Big Bots Corporation

I have been working in web development for over a decade now and I've seen numerous technologies come and go, the inflation and bust of the dot com bubble and the dark days that followed. I've seen companies that seemed invulnerable (Netscape, AOL, MySpace) only to whither and fall faster than Mike Tyson getting knocked out by Buster Douglas.

The only things that seemed to have any staying power in my industry were the Internet and the computer itself. The prior is still going strong, but the former...well its days are numbered. That's not really great news when the software I write is meant to run on those computer things that my son will someday remember like I remember the typewriter.

So what does an enterprising young professional who grew up in a culture of constant death and rebirth do? Well, start his own mobile development studio of course! So that is exactly what I did. And the company that I started is, Big Bots Corporation.

Big Bots believes in a holistic approach to mobile development. We don't just build apps. In addition to building apps we also build amazing mobile website experiences. My roots are in the Internet and there is still plenty of opportunities to be harvested from its very fertile ground. The Internet is made up of ideas and the free transmission of those ideas to every other human being on the planet, that is powerful stuff.

The Internet is no longer this thing that you sit down at your desk and boot up your computer to see. It is now always on and in your pocket. The Internet is now more involved in your every day life than it ever was before. And in the future the Internet will become so intertwined with our existence that it will almost be second nature like breathing. It augments and makes us all more intelligent then we could ever be on our own. How many people remember getting lost in your car and having to pull over to ask for directions? How many people do that now?

Big Bots: Apps
So why are apps so great? If things can be done with this wonderful Internet thing, why not just use it for everything? I believe there are three general categories where apps distinguish themselves from their Internet brethren. Those categories are: Please, Ease, and Need or (PEN) for short.

Please - not in the meaning of being polite to someone when asking for something, this is about making you happy a.k.a. having fun. This includes a whole variety of apps like Facebook and Twitter, because they are both a form of interactive entertainment, but it also includes the entire realm of mobile games like "Angry Birds" and "Draw Something". The appeal of these apps is easy to understand. They are things you already like (Facebook, games) and puts them in your hands at all times. So you use them because you can.

Ease - To me, a great app helps to make doing important tasks (and often unimportant tasks) easier to do.  For example, you can order a pizza online. Not to difficult right? But you still have to find the site, navigate to the site, login, place your order and then pay. Now lets say you're not at home in front of your computer. Ugh. If you're like me, you're now pulling into the McDonalds drive-through on your way home. But with a mobile app, you have a button on your phone that's extremely easy to find, you can single click and order your favorite pizza, and in 10 minutes flat you have a hot pizza in your app happy hands. Making things easy is actually much, much harder than making something more complex. And this is often where apps of this type fail. They take something that wasn't too hard in the first place and only achieve in making it harder to do in a mobile app. Just taking something that works on a desktop and porting it to a mobile device does not work!

Need - This category covers the apps that you rarely ever need, but when you need them, you're glad you have them. Let's say you are out at an away game for your child's soccer game and your kid takes a bad fall and twists their ankle. You child is in pain and you are in an unfamiliar part of town. That is when an app like the Nationwide Children's Hospital: Locator app comes in handy. You know that you want to find the nearest urgent care center and you need to find it now. So you pull out your smartphone, open the app, and locate the nearest urgent care center, get directions, and you can even call the urgent care center directly. Did I mention that Big Bots created this app?

Big Bots: Services
So the rest of the Internet that doesn't fall nicely into these categories, is probably a good candidate for your mobile web experience. These can include things like doing research on a topic, reading a recent news article, or checking the status of an order. One other very important component of your mobile web experience, is that every smart phone is guaranteed to have a web browser, but not every smart phone is guaranteed to have downloaded your app. So if you naively choose to ignore the mobile web because apps are the new hotness, you are essentially ignoring your biggest audience. And no one can survive on a strategy like that, not even a politician.


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