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  1. t.co

    September 2, 2010 by Prasanna

    I guess this was inevitable. We will miss you bit.ly.

    Update 2: t.co URL wrapping

    In the coming weeks, we will be expanding the roll-out of our link wrapping service t.co, which wraps links in Tweets with a new, simplified link. Wrapped links are displayed in a way that is easier to read, with the actual domain and part of the URL showing, so that you know what you are clicking on. When you click on a wrapped link, your request will pass through the Twitter service to check if the destination site is known to contain malware, and we then will forward you on to the destination URL. All of that should happen in an instant.


  2. Dirty tactics

    August 30, 2010 by Prasanna

    I get 2 types of mails to my support email.

    1. Happy customers thanking for one of the Cab Meter apps, and asking for a feature they would love to see. (Unhappy customers don’t seem to contact me. They leave a review on the app store. I wish it was the other way around).
    2. Entrepreneurs who want to extend or customize Cab Meter for their own business.

    Last week, I added a third and most amusing type.

    This guy from UK creates a taxi directory site, and mails me if he could use my API. I mailed him back that my tariffs are not on an API, but I can help him creating one, and asked if he was monetising the site.

    The reply, was a complete description of his monetisation strategy, then – this.

    Let me get this right. So you want to use my API. And, you want me to offer you something not to produce a competing product? Why didn’t anyone else think of that idea?

    App store is an extremely vibrant market. There are usually 3 taxi apps in the top 100 paid apps at any given point. Then there is the taxi company apps, 13 cabs, silver taxis and others.

    No new app has affected sales of Cab Meter – Australia for more than a couple of days. If you focus on making a good product that doesn’t confuse the users, you have a good chance of reaching your customers.

    You are better off focussing on your feature set and creating a compelling app, rather than focussing on removing competition.


  3. Constraints and guides

    August 16, 2010 by Prasanna

    One of the most important shortcomings of the App Store is that, it is very easy for a buyer to make an unfair or uninformed review of an app. The developer has no way of communicating back to the user, or other potential buyers, to clarify an issue. There are many high profile developers who have talked about this, among other issues.

    As someone who has started developing for this platform recently, I find that the best approach is to embrace these shortcomings. It is easy to just say that the review system is broken and ignore it. But it doesn’t really help make the app better.

    The approach that helps much more is to, assume that I made a mistake, especially if a complaint is repeated – even twice. May be a feature is more important than I thought it was. May be the wording I used is not clear. May be I should change the app description a bit.


  4. Learn Leadership By Riding the Subway

    by Prasanna

    When a train stops in New York, an announcement will come on apologizing “for the unavoidable delay.” The recorded message will continue to urge passengers to “please be patient, we will be moving momentarily.” If the delay continues, the same recorded message will repeat again and again until the train finally moves.

    It’s very different in London. When an Underground train stops, a human being comes on over the PA system and tells you what he knows. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he may say, “sorry for the delay. I’ve just been given word that someone has fallen on the tracks at the station ahead. We know that the paramedics are on their way but they are not there yet. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait here until they arrive and clear the track. I’ll keep you updated on any information as I get it. Thank you for your patience.”

    Re:Focus: Learn Leadership By Riding the Subway.


  5. Notes on using Telstra

    August 11, 2010 by Prasanna

    After a bit over 2 weeks of using Telstra, my experience with them is mostly positive. I have not dropped a single call (coming from 3, that’s heaven) and have connectivity nearly everywhere. While the call quality is overall better, it isn’t absolutely without problems. There have been times when call quality is very low, and/or sound echo-ey, although frequency of this is very low.

    Their twitter support is simply amazing. Best corporate use of twitter I have seen so far. Immediate and good responses. www.twitter.com/telstra

    Voicemail transliteration is available, and surprisingly accurate. Costs on listening to voice mails do add up, and this service reduces the need to do so a lot. No visual voicemail support yet though.

    It will be interesting to see the data usage as opposed to 3. The maximum I have used on 3 is about 270 megs, and this plan comes with 500. Not sure if better connectivity has actually increased my usage.


  6. Code as if everybody’s watching you

    August 4, 2010 by Prasanna

    The other day, I saw somebody wearing a T-shirt that said “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching”. I’m not much of a dancer, but I like the sentiment. However, dancing is not coding. The worst thing you can do is code like nobody’s watching. You should code like everybody’s watching you.

    via iPhone Development: Code As If….


  7. App Store and startups

    July 21, 2010 by Prasanna

    Take software updates. On the Mac, you have to add the Sparkle framework to get automatic updates for your app. On the App Store, that’s all taken care of for you. You don’t have to maintain an update feed or provide bandwidth for downloading the app.

    Or take sales. On the Mac, you have to add Kagi, eSellerate, or some other payment processor’s library to your app and set up links from your app or web site to them. You have to add your own code to accept registration codes or whatever system you use to keep people honest. And the customer has to enter their credit card and other personal info for every single app. On the App Store, people already have an iTunes account and just press the Buy button to pay for your app.

    via Felt Tip blog

    When I wanted to develop part time, these are the exact reasons why I started development on the iPhone. You can worry about creating a really good product. Most of the stuff I take for granted on the App store is the killer in reaching customers otherwise.

    And these reasons are as true today.


  8. Laptop battery myths

    July 20, 2010 by Prasanna

    The “memory effect”, or the need to “refresh” or “deep-cycle” the battery by completely discharging before recharging, is stale knowledge from the time of NiCad and NiMH batteries. Lithium-ion batteries don’t suffer from the memory effect.

    It’s also not bad to leave your laptop plugged in. In fact, it’s a good thing to keep it plugged in whenever you don’t need to be running on battery power.

    via Marco.org. Do read the whole article. Very informative.


  9. July 19, 2010 by Prasanna

    The problem with SEO is that the good advice is obvious, the rest doesn’t work.

    via Derek Powazek – Spammers, Evildoers, and Opportunists.


  10. July 16, 2010 by Prasanna

    Do something compelling. There’s a trillion people writing blogs that need something to write about. There are magazines hungry for content. There are hundreds of thousands of people bored on the internet wanting something to look at or do. For the most part, people have exceedingly low standards on the internet. But, I think people are hungry for better. Make something better. People will notice.

    The number of people that are consuming creative work keeps growing (because it’s fun and nourishing). The number of people doing solid, compelling creative work is staying the same (because it’s hard work). You do the math.

    - via Frank Chimero