Spec Out Your Software Project with A Free Quote

light bulbIf you’re considering having a piece of software developed, you may be wondering exactly what kind of work may be required to accomplish the task.  Even if you’ve written out the specs on your project you may be procrastinating on getting it started because you’re unsure if you’re missing anything. 

My advice?  Get a free quote from a custom software developer!  In order for the developer to give you a quote, he or she will have to spec out the project in some level of detail from a technical perspective and can let you know if you’re missing anything.  Plus, another set of technical eyes can often reveal ways to streamline some of the functionality or actually reduce the time you think the project may take to develop.

If you’ve got a custom software project in mind, submit it through out free quote system – regardless of how far along in the planning process you are. 

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Software to Improve Your Business and Your Life

Once in a while we do a round up of some of the coolest, most useful software on the web. This is software that really has the potential to improve lives, to understand your data in new and intuitive ways, or just makes doing you job a heck of a lot easier.

37 Signals

37 Signals is a company, not a product, but just about every web app they produce is uber-cool. Web 2.0 apps like Basecamp and Backpack offer a fresh, clean, logical approach to project management are intuitive and actually fun to use.

Camtasia Studio Screen Recorder

As video becomes more and more important on the web adding videos to your consumer content becomes more critical. You don’t need to come up with clever skits and hire actors, there is just as much need for online tutorials as well. Camtasia Studio Screen Recorder is a fantastic product that lots of people who have tried many different programs swear by. They offer a 30 day free trial if you want to check it out before you buy.

Total Recall Learning Educational Software

According to Total Recall Learning, 80% of learned material is forgotten. Their proprietary learning software program has proven to reduce this amount significantly. In a study conducted among math students at Alliant University, students in the experimental group achieved a score improvement of 15.9% on average, whereas those in the control group attained an increase of only 8.5% on average.

According to the total recall site, the software works by;

“deliver[ing] training systematically in small, absorbable bits of information. A highly sophisticated software algorithm performs staggered, time-delayed repetitions to precisely pinpoint forgotten material.”

Hope this round up provides you with some great ideas about ways to use software to improve your life. Enjoy!

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Keeping Track of What the Online Community is Saying About You

Tracking online and media mentions around the worldAre you tracking the mentions that your company gets on websites, blogs, and online news sources?  Tracking online mentions is a fantastic way to quickly understand what the public as a whole is responding to about your business.  The problem is that most PR tracking software is downright expensive!

One of the most well known tools around today for tracking online mentions and the impact of press releases is Vocus (which partnered with online PR giant PR Web within the last year).  The cost for this software?  Nearly $10,000. 

While there is no question that this is very comprehensive software with lots of bells and whistles, but do you really need all that functionality with such a hefty price tag?  You may prefer different types of functionality than Vocus provides.

The key to getting the results you want is to ask the questions that are right for your business.  Why would it be important to track the mentions of your business online?  What other factors would you like to track (such as the results of pages written by particular copywriters or complaints and raves about products from various manufacturers)?  Perhaps you’d like to know which mentions generated the most traffic and conversions so that you can better plan your marketing and promotional strategy.

Perhaps you’d be better informed and spend less with a custom application.  The best thing about having custom software built is that you get all of what you want and pay for none of what you don’t want. 

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Take a Hint from Google – Your Customers Love Web Apps

The reason just about everyone in the world is enamored by Google is because of their innovative web apps that make life a whole lot easier. Google is constantly cooking up something new and innovative in their top-secret labs. Take a look at some of their latest that you may not have heard about.

Google Timelines

Google Timelines is part of their Experimental Search project. By adding view:timeline to any search, you can now get a visual about the dates most commonly referenced in connection with your search term. Perhaps it’s not something that everyone needs, but I would venture to guess that the people who do will be sold on using Google.

Google Timeline

Local Voice Search

Wow! With local voice search, you can call 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) and speak the name of the listing or category you’re looking for, then get connected to the business for free or have the results sent by SMS to your cell.

Google Notebook

Keep a little virtual notebook of things you find on the web without leaving your browser. Take a tour of Google Notebook »

Google Notebook

You can find lots more of Google’s awesome web apps at their Google Labs page.

All of this success begs the question… what kind of web apps could you create to make your website more sticky? What would make the lives of your customers easier? There are literally hundreds of great ideas waiting to be developed.

If you’re in a niche industry, you’re the perfect person to come up with a great idea that your target audience or peers need. Maybe you’ve already got an idea. If so, look us up. Chances are, it’s a lot simpler and more affordable to create than you might imagine…

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Are You Getting Enough Leisure Time?

Are you getting enough leisure timeA press release published by the OPEN from American Express talks about a recent study that says 81% of small business owners are satisfied with the amount of leisure time they get.  Are you one of them?  These stats seem a little off-base – unless I just happen to know only the 19% of other small business owners that are constantly juggling work-related activities. 

Forget about becoming more productive in your business so that you can grow your business for a second… shouldn’t we also be striving for more enjoyment from our lives?  That’s one of the reasons why you went into business for yourself, isn’t it?

Take a moment and think about all of the repetitive things that you do each day that are taking way to much time.  If you’re doing the same task over and over, there is almost certainly a way to automate it and free up a good chunk of your time.  What are you doing that’s wasting your precious leisure time?

Even if you don’t know how you would automate it, there is probably a way with custom software.  Developers can look at a problem from an entirely different angle and often see quick solutions that the person doing the task hasn’t considered.  I don’t mean to make a sales pitch here, but isn’t freeing up some of your valuable time worth considering building a custom software app? 

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