Creativity: Creative Confidence Cover

Practice Creativity to Inspire Creativity

Creativity, according to, 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 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

Denver Startup Week Effective UI

Denver Startup Week 2016 Highlights

We love the energy and passion typically found in any gathering of entrepreneurs, and last week’s Denver Startup Week did not disappoint. Billed as a “summit of entrepreneurial energy, innovation, and connection,” the event began just five years ago with a desire to create a sense of connection among those in the Denver startup community. With this year’s record-setting registration of over 12,000 people, DSW has done just that, while solidly establishing itself as the largest free entrepreneurial event in North America.

Denver has long had a vibrant startup community, but the size of the city doesn’t lend itself to the easy sense of connection found in a place like Boulder. Rather than lament the size, DSW founders leveraged the presence of the larger corporate environment while pulling best practices from events like Boulder Startup Week. The combination resulted in an event that catalyzes connections among those with an entrepreneurial spirit, hopefully building foundations for long-term economic growth in the city and region. Read More

App Development: Market Considerations

The start of the new year tends to be filled with resolutions, and perhaps one of yours is to build that app you’ve been contemplating for so long. App development has exploded over the past several years, so if you have a great idea, it is tempting to rush headlong into a project. Before diving into the technical details, though, we encourage you to spend time clearly defining the opportunity, and reflecting it against existing solutions. This is necessary whether your target user is an internal team or a consumer external to your company. It’s even true for gaming apps, as differentiation is always valuable.

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Team Member Profile: Christy Brouker, Project Manager

This month we are profiling Christy Brouker, one of our project managers. Christy joined InspiringApps in April of 2012. She was born in Saudi Arabia and lived in New Jersey and Wisconsin before moving to Oregon with her family when she was seven. Christy studied sociology and Spanish in Oregon before coming to Colorado in 2006 for an internship with Women’s Adventure Magazine.

Christy hasn’t had trouble finding things to love about Boulder. “I really like all the outdoor pursuits and activities – it’s nice to be in a place where everyone’s doing everything,” she explained. “I like that it’s a college town so it feels worldly, but it’s not too big. And it’s close to Denver, so if you need anything you can go there quickly.”

After her internship with Women’s Adventure Magazine, Christy did more internships thinking she wanted to go into the editorial world. However, working for a publication called Home and Abroad allowed her to blend writing and software, and Christy realized how much she enjoyed technology – which eventually led to her role as a project manager.

At InspiringApps, Christy revels in the balance between working with clients and developers. “Here, we combine project and account management,” she said. “I spend a lot of time working with clients and making sure their vision is carried out throughout the project. I also work with the developers here to give them clear directives on the project and allow them to have some input about how the project turns out.”

Christy said the variety of tasks she does on a daily basis helps her succeed as a project manager: “I like working with different people and having a diverse group of clients. We build apps for so many kinds of companies and organizations… I especially enjoy working on mobile project management – it’s on the cutting edge; people are really excited about apps and the emerging technologies that come with it.”

Outside the office, Christy enjoys spending time with her husband, Matthew, and their golden retriever, Winston. She also likes to bake. “I end up doing a lot of fancy desserts for people’s birthdays – cakes or pies or tarts,” she said. “I have a couple of really great cookbooks but otherwise I just search online.”  Christy has been a lifelong runner and enjoys getting outside: “I used to run competitively, so I’ll enter races, but I have no intention of winning or anything. I like to beat my times if I can.”

Key Players

Book Excerpt: The Key Players in Your App Development Project

The success of development projects with a lot of players hinges on building a strong peer-to-peer relationship between all involved parties. A clear communication plan should be determined early on to ensure milestones are agreed upon and accountability is shared. Everyone should feel like part of one team, working toward the same goal.

App Development Experts—Your Development Partners

App development requires experience and input from a variety of key players. Here are the people you will work with through your development partner.

Project Manager

The project manager is responsible for leading the effort from inception to completion. He or she leads the team, tracks progress to stay on-time and on-budget, and functions as the communication hub.

Finding the right team, giving appropriate direction, and managing the working environment while maintaining a strategic focus and staying on top of deadlines and deliverables are all part of a project manager’s role.

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An Ounce of Prevention

Remember that saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Never is this more true then when planning a new venture, like a new app. The more research and thought you give it, the more likely you will foresee issues and be able to prevent problems before they happen.

At InspiringApps, we like to run new projects by as many minds as possible, as early in the process as possible. Because no matter how thoroughly you think you have thought through an idea on your own, there will always be something that slips through the cracks. Involving more people with different mindsets can reduce the things that get missed.

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The IA Way

InspiringApps believes that the key to a successful software project is to listen to your business goals and the needs of your users—both spoken and unspoken—to recommend a solution that not only meets the short-term target but also looks to the long-term benefit. We aren’t “process-heavy” but we have learned a few tricks over the years that consistently delight our customers.

Whether we work together in a more agile way on a time and materials basis, or if you need a fixed bid for planning sake, we recommend this general path for your project. And since every project is different, we’re not stuck on one methodology. It is in our best interest to serve the project in your best interest.

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