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For Productivity App Developers: Read This First

Lately, I’ve been approached by dozens of app developers, new productivity startups, productivity platforms… While all this attention is flattering, having to say No to most of them was not so pleasant.

There are quite a couple of criteria that I consider before reviewing an application, and if those criteria aren’t met, I won’t take a second look, and will reply and apologize. So let’s get through the criteria:

  1. You need offline access / native app. I am not really concerned that your business is based on service, and that you are worried about the copyright issues, seriously, our cell phones don’t have coverage 100% of time, no matter how much we wanted them. And if your app is a task manager, having offline access is A MUST! I certainly don’t want to make predictions will you leave me out in the dry when I need access to my information the most. (this is excluded for collaboration platforms and services that couldn’t operate offline)
  2. Your product or service has to integrate with the ecosystem that we are already using. So if your app doesn’t have some cross app integration with: calendars, Dropbox, Evernote… And I sense that it’s mandatory for your kind of application, than I am not sure that I would be using it, nor my readership for that matter. You have to understand that me, my audience and countless other productivity junkies are already on most of these big platforms, and if you aren’t adding value, by integrating as well, than I am not sure you are in the right game. In this case I have to particularly mention Dropbox. Dropbox is literally file system for iOS. Bear that in mind.
  3. Your App / Service is ugly. I hate poorly designed software, and 9 out of 10 times, I don’t even go through the application’s value proposal, simply, because I wouldn’t stand looking at your App for more than 2 minutes. Design is extremely important, and no amount of functionality is going to replace minimalistic, clean design, where everything falls in line, and elevates productivity. Clean design is inspiring and essential for the productivity of creative people who love shiny things.
  4. Your app wants to merge email and task management – I stand by this for the most cases, but if your app resembles email too much, than more likely than not, we’re not the right fit for each other. I am a vocal supporter of separation of email and task management. This is just the difference in the mindset of how things should get done. I am not saying I am right, but I can’t support something I don’t believe in. And I don’t believe in “email like” task management.

Final thoughts

Honestly, I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I wrote this, so I save your and mine time. I have a responsibility towards my readership to deliver them only what I truly believe is the best of the best, and if you don’t fall into that category, no hard feelings.

And question for the readers

Do you think that we should add something to the list? Anything that we’ve forgot? Thank you!

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Bojan is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

2 responses to “For Productivity App Developers: Read This First

  1. I could not agree more with #1. I have been on the road traveling around the world for over a year now and I just happen to have a Verizon iPhone 4 – essentially a glorified iPod since it does not use GSM network and cannot take sim cards. What that means is that the only time I could access internet was when I was in hostels or Regus centers on WiFi (even then, some places had horrible internet connections or I had to pay twice to connect my phone and my laptop). Bottom line – all the services that require internet to function were completely useless to me.

    Even though I plan on getting the iPhone 5 as soon as I get back to the US, still, I will not be buying sim cards in every single country I travel to just so I can use Remember The Milk, Mint, and other such services.

    1. Hey Dima, awesome seeing you back here. Yep, exactly the main reason why I stopped supporting everything that is online only. World is not interconnected yet, so no go for that route!

      Hopefully we will meet in the USA.

      Safe travels!

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