, didn’t Google buy admop? Did I not hear that right?
>>GHOSH: Yes, but I cannot comment to that.>>Oh, okay. Okay, sorry, sorry. Anybody else
wants to speak to that monetizing on mobile?>>COTTER: We just started mobile average
and we just started using AdSense relatively recently. And, you know, I hope that overtime–I
mean, I think you have to have a lot of users in order to really render results from it.
I mean, because we’ve been pretty popular in our right but, you know, I mean, honestly,
we just put it–we just integrated it a few months ago. And I just got my first check
for a $138, so if that gives you an idea like how. I don’t know if I should admit that but
I’m hoping that overtime, you know, as we build our offering that, you know, offering
since we have many Apps and many impressions. And also because we’re kind of a niche market
but, well, anyway, I mean everybody eats right, so, it’s not. I like to think of it as to
think of it as not that specific. You will go, “Oh, it’s for foodies. No it’s for people
who eat.” Anyway…>>Christina, could you comment on that? How
did you guys monetize YouTube on mobile?>>BRODBECK: I can’t talk about that.
>>You can’t talk about that? Okay.>>COTTER: All right.
>>Hold on one second. Oops, sorry.>>Yes.
>>…a bug to this–so, what’s limiting you for not putting a lot of recipes on your site?
Because you said only aid and I would think you can put a gazillions and your monetization
model can be, “Okay, give me an idea in AdSense you can download, you know, 20s recipes, something
like that.>>COTTER: Right, yes.
>>Okay, some kind of discount when you go to trade or do you…?
>>COTTER: Right.>>I mean I’m thinking a lot of monetization
models here.>>COTTER: Yes, it sounds, it sounds funny
that we only have eight recipes and the reason is that, that we’re actually producing these
cooking shows that accompany each one so. So I kind of look at it more like–and obviously,
you know, we’re building, you know, we’re going to have to build the volume. We can’t
just live on these few recipes alone but at the same time, it’s like there are collections
of recipes and where our quantity is. I mean, people are looking for quantity and they go,
“Why would I go there if I could get millions of recipes, you know, on Google or something.”
You know, if I could just Google and get all these or go to, you know, these other sites
or whatever. And the–I think what’s unique about us is that our quantity is within each
recipe. So each recipe, you get a whole show that tells you exactly how to make it. You
got what tools you need, you know, further information about it and, you know, the shopping
list and then how to make it. And so it’s sort of like how many–at the end of the day,
how many recipes do you really need in your arsenal? So, I mean if we can slowly grow
this nice library of really in depth and this really easy and in depth experience that’s
kind of what we’re going for because, you know, frankly, it’s easy to get thousands
of recipes places but it’s not as easy to get that kind of experience. And that’s what
we’re looking for and we’re actually producing the show so that’s what takes time. Yeah.
>>[INDISTINCT].>>COTTER: Right. Yes, there’s, you know,
there’s a lot of–there’s a lot of really exciting business models for, yeah. And that’s
one of them. Yes, that’s one of them, is the location based stuff is huge, I mean, yes,
just–I mean, that’s what’s so exciting about it because I think we have this sort of fertile
ground for as these technologies come about and partnerships with different companies
where, you know, if we’re making–if we’re making fondue, we can sell the fondue set
through Williams-Sonoma or whatever. You know, we can have all kinds of product placement.
So, it’s a matter of, I think really what we’re trying to do now is gain traction, and
get attention and get more users and then kind of team up with different companies who
want to promote their…>>[INDISTINCT].
>>COTTER: We should try to talk about the over coffee because you don’t have a mic…
>>CORZINE: Yes, we do have coffee and dessert ready and the speakers will be available for
as long as they are free to discuss. I need the speakers to stay up front for a moment.
And thanks again, Angie, and Google. You guys were great. Angie, go to a Girl Geek Dinner–
bayareagirlgeekdinner.com and give her suggestions for other talks. She is a very nice person
and does a great job.