We’ve had a long, tiring, but remarkable, couple of weeks in our corner of the microISV universe. I feel as if I am buried in ToDo lists, beginning with that perpetual task: update ToDo lists.
Does anyone else have fond memories of reading Frog and Toad Together to your children or, since it’s been around long enough, having it read to you? All the Frog and Toad books were a treat. But Together’s story The List about Frog’s day being totally controlled by his ToDo list also had a sort of resonating bite for me.
Anyway, it’s too easy to get caught up in the un-done and the not-done-quite-well-enough, which will be always with us. I’m here this Friday afternoon, instead, to celebrate real accomplishment. The ToDo lists can wait till tomorrow.
The RNFamily of apps
Yesterday, Hokan and I finally published the Android version of PasswordRN. It had been hung up on little finishing touches: a bit more testing and tweaking, a few screenshots, getting the merchant account set up right so we can receive payments. There was really no reason not to push it out the door. And last night, in the middle of the night, the very first copy was purchased and downloaded. What a thrill. And a responsibility.
Over the past two weeks, thanks to Christine, my outreach counselor at the WTBC Business Incubator down in Laramie, we’ve had two focus groups with nursing instructors at the University of Wyoming School of Nursing. Six women gave us their lunch hours, two Tuesdays in a row, to tell us about the job of nursing (they are all practicing RNs as well as being instructors), to get some hands-on experience with iPods, iPads, and nursing apps, and to give us feedback on our products and product ideas. We got some encouragement, some really helpful criticism, and some great new ideas. What a gift!
Thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of another nursing instructor, this time at Sheridan College, I’ve also got another focus group scheduled for this coming week, with second year nursing students, who are in the midst of clinical rotations. It will be great to present some of the same material to nurses at the other end of the career spectrum and see how their reactions differ, if at all. I’m expecting that the iPod Touch will, at least, be much more familiar to this group.
Also yesterday, I walked over to Sheridan Design and picked up my fancy new two-sided business cards. I needed them for the nursing conference I’m going to attend in Tucson. So now Sheridan Programmers Guild has a paper-based identity; nifty, two-sided cards with the PasswordRN and CalculatorRN logos and web addresses on the back. My very first business cards with color. Progress!
Our Android DOT Placard App has crossed over the line to the 500+ downloads category and we are up to four stars on feedback. I’m extremely pleased. Ad revenue is pouring in at an astonishing run rate of $2 per month. Given that I’m pretty much impervious to advertising, myself, I think the idea that you can make any money at all by having people click on ads from within your app is a hoot.
We also did a quick design cycle with Sheridan Design to get a more professional icon for both the free and paid versions. We’ll upgrade the free app to its new look when we publish the for-pay Placards Plus, which will be soon if I can leave Hokan alone and quit pulling him off onto other tasks.
Marketing, Marketing, Marketing
The really hard part of all this is getting the marketing ball rolling to support and reinforce all the good research, design, and implementation work we are doing. (The ToDo lists are rocking their cage at this point, shouting to be let out.) It is hard, tedious work to make a web page or an email announcement look good and present a clear, effective message. People’s expectations for these things have been raised to a high level. And while I intend to strive for simplicity, I don’t want to look bush league. But enough for today – all of that, I will think about tomorrow.