Trey Smith and The software system is a huge lie… an iPhone app is not easy

I use a special e-mail address to sign up to every “Internet Marketing” newsletter possible. This week, I noticed a new product launch from Trey Smith about making iPhone app. As a computer science student I was very interested about this “product”.

I land on this page after I click

I noticed many problems:

First this title: Download my free app maker…

Sound like a push button to create an app but it is not.

As you read in the right bottom corner, it is a template ….. Lie number 1.

Make an iPhone app under $200 and then “How I sold over $2000 worth of my app in only 18 days….”

The way it is put together you might think you only need $200 to make over $2000…

Back to reality: the app that he uses as an example cost him more than $200 (thousands….). On top of that he hire the developer full time now.

You might think, ok , it is still a good deal.

There is a twist because the gold rush is not as big as it was before….

Month before this product launch he offer a service or tool (I don’t remember) in exchange that you buy his app.

This all product launch make you think it is easy to build an app. It is not easy. You need the right team with the right idea and with the perfect marketing plan. ( if it was easy I would be richer than Bill gates now )

On top of that you need to compete with big companies like EA in the video games business….

To give a better idea … The daily, from thedaily.com, it is the new app from News Corps. They are spending like 500k a week in their app….

Source (launch.is):

Before you go crazy in this new venture, you should know it is not easy and it is very competitive.

Groupon dirty secrets… Groupon employee reply back

The other week I wrote an article about Groupon. This article was very popular on hacker news. It was my biggest story over there since a long time.

However this story happened at a very bad time (laugh) because I was switching to new severs. I experience too many downtimes. I am very happy that more then 20 000 visitors enjoy that story.

My article was not complete and I could have done a better job (my graph) but overall I love it. Today I want to share a comment from a Groupon employee:

[Groupon Employee Speaking]

Keep in mind that when that study was done (June 2009), Groupon was 9 months old. Since then, Groupon has expanded to dozens of countries and hundreds of cities, raised over $1B, hired thousands of employees, and refined its processes a zillion-fold.

It’s no secret in the company that our long term success is based on a) customers having great experiences, and b) merchants getting a return on the cost of their discount and fees to us. Everything is viewed through those two values. Deals are scheduled so that customers are always delighted (e.g. so there aren’t 4 steakhouses in one week), and sized so that merchants don’t get raped by the economics (e.g. if a typical bill at a restaurant is $100, then the deal might be $60 for $30. Also, quantity is estimated based on the merchant’s capacity as well so that merchants don’t get overwhelmed and customers still get a good experience. In the video for the recent Japanese new year debacle (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2111609), Andrew mentions that deal sizing and scaling is already done in some markets and in response to the Japan incident, will now be done in all markets to ensure the experience continues to be good for everyone. Short-term profit maximization isn’t what builds lasting businesses, and the execs here know it.

With something growing as ridiculously fast as Groupon, data get stale fast. It’s like if you found a study from 2006 where someone complained that they couldn’t find anyone they knew on Facebook.

It’s always wise to take a company’s numbers with a grain of sale, but with a fast growing company, the numbers they selectively release are usually the best you’re going to get.

Now my comment:

Yes, the data is old (2009) and yes the company was young (it is a young company). However Groupon has a huge after customer service problem. (it is better every month….)

I will not talk about the mess in Japan…. It is deeper than that… Many real local businesses (at least in Montreal) are doing a fantastic job to make it better than Groupon.

Even thought the numbers I publish are old I still find the same numbers in 2011. That does not mean Groupon is a bad service. It is a good service. It is good but not great. Not being great is a huge problem in this very competitive and new market.

I collect and track the whole Groupon experience from a merchant perspective.

So stay tune for that killer article with numbers and tips that you may like.

On another note, I think there is better service than Groupon out there. LivingSocial and Beyond the rack are hot right now. I am testing Beyond the rack (they are a Montreal start up) right now.

I will talk about my whole experience with Beyond the rack later. (After I receive my product)

Protect your Facebook fan page: Spam Facebook of the day

Many people open a new Facebook fan page account (I hate Facebook fan page). Spammers are ready to hit your page and destroy your brand.

Yesterday I noticed this spam message on a very big and popular brand.

Do you know where the link leads to?

It leads to a Facebook app.

spam facebook

It is clear that you need to moderate and check every new member. Basically your new Facebook page will create more work than ever.

Personally it is not something I am ready to invest time and money. I find another solution to bypass this and get a more effective Facebook campaign without a Facebook page.

This new strategy is very hot and very effective.

Spoiler alert : you can use the like button. Do not worry I will the complete detail as soon as possible.

The Groupon dirty secrets: Should your business join Groupon

My friend has a small business. He asked me if Groupon or any other group buying solutions was a good idea for his business.

I had no idea. I know that Groupon is the new cool thing but something was not right in my mind. My guts were saying it might not be the best deal.

I had no stats to back it up until today. I discover this article from allbusiness. I found many interesting stats that I can play with.

Groupon might be a good deal because out of 150 businesses in 19 cities from June 2009 and August 2009, 67% made a profit.

groupon numbers profit

At this rate it might be a good thing to try Groupon.

However another local survey showed that 40% had a bad experience with Groupon and they will not use the service again.

groupon numbers experience

So 67% made a profit but 40% will not use Groupon again. Groupon attracts not great customers.

Those “new “customers will not comeback in those businesses without the crazy 50%++ discounts.

It means that a business owner will devalue his product or service to attract new and not loyal customers.

“To the business owner I say beware,” Lowe says. “Steer clear of these online offers unless you need quick cash.”

It is clear that you will make a profit with Groupon but you will not be able to attract new and loyal customers. Therefore it is not a great deal.

Of course Groupon has his own numbers.

groupon numbers

From Groupon numbers, 95% of business owners are satisfied with Groupon. I guess because most of them made a profit.

“Groupon is a marketing tool, and we’ve never positioned it as anything other than that.”

This is from Groupon. It is a marketing tool only and nothing else.

Now I can answer my friend.

He should use Groupon once to make more money. He should not use it more than once because it will devalue his service. Also Groupon takes a huge part of the business

Again it is hard to justify a 15 billons valuation with such negative feedback from the market.

Group buying services are great for customers and customers only. Unless they find the right balance for Business owners, I will not believe in this model. It is still possible to beat Groupon.

Free AdSense secrets to make more money without AdSense

I just receive an e-mail about a new buzz around AdSense and AdSense secrets. I did not use Google AdSense since 2 years ago.

By the way Google own me money … check this out:

adsense payout

I have no idea how I can get my money back unless I use AdSense again.

Trust me I do not plan to use Google AdSense in a near future. I plan to never use it again.

Back to the story

My friend, last year, starts a new website. He puts AdSense on his website. He was more than happy to receive his first check from AdSense.

I cannot blame him because it is a wonderful feeling. Then he wanted to get his check faster. He was ready to buy any books or programs that might help him.

Before you buy anything you should check out Google AdSense resource center.

I use only that though. The next Google secrets are to have more traffic period and test your website templates and ads layouts.

Why I do not use Google AdSense.

There are many factors but one of them is Google AdSense ad quality.

The other day I was on Techcrunch and I saw this ugly ad.

Of course, you can always block a URL but it was too complicated to manage.

My second reason to quit Google AdSense was to make more money with less traffic.

The only way to do so is to build your own ad.

I sign up to shareasale or clickbank. I put links on the website.

You can contact me and I can help you set up everything for you.

Right now I am working on an “AdSense killer” something more effective than AdSense with less traffic. You can always contact me to discuss about that.

So far the results are amazing.

My personal advice is to not buy any AdSense books or products. It is not worth it.

Make sure you have a great website with a great community.

Here we go I said it.