Memphis BarCamp 2010 Experience

This past Saturday I participate in my first BarCamp here in Memphis. Most of the user groups and conferences that I attend are very technical in nature and while @barcampmemphis did have technical discussions and developers there it was a good mixture of marketing and general interactive as well. My presentation, The Fine Print of iOS Development, was one of the ones voted on to be presented. However, my session wasn't until later that afternoon so I had some time to kill. I went and listened to a few sessions, but what I enjoyed the most about BarCamp was the networking and general conversations between the people in the various industries. Due to the nature of my talk I had a lot of preliminary sidebars with a few marketers which was great because that is who my presentation was geared toward. I made some slight changes to my deck as a result.

One the most asked questions I got was "Why should someone have a native iPhone app instead of a mobile web app?" I gave my two cents for the pros and cons of both, but there was one particular company's experience that I have been thnking about a lot. Not to pop my own collar but I think their experience exemplifies why agencies and marketers should hear my talk. The individual that I was talking to worked for Company A. Company A sells a particular service which currently has some pretty steep competition. Early this year Company A hired Company B to build an iPhone app for their service. The app was submitted in the early summer and has yet to be approved by Apple. I asked why not and person from Company A explained that company b wasn't getting a straight answer from Apple and that Apple keeps changing the rules. At the time I didn't think it was my place to really say anything about Company B because I didn't know them nor their circumstances of the app functionality. It was unfortunate for Company A because they are falling further and further behind their compition as a result of this. In addition, Company A now thinks that investing in an iPhone app is a waste of time and money and that it would serve their users better to just have a mobile web app.

After doing some research on Company A's service and the company they hired....sorry Company A, but you hired people who don't know what they are doing. The amount of time between the first submission and now should have been more than enough to get the app fixed unless Company B is using private API or mimic apple logos, copyright functionality, not following the human interface guidelines, etc.  I have been submitting apps to the app store for over a year now and even when something is rejected Apple has been pretty clear about it and even helped me the resubmission process. Something isn't stirring the koolaid here. Yes I know about the Google Voice debacle but trust me nor Company A nor B are Google. 

The lesson to be learned here is that agencies, marketers, companies in general need to:
  1.  Watch my presentation
  2. Understand that if your app is rejected, Apple will work with you on the resubmission or provide a pretty straight forward answer as to why they wont except it. Company B should have known this and been able to fix the problem and not thrown up their hands and blamed Apple for their mistakes to Company A.
  3. Having a basic understanding of underlying technology of iOS devices from an abstract point of view will save you countless hours of frustration.
All and all I really enjoyed being apart of BarCamp and especially being a presenter.  I look forward to future events and hopefully presenting again.