All Day, Every Day

I try not to, but I always find myself doing work, even when I am told to rest.

It comes with the job description, but being a constantly connected only adds to it. I start up my computer, I switch between my Facebook page and the company page. I check Twitter on my phone, and again I am switching between my account and the company account. I have also never refreshed my email more times then I have in the past few months. When I open iTunes, the first thing I check are the reviews for my companies app. Good thing we don;t have company music, because I would probably listen to that first as well. That’s clearly a joke, but with startup customer support, anything is possible.

 

Making Bre.ad

I always like to try out new services, and one that caught my attention a while back was the link shortening service, Bre.ad. The use of a chosen “toast”, or interstitial to a link was not something I even thought about. I thought that it was just another way to advertise on the way to the article or site you wanted readers to go to.

Today I decided to try the service out again. To start, I have been selecting different “billboard” images, such as charity:water and TOMS which adds a nice philanthropic side to the service. The company lists that as one of many reasons that makes it stand out from other shortening services, most notably bit.ly.

I have been trying it out, with a few hiccups here and there, as I learn yet another service. However, the ability to add quick publicity to noteworthy causes, whether or not the reader takes action, is something that I am definitely a fan of. It is unique, and I think people looking to add another dimension to a shortened link, should try it out.

 

24 Hour Tech Support

I woke up in the middle of the night, so I decided to check my phone for any notifications. As expected I had a few work emails and some Twitter notifications. I know that both can wait, but me being who I am, I like to respond as soon as I can. Now will a customer on the east coast check my response in the middle of the night? probably not. However, it is one less thing I have to do when I actually “wake up”. I guess this is what product launches and startup customer support is all about.

The funny thing is that while the feedback we have been getting has pointed out issues that some might consider major, the emails have always ending on a positive note. To have actual customers providing constructive feedback is great. Whether they know it or not, they are a part of our product development. I don’t mind responding to customer emails, the constructive ones at least.

Twitter has also helped, with @mentions, leading to DM’s, and other short forms of assistance. So far, the customers have been helping us, so I really don’t mind helping them out, even if it means responding in the middle of the night, and being connected all day. After all, being connected is what social media marketing, and startup life is all about.

Beta Life.

Alright. The company that I have been lucky enough to work with, Appy Couple, went into private beta today. This is awesome for quite a few reasons.

First off, this is my first job after college, and has been more than I could have ever expected. To be a part of product development, even if only for a few short months, is an eye opening process. One thing that I have learned is that every detail matters. The end consumer cares about the detail, and they are the ones that ultimately determine your success. The app approval process is not a joke, it is trying and requires so many iterations to finally get approval. However, seeing your app in the App Store is amazing. To know that people will be using something that you helped create is exciting. If you had asked me six months ago what I would be doing, I would have never said, “marketing a wedding app in Times Square.” Yet, here I am, with March just around the corner, sitting in an office in Times Square, posting all things wedding to Facebook and Twitter. I have now become part of a two person team, Susanne our co-founder being the 1st, with the goal of keeping our fans and followers online both excited and engaged!

The next few months will definitely be interesting, as Appy Couple gains traction in the market, and mobile continues to trend upward. I am just thankful that I am employed, let alone at a mobile startup!

Now this is where I tell you to go to our site, Appy Couple, and sign up for an invite. Then, go to to the iTunes App Store and download our app so you can try it out before setting up your own app!

It’s a new iPhone… Well, a slightly newer iPhone

Today Apple introduced its newest iPhone, the iPhone 4S. The past week brought plenty of rumors, which included a complete redesign and the iPhone 5 moniker. That didn’t happen, but Apple did up the specs on the newest version, adding their dual-core A5 processor, 1080p HD Video, and the admittedly neat Siri Personal Assistant.

The catch here is that Siri is an iPhone 4S exclusive. However, with the upgrades that iOS 5 will bring to current iPhone users, waiting for next years iPhone 5 with the same technology and even more upgrades seem just fine.

Also Sprint will now offer the iPhone, making it three out of four leading carriers to carry the ever popular Apple smartphone. All of this along with the October 12th release of iOS 5, which is free, makes this incremental update great for users both old and new.

I’m looking forward to iOS 5 more than anything since I won’t be in the market for a new phone for some time, and the allure of what iPhone 5 will bring are just too great to ignore. That is what’s great about mobile phones, something even better is always on the horizon, and while the 4S may not be the phone many were looking for, it follows Apple’s pattern of updates (3G/3GS/4/4S). That means that next years iPhone will be something new, something exciting, and phone that I will definitely look forward to!

Yahoo!!!

Carol Bartz no longer at the head of Yahoo is rather interesting. However, the writing has been on the wall. The company has taken a hit recently, with Microsoft’s Bing becoming the default search engine on a site whose key feature was search. At the same time,search has evolved, and like Aol, Yahoo has tried to keep up, but just has not been able to do so.

What may be even better is how Bartz responded to her dismissal. Microsoft had offered over 40 Billion dollars to acquire Yahoo, and right about now that offer looks pretty good. However, Bartz and Co. carried on, even with Yahoo Mail, or YMail if you like, as the only redeemable feature. Let’s see where Yahoo goes from here, because if Bartz plans to stay on the board, the future is quite intriguing.

webOS and the Future

It has taken me some time to comment on the news this past week regarding HP and webOS, and I want to get my thoughts in words while I still have the chance. Firstly, I love webOS! It is the first mobile OS that I truly got involved with. When I first found out about Preware, I knew that I just had to have it. To be able to fully customize my phone at ease was an opportunity I just could not pass up, and kudos to webOS internals for making it happen!

I was able to overlock my Pre Plus kernel, customize the appearance of my launcher, along with countless patches to configure my email and web browsing just the way I wanted it. That is something that I cannot do with similar ease on my current iPhone, a phone that I love, just from a totally different side of the mobile OS world, closed (iOS) as opposed to open (slightly with webOS). Add the awesome Touchstone charger and I had an awesome setup, a setup that I would happily brag to my friends about, as I was the only webOS user.

It all changed when I washed my Pre Plus in the washing machine along with my jeans. That had me consider a Pre 2, and the iPhone. I ordered the Pre 2 wanting to stay with everything that I had grown accustomed to, patches, and by far the best multitasking on a mobile phone. So now I had the Pre 2, rubberized finish, glass screen and some webOS 2.0 goodness. This is where the hardware issue that many webOS users had complained about came into play. Even with all the changes to the device, my Pre Plus just felt way better, even if it was made out of just plastic. I ordered the phone without using it, so maybe that’s where I went wrong. After about ten days with the device I decided to return the device, exchanging it for an iPhone 4. This decision probably angers many webOS users, who are by far the most loyal OS users I know. I just wanted to try the phone, as simple as that, so I paid the restocking fee and acquired the phone that I am using right now.

Since I made the switch I have still followed webOS, as it is the OS that got me interested in mobile technology. When HP acquired Palm, its patents and webOS, I had high hopes. HP has the money to scale webOS, which they promised, and as you now know, failed to do so. The Veer and Touchpad don’t count as “doubling-down”. HP had the time and the resources and they whiffed. The “Think Beyond” beyond event was great, but the Pre3 should have been released within a couple of months, not an offshoot European release with absolutely zero buzz.

HP messed up, webOS is up in the air, and licensing opportunities sound nice, but what will come of it? Only time will tell, and with an OS as intuitive as webOS and such a loyal user and developer base, I hope for the best, even if it may be too late