Apps need to get sticky in 3 months

There are two ways to go about acquiring customers with apps—organic and paid. In Yahoo’s recent app smart phone research conducted in July 2015, with a sample test of 2,590 people, the results varied.

Organic search users most actively searched for new apps in the following categories: gaming, 88 percent and video, 80 percent. About 60 percent claimed suggestions (from users) triggered a download.

In terms of downloads, people decided based on direct control: price, description, photo, video and release notes. Indirectly, they were compelled to do so by the ratings, reviews and smart prompts.

In terms of behavior, the app downloads were triggered by how people like to look for something cool/hottest; it was a personal recommendation, and they just got bored with their apps.

It was interesting to find out that parents downloaded an app based on the request of their kids.

The preferred categories were entertainment, connection and shopping.

As for paid acquisitions, the mobile app installs in 2014 netted $3.6 billion, 50 percent of them based on their response to an advertisement. Brand messaging is alive and well in the app space, as 50 percent of users also claim previous brand knowledge as a result of other marketing channels.

The top categories influenced by ads were entertainment, shopping, sports and games. What made the ads effective: a clear CTA, app store rating and a “rich’ image. Yahoo extolled the importance of “creativity that connects.”

What gets unreported is how people remove apps for various reasons. About 60 percent “clean their apps” 18 times a year. To find out how your app gets waylaid? It’s when the app is dormant for 12 weeks.

The most revealing and may be not as surprising reason for removing an app? About 73 percent delete their apps because of battery concerns. Users also say they remove apps to declutter and free up storage space.

There are two ways to go about acquiring customers with apps—organic and paid. In Yahoo’s recent app smart phone research conducted in July 2015, with a sample test of 2,590 people, the results varied.

Organic search users most actively searched for new apps in the following categories: gaming, 88 percent and video, 80 percent. About 60 percent claimed suggestions (from users) triggered a download.

In terms of downloads, people decided based on direct control: price, description, photo, video and release notes. Indirectly, they were compelled to do so by the ratings, reviews and smart prompts.

In terms of behavior, the app downloads were triggered by how people like to look for something cool/hottest; it was a personal recommendation, and they just got bored with their apps.

It was interesting to find out that parents downloaded an app based on the request of their kids.

The preferred categories were entertainment, connection and shopping.

As for paid acquisitions, the mobile app installs in 2014 netted $3.6 billion, 50 percent of them based on their response to an advertisement. Brand messaging is alive and well in the app space, as 50 percent of users also claim previous brand knowledge as a result of other marketing channels.

The top categories influenced by ads were entertainment, shopping, sports and games. What made the ads effective: a clear CTA, app store rating and a “rich’ image. Yahoo extolled the importance of “creativity that connects.”

What gets unreported is how people remove apps for various reasons. About 60 percent “clean their apps” 18 times a year. To find out how your app gets waylaid? It’s when the app is dormant for 12 weeks.

The most revealing and may be not as surprising reason for removing an app? About 73 percent delete their apps because of battery concerns. Users also say they remove apps to declutter and free up storage space.

Media practitioners see native advertising, video as future of reporting

NEW YORK–What is the future of media? The question may resonate the most among journalists and other media practitioners. After all, it’s their livelihood at stake. The answer in a word may be video, especially the way the panelists talked about how it is going very far and coming in. Even GoPro is reportedly adding some kind of news coverage.

http://www.districtdialogues.com/

Last August 27, Jessica Manis, Digital Associate director of Optimedia US; Alicianne Rand, VP for Marketing of Newscred and Chelsea Emery, deputy editor at BBC Capital at BBC Worldwide tackled this question head on at the District Dialogues at District Cowork at Nomad. Kerry Flynn, tech reporter of the International Business Times, served as moderator.

Video content is going to evolve and we will be consuming it in different ways and telling stories in different ways.

The panel also talked about native advertising, the way paid content is made to look like a publication’s editorial content. It has been around since David Ogilvy’s days, but it has metastasized into various innovative digital formats –and names. Companies like Target did it for an entire issue of The New Yorker in what was called a single seller issue. Scientology sponsored content for Atlantic, but it became too unpopular, it was inevitably pulled out.

Any talk of native advertising makes for an engaging talk and reactions from any camp. The panel was curious about how it will evolve, saying they were watching it with interest, if it will change the model and what dilemmas it can present for publishers, even if companies produce good content. Wall Street Journal and other respected pubs are reportedly going the same route.

“Editors and publishers are finding the right balance,” one of the panelists said.

But not to think little of consumers, Rand said consumers are smart. It’s crucial to “own who you are,” because “pubs are brands.” Consumers, they said, are only going to choose what they value the most.

Do these outfits talk about startups? They have teams dedicated to searching for startups worth writing about. But in most cases, they will only cover those with “some size, some heft.”

What innovation would you like to see in publishing? Looking at each other, knowing what they wanted, they nodded in agreement, “Print.”

Modavanti founder: ‘Intent is more important than outcome’

NEW YORK–Is one percent better than zero or none at all? We’re not talking about the affluent in the United States, but if the one-percent effort or initiative that big companies dedicate to social impact is sufficient—or if it’s just a compromise, a public relations move.

http://www.districtdialogues.com/

David Dietz, Modavanti founder, a panelist at the Social Impact Matters talk last August 25 at District Cowork, had this to say: “Intent is more important than outcome.” He cited the case of a large burger chain being the ultimate provider of health care but does it matter if its food is making people sick?

He was one of the panelists that included Gabriella Haddad of Toned board member and business of Jewel Toned; Kunal Sood, founder and CXO of X Fellows; Anna-Marie Wascher, partner, CEO and co-founder of Flat World Partners and Rob Wu, founder and CEO of Cause Vox. Justin Silverman of The New York Daily News moderated the talk.

It’s not always easy to offer help, because it can also affect other people’s livelihood. Dietz recalled how Toms Shoes first generated a lot of buzz when it gave away a pair of shoes in a developing country for every pair you buy. However, turned out many small shoe makers were affected by this. Toms has since reportedly built factories to sustain people’s livelihood in areas where the shoes are shipped.

One thing the panelist and the others in the room agreed on: Toms Shoes was successful in starting a conversation around social responsibility.

It turns out even good intentions—without understanding the community — may not work. Still, all the panelists think every company should have some social responsibility—not just in terms of providing a band-aid solution but a real solution. Wascher suggested Warby Parker consider looking into markets with poor eyesight to better serve its purpose of donating eyeglasses for every pair you buy.

The trick is not to force your company into doing something impactful when it can’t fully commit to doing something useful. Jumping on the bandwagon is frowned upon. Being in the industry, the panelists can see what many may not easily notice. An old man selling shoes in Madagascar without shoes on—that’s an eyesore that’s going to get them talking.

Still, they know it’s hard to pinpoint who’s right or wrong. And even if it’s very obvious the way the consumer supply chain works for garments, how does one address it? Do you stamp a label on a chocolate, saying it was made under slave conditions? It’s good to ask, though, where are the boundaries? And where are we failing? Legislation on this is hard.

“Only five percent of clothing is made in the United States. It took 60 years for that to happen. To unf..k that, we may need twice that time frame, another 120 years, to bring it back to the States,” Dietz said.

For advice, the panel said you need you to know your audience. You need an MVP at least, some traction, a passion for what you do. In the social impact space, if you really want to make a difference, it’s a lifetime commitment. And if you’re deep into it, be ok with pivoting, be open to criticism and be cautious who you bring in to your fold.

Orrick’s Mock Series A Term Sheet negotiation takes people on step-by-step process

NEW YORK–If you’re keeping up with the tech scene these days, you won’t hear Mock Series A Term Sheet Negotiations too often. It may be your first time to hear it, as we did, so we went to Orrick’s Total Access last August 24 at CBS to find out how it would unravel for us.

http://blogs.orrick.com/totalaccess/events/event/new-york-mock-series-a-term-sheet-negotiation/

Chris Austin, partner at Orrick, presided over the mock negotiation with Liz Wessel, CEO of WayUp and Ellie Wheeler, principal of Greycroft Partners. Wessel and Wheeler wheeled and dealt their way to the mock negotiation of term sheets, talking about how allocate value, manage the company, investors’ rights and miscellaneous terms as if we were eavesdropping on two people’s conversations. It’s a good exercise for anyone curious about how a startup founder interacts with an investor.

With Austin as the moderator, the two talked their way through allocating value, covering valuation, capitalization, liquidation and dividends. Questions about board composition, protective provisions and drag along rights were also discussed.

Austin suggested 3 to 5 board members for obvious reasons—to avoid deadlocks with 4 board members. Wessel said she would have herself, a co-founder, Wheeler and someone who can serve as an “independent” seat. It’s important to point out why Wessel added Wheeler; it’s common for a VC (venture capitalist) to ask for 1 to 2 seats. The VC will ask for special provisions, preferred director consent. But at Series A, keep in mind that a VC need not be in board majority.

Austin said higher valuation is not always the best. “Look for a good fit, strategic value, understanding of the business.”

For founder vesting, standard schedule is a four-year term with a one-year cliff. For the stock option, the key issue you need to answer is what you will need to compensate your employees between this round and the next. It will depend on the current team.

As for dividends, the advice is to stay away from cumulative dividends. Current market standard is “as if and when declared.”

At liquidation/dissolution, keep in mind that a VC gets the right to receive proceeds first. Also before you can sell, you must give company and investors the right to buy. And if the investors and the company decline to buy, then the founder must give investors a right to participate in the sale.

Elaborating on drag along rights, the discussion veered toward drag-along rights. Investors, it turns out, can force Common stockholders to participate in a sale of the company while also pointing out that drag-along rights are not present in every deal, but becoming more frequent.

Recommendations in terms of managing the company included protective provisions like questioning your ability to satisfy business objectives; consider class voting; and keep standard market terms. If you don’t manage the company well, investors can ask your company to return the money to investors at a specified time. This can be in 7 years or so when the VC comes knocking on your door to ask for their money back. But try to push for exclusion of this term. If not possible, have the terms provide your company enough runaway, say, 5 to 10 years; redeeming investors only receive what they paid plus dividends, or see a higher approval threshold (but other investors must consent).

Orrick’s Mock Series A Term Sheet negotiation takes people on step-by-step process

NEW YORK–If you’re keeping up with the tech scene these days, you won’t hear Mock Series A Term Sheet Negotiations too often. It may be your first time to hear it, as we did, so we went to Orrick’s Total Access last August 24 at CBS to find out how it would unravel for us.

http://blogs.orrick.com/totalaccess/events/event/new-york-mock-series-a-term-sheet-negotiation/

Chris Austin, partner at Orrick, presided over the mock negotiation with Liz Wessel, CEO of WayUp and Ellie Wheeler, principal of Greycroft Partners. Wessel and Wheeler wheeled and dealt their way to the mock negotiation of term sheets, talking about how allocate value, manage the company, investors’ rights and miscellaneous terms as if we were eavesdropping on two people’s conversations. It’s a good exercise for anyone curious about how a startup founder interacts with an investor.

With Austin as the moderator, the two talked their way through allocating value, covering valuation, capitalization, liquidation and dividends. Questions about board composition, protective provisions and drag along rights were also discussed.

Austin suggested 3 to 5 board members for obvious reasons—to avoid deadlocks with 4 board members. Wessel said she would have herself, a co-founder, Wheeler and someone who can serve as an “independent” seat. It’s important to point out why Wessel added Wheeler; it’s common for a VC (venture capitalist) to ask for 1 to 2 seats. The VC will ask for special provisions, preferred director consent. But at Series A, keep in mind that a VC need not be in board majority.

Austin said higher valuation is not always the best. “Look for a good fit, strategic value, understanding of the business.”

For founder vesting, standard schedule is a four-year term with a one-year cliff. For the stock option, the key issue you need to answer is what you will need to compensate your employees between this round and the next. It will depend on the current team.

As for dividends, the advice is to stay away from cumulative dividends. Current market standard is “as if and when declared.”

At liquidation/dissolution, keep in mind that a VC gets the right to receive proceeds first. Also before you can sell, you must give company and investors the right to buy. And if the investors and the company decline to buy, then the founder must give investors a right to participate in the sale.

Elaborating on drag along rights, the discussion veered toward drag-along rights. Investors, it turns out, can force Common stockholders to participate in a sale of the company while also pointing out that drag-along rights are not present in every deal, but becoming more frequent.

Recommendations in terms of managing the company included protective provisions like questioning your ability to satisfy business objectives; consider class voting; and keep standard market terms. If you don’t manage the company well, investors can ask your company to return the money to investors at a specified time. This can be in 7 years or so when the VC comes knocking on your door to ask for their money back. But try to push for exclusion of this term. If not possible, have the terms provide your company enough runaway, say, 5 to 10 years; redeeming investors only receive what they paid plus dividends, or see a higher approval threshold (but other investors must consent).

Codecademy workshop keeps tech meetup scene interesting

NEW YORK–Tech meetup groups have taken most of the summer off, but Codecademy took the quiet time to hold an HTML and CSS workshop of its newly released web projects last August 20 at its office in midtown Manhattan with the people behind it in attendance–Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski.

http://www.meetup.com/NYC-Codecademy-Group/events/224375768/

Now home to 24 million users since its inception in 2011, Codecademy has a large user base learning coding in a more engaging and interactive way. Last night, Codecademy talked about the importance of learning coding with web projects in mind instead of just learning coding.

For those who haven’t heard of it, Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 8 different programming languages, including Angular JS, Javascript, jQuery, Python, PHP and Ruby as well as markup languages HTML and CSS. It also provides a forum where enthusiasts, beginners, and advanced coders can come together and help each other.

The founders believe in providing education opportunities to everyone. That has been central to its goal for years and it’s not going to change, but it also has to find a way to sustain itself. It’s tricky for Codecademy because people are used to it being free.

Question is, Can it sustain itself as a free coding site or does it need to monetize itself eventually? Fortunately, it has always raised money to help keep its platform free. It raised $2.5 million in Series A funding in October 2011 an $10 milion in Series B fundin in June 2012. The latest round was for an unspecified amount.

Beyond the platform, Codecademy’s actual physical workshop is doing tech meetups a favor. It’s helping keep the tech meetup scene alive– as people who pursue it may just produce the websites they want to demonstrate to tech meetups in the city someday.