Top Tech Innovations 2018

Top Tech Innovations that Will Impact 2018

As anyone who has attended CES can attest, tech innovations for 2018 abound. Since none of us can predict the future, it’s hard to know for certain which technologies will truly take off. Nonetheless, there is something to be said for looking ahead to the coming year and seeking to identify and leverage key technologies that could propel your business forward.

Below we’ve compiled a few tech innovations that have grabbed our attention and seem to show lots of promise. Most are not new concepts, but are ones that have the potential to be more fully realized in everyday life this coming year. Read More

Eight Great Books

Eight Great Books to Read in 2018

Great books, thankfully, are not hard to find these days. The bigger challenge for many is whittling down the options to a manageable number!

As literature is an important part of growing, both professionally and personally, we took some time to think about what great books we might want to add to our ever-expanding reading list. We share a short list of some of our top book choices for 2018 below – we’d love to hear if there’s another “must have” you suggest we add.

While all of these books can be found on Amazon, the link we’ve included will take you to purchase at the Boulder Book Store. InspiringApps was founded in Boulder, and we love to support local businesses when we can. Read More

Monetization: Make Money with Apps

Show Me the Money: How Mobile Apps Make Money

It’s estimated that somewhere around 90% of apps in the app stores are able to be downloaded for free, causing many clients to wonder how app creators are able to actually make money. There are a number of different ways to earn revenue, or “monetize” your app, but no one of them is a silver bullet. The right paid user experience is heavily dependent on your target market, so it’s important to make sure you understand your audience before selecting a monetization model.

We don’t have the space in this post to talk about how to familiarize yourself with your market and competition, but we do provide those insights in our free e-book Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. In this post, we’ll review the most common monetization strategies available so you can figure out the best way to make money off your app.

As you read the options, we encourage you to think about what’s unique about your app and what people would pay for the ability to use it. Likewise, it’s important to contemplate your financial situation and timetable as you select a monetization model – can you initially forego revenue to gather users and perhaps gain more revenue overall? Some models earn more money initially while profits come later in others. Read More

Creativity: Creative Confidence Cover

Practice Creativity to Inspire Creativity

Creativity, according to dictionary.com, is the “ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.” Creativity generates jobs, drives economic growth, and forges new industries. It’s a highly regarded skill, but often only attributed to entrepreneurs, innovators, and change makers.

A creative-minded team of brothers, David and Tom Kelley, would like to change that perception. David is the founder of the Stanford d.school and the well-known design firm IDEO, where Tom is a partner. They are authors of the book Creative Confidence, written in part “to help individuals and organizations unleash their full potential – and build their own creative confidence.” The Kelleys argue that everyone has a creative side, even those who claim not to, but not everyone has the courage to be creative. They believe that creativity can be nurtured and mastered, but that we are constrained by the fear of failing. Read More

Grow your Business

Using Apps to Help Grow Your Business: The Trispective Group

Some apps stand alone as businesses in and of themselves, while others are used to expand an existing business. Expansion can happen in a variety of ways, such as increasing current customer engagement or providing tools to a sales team. We recently had the privilege of working with The Trispective Group to help grow their business by creating an app that opens up their services to new markets. The new app makes their expertise accessible to those beyond their current core audience. Read More

Cost of Cloud Computing

Cost of Cloud Computing: Virtual Server vs Serverless Model

Cloud computing refers to the practice of using a network of remote servers (rather than a local server or personal computer) to host, manage, and process data. The cloud offers numerous benefits from reliability to operational agility to cost effectiveness. About a year ago we expounded on some of the top reasons to choose cloud computing, speaking at a high level of the reasons why many businesses opt to utilize cloud services.

Since that time, clients have asked us for more details about the cost of cloud computing. A valid question, but challenging to answer since “the cloud” isn’t a single entity or type of service, despite what the name suggests. In the same way physical clouds come in different forms (stratus, cumulus, cirrus, to name a few), cloud computing is often broken into different services: IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). And a few years ago, the Functions-as-a-Service (also known as “Serverless”) model entered the scene. Read More

App Developer Questions

Best Questions to Ask to Find the Right Mobile App Developer

How do you determine which mobile app developer is the best one to hire for your project? It’s a question many businesses are asking themselves these days, and rightly so. StrategyAnalytics predicts that by 2022, 59% of the world’s population will own smartphones. With that comes mobile apps and the opportunity to use them to engage customers, grow your business, or sell your product.

Finding the right mobile app development company takes time, effort, research, and knowing the right questions to ask. If you’re totally new to mobile app development, you may find it helpful to first obtain a basic understanding of the app design and development process, before digging into the qualifications of a specific company. Consider reading our book, Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. It’s free to download and was written to help leaders gain a foundational understanding of the business and technical considerations involved in building an app.

If you already have the lay of the land, you can learn a lot about mobile app development companies by reviewing their web sites, evaluating their client list, and looking at their past work. Once you’ve done that, we recommend you dig a little deeper for additional insights by asking questions like the ones we’ve compiled here. Read More

Product Companion App - monkii

Using Mobile Apps to Enhance a Physical Product: The monkii App

Apps are a regular part of life these days, doing everything from connecting us to friends to helping us buy products we like to guiding our adventures in a new town. Most of the time, apps stand alone in their functionality, but apps can also be utilized to enhance user experience with a physical product. We recently built such a companion app for fitness company, monkii.co, and you might find your company’s product could benefit from something similar. When done well, a product/app combination can lead to new market opportunities and increased sales. Read More

Flexible Work Policies - Working Woman

Flexible Work Policies: Good for Companies and Employees

A successful business requires not only a great product or service, but also a culture where employees can thrive. Here at InspiringApps, we believe one way to help build a vibrant and diverse team is through flexible work policies.

We are not alone in believing in the value of flexible work environments – a large portion of the American workforce desires more control over when, where, and how they work. According to Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report, “More than half of employees (53%) say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance is “very important” to them when considering whether to take a new job. Similar numbers of employees (51%) say they would change jobs for one that offered them flextime, and 37% would do the same for a job that offered them the ability to work where they want at least part of the time.”

While flexible work policies can make employees healthier, happier, and more productive, it’s important to note that businesses also reap significant additional benefits. In this post, we’ll discuss what constitutes flexible work policies, and explore how to leverage the advantages they offer. We’ll also comment on some potential challenges and how to address them for the benefit of the company and the employees. Read More

Protecting Personal Information

Protecting Personal Information: Tips for Consumers and Companies

One key aspect of privacy in the current age is controlling and protecting personal information that is gathered about you over the internet and across other digital mediums. Earlier this month we began our discussion of personal privacy in the digital age with an overview of the practice of data tracking. Data tracking occurs when organizations like online service providers or commerce sites capture everything from your internet search terms, to purchasing habits, to IP location. We reviewed how organizations are leveraging that data, and how to opt out of data tracking if desired.

In this post, our focus is on protecting personal information that people are prompted to provide to execute transactions, browse certain sites, or share online. We all regularly face the requests, so it’s important to think consciously about where you share such data. Further, as business executives, many of you will sit on the other side of the table, making decisions about what kind of personal information to collect from consumers or clients, and how to be effective at doing so. This also requires intentionality, lest you expose someone to undue risk. Read More

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