I’ve been having a great time building an app around a passion that I have, horses. But why build an app for Equestrians and is there a business there? Yes there is and let me tell you why.
I grew up on a farm in Minnesota and was around all kinds of animals including horses. As a small boy, the horses where big animals that were always curious and fun to be around. Then we moved to the city and left the farm life behind. That farm and country life never left my mind and after successful career in technology I’ve been fortunate enough to bring a little of the country lifestyle back into my life. With my sons off to college, we decided to add 3 horses to our lives. Crazy?
After having these wonderful animals with us everyday of our lives for a year getting to ride them, train them and just watch them in the pastures, it kind of like the dream story you always hear. But, in owning 1,300 pound beasts, you have to manage, feed and care for them too. That costs time, money and many other people involved.
So, what does any person that has been in the software business for 25 years do? You look for an app to help manage with all that. And I found exactly nothing that I would like to use. Oh, I found some 90’s looking applications, but basically nothing. So, I started out just creating something to help me manage around my barn. But once I got going and sharing with my new equestrian friends, many of them convinced me to make it so they could use it and connect to the horses too.
After doing my research, I found the following
- Over 9.2 million horses in the United States
- 7.1 million people in the United States involved in the equine business
- 1.4 million full-time jobs
- $112.1 billion dollar eonomic impact
Sure, this is no Facebook or Snapchat startup opportunity, but who is even trying for that anymore? Sometimes looking in odd places develop great new business opportunities if you structured it right for the audience. It’s powerful and allow people to stay connected in the care and enjoyment of these wonderful horses through an app on their phones.
visit https://equestrianapp.com to see it.
More to come. Patrick
There are a lot of management principles you can learn in an MBA class about building your startup. But the most important things about startups you really don’t learn from a book or a professor that hasn’t created a company before. I always found when creating a product that might have a competitor or two, that it is important to remember this every day.
You don’t have to be the first, just be the best!
Sometimes you can get so bogged down on features or what the competitor is doing that you will easily lose focus on that is unique to your business and or product. When I created my Mobile Business Intelligence (MobileBI) product, Atlas Insights, I have competitors like Microsoft, Tableau, IBM, Oracle and others that might have a similar product, but not quite.
It’s important to focus on the key features or services you have that make you stand out above the rest. Spend a good amount of time thinking about what the other products are missing and how your product does it best than any other competing product. In Atlas Insights, we excel at making it super easy to get your data into the app and out to your employees. Start the app and within a minute, you’ll know the performance of your entire business against your goals.
And the most important aspect where we are the BEST?! You can do it yourself and not have to hire a fleet of consultants to implement your MobileBI strategy like my competitors.
On some days, building an app is much easier than picking a brand and logo. But I think we nailed it with this logo. The top of the E being made into the back of the horse is perfect. What do you think?
One of the first apps I created was right after I graduated from college when I created “Assistant Basketball Coach”, which allowed coaches to capture the statistics of the game into a database for analysis and reporting during and after the game. It was probably one of the most fun applications that I ever created because it was a niche app that focused on a primary passion I enjoyed. The software was used by thousands of coaches around the world at its peak, until I sold that business in 1998. After that, I was onto creating and selling enterprise software for years which was a lot of fun, but can also be quite unfulfilling.
Now, fast forward several years. I’ve had an opportunity to “go back to the farm” if you will, and added a few horses to my property. In learning and working with these horses, I’ve found that the community of equestrians out there, do not have a system or app that allows them to connect everyone in the care and enjoyment of these wonderful equine animals. After several months of research and visiting a lot of horse owners, boarders, leaser’s, trainers, vets and more, I believe I found my next app adventure. I hope you tag along with the adventure.
I will blog on the design, development and beta testing through this medium and also at http://EquestrianApp.com
As I begin my journey into discovering and defining a new application opportunity, I mentioned last week that I stopped creating business plans and just use PowerPoint to create my plan. This week I’m beginning the process of creating some application mockups. I know how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, but again, I fall back to my favorite mockup tool, PowerPoint!
As I begin this journey, I mention that I’m going to build my new app using the new Windows Universal app design language. Desktop/web is a very import productivity piece to my application with mobile as an extension of information consumption. Microsoft provide a great wealth of information over at https://dev.windows.com/en-US/windows-apps for you to read and download. One of the assets they provide are these templates and storyboard assets for PowerPoint. It save a TON of time inserting, resizing and moving elements around.
I use the Slide Master pages in PowerPoint to put in my Windows 10 shell. I do this because it is nice to have the desktop appear as I create new screen mockups. Then you can either turn it on or off. Pretty slick.
Now the Windows 10 window frame I just create with a series of shapes and change the background colors giving me the look and feel of Windows 10! Simple! Now you are off and running creating your app elements using the storyboard feature or just importing your images directly.
Try it when you are mocking up your next app.
I’ve had this software idea in my head for the past 10+ years. A week doesn’t go by where it just bugs me that the software that is out there is tired and old. Well, I guess it is time to see if there is really an opportunity out there to solve this problem. I’ll continue to blog on this new software opportunity as I move along. I hope you enjoy the updates.
Do you just create your software and see if someone buys it? Nope. That is a bad idea if that is the way you start. You can see it in the multi-million dollars failures that occur every week. I actually like to build software that actually makes money and not give it away for FREE. What kind of business is that?
First you have to get your thoughts organized and I always go back to Microsoft PowerPoint. Sure, there are probably a hundred other apps that are good for this, but PowerPoint just makes it easy. Click Click Click and I’m off and running capturing, organizing and communicating my ideas.
I blurred my workbook above for a reason, but PowerPoint allows me to quickly capture and organize my thoughts on the idea I am working on. I do this because I have probably about 50 web links I have captured and I need them organized so it follows a certain flow. I clip the pages, think competitors slides, and list them in PowerPoint in a certain order. Allows me to work through my competitors in a logical fashion from strongest to weakest.
I never write a business plan because my PowerPoint becomes my business plan without all the silly fluff. I’ve got my positioning, my competitors, my technology, my branding and my marketing plans all in this document creating a minimal viable product that I can go to market quickly and being winning over new customers and friends.
So I have had a few of my friends ask me what ME FIRST is and what problem it solves. Simple answer. We all like how quick we can message a thought with Twitter and take a picture and share it on Facebook. Why is that? Because the ability to do it quickly is the focus of their apps.
Well, what if you wanted to have those same features but NOT post your data. ME FIRST is kind of like a layer in front of Twitter and Facebook that gives you all those great features, but keep the data private!
Perfect! Now you can document your life story without having to be forced to share it with the world!
Download it at http://mefirstapp.com, it is FREE!