Want Better Mobile Apps? Fun Up Your Calc.


Tired of hearing my self-deprecating “I’m a simple man” spiel?  Hey, it’s a living.  The latest simplified observation in the land of black and white has to do with mobile applications and Web apps. I’ve been selling selling for enough years to know some of the web’s first apps were online calculators.  “How much will your company save if you use our product?  Click the calculator?” Well, fifteen or so years later the premise still holds. Calcu-lay-sh is one of the two primary apps in mobile.  The other is plain, stupid fun.

The big question is “Which app-set is bigger?”  Calculation apps or fun apps? (Search and geolocation are both caculations.) So what do you think marketers?  50/50?  70/30?  With the answer hanging in the air, I’ll suggest there just might be a gray area to consider – and that’s the fun calculation.  Shazam is one such — an app that listens to music and tells you the name of the song.

Smart digital markets know that combining calc and fun is a way to reduce the barrier between a consumer and a product. But be careful here, there is a difference between fun and consumption. Knowing where the taco truck is not necessarily fun, not after the first time.  Fun up your calculation, make it add value to the brand and you’ll have yourself a winner. Simple. Peace.