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Nov 08 2010

Whirlwind week of iSpeedShop demos

It's been an exciting, busy week for us! We did demos at gatherings two nights in a row, and got great feedback. We also added several people as beta testers and e-newsletter subscribers, and got healthy web traffic, so I recommend other developers do demos for their projects in progress. These events attest to the vibrancy of the startup tech scene in the Washington, DC area and the people who facilitate it by organizing events.

Wednesday: Smartphone Developer Meetup

Wednesday night, we presented an Appshare demo of iSpeedShop at the Washington iPhone / Android / Smartphone Developers Meetup in DC. It was largely developers in the audience. As you can see from the photo of the agenda (below), after the announcements, we were the only demo, and we presented before the main event (App Savvy's release; see below). The night before, Salman and I came up with a plan of what features to show, then I wrote out a script. I talked through what the shopper would be doing while Salman drove the app.

White Glove Apps Appshare on Meetup agenda

In the iPhone simulator, we showed how you can add groceries to your shopping list; specify details about them like quantity, size, and brand; then shop by checking items off your list as you pick them up; and see a coupon for a featured deal. Despite it being our first live demo of this version of iSpeedShop, things went smoothly from technical and presentation perspectives. Check out the video above! We finished our presentation by telling people what co-founders we're looking for. We got a lot of good suggestions of features to add, many of which are in our roadmap. You can read the transcript of the demo below.

There was networking before and after the official program. At the end, a reporter from the Washington Post Capital Business paper took stylish photographs of developers show off their apps.

App Savvy by Ken Yarmosh

Thanks to organizer Pete Erickson for letting us present, to PointAbout for hosting, and to O'Reilly Publishing for sponsoring the delicious pizza! The Meetup was for the release party for the book App Savvy by Ken Yarmosh, and Ken laid out a great development philosophy in the interview: develop your customers while you're developing the code. We bought the book and look forward to reading its tips on researching, planning, developing, and marketing apps.

Thursday: Social MatchBox

Thursday night was DC Social Matchbox in McLean, Virginia. This seemed like more of a business audience. It attracted startups, people looking to join them for sweat equity, socializers, and sponsors. It was an open mic format where any startup could present for about five minutes, including questions.

There were about ten presentations. They ranged from pre-recorded videos, to live demos, to investor-style slide decks, to talks without visuals. The businesses were mostly web sites, ranging from content to services, plus a few mobile apps.

Before we presented, I made an uncluttered background screen to put up behind the iPhone during our demo. I put White Glove Apps, iSpeedShop, WhiteGloveApps.com, and @WhiteGloveApps (our twitter handle) at the corners. When it was our turn, Salman introduced the company while I brought up the iPhone simulator on the projector. I talked people through the demo while he drove the app. After that, we told people what co-founders we're looking for, then took questions for a few minutes.

We got good feedback, including to simplify the demo rather than show off all the features. Just goes to show you that, even when you think you don't have that many features to show, it still might be best to cut some from the demo!

Thanks to Robert Neelbauer for letting us present, TeqCorner for hosting, and all the sponsors for providing food!

Transcript of iSpeedShop demo

Here's the raw transcript of the demo from the Smartphone Developer Meetup. Thanks to Speechpad for transcribing it!

Jeremy:
All right. Hi everybody. I'm Jeremy. This is Salman Haq. We're the co-founders of White Glove Apps, and we're going to show you our in-store shopping app called iSpeedShop. This won best in show at the Startup Weekend at DC 10 a few months ago.

Audience Member:
iSpeedShop?

Jeremy:
iSpeedShop. Yep. And this is an early prototype, but the overall goal is to make shopping faster and easier by giving you relevant coupons and by ultimately routing you through the store. So, this is the shopping list that we've got here. So let's go ahead and add a couple things. Ketchup is on my list first. So let's put that in, and then we can find it, tap it, and then let's do two of those. And brand-wise, let's do Heinz.

Audience Member:
So the idea is that this is our shopping list?

Jeremy:
Right. So this is your shopping list. So we're going to make the shopping list, and then we're going to go to the store and shop on your shopping list. Okay. Size, we can set that as well. Let's go for small ones. And then we can set a note on there. And let's not get the green kind this time. That's kind of weird.

Audience Member:
Dang kids, green ketchup.

Audience Member:
Are they still making that?

Jeremy:
I don't know. It stuck in my mind. Okay. So we're done with that item. So let's add diapers as well. That was just on the top there, so we can click on that.

Audience Member:
Not the green kind.

Jeremy:
That's another problem entirely. Okay. So that's good. Let's just save that, and we'll be done adding items here. So let's go back to our shopping list so you can see a couple things that we added. Ketchup, diapers. Let's see, what else did we want to do? Actually, you know what? I've already got ketchup. Let's go ahead and just delete that. So if you go to edit and then the usual delete functionality you can do there. Okay. So now, we're done editing.

So now, we're in the store shopping. So let's go ahead and go through the categories, and let's check off bread, string beans, and the diapers. Okay. And so we've gotten everything that was on our list. Let's go ahead and check out the featured coupon of the day. So the idea is that this would be specific to the store that you're at. So if you want to get spinach there, you can just accept that and use the barcode at checkout. So they could just scan at checkout.

[Q&A session omitted]

Jeremy:
All right. So thanks for all your questions and interest. We're looking for a couple of other co-founders for this app. So if you're interested -- developer, designer, retailer -- please come talk to me, Jeremy, and Salman.

Audience Member:
What's the name of your company?

Jeremy:
White Glove Apps.

Audience Member:
White Glove Apps. How many apps do you have? Well, I'll talk to you offline.

Jeremy:
Yeah. Thanks.

Pete Erickson:
Thanks guys.

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