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Would love your input!

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Would love your input!

Postby RWLongy4 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:45 am

So basically I'm a senior at Miami University (OH) and am currently taking an upper level computer course which is focused on iPhone application development. The goal of the class is to break up into groups (Tech/Coding, Graphical Design, Business/Marketing, Content Writing, and Testing) and develop a single iPhone application. The tech VP at Miami is interested in making the iPhone a more or less universal tool that students would use, and its our job to create one of the first/primary applications that will integrate academic/social functions for the student and their iPhone. We get to pitch this idea to apple execs when this is all said and done.

So I am a member of the Business/Marketing team and our job is not only to do research on our target demographic (college students) but come up with the basic idea for the application itself. So that brings me to this idea that I've been kicking around. I'm sure if you've done the college thing you are familiar with group projects and what a pain they can be. My idea is a group project manager which would allow group members to easily put themselves in a small social network with their fellow groupmates in which group members could post updates, group meeting information, files, due dates, calenders etc. all of which would send the group members alerts immediately via the iPhone. This would hopefully eliminate the hassle of waiting for fellow group members to check their email or answer their phone to complete tasks that could easily be done in a small social network type setting. This would also allow for professors to monitor group progress (and maybe give that one slacker every group seems to have a kick in the butt).

But basically I need as much input as possible... You think this could be a useful tool for college students? Anything else the application could do that would be useful? Am I dumb for even coming up with this? etc. Would love to hear some input!
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:51 am

The basics of what you're proposing sound useful not only for business but social networking as well. What you're talking about is connecting people, sharing information and coordinating. Yeah, that would be useful.
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby moonhead » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:12 pm

how about a copy/cut and paste application. :~(
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby beanoX3 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:47 pm

Sounds good, but doing it for the iPhone is asking for failure IMO. Apple has what, like 12%-13% of the smart phone market worldwide?
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:06 pm

beanoX3 wrote:Sounds good, but doing it for the iPhone is asking for failure IMO. Apple has what, like 12%-13% of the smart phone market worldwide?

No kidding. I bet there's probably only $300-$500 million dollars in an idea like that.

Hardly worth pursuing. ;-)
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby aaawall91 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:04 pm

Sounds like a great idea...

my real input: GO HAWKS!
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby RWLongy4 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:04 am

beanoX3 wrote:Sounds good, but doing it for the iPhone is asking for failure IMO. Apple has what, like 12%-13% of the smart phone market worldwide?


The idea is not for marketing to the general business community (not sure if you missed that) but rather a college community which the university would look into more or less getting everyone iPhones and be united under a universal plan/a few applications.
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby RWLongy4 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:04 am

aaawall91 wrote:Sounds like a great idea...

my real input: GO HAWKS!


Love it! B-)


And yeah knapp is right... If I only came out of the whole deal with a couple mil I would be pretty bummed :-b

and it was roughly 28% in 2007 up 48% from '06...

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08 ... rcent.html
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:42 pm

First off, your course sounds cool, very cool. I had a few like that in college where we created software programs and business plans, only to have some mean venture capitalists shatter our dreams. Gives a good preview of the real world, no? :-B

Basically, what you're thinking about is the iPhone equivalent of Basecamp, and to a lesser extent, Trac (essentially project management software). I think it's useful but the key is to have this app available everywhere, not just iPhone. Have your product built specifically for the Internet and center around that. Then, develop an iPhone port version that conforms to certain iPhone conventions. The inherent problem is if you have this application only available on one platform, it's really useless in the end. Anything you build on the Internet is accessible, but not the other way around for the iPhone obviously because not everyone will have one although folks in the age 18-30 region are likely to have one. Lastly, I don't think your app reduces, let alone eliminates the prospect of any communication received too late or not at all. So, obviously, having simultaneous newsfeeds through email, phone, and text will be crucial to your design or otherwise, it's not that great of an idea.

What I do see the app better for is working professionals, especially with developers. For example, I know that I like keeping tabs on my development team and I want to know everything they update to the system, down to every bit of line of code. So, while this app has good purpose for college students that have to do a great deal of group collaboration (especially in the upper-class courses), it has better use for professionals who need up-to-the-minute updates on the go.

Hope that helped. I know most of what I brought up has to do with design and less on marketing, but I hope you find it useful. Good luck. ;-D
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Re: Would love your input!

Postby beanoX3 » Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:14 am

RWLongy4 wrote:
beanoX3 wrote:Sounds good, but doing it for the iPhone is asking for failure IMO. Apple has what, like 12%-13% of the smart phone market worldwide?


The idea is not for marketing to the general business community (not sure if you missed that) but rather a college community which the university would look into more or less getting everyone iPhones and be united under a universal plan/a few applications.

No, I caught that you're developing for college students. That would stress my point about iPhone ownership even more though, as I'd say that would shrink the market further. iPhone's and their ATT plans are expensive too, so unless your school can work out some sort of education deal with Apple (doubtful IMO) I still don't see much success in this as a business plan. Hypothetical educational tool, still yes, good concept. And knapp, you've got to cut that figure by around 70%+ for Apple's cut. ;-)

Dodger makes a great point though, as an application like this would be desired more by business users rather than students. Smartphones in general are geared more for business users. I'm kind of curious as to why your course focused on the iPhone rather than one of the open source smartphone groups like Symbian or Android. Those two have possibilities of attracting a huge group of software designers since they have much less restrictions to work with, in theory.
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