Monday, September 21, 2009

An iPhone app to help students get a job in strategy consulting

Every year around this time, the insanity starts for MBAs (and undergrads) trying to get consulting jobs and internships. People are chasing their dream job at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, or a boutique in the field of interest. It's kind of a wild process, with single case interviews and single questions in interviews determining where you end up. Having been through this a few times, I learned some of the ins and outs. It's a stressful process, and one where every edge counts.

I spent part of my summer before starting my full-time consulting job developing a iPhone/iPod touch app for strategy consulting case interview prep using my mobile apps company as a platform. It's now available on the iTunes store. It was more of a pet project than anything else.

I did it mainly by asking myself what type of review would be a helpful supplement to my case preparations. In the end, I settled on a combination of math, estimating and strategy questions. I ended up hiring a PhD in education to write some math questions, and writing most of the strategy questions myself. It was originally going to be around 100 questions, but I got so into I ended up doing 138.

I noticed that a lot of MBAs do have smart phones, and thought that they might want to take advantage of some of their downtime commuting or between classes to get that little extra edge. I see a lot of people on iPhones between classes (and sometimes flagrantly violating Sloan professional standards in a really boring class, ha ha).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life Lessons from an Insane Water Bottle

While I was in Manila, I bought a water bottle at Robinson's Department Store. I bought it because I liked the color, but later in the day, I actually read the inspirational slogans written on it. Unfortunately, it was really crappy and partially melted in the dishwasher. Before I toss it, I decided to type up the advice for posterity sake.

My personal favorite:

Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you actually have them.

Do one thing a day that scares you.

Observe a plant before and after watering and relate those benefits to your body and brain.

That which matters the least should never give way to that which matters the most.

Stress is related to 99% of all illness.

Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.

Life is full of setbacks. (Gee...thanks...)

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind.

Friends are more important than money.

Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.

Do it now, do it now, do it now.

Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business, two health for the next 2, 5, and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.

Move your body and your heart will follow.

Friends are more important than money.

Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

Wake up and realize you are surrounded by amazing friends.

Don't trust that in old age a pension will be enough.

Drink fresh water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.

Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment.

Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top and will give you a lousy life.

Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

Communication is complicated. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is only an agreement if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and time is set for satisfaction to occur.

Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.

Dance, sing, floss and travel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Google announces changes to Android Market app store

Google/Android announced today that there will be some major improvements to the Android Market app store. Thank god. I recently posted about some desired improvement to help us sell our value-added paid educational apps.

Meanwhile, here I'm glad to report that ChemGuru for the SAT II Subject Test for the iPhone is getting some interest. Which is good, because we haven't had much luck on the Android front.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Five quick ways to improve Android Market for developers of paid apps

The main problem I am finding is that we put a lot of money and time at my educational apps company into creating a differentiated, high quality product for the Android Market and we don't have any of the tools necessary to market it. The iTunes store does a lot of the marketing for us, and allows me to do the rest of it.

I know Android is open-source, and Google doesn't take 30% of our earnings. But the store is going to end up being filled with largely freebie junk if Android Market doesn't help folks like us who want to create value-added products to actually sell it. Our iPhone app is outselling our Android app by about 75:1.

If there were 5 things I could suggest:

1) No search engine for apps on the web. You have to use Cyrket, which is a nice mash-up site, but even then, with the short descriptions, it's hard for the user to tell what's good and what isn't.

2) There is no education category. There is a lot of demand out there for educational apps, for all age groups. We specifically make educational apps, so this hurts us. It's better to be more specific with the categories than less, IMHO.

3) No direct link available to my app as far as I can find, so we can’t link to it from our website. We’d like to market our product but all our marketing just says to search Android Market on your phone for .

4) The permitted description length is 325 characters, which is too few characters. I can’t describe my product in that few characters. It's 4,000 in the iPhone appstore. This makes it hard for me to describe my differentiated product and all of its feature.

5) No key words section to help users find what they are looking for and to help us reach users who are looking for the product.

Feel free to add suggestions in the comments section!