As an iPhone developer or a publisher you are eager to know the sales stats for a certain applications on Apple AppStore.
We noticed that it’s possible to guess the sales of a particular app by looking at the number of reviews of application in the AppStore. Sure, this is very relative guess and can give the results which differ up to several times but still it’s good for a guess. Knowing if an app made 1.000, 10.000, 50.000, 100.000 or 500.000 sales can really help with understanding the preferences of iPhone users. Please note – we talk about paid Apps with no specific geo-targeting placed in USA AppStore since it’s the biggest one. Generally this is the case for 95% of Apps out there.
Let’s compare the sales numbers published online vs number of reviews those Applications have and come up with the ratio:
- Ocarina, reports $1MLM in revenue on Dec 13th, 2008 with price changing from $1.99 to $0.99. Rough guess: 700.000 units sold by now with 1255 reviews. Ratio: 550:1
- iFart Mobile. Is at 300.000 units right now based their twitter post and on the sales data they published when the app was in TOP1 of all categories. Has 769 reviews. Ratio: 400:1
- Trism reported 250k in sales with the price being $4.99 and ultimetly dropping to $2.99. Our guess the guy made 200.000 unit sales. There 545 reviews now. Ratio: 350:1
- Wooble sold about 10.000 units for one week and has 50 reviews. Ratio: 200:1
As you can see the ratio varies from 200 to 550 sales per review with the medium figure being 350. So if you multiply the number of reviews on 350 you would get a rough idea of the sales figures. You can also multiply it by 200 and 500 to see the possible limits.
And the last piece of info: calculate sales of the apps which have at lest 30 reviews. Smaller number of reviews could get irrelevant sales figures for many reasons, e.g. the first reviews could be made by friends and family of the Application Developer.
We welcome you to post sales data vs number of reviews other applications in comments and will be updating this post accordingly.
Tags: iphone application development, iphone development, iphone sales data, iphone sales figures
Posted in iphone development, management | 13 Comments »
So you sitting watching the world falling apart with the headlines like this everywhere. I bet if you are using outsourcing or intend to do so the question pops up in your head: which destination is stable and will not get hurt by the crisis or blown away by the next financial storm.
Here is the comment on risks (no risks actually) if you choose Belarus. Much of our force is located there so we have have our homework on this one done. Belarus is not affected by the world crisis b/c it doesn’t actually have mature stock market and not much of a foreign investment in the country. The loan system including subprime is not popular much also – so we won’t have any foreclosures happening destabilizing the financial system. The local currency is fixed towards the dollar and stays on the same level for about 4 years now (with slight rise of ruble against dollar recently). At the same time the was a gradual inflation happening which resulted in lesser purchasing power of the dollar. Worth case scenario for crisis is that devaluation of the belarussian ruble will occur which will be a hit for the country but not the outsourcing industry. In fact it will win in this case (consider employees being able to purchase more for the same salary). Which makes the choice of Belarus as your offshore outsourcing destination right and bold!
Tags: offshore outsourcing, outsourcing industry, power of the dollar, recession
Posted in management, outsourcing | 2 Comments »
We are in a exciting business of powering web startup companies. Given the fact that most web startups are about certain idea/product/service that is implemented online it turns out we support a critical part of our customers’ business. Being in the web development outsourcing business since 2001 we’ve accumulated great knowledge about the majority of online industries. We have perfect understanding of online business and solid development/animation/online marketing talents in place. With this said we are fully equipped to be a development partner/active member of online ventures.
In June 2008 we officially launched Early Stage Startups Funding program which provides the opportunity to startups to use our services in exchange for equity in the company. Typically we are talking about $$5,000-25,000 worth of our services in exchange for 5-15% of the company. Ideally we would prefer to know the CEO or other management folks or at least have the ability to track the previous accomplishments and success as well as share the vision. In addition to that we need to understand the business concept, see the business plan and all other supportive documents (no formal requirements to these documents).
The number of companies accepted into this program is limited for many reasons (resources availability, industries of an interest etc). We do not do any marketing for this program and already have strong demand from entrepreneurs that have a proven track record. So if at any given point of time we are not available to work in exchange for equity we are still happy to provide our services on a regular customer/vendor basis (this is still the core business of MoveYourWeb).
Update: MYW acts as a vendor according to the terms of this program. The management of a startup is doing the actual management of the company and business development. We do not interfere with that. However MYW has separate internal funding program when employee’s idea can be developed into a startup. Typically the employee will not be able to act as a true CEO of the new business so MYW allows to utilize the existing infrastructure and is helping/taking care of all administrative/business/legal/business development/marketing/sales matters.
Tags: funding, startup companies, startups, web startups
Posted in management, outsourcing | 5 Comments »
Keeping a web site updated is something that a lot of companies fail to do. Each 10th web site on the web seem to have outdated copyright string – without mentioning the actual web site content. The other interesting tendency is that a lot of web development companies are busy and consider updating their web site the last priority which puts their web site into ‘frozen’ status for years (they don’t eat their own cookies, hah?).
Here at MoveYourWeb we consider our web site to be a powerful marketing and sales tool. In fact this is our virtual front-end which customers see instead of our offices (you need to take the plane to visit us, which is not always quick and easy) so we need to make sure that we are displaying the updated and relevant information helping potential and existing customers explore our company and service offerings better.
Here goes the list of front end updates which happened during the first part of 2008:
- We added Case Studies section on the web site featuring the accomplished projects. You can browse and select case studies by service, solution, platform and industry. The old-styled web design portfolio section is not here any more (we evolved from being offshore web design studio 5-6 years ago into a reputable outsourcing company which handles sophisticated web development, animation and online marketing);
- Our home page became more interactive by displaying featured case studies, recent blog posts and even audio presentation of the company (JustMyVoice does perfect audio recordings). Our conversion rate increased by 2.1% after that step alone;
- Services page was sorted to display the most relevant information about over offerings;
- Partners page features our new Early stage startup funding program as well as Build-Operate-Transfer offering;
- 50% of the pages were updated to display latest information (e.g. seo page now proudly displays Google Certified label).
More updates are coming as this is typically an ongoing process. Stay tuned.
Tags: audio recordings, case studies section, portfolio section, web site maintenance, web site updates
Posted in general thoughts, management, outsourcing | No Comments »
Every other day I’m getting a ‘partnership offer’ from another ‘outsourcing company’ which started their operations (or I shall say ending).
The shortest example of an unsolicited junk that I have to clean out from my inbox daily:
We are a company in China, and we could provide you with any web related services for only $12 per hour, either PHP, ASP, Net programming or any flash development, web site designing, etc. You can have a whole group of experts, AND you don’t need to pay until the project is completed (only available for those projects are below $2000).
Not only the those ‘marketers’ are not able to understand that they are emailing to the VP of outsourcing company (why would we need to outsource the work when it’s outsourced to us), their spam emails are not wanted (I never subscribed to their mailings) and no one is interested in their cheap and unreliable services.
Anyway this post is not a rant about confusing marketing techniques but about the fact that people cannot think deeper than just following their desire to replicate the success of established big vendors. This so called ‘companies’ fail to recognize that offshore outsourcing market is over-saturated already. There will not be another Wipro, Infosys or Satyam or as a more local example there won’t be another MoveYourWeb, Itransition or Aitoc. Big fish which is swimming in this pond is able to keep with market saturation and keep well. They are able to employ administrative personnel needed for effective functioning of the company (executives, marketing, sales, hr, attorneys, office managers, system and networks admins, representatives). They are able to compete on price easily because there is no need to earn high profits on every employee to maintain the functioning of the company. They are able to provide solid offices and work space to the employees and motivate those. They have millions of other advantages that the similar small company doesn’t have.
Don’t take me wrong – there are and will be successful outsourcing companies starting (few -providing services, many – developing proprietary product) but founding another outsourcing service provider trying to emulate the model of an established successful company located next block is just a FAILURE. A lot of times this new ‘CEOs’ of such ‘companies’ think: ‘We know everything about technology and outsourcing. We’ve been working in outsourcing company for years. Why not to start our own company. We will compete for the customer by lowering prices, offering a additional compensation advantage to employees and claiming that we have a more personalized clients approach and earn some decent buck for it, right?’ WRONG. Optimizing competitive advantages by 10% will not do the trick of competing with big names established long ago! That is simply not enough to brake though. You will end up in spending years of your life, face debt, bad image and other bad karmas. The business model should be different to compete and succeed.
Types of offshore outsourcing companies that can get successful:
- Companies providing UNIQUE set of services. Take a look at this company providing online tutoring services. Finding the unique niche which is not saturated is the key for companies giving a stake on this business model.
- Companies leveraging relatively cheap offshore resources to develop unique web properties. Those are generally called Product companies. This is a concept of the future, the only downsize aspect of this is that you will need funding to support the operations. But that’s the different story.
- Companies which act as an office of established software companies or big outsourcing houses employing AT LEAST 100 full-time people in other countries. Partners that have small ventures don’t qualify (you don’t want to become the company with the 1 customer). In 99.95% of cases this is the dead road since the ‘partner’ will not be able to grow the company big due to the same reasons mentioned plus additional like multi-focus on different businesses that are being run (in 90% the ‘partner’ will be just trying out this outsourcing venture). Only big established companies. Full stop.
- Companies located in rising outsourcing destinations. Vietnam, Egypt, Argentina and others – outsourcing is just starting there that’s why you can compete on price on the global market and grow because there is not much fight on the local labor markets yet. The disadvantage is lack of strong experience and sometimes communication of the employees so that’s valid to specific types of outsourcing only.
So you are located in a third world country and willing to start your own company or already running it (small one). Does the business model qualify as one of described in 4 types? NO? Then keep building the career at the company you work for, gaining additional experience and skills, leveraging the expertise you have for your success, the success of the company you work for and the ultimate success of the customer. You future is stable and planned and stable in this case. In case the answer is YES – you are at a spot where it might be worth trying. Go for it if you are really confident about it! Just remember that in case everything goes wrong sending out the cry for help if the form of SPAM emails begging for a project will not be the way out.
Tags: it outsourcing, offshore outsourcing, outsourcing, outsourcing business, outsourcing company, web development
Posted in management, outsourcing, web development | 5 Comments »
When it comes to the selection of outsourcing provider for the creation of innovative web project (anything from social network to widget creations) the company shall make sure that the provider has the actual expertise of developing similar innovative projects. In the majority of cases the customer might end in selecting reliable web development company with a long track of experience creating web projects, employing experienced developers but without the experience of creating the relevant innovative web properties. Chances are high that this project will be a failure because the provider is simply not there yet from a relevant experience prospective. They haven’t work with this types of web properties and do not invest much in R&D and stepping into powering startups (usually those are the first adopters of innovative technologies).
We’ve seen customers that engaged established software houses into the creation of a media streaming web sites ending in a failure to deliver the project after half a year!!! of work. The vendor experienced in this type of projects can roll out the similar solution developed from scratch during 2 months (assuming that the customer doesn’t want another clone of YouTube but has a more-or-less unique concept).
Now not only starts ups but big media companies need to innovate. Consider this example: an average American citizen spends 28 hours a week watching TV (sounds unbelievable, right) however for the young people that’s much less because they take this time and move it to their computer. So media companies, like MTW, suddenly say: Ooops, how do I get into computer? How do I reach this audience? What technologies do I use to engage the audience? In the majority of cases the answer can not be found internally. In the old days such companies were innovating internally but now when the web is evolving so fast the internal senior executives might not even how to use an RSS reader. Same issue with the internal IT folks – it’s most likely that they do their job instead of doing the research on new technologies and happenings on the web. So where is this innovation going to come from?
We see that more and more companies are relying on the outsourcing providers to come up with this innovation or support it. It’s important to understand for the customer and the vendor that to success in outsourcing innovating not only the technology aspects should be in place but the provider should understand the business of the customer and take themselves more of a consultant just as a provider of development services. This is the aim of the MoveYourWeb development departments and that’s where we are at partly and where we are going to. Not only we are proud to develop innovative web properties for our customers but support big names dealing with innovation, such as MixerCast – one of the best widget distribution companies out there.
Here at MoveYourWeb we understand this principle and develop a lot of innovating web projects and try to share the critical knowledge as much as possible among the employees engaged into production. Innovative web technologies and latest happenings on the web are under our radar and we are really pacionate about it because clearly this is the model that will be very popular in the future.
Tags: management, web 2.0, web development
Posted in management, outsourcing, web 2.0, web development | 1 Comment »
Here at MoveYourWeb we are excited about WEB emerging as a platform and continue supporting leading pioneering technology companies by assisting in creation of a leading web products and services. With the increasing (soon the word would be changed for dominating) popularity of online media over the traditional media (tv, newspapers, books) it’s fun to read a real book sometime on weekend. Googling the information is just the typical way it’s done so we need to get away sometimes too.
Reading traditional books (especially business books) is becoming more of a fun rather the part of self-improving or gaining the specific knowledge. It’s nice to touch the book and not just see at the screen of the laptop, share it with someone who can find the content useful. This weekend I’m reading Joel Spolsky’s Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent which our action script guru Dmitry shared with me as a must reading. While on it I have a few people in mind which I will definitely pass it further on. A lot of ’sales’ pitch in the book led me to the idea that business books are different from all other books, say cooking books. An author of a business book needs to convince the reader about the importance of the ideas contained in a book. He is giving the case studies proving the theory, showing the success stories and engaging the reader inside the business stories. At some point the business book becomes the adventure to the reader and kind of time waster – looks like the sales pitch keep 80% of the books content with 20% going to actual prescriptions.
With this said the reader should be actually prepared to reading. Take the sticky notes or paper and make notes all the time you drop on the information allowing to improve what you do at work! Remember: if you haven’t implemented at least three improvements after finishing reading the book during 1-3 weeks you waisted the time! It was just an adventure to you, when you were following the author but you missed the most important 20% of the book since you haven’t implemented it in the real life.
Tags: general thoughts, management
Posted in general thoughts, management | No Comments »
As a Director of Marketing here at MoveYourWeb it falls under my radar to update and maintain our own corporate web site. The shame thing is that our portfolio section was really outdated (yeah in bold). We do have the set of customers that we work with for many years so they are perfectly aware of our technology expertise as well as solutions that we’ve created. We also have enough management at different levels who are always ready to suggest on the work in specific technology or industry that we’ve accomplished. A big percentage are contacting us thru WOMM so a lot of our new prospects are already educated about our company’s services and past work.
Anyway there is a still put of prospects coming from sources other than WOMM and it takes our Sales Dpt additional time to compile the list of projects accomplished for specific industry, especially when the same work should be done again and again on a daily basis. So here I go – researching the ways to organize and structure Case Studies section for offshore outsourcing company. 30 companies located in TOP50 Google under a relevant search quarries were reviewed. Find the results of the research below:
1. Downloadable Case Studies – a prospect is able to select the case study of interest and download the pdf by filling out a short form. Service Provider can use this data for further promotions, prospect education by sending relevant promo info to the subscribers thus trying to convert the prospect into a customer with time. The negative aspect of this model is that it takes time to fill the form/check email/open the pdf. The other negative thing is that the Case Studies published are generally presented in a A-Z list rather being structured by industry/technology/etc.
2. Client List – list of customers is published on the web site with additional description of their business. This model is relevant for companies handling small projects (their prospect is luckily to see similar company at the Client List and sign up).
3. Portfolio – list of finished projects, normally provided with the screenshots. The services providers should really choose this model if they are in creative business only. So web design studios and companies should choose it because it allows to reflect the style of the finished work, not the technical details which is critical for complicated projects focused on back-end rather the UI.
4. Case Studies grouped by Services – e.g. web development, software development, emended programming. The prospect is able to quickly find the relevant projects finished by a service provider and estimate the level of vendor’s proficiency. The question that arises is why service providers put Offshore Dedicated Center as a separate service. One customer may hire a team of web developers and another of software guys, the third will be hiring SEO Consultants. Shouldn’t that fall into the Service grouping directly? I think so. Ask me what to do with the Case Studies for Offshore Dedicated Center – don’t include this ‘service’ in a case studies structure at all! From a sales/marketing prospective Offshore Dedicated Center is an engagement model not a standalone service (well unless an ODC is of 20+ full-time people or ‘Build Operate Transfer’ model which is a different story).
5. Case Studies structured by Industry – e.g. banking, real estate, financial. No comments on that – clear for everyone
6. Case Studies by Solution – e.g. CMS, ERP, ecommerce.
7. Case Studies by Platform – e.g. .net, java enterprise. That one speaks for itself as well.
Our choice is to show case studies sorted by 1. Services (the most important and demanded), 2. Industry, 3. Platform and 4. Solution. The ‘Portfolio’ section that we’ve used before will fall under ‘web site design’ and ‘web site development’ services. Coming to production and will be reflected on the web site soon!
Tags: internet marketing, management
Posted in internet marketing, management, outsourcing | No Comments »
1. Every moment of your work in the company you should support the idea of creating or maintaining easy-going, creative, and respectful of the company aim/goals atmosphere. That will allow the company to function as a whole successful mechanism and effectively develop a number of successful products/solutions.
2. The A-management team of the company has created the business, established working process, methodology and culture. The employees of the company added their knowledge and skills to make that successful company happen. We have a huge list of satisfied customers that keep doing business with us and refer a bunch of new customers. B-list of management should be respectful to the established business structure and must follow it and make the company doing the same way. This is the way to success; since the model created by A-list guys is enjoying the popularity. The business model of the company should be discussed with the Executives in case B-list guys see the ways to improve the model; A-list team welcomes new suggestions and adopt them as soon as it’s possible if those can bring real value to the company and the customers. The role of B-list executives is to support and improve the existing culture, values and methodology!
3. The B-list executives should be real back and support to A-list managers since that’s the one and the only way we can move the company in the successful direction. In case someone is not supportive and accepts the chosen strategy he automatically stops bringing additional value to the company and moreover turns the overall performance down and must be immediately dismissed since he is more then a destroyer rather then a creator.
4. A-list managers created fast-growing company with the unlimited growth potential supported by great product ideas, prosperous business models, powerful connections and numerous partners. B-list of managers should be creative and interested in bringing additional value to the company (creating stable working environment, creative culture – HR manager, and improving the effective methodology, successful project management and consultation of key IT projects, employing new powerful ways of developing products, ensure the high quality of the code in produced applications – CTO, making the department really powerful by using the latest technologies and by planned management of every single action/operation done within the dpt – Heads of Departments, managing the projects effectively and making the communication with the customers as easy as possible, as well as the employees working productively in the managed environment – Project Managers).
A-list executives at MoveYourWeb: CEO, COO, CFO
B-list executives at MoveYourWeb: CTO, HR, Heads of Departments, Project Managers
Posted in general thoughts, management | 1 Comment »