Throughout 2010 there was an increasing trend that I’m sure will continue in 2011: skilled developers are creating frankly useless products purely because they think that’s what is most successful at the moment. Developers who could be creating utility, productivity or even gaming applications have been swept up in the tide of social media integration, and that has created a swath of useless apps on the market that are very unlikely to succeed.

Stop trying to create the new Facebook. Stop trying to create some social media-aware to do list, or webapp that monitors world emotions through Twitter. Instead, create something that is practical, something that is useful and something that people will use: and you will succeed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m addicted to Facebook and Twitter, I spend way too much time every day browsing my Facebook and Twitter feeds. The thing is, I’m sick of developers trying to cash in on this phenomenon, because frankly, it won’t work. Very few products whose sole drawcard is social media integration have actually succeeded, and yet so many are still trying to enter the market.

Developers, please stop wasting your time on apps or services which capitalize on Facebook or Twitter. If you can add the integration as a secondary feature, great! But please stop trying to create social media exclusive applications, because nobody cares. Rockmelt, anyone?

If you enjoyed this rant, and also some delightful irony, follow me on Twitter here. Alternatively, check out my latest project, TapType.

 

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We frequently hear stories of monumental startup success stories, with their endless media attention and billion dollar exits. Consequently, a lot of young entrepreneurs get caught up in that whirlwind of excitement, and miss a fundamental point regarding the software or startup business: unless you work extremely hard for it, you’re going to be ignored. You can’t simply assume the media attention will be there. Unless your product is revolutionary or exciting enough to be noticed, your startup will likely be lost in the swath of products on the market – unless you do something about it.

The time in which you could simply create a great product and hope or assume it would get the attention it deserves has passed. Today, if your product is going to be noticed you will need to put the hours in to get it there. Whether it be in spending weeks emailing every tech blogger you know, or in creating a massive Twitter or Facebook following to launch to, the work needs to be done to create some kind of hype for your product. Viral marketing is a technique which has been used to great success to create the kind of attention that makes a product successful, but it is very tricky to get it just right. Creating a viral sensation is something that rarely happens deliberately, but often happens by chance. If you can manage it however, profit-creating attention is almost guaranteed.

Don’t get too caught up in the excitement of launching a product, and simply assume you will be noticed. Instead, work for it, and spend some time ensuring that your product will get the attention it deserves.

Follow me on Twitter, if you like. Or check out my latest project, TapType.