Why Your Favorite App Isn’t Business-Related And How It Can Be

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note: Todd McKinnon is CEO of identity management firm Okta.

Think about your favorite app. Let me guess. It’s a consumer app — something like Uber, Instagram or Pinterest. So what do we do to get business apps into that list of favorites?

It’s rare to hear end users rave about an enterprise app that’s useful, simple, engaging and (dare I say) emotional – particularly all at the same time. We have some work to do if we want to perfect the enterprise user experience, which is why we should learn from beloved consumer products. If we put the user experience first and incorporate utility, simplicity, engagement and emotion into our products, we can make work just as easy and delightful as posting a photo.

Utility: What would you do without it?

The most important aspect of the user experience is utility. The design, simplicity and engagement of…

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Nike Is Said To Be Killing Off The FuelBand

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Bad news, Fuel fans: Nike is purportedly killing off their wearable hardware efforts, including the FuelBand.

Just a few days ago, folks started whispering about shakeup in Fuelband land after the following post popped up on Secret:


Now, sure enough, CNET says they’ve got a person-in-the-know confirming that the majority of the 70-person FuelBand team has been let go.

It’s a pity, really; despite never really finding a massive audience, the FuelBand is/was a damned slick piece of hardware. It was hardly perfect, but it did some things — like its super pretty dot matrix display — quite well.

So why might Nike be heading for the exit?

Because the wearables market is about to get really, really crowded — primarily by devices that will do everything the FuelBand does, and more.
On one hand (wrist?), you’ve got Google, who just launched an entire branch of Android dedicated specifically…

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We are drowning in data about readers and attention, but which metrics really matter? You won’t like the answer

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having virtually no hard data on readers and attention to an embarrassment of riches — not only can we measure what people click on, but we can measure how far down the page they got when they were reading, whether they posted a comment, which social networks they came from, and a hundred other pieces of data. The only problem is that this is very much a double-edged sword.

New York Times media writer David Carr recently looked at some examples of media companies that are rewarding their writers based on traffic statistics and other measurements, including The Oregonian — whose efforts I wrote about here. But is paying your journalists based on pageviews or other metrics a smart way to align their incentives with your goals as a business, or does it poison the…

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Airlines Should Make Twitter A No-Fly Zone

Originally posted on TechCrunch:


Airlines are awful at Twitter, and should leave the platform entirely. I’m not the first person to say this, but today’s knock-it-out-off-the-park fail from USAirways’ Twitter account served as an excellent reminder.

No good can come from an airline being on Twitter, and here’s why:

Airlines are not known for their customer service or product excellence, generally speaking. In comparison to air travel a couple of decades ago, it’s actually very cheap to fly — but in relation to what most people make and what product is being delivered — the price is too high. They have bad customer service, flights are over-booked and uncomfortable and everything is dirty. In essence, very few people love flying. Many of us do it very often, out of necessity, and some of us are more comfortable than others, but there are a select few people who get off by walking through…

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Truth lets teens send anonymous SMS to each other, for good or ill

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

anonymousAre we burnt out on anonymous apps yet?

Nope. VC’s and entrepreneurs are just getting started. The latest foray into the craze comes from a few Canadian first time founders with a messaging app called Truth. Users can text anyone on their contacts list without the recipient knowing who sent them the SMS.

Hiding up in Canada, Truth has mostly flown under the tech press radar. Founder Ali Saheli claims he’s deliberately avoiding industry coverage. He’s going after the teenage market and they don’t read tech press.

For anyone ensconced in the Silicon Valley echo chamber, the idea of yet another anonymity app elicits inevitable eye rolls. The bandwagon is too full at this point to let anyone else onboard. And are investors really willing to throw money at yet another anonymity gimmick?

The land grabs have already happened, with $10 million invested in Secret, $54 million in Whisper…

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