Spotify vs. Pandora. Facebook vs. Myspace. We're all familiar with the similarities of these entities, but it's their subtle differences that makes a huge difference. In a technology society where ideas as plentiful and success is selective, often times it's the little things — the dedication to core principles and consumer voice — that can make the difference between highly successful and next-level consumer acceptance.
So why do tech users prefer Spotify over Pandora? Why did Myspace fail and Facebook succeed? On the surface, the ideas were quite similar, yet their differences, while subtle to the average consumer, made all the difference between, “this app is okay,” and “this app does exactly what I need it to.”
In the battle for consumer music consumption, you couldn't beat Pandora. The ability to stream music in real-time and the core feature to essentially create a radio station based solely on music that you like was a HUGE game-changer in mobile technology. Consumers flocked in droves downloading the Pandora app and using its desktop counterpart. But there was just one thing that users wanted — aside from the ability to skip more than five songs per hour. The one true thing that users wanted was something that was right at the heart of what made Pandora work so well, but didn't exactly deliver the way user wanted. Let's say you wanted to hear a particular song, “Let It Be” by the Beatles. With Pandora, you'd fire that song into your search engine and you'd get a radio station based on songs similar to “Let It Be.” But what if you didn't exactly want to hear songs based on a particular song, but the actual song itself. If you were lucky, Pandora's system would eventually play that song, but in a right-now society, that just didn't cut it.
Spotify offered very similar functionality and features as Pandora. The ability to search music and create radio stations based on songs you love to hear. Where it made that leap, however, is that through a premium subscription. Users can search for their favorite song, but instead of a station dedicated to songs similar to that favorite song, you hear the actual song. So if you wanted to hear “Let It Be” by the Beatles, on Spotify, you'd throw that song title into search function and suddenly you're hearing the angelic tunes from that song. Not only that, but users can listen to additional music from the same album of their favorite song, while also creating radio stations on any song on the fly.
Spotify took the core concept of what made Pandora so popular and took it to the next level. It provided features that catered to a broader audience, while also putting themselves in a much better financial advantage by offering users options. If you want to solely use their radio feature, then Spotify offers a free subscription. If you want more complete access to your music and the ability to listen to full albums and individual songs of your choosing, then there's a $9.99 per month premium subscription. Spotify has excelled because it listened to its users and built a better consumer mousetrap.
The same goes for the battle between Facebook and Myspace. At its core, Myspace was originally all about social connection. Find friends and family across the world and connect in one location. A brilliant and novel idea. You could leave messages for your friends, schedule in-person visits, and share some of your favorite interests. Over time, what Myspace became was nothing more than a self-interest, self-promoting platform for upstart music bands, and webpages that took minutes to load. And let's not get into how Myspace set webpage design back 10 years. We still have nightmares of black backgrounds, red text, and a bunch of blinking word art. Needless to say, Myspace failed when they gave too much control over to the user. There is absolutely a fine line, and Myspace did broad jumps over that line.
Facebook, however, provided a similar concept, but focused squarely on what originally made Myspace great. But Facebook was dead set on providing an experience that squarely focused on the core function: social networking. To do that, Facebook ensured uniformity, providing the ability to connect to friends and family, find long lost classmates. They ensured a consistent look and feel for every page. The core engine for each Facebook webpage is the same. The look and feel is the same. This is key to creating a MUCH wider fan base. For both its mobile and desktop app, uniformity is a huge advantage for Facebook. Now, mothers and grandmothers are on Facebook. The simplicity and user-friendliness of the webpages has opened Facebook to a much bigger user fan base. And it's allowed Facebook users to focus more on social networking (the core that has made Facebook so popular) and less on individual customization. This key difference is what sets Facebook apart from all of its competitors.
And this is what Justice Solutions would love to do for you. If you have an existing mobile or desktop app, and want to take it to the next level, then we would love to work with you. We know how to employ those subtle changes that can turn your mobile or desktop app from very good to next level worthy. We'll work with you to better understand the user fan base and your target audience and how to make modifications to your app in such a way that it is viable for a broader audience. We'll determine how to widen the net of your core audience by making simple changes and tweaks to your app, to reach a much bigger share of the pie. Our goal is to help you take your mobile app and stand head and shoulders above all the rest!faassssxxzzxw
It's amazing how really cool things that we see in movies are actually secretively (and not so secretively) being developed for real production. Movies like Star Trek Into the Darkness showcases gadgets and devices that seem completely unrealistic and something that would never happen in reality. But as history has shown us, that's not exactly the case. I'm pretty sure when the first cell phone was shown in a movie, no one thought that millions of people would one day walk around with them.
In essence, it's a two way street. Movie writers and producers draw inspiration off of concept devices and gadgets, while everyday developers draw inspiration from what they seen in films. One such example is a device called the Scanadu. Think about the device used in Star Trek Into the Darkness or the technology used within the suits where human vital signs including temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure are all accurately monitored. The Scanadu is a Bluetooth-enabled scanner that does just that. Even more exciting is that the readings from this device are transferred to your Smartphone.
Here's a quick excerpt from the USA Today's article on the Scanadu:
“Medical device maker Scanadu is looking to gain strength for its in-development tricorder-like sensor on crowd-funding site Indiegogo…
“Included with the sensor are two disposable ScanaFlo urine analysis paddles for testing for pregnancy and health problems. The Scanadu Scout is “a medical instrument that can almost replace a clinic,” says company founder Walter De Brouwer.”
It's mobile friendly devices and developments like these where Justice Solutions soars. We love superhero movies as much as the next fan and when we see technologies like this, it only gets our creative juices flowing. Development companies like Justice Solutions can create mobile apps and other software to accept and interpret results from devices such as this. We've seen this technology in other areas, such as the Nest Learning Thermostat where you can remotely control the temperature in your home or remote home monitoring systems like the Belkin NetCam where you can control the cameras, activate the sensors, or even lock or unlock your front door. The wave of the future is right now!
Justice Solutions is incredibly excited to be part of this amazing time of technology development. If you have a great idea to mirror a stand alone device with a mobile application, but are unsure how to fit all of the pieces together, then contact us. We can swoop in and help get you and your idea to the finish line. On top of that, we can work with you to ensure your idea comes into fruition. New technologies are our business. We are constantly staying on top of the latest and greatest, but we also know there are those sitting at home with an idea and dream, and being the superhero's that we are, we'd love to help. Head to our website and contact us and we'll be sure to help you take your idea to the next level.
As Smartphones become more commonplace (something completely unimaginable just 20 years ago), so are the technologies influenced by them. Today it's remote home access and the ability to monitor our vital signs. Tomorrow, who knows? We may all be able to monitor our own routine car maintenance or make the jobs of teachers, firemen, or our military forces that much easier all from the convenience of our mobile device. At Justice Solutions, this isn't just a pipe dream. At Justice Solutions, this is an incredible reality!
The IT department in any company, large or small, faces many challenges on a daily basis. No, we're not talking about system crashes or network updates. We're talking about the constant pressures associated with being the go-to department for all things electronic. Let's be honest, anyone who's worked in a corporate environment has thought about calling the IT department to fix everything from computer monitors, keyboards, printers, light bulbs, coffee makers, etc. At the end of the day, IT is generally blamed for the collective functionality of everything that runs an office. Needless to say, this is a completely false assumption.
What's more important than pointing the finger at the IT department when there's a malfunctioning fax machine is more accountability by individual departments to filter the proper office issues to the appropriate help segment. If the light bulbs in the office need to be replaced, that's probably a facilities issue and not something to press upon the IT department. If a new software patch is required to protect against the latest Trojan horse, then give IT a call.
What's more, it is essential for other departments to provide the IT department with all of the necessary information needed in order for them to deliver an appropriate, long lasting solution. One of the other frustrations other departments have with IT is that they take too long to solve a problem. Many times, this is due to a lack of information from those who have identified the problem. IT workers are all about information. There's generally never a time where more information is too much information. The more information they have to help them diagnose a problem, the quicker they will be in providing a solution.
One huge solution to alleviating issues such as these all together is to seek outside IT development solutions. Sure, the everyday office issues can be easily handled by the local IT department (if the requests are filtered properly and enough information is provided), but there are some things that only objectivity can solve. Reviewing project plans or meeting with department heads are sometimes best viewed by an outside pair of eyes.
At JusticeSolutions, LLC, this is one of our chief responsibilities and it's an area we have excelled at for over 20 years. We provide development consulting, IT planning strategies, and other IT consulting to companies that require that extra set of eyes. We aren't boggled down in the minutia of office politics nor do we concern ourselves with “printer” issues. Instead, we get right to the heart of consulting, providing an objective perspective where your overall success is our primary goal. We work with company executives and heads of departments (including IT) and provide the best recommendations and consultation that will ensure that everyone involved excels.
Pinterest definitely owes a ton of its popularity to females who took a liking to the social pinning phenomena. So you may be wondering if there’s a “dude” version of Pinterest? There’s actually a few, but the most popular one currently is http://gentlemint.com/, which claims to have a “Mint of Manly Things”. Wonder if it will catch on…let me know your thoughts.
Everyone knows that I’m a recent convert to Apple after years of being a die-hard PC/Microsoft person. (more…)