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Showing posts from May, 2014

What apps are on your home screen? (#HomeScreenSurvey)

Competing in the app economy isn't as easy as you may think. Last year, I read some studies on app usage and app abandonment rate that scared the marketer in me. Here's a paragraph from a TechCrunch article listing many of the sources:

"Back in 2011, around a quarter of mobile apps were downloaded, used once then abandoned. Today’s users are far more fickle, given their greater choice. According to Mobilewalla founder Anindya Datta, speaking to USA Today last year, an estimated 80 to 90 percent of apps are eventually deleted from users’ phones.

Talk about having only one chance to make a good first impression."

First impressions are important, it would appear. At first, this sounded a bit over the top. Over 80% of apps were likely to fail the first impression test and get deleted, immediately or consigned to the waste bin of screen 3, 4 and 5 on your phone. Over the top until you look at your own phone and think about how many apps you regularly use that AREN'T on…

Open Source Code for Real Time Wine

As I promised in the closing down email and the post mortem "lessons learned" article - here is the code for Real Time Wine.

A couple of things:

a) Thank you to Prezence Digital for compiling this. I know agencies haven't quite embraced the "open source" thing, so I think it was a big step for them and I hope they get some joy and cool community engagement out of it.

b) That said, there are a few modules used in Real Time Wine that remain proprietary to them and are not in this download. Mainly it's their handset adaption tech (phone recognition and rendering a mobi style site according to screen size) and image manipulation tool.

c) This download excludes images (that download would be about 4GB). I'm also not sure that it can just be executed as is (in fact, it probably can't)... There are a few notes (included at the bottom of this post) that Prezence provided. If you're a developer, you should understand what's going on.

d) Remember the …

My Street MBA: Lessons learned from Real Time Wine

"If I fail more than you do... I win." -- Seth Godin
Please note, this is a long read. It had to be. If you'd like to read a condensed version, my friends over at HTXT.Africa have done one. Together with Prezence, the source code to Real Time Wine has also been released - for everyone to have a little look see: click here to read more.

Real Time Wine was a retail discovery app. It started in wine, moved to beer and ultimately wanted to gather consumption data and build communities across multiple retail verticals. In doing that, we hoped to personalise and improve the eCommerce experience – one that is so largely dependent on spammy, irrelevant daily emails. I shut Real Time Wine down in April 2014. Revenue didn’t scale quickly enough.



“Lessons Learned” posts can suffer from two fatal flaws. Firstly, they can be schmaltzy. Secondly, they can be preachy. But if done right, they can hopefully give a little back to a community that provided an enormous amount of support during…

The funny & wonderful names of Trout Flies...

Ok. So this is completely left-field for what is usually a technology blog. But I thought from time to time I should share some of my hobbies and past times. And this was a good way to start.

While trying to name a fishing cottage, I did some research into the names of trout flies. Research involved walking into a wonderful shop in Dullstroom called The Village Angler (ask for John the Scott if you go) and writing down every fly they stocked.



The results are hilarious. Some sound pretty aggressive. Some sound like sex toys. You decide. What a perfect naming device though... Here they are, for your collective amusement!

Rainbow WarriorWooly Bugger (my personal favourite)Deep Water DamselZ Wing CaddisGreen Rock WormMustard CaddisHare and CopperWhite Death (so NOT politically correct!)Pappa Roach (reminds me of a bad song from a bad band)Trout FrogMylar MinnowPrince NymphBiot BeatisCrystal Bugger (Breaking Bad for Fish?)Millenium BugFiloplume DragonStill Water DamselIrish SleechFritz Bugg…