50,000 people shop for clothes on Miner

A couple weeks ago, our app Miner reached a big milestone: 50,000 shoppers.

When Miner debuted on the App Store at the end of May, we were up against competitors with tens-of-millions more dollars to spend on things like marketing. Today we get more downloads each day than all of them. It’s not a reason to get cocky or complacent, but considering how hard everyone on our team works, I want to be sure we take a quick second to celebrate this mini-victory.

Miner 50000

Create a Not To-Do List

I did this. It was worth the effort because it showed me what activities are a waste of my time. Jim Collins wrote about this subject for USA Today back in 2003:

Each time the New Year rolls around and I sit down to do my annual resolutions, I reflect back to a lesson taught me by a remarkable teacher. In my mid-20s, I took a course on creativity and innovation from Rochelle Myers and Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and I kept in touch with them after I graduated.

One day, Rochelle pointed to my ferocious work pace and said, “I notice, Jim, that you are a rather undisciplined person.”

I was stunned and confused. After all, I was the type of person who carefully laid out my BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals), top three objectives and priority activities at the start of each New Year. I prided myself on the ability to work relentlessly toward those objectives, applying the energy I’d inherited from my prairie- stock grandmother.

“Your genetic energy level enables your lack of discipline,” Rochelle continued. “Instead of leading a disciplined life, you lead a busy life.”

She then gave me what I came to call the 20-10 assignment. It goes like this: Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?

That assignment became a turning point in my life, and the “stop doing” list became an enduring cornerstone of my annual New Year resolutions — a mechanism for disciplined thought about how to allocate the most precious of all resources: time.

Full Story: Best New Year’s Resolution? A ‘Stop Doing’ List

Facebook Messenger Surpasses 1 Billion Android Downloads

Reading a Book is a Conversation

I read Mortimer Adler’s How To Read A Book and it was well worth it. Farnam Street highlights one of the most important passages:

“Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do”

Source: Reading a Book is a Conversation

How to Market to the iGeneration

Marketers are still figuring out how to market to millennials. This article will likely cause some unnecessary sweating. Based on HBR’s recommendations, I don’t think there’s much to worry about. Be transparent. Be personal. Be social.

The iGeneration is here – now. They’re graduating from high school and college and entering the workplace. They have incredible purchasing power. They’re voting and making important decisions, taking a stand in society, and contributing to the economy. To reach iGens, we need to be transparent, personal, and overly social. Marketers either change the way they communicate with this generation of digital natives, or iGens will move on to brands that do.

Source: How to Market to the iGeneration – HBR

Facts Only: How Facebook Set The Record Straight About Messenger App

Facebook Messenger is a great app, but there was some initial concern that Facebook was using the app to listen to your conversations. Facebook’s response is a great example of how to handle a public misconception. I wanted to document it.

You might have heard the rumors going around about the Messenger app. Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone’s camera and microphone to see and hear what you’re doing. These reports aren’t true, and many have been corrected. Still, we want to address some concerns you might have.

Source: Get the Facts About Messenger

Tupac Shakur looking out of window

Why content marketers should be inspired by Tupac Shakur

If you’re in the business of creating and marketing content — and most people businesses are to some extent — then sometimes you need some inspiration. I am going to show you how one of my favorite rappers of all time, Tupac Shakur, can inspire you to create and share fearlessly.

Tupac Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was a content creating machine. Ten posthumous original 2Pac albums were released after Tupac’s death in 1996. All of them featured original songs. All of them went platinum.

This was possible because of Tupac’s legendary work ethic. I created a short video to highlight Tupac’s hard working ways.

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Digit is the best app for saving money

Digit is the best app I’ve found for saving money

If you’re looking to save money, you should check out Digit. I was already automating my savings before using Digit, so I didn’t think it’s algorithm would be able to find too much ‘extra’ income to set aside. I was wrong. This app has saved me a healthy amount of money. Never had an overdraft. Never had a fee. I’m a happy camper.

Digit is a mobile app that works via SMS text messaging. I get a message every day from Digit at around 12:00 PM with my current checking balance. Every few days Digit shows me how much money it saved me that week. Anytime I’ve wanted to withdrawal from my savings, the money was there. Read More →

App Marketing Keeps Getting Harder

Last year I published a post about the challenges you face marketing mobile apps. Not much has changed. There’s still plenty of challenges

Erin Griffith (@eringriffith) published an article last month that echoes some of those observations, but with new data. Griffith cites a report from Adjust that indicates about 80% live in total obscurity. I did some digging, and found the blog post with the data.

The chart below shows how an increasing number of apps are zombies. I like Zombie rate as a metric, btw. To make a long story short, it’s hard out here for app marketers. But if you have a great product that adds value to people, you shouldn’t let that discourage you.

App Marketing Chart

Apple Watch iPhone

My Apple Watch Insight Covered By Forbes

Apple Watch is coming next month. I was recently quoted in Forbes.com about why Apple Watch will be a game changer. Let me know if you agree or disagree with what I told Kate Ashford:

“Upon release, the Apple Watch promises to do things like let you pay for products with a wave of your wrist and unlock a door without a key. And that’s just the start of it. “The apps that people develop for Apple Watch will make the product do things current devices won’t do,” says Chris Franco, chief growth officer at virtual store Miner. “Apple Watch is a canvas waiting for developers to paint.”

I said it and I meant it: Apple Watch is a canvas waiting for developers to paint! Don’t forget to tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments.

Also: If you are looking for the latest news on Apple Watch, I recently discovered WatchAware. They also have a section with interactive previews of upcoming Apple Watch apps that is worth a look. This list of available Apple Watch apps is good, too.

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