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SilverlightShow Interview with Scott Golightly - Presenter at 2 Windows Phone sessions at Visual Studio Live!Redmond 5-day Conference

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0 comments   /   posted on Jun 28, 2012
Tags:   windows-phone , visual-studio-live , scott-golightly
Categories:   Windows Phone , Interviews

In this SilverlightShow interview, we talk with Scott Golightly - presenter at 2 Windows Phone sessions at Visual Stuido Live! Redmond conference (August 6-10, 2012, Microsoft HQs in Redmond). The topics of the sessions are: Getting Started with Windows Phone 7, Making Money with Windows Phone
As with all earlier Visual Studio Live events this year,SilverlightShow is again the
Social Media Premiere Partner for this conference and we are sending one SilverlightShow member to this conference for free.

About Scott: Scott Golightly is a Senior Software Developer with Experlogix. Scott is also a Microsoft Regional Director. He has over 15 years experience helping clients to create solutions to business problems with various technologies. Scott is an experienced speaker and trainer. He has taught classes around the globe on various technical and business related topics. Scott has presented at numerous code camps, Tech Ed break out sessions, and Tech Ready. Scott has held many certifications including Certified PowerBuilder Developer, Certified Sybase Instructor, MCP, MCSD, and MCT. When he is not working with computers Scott enjoys spending time with his family and being in the outdoors.

SilverlightShow: Hi Scott! Nice to meet you online! You are presenting 2 sessions on Windows Phone at VS Live! Redmond event, the first being a beginners intro to developing for Windows Phone. Since there are quite a lot of online resources on Win Phone development, how will your session differ from what’s online, why should people who never developed anything for the phone join it?

SG: As with any “getting started” topic today there will be many resources (blogs, videos, and the SDK documentation to name a few) that there will be some overlap. The live session can provide a few advantages including an organization to the content, and the ability to ask questions to figure out how everything fits together.

SilverlightShow : Monetization of Windows Phone apps is undoubtedly something extremely important for phone developers. The Windows phone marketplace has so many paid apps, but few of them are truly profiting ones. Why do you think that is? And is it possible for a developer to become a marketer for his own apps, or should he seek assistance with marketing efforts?

SG: Marketing is one of those things that seem to be more of an art than a science. I don’t know if I have all the answers but I will cover some of the things that make applications successful in the marketplace as well as helping the attendees to understand the process of publishing an application in the marketplace.

If a developer is serious about making a career out of selling applications in the marketplace they will need to come up with a really good idea, write a compelling application, and then make sure that it is seen. Because there are now so many applications in the marketplace if you want to truly distinguish your application you should look at getting some help to market your application to the target market. For most hobbyist developers they may not need to hire a professional marketing firm but that will need to be a business decision made by each developer weighing the potential market and gains against the cost of a marketing firm.

SilverlightShow : What would you recommend as the most effective marketing tool to spread the word about a paid app you’ve developed?

SG: There are several factors that make for successful applications. The first and best is to have an idea that your target market wants or needs.

After the idea you need to have a compelling application. Two of the criteria that people use to judge applications is the ratings for your application and the performance. By having a good application that meets the needs of the users and is easy to use you will get good ratings. One of the things I see often is that users will start an application and flick quickly to see how it responds. If there are pauses then that application may be removed immediately.

If your application is featured in the marketplace it will help to get a lot of downloads and buzz. If you are not that lucky then you will have to market it through your social circles, in magazines and web sites that your target audience will visit, and word of mouth.

Finally being responsive to customer issues and having frequent meaningful updates is important to make sure that users are reminded that your application is on their phone and that they downloaded it for a purpose. As they use it more and more it will become integrated into the way they work and this will help to spread the word about your application.

SilverlightShow : And, given that an app has gained a lot of popularity following intensive marketing efforts, what’s the key to having people upgrade to the paid version after trying it, what is the most important factor that persuades people the app deserves their money?

SG: While the reasons that a person will decide to purchase your application are as individual as the people who purchase there are generally several reasons that people decide to purchase the application. I see those reasons as 1) There is additional functionality in the paid version 2) the paid version has fewer advertisements or doesn’t “nag” them to upgrade 3) they like the application so much that they want to upgrade after a trial period 4) their friends are using the application and they purchase it without really considering the cost.

You can’t really rely on the last reason but you can be strategic and plan your application so it becomes a must have application that people are willing to pay a small amount of money for in order to continue using the application.

Of course there is another strategy and that is to create a free application that is wildly popular and make money off of the advertisements included in the application. This strategy has worked for some applications.

SilverlightShow : Earlier this week Microsoft announced the features to be expected in Windows Phone 8. How do you think Win phone 8 will affect the development of mobile apps, and the ability to substantially monetize the apps?

SG: This is an exciting time for Windows Phone developers. Since applications written for Windows Phone 7 will run on Windows Phone 8 developers can continue to create great applications using Silverlight that will run in both Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8.

As more details come out about the features available in Windows Phone 8 developers can start to weigh the new features against the potential market and determine when to move to a Windows Phone 8 only solution.

SilverlightShow : What do you think does Windows Phone technology still lack, to be more widely adopted for LOB apps?

SG: There are several features that will help with business adoption. One of the requests I hear often is for a private marketplace where an administrator can ensure that only members of that organization get access to the application as well as a way to remove the application when a user leaves the enterprise.

Windows phone already has great management capabilities and with Windows Phone 8 I expect that there will be even more capabilities that will appeal to enterprises.

SilverlightShow: How and where may conference attendees meet you during the conference?

SG: I generally like to attend other sessions so I will be in the hallways and in sessions. I am more than happy to talk to anyone about Microsoft in general and development and Windows Phone in particular. The best part of conferences is the chance to talk and learn from other’s perspectives that might be different than your own.

Thanks Scott for this interview! Wish you, as well as our free pass winner a great conference event!



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