App Developer Diary Part 2: Pitching My Concept

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In this week’s enlightening installment of the App Developer Diary, I pitch my game concept to the coders, preach the gospel of the Game Bible and muse upon the possibility of the project imploding.

Straight after submitting last week’s App Developer Diary, I packed up my MacBook Pro and headed down to Nolla, a local bar and Scandinavian restaurant. I was to meet with Markus, one of the project’s coders, and pitch my game concept to him.

Hailing from Finland, Markus Piipari is one of the three coders who invited me on board to make the game. Together, with his brother Matias and Benjamin Schuster-Böckler, the trio formed Pear Computers, a dev studio specializing in mobile development.

When I arrived at Nolla, Markus was hunched over his MacBook (one of the old white models, which was sealed, I noted, in a scruffy faux-leather hard cover). He glanced up, headphones in ear, and although he acknowledged me with a quick nod, had that glazed look of somebody whose mind is elsewhere.

The pitch process is a fundamental component of having your idea become a reality. It’s the first hurdle, as not only should it be a clear and concise outline of your concept, it should also enthuse the rest of the team. As they say in the industry, you need your team’s buy-in — if the team hasn’t bought in to the concept from the very start, then the project is almost certainly doomed to failure.

I was already nervous enough, pitching a concept that I believed in so firmly, and yet Markus seemed to want to make me sweat more than a chubby man in a Finnish sauna. Perhaps this was a Scandinavian tactic to pile on the pressure and make pitching an even more tense affair? Or maybe Markus was living up to the stereotype of a hardcore programmer: King of the Code, cold and focused. Read More about App Developer Diary Part 2: Pitching My Concept

Guest Column: Tips for Your Web Series Pitch

Written by Jake Zim.

Everyone has a story they’d like to tell. As COO for digital media entertainment company Safran Digital, one of the best parts of my job is being pitched those stories, in the form of new web show ideas. The first step in getting your project off the ground is a successful pitch, so if you’re an artist looking to tell stories online and you need financing, here are a few suggestions on how to best construct — and deliver — one.

BEFORE THE PITCH

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so it’s best to get your meeting set through an agent, manager or a contact who’s done previous business with whomever you’re meeting. Let your reps do their job, warming up the room as much as possible by sending links to your work, writing samples, credits, etc. Once you’re in front of a legitimate financier or distributor, you don’t want to waste time self-promoting. And without representation or a warm lead, it could be difficult to get into the room at all.

Consider your story arc — does it work for digital? Think of your episode or segment trajectory as a slingshot. From the first frame, you’re introducing an inciting incident, pulling back to increase tension until the point at which you deliver your punch line, your button, or your reveal. Music and cinematography can help, but the pacing has to be evident in the script. No audience is more impatient than the one online. They’ll click away at the first yawn.

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How to Pitch and Demo Your Cool Web App

You’ve got a super cool Web app. You want a high profile blog to cover what you’re doing. You’ve got a PR firm scheduling back-to-back demos with tech bloggers. But when you actually connect with the blogger, is your demo and presentation doing your product justice? Or are you shooting your company in it’s proverbial foot?

In order to stay on top of new Web apps and get a deeper understanding of how some of them work without having to subscribe to them all and use them all over time (which would be an overwhelming undertaking), I’ve been scheduling back-to-back demos with tech companies who are touting their cool Web apps and want me to blog about them here.

Here’s a list of things to consider before you conduct your demo. (And please share this with your PR people). Read More about How to Pitch and Demo Your Cool Web App

Flying Planes by Day, Yoking Video Feeds by Night

It’s always fun to talk to hobbyists who retrofit online video technology to address their own particular wants and needs. Like Paul Yanez, the prolific maker of web versions of desktop TV interfaces. This week we talked to Gerald Zuckerwar, who’s compiled RSS feeds for live video programming from all over the web so you can go to one place to watch them all in your browser.

Zuckerwar, an airline pilot by trade (and a relentless NewTeeVee comment spammer, not that I recommend that), picked up a book on Extensible Markup Language (XML) a couple months ago. He had come across Entriq’s RSS-TV specification for video device makers and thought he could do something similar “to create an independent feed directory for Internet television.” He calls it RSS Live TV.

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HTC TyTN II offers Bluetooth printing

PrintviabluetoothYet another nice feature in the HTC TyTN II / Kaiser / P4550: printing wirelessly to a Bluetooth-enabled printer. Adam Lein over at pocketnow was commenting on how well the Bluetooth works with his TyTN II; I’ve never had issues with any HTC units, but apparently Bluetooth reception has been barely adaquate in some models. In any case, Adam was bouncing around his e-mail in Outlook Mobile and found a "Print via Bluetooth" option. With the right printer, this function could come in handy when you need to quickly print off some text for someone. I know I’ve had countless situations where I looked up an address or something for someone only to have them read it off my screen and then write it down. Adam mentions a new Bluetooth stack on his TyTN II which looks to provide this functionality. It would be nice to see that stack get pushed out to other Windows Mobile devices!

What VoIP can Learn From TiVo

Aswath Rao posted an interesting comment in response to the TiVo entry —

TiVo model of under charging for the hardware, but recovering by charging a monthly fee is faulty. I still beleive so. Subsequently I bought HW/SW costing about $200 to do the same thing. The cable companies have done one better by charging almost the same amount (assuming 2 year lifetime for a consumer product), but distributing over the period. This holds a lesson for VoIP service providers in that apart from PSTN connectivity the only service they offer is directory service, which can not inherently generate much revenue. So do not rejoice that PSTN is dying/dead; along with it VoIP service business is also gone.