Posts Tagged app

Key Insights in 15 Minutes

Information InsightsI recently paid full price for an app for the first time. Yes, I know, shocking.

I couldn’t actually believe it myself. It is so unbelievably rare that I find an app that adds enough value to my life that I will pay for it. Even apps that truly do add value, don’t seem worth paying for because I’m used to getting them for free.

So why did I pay for an app? And which one did I pay for?

Blinkist provides insight in small chunks or “blinks”, which anyone can quickly grasp and apply. It creates short summaries of up to 500 of the most popular non-fiction books that can be read in about 15 mins.

Blinkist includes heralded works from Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things to Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow to Clay Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma.

While there is loads of information out there, it’s much harder to find insight: something that makes you think differently and adds a new perspective to your current problems.

While I love the democratized nature of publishing, it does mean that everyone feels pressure to publish (whether its to build your own personal brand or to build SEO for your website). This results in a constant flow of information, much of which is repetitive or not useful. Even if I had time to read all the non-fiction books, free books and self published articles that exist, it’s much harder to extract insight from all the noise.

It’s a shame because as our problems get more complex, we need more insight. We need to learn from those who have gone before us, those who have developed a POV or thesis we can learn from. We also need to constantly learn from different fields and from those with a new perspective. The only way to remain innovative is to constantly seek and find insight that can spark new ideas.

Blinkist allows me to quickly find the insight that is most useful. It also allows me to quickly grasp the core concepts I might need in a particular book, while the full book sits on my shelf waiting to be finished. Or better yet, it allows me to skip the books that are full of fluff so I can spend more time finishing the ones that matter.

3 innovation principles we can learn from on-demand expert app Fountain

Fountain

Have you ever found yourself Googling for answers to fix things on your own, or browsing page after page of answers on Quora, only to end up feeling frustrated by the overwhelming amount of (sometimes conflicting and irrelevant) information?

Imagine what you could do if you had live video access to the best experts instantly.

Enter the new Fountain app – a disruptive approach to get expert answers in real time. From the founder of mint.com, Aaron Patzer created Fountain to help you solve any problem in and around your home by connecting you over video chat in about 90 seconds to an expert such as an architect, or appliance repair-person. You would think that this service would be expensive, but at a reasonable $7 for 15 minutes, it’s the perfect compromise between hiring a contractor to come to your home (which could take you back $150-200/hour), and trying desperately to solve a problem by yourself through trawling online forums.

In Patzer’s words, “You can research a lot of this stuff on Google, but if you want to figure out how to stain your deck, it depends on if it’s in Phoenix or Maine, right? There are a lot of times where you need video or pictures and you need a back-and-forth conversation to really hone in on the right answer. That’s where Fountain is tremendously powerful.”

Fountain makes use of some clever success principles that we can learn to disrupt and improve the typical innovation process:

  1. Real-time, content-rich dialogue

Fountain shows us that you don’t need to spend hours on research and pre-planning to get the answers you need, and the power of instant dialogue. If we concentrate feedback windows into shorter bursts, using content rich platforms such as live screen sharing and video, we can access the people we want to talk to instantly and have rich conversations with them to push ideas to the next level quickly with minimum hassle.

  1. Speedy and rich feedback from those who matter the most

Fountain has a vigorous screening process for the experts they engage, so the asker knows they will get help and guidance from the most authoritative people when they post a question. Similarly, if we have a new way to screen consumers in real time using pre-defined criteria, we can kick off consumer conversations on the same day, and be confident we are talking to the right people.

  1. Low risk and low cost

At $7 for 15 minutes, Fountain has cracked a new pricing model that makes it attractive for users to try the service with minimum risk. We know cost is a very real and practical concern for companies who want to test ideas and get feedback with consumers earlier without breaking budgets. We believe the time is ripe for a new business model around idea testing and harvesting – with lower investment, and quicker results.

With $4MM in first round funding already in the bag, Fountain is off to a fantastic start. We look forward to applying these success principles to help our innovation partners get feedback from those who matter in a fast and more effective way. To learn more about our latest platform that leverages these principles to connect with consumers for instant feedback globally and in real-time, explore with the button below.

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Dieting in a world of technology and “holistic health”

trends

trends

For the first time in about 15 years, I’m on a diet.

This diet is loud, proud, and unashamed of what it us. Unlike the “cleanses” and “detoxes” I’ve undertaken in the past decade, this time I’m happy to call it what it is. Last night my friend offered me some pizza, and I just looked at him with disdain. “You know I’m on a diet”.

My open acceptance of my current diet was spurred on by an office weight loss challenge as part of DietBet, a website/app that runs “games”, challenging participants to lose a set percent of their body weight by a specific date. In our challenge, each player puts down $30 that they will lose 4% of their body weight in 4 weeks. All weigh-ins are private and digital, using code words of the day and pictures taken in mirrors to ensure that players aren’t cheating. By the final weigh-in, if you haven’t lost the weight, you get no money back – and those who have lost it get to split the pot.

How is DietBet getting away with encouraging dieting-out-loud, in this era of love-your-body and holistic wellness? They’re able to safely break the rules by tapping into some of the existing mega trends of the moment:

  • It’s completely curated by and for the person. There are no rules, no pace you have to follow, no regimented food lists or exercise plans. Each player has to decide how they want to play the game.
  • It’s also self-motivated. No one is checking in on you or pushing you (except the “Daily Carrot” emails); players have to push themselves to the finish line.
  • On the other hand, it leverages the power of social, encouraging folks to share their experiences and empower each other with motivation.
  • It challenges players to create stakes, betting real money on tangible results – raising the importance of the challenge for each player.
  • It also gamifies the challenge, with titles and prizes for inviting friends and weighing in.

By leveraging these trends, DietBet is making it okay to diet again, and, for me, it’s certainly taking some of the shame away from “diet”. At least now I can tell it like it is – to my friends, and to myself. Plus, I’m well on my way to my goal!

How can your category break some of its “rules” by tapping into current beliefs and trends?

Image credit: flickr user camknows (cc)

antedote is a strategic insights and innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, and we have helped many of the world’s leading brands like Pepsico and Unilever to garner deeper insights about their consumers and identify opportunities to grow their brands. 

To learn about antedote’s latest innovation and insight tools, please click below for a free demo:

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3 Ways Sunrise Keeps Me Productive and Inspired

Sunrise image

Calendar apps can be really boring. Calendar apps in general are viewed as tools for the extreme type A individual, or the person who simply can’t stay organized. The truth is most of us fall somewhere in between this spectrum. We’re generally on top of things, but reminders are welcomed in the midst of our busy lives.

In general, I’ve found most calendar apps slow to sync (which translates to being completely unreliable), and frustrating to look at on my phone’s tiny screen.

I was reluctant to try another calendar app when my friend introduced me to Sunrise, but I decided to give it a shot. Sunrise App, not exactly “new”, but recently acquired by Microsoft, “combines beautiful design and great engineering” to reimagine your calendar app. I was skeptical of such bold claims, but within seconds I had my calendar, my colleague’s calendars, my tasks in Asana, and my husbands calendar, all synced to my phone.

I’m sure Sunrise can do everything—that’s how much faith I have in the app—but I’m going to share just a few quick tips on staying productive, and how the innovative Sunrise helps me do this in unexpected ways.

  • Today’s Calendar is all I see in the morning – My notifications (or pull-down menu) exclude stocks, Evernote, tomorrow’s tasks can all wait. When I pull down my menu, all that’s there is today – what I need to accomplish and who will be there.
  • I have 3 apps on my home screen – These are, Clear for jotting down quick notes or sparks of inspiration, Google Maps because I’m always going to new places, and Sunrise. Just because your phone has the space for more apps doesn’t mean you have to use it. Where do other apps live? On my second home screen hidden away. They don’t scream in my face when they’re hidden, and if I really need to access something I simply pull down the search and type in the first few letters of the app.
  • I count my weeks – Sunrise has lots of fun calendars you can add to yours – US holidays, sports schedules, weather, but my personal favorite is the week counter. I find that thinking about the year as a series of weeks keeps it fresh, keeps me on track with my goals, and reminds me just how short a year is—and not to waste time.

It’s fun thinking outside the box when using your productivity tools. The way a tool works for one person may not be the way it works best for you. Plus, these interesting hacks are where the coolest innovations come from.

And plus, Sunrise is a perfect name for this app—the sun rises exactly as predicted each day of the year, but every sunrise is different, full of new colors, and is an inspirational start to each day.

antedote is a strategic insights and innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, and we have helped many of the world’s leading brands like Pepsico and Unilever to garner deeper insights about their consumers and identify opportunities to grow their brands. 

To learn about antedote’s latest award-winning innovation and insight tool, please click below for a free demo:

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How to Discover Hot New iPhone Apps Using Pinterest

With so many apps popping up daily it’s hard to discover ones I’m really interested in – particularly because if I’m just browsing “top new apps” or “top charts” it’s often irrelevant to my personal interests – especially when I’m constantly running out of space on my iPhone.

That’s why I was excited to learn that Apple partnered with Pinterest to create app pins so you can download apps directly from Pinterest. It’s such a simple innovation – but one that inspires discovery in a personally meaningful way. I particularly like the simplicity of the boards they’ve created so I can follow areas I’m interested in and learn about new apps popping up in that area without much effort on my part.

For example, I was checking out healthy recipes for the weekend and learned about an app called The Whole Pantry, which shares recipes that are part of my bigger wellness goals.

Now I can get inspired and find a way to engage in the same moment.

antedote is a strategic insights and innovation consultancy based in San Francisco, and we have helped many of the world’s leading brands like Pepsico and Unilever to garner deeper insights about their consumers and identify opportunities to grow their brands. To learn about antedote’s latest innovation platform, please click below for a free demo:

Learn more