Dan Hough

StreetScout - Three Weeks On

Published 26 April 2013 in London, UK

It’s been more than three weeks since we released StreetScout for iOS and I’d like to take this moment to talk a little bit about the results.

Before we released StreetScout the plan was to price the app at 69p. At the moment, that plan has been put on hold.

I was at the Founders’ Hive MVP Demo day the Saturday after launch and was given so many pieces of advice about what ‘next steps’ I should take for leading the direction of the app. There were plenty of great bits of feedback about how to make it have more of The Awesome. Some of the best feedback though was to just shut the hell up about pricing - it’s still in it’s infancy, so becoming focused on what the price of StreetScout for iPhone is will distract away from improving the app itself. Then again, so will blogging about it.

Nevertheless, I’m quite keen to share what’s happened so far with anybody who is interested.

Location-based services are buggy…depending on where you are

At first, I was told there was a bug with the app, by Apple. There were no results for the tester! They didn’t tell me where or what they were searching for so it was tough for me to debug - and honestly, Mixpanel was showing me nothing but successful results in the US. So, what was I to do?

In the end, somehow it was approved. I never learned why. But what I did learn is that perhaps, messaging with location-based services needs to be really clear. There needs to be complete clarity about which guarantees can be made and which cannot, so that whoever it using it knows what to expect. This is especially true when you are relying on third-party services to power yours.

Don’t believe the hype!

I’ve said this before, but hype is just not worth taking seriously. Yes, if people like what you’re doing you should take it as a great feedback and positive encouragement, but hype does not equal validation. I’d like to thank Paul Brannigan for bringing me down to reality after a particularly hypetastic evening.

The key thing is to put aside the emotional feedback for a little while, and take the pragmatic stuff and putting it into improving your service or product.

Criticism is key

If someone says something that at first sounds like a horrible criticism, try to figure out where they are coming from. Sometimes this will come in the form of someone else interpreting comments, but you need to be able to do it yourself. If someone comes at your idea or product like they’re attacking it, they probably aren’t intending to be harsh. Put yourself in their shoes.

Carry on…

For some this is easy, but not to much for others. Now that I have StreetScout in the hands of hundreds of people, there’s some temptating to sit on one’s laurels - but the fact is, they have a product which isn’t finished yet. Sure, it does the job - but it could do more. A lot more, and better.

Finally, some stats, in case you’re interested…

I’m off to India in a week or so, so hopefully a release soon after then. Until then, back to work!

Thanks for reading :)

Heckle me on Twitter @basicallydan.