iPhone and the state of the application (Part 3)

Now that we’ve covered the two different application options accessible via the iPhone. We need to figure out how this figures into your business. If you have been in product management for any length of time you know that everything we do is traced back to cost savings or revenue increase. Your business goals will likely require further considerations but I have included some things to consider when the conversation comes up.

Know your audience
It might sound silly but you really need to understand if your users are even using the iPhone. If your budget allows you can always get some market research. The first place I look is the logs. If there is a low number coming in you will at least have some idea if there is interest from iPhone users.

Know what works
From my earlier posts it is pretty clear that games and entertainment are popular with iPhone owners. Good news if you have a game or entertainment related product. For the rest of us I look first to see direct and non-direct competition are doing. Based on those findings you will analyze the good and bad and determine where your potential application and do better.

Pull the plan together
If you are still plodding forward then you must have users coming into your site and have a pretty good idea around what type of rival applications exist. You have to pull the plan together and figure out what is really going to work for your users. Don’t flinch at the option to repackage your site in an iPhone friendly way if it makes sense. Conversly you don’t want to sell yourself short either. If you offer benefits to profiled users can you do something iPhone specific?

Get Help!
Don’t be afraid to find the experts in the field. Depending on how ambitious your plans are you will not regret learning from those that have figured out the challenges to development. There are many different things to consider, especially if you are looking to produce a native application that the help is essential.

Have patience
Another point to consider is that most large corporations have not jumped into application development. Clearly the value has not been determined. But for how long? Also, take a look at the names of the companies putting these apps together now. There are a few recognizable names, but the business model is still only now coming together. Eventually larger development shops and agencies will offer development services to their customers.

Surely you will find plenty of other considerations specific to your business. The intent here is to get the ball rolling and kick off the right types of conversations with your team. Have any experiences to share? Drop them in the comments.

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