Number crunching smartphone app success

Here’s my five-step plan for world domination:

1. I am creating a comprehensive taxonomy of characteristics of smartphone apps. Much more detailed than a feature list: “is it on android or iPhone” but really micro. I will have 20 different user interface ‘styles’ defined scientifically. I will analyze all 11 different variations on viral growth models and describe them scientifically. I will classify the color schemes, fonts used, left versur right swiping, number of customizable characters, and that’s just the start!

2. Once I have that, I will have an independent panel of experts score the top one hundred smart phone apps on each of the facets of my taxonomy. With that I will have a 200-factor success “genome” for each of the top smart phone apps.

3. In parallel I will have a panel of business researchers determine statistics, over time, on each of the top smart phone apps. Number of users, amount of revenue, number of downloads, user ratings, and most important return on investment.

4. Armed with that data I work with a top Statistics PhD and find the predictive factors that lead to a successful outcome for a proposed app.

5. Once I prove that my equation works, I will market my services to VCs and app developers and help them decide which horses to back, and how to improve and refine the concepts they work on for maximum pay back.

What do you think? Will it work?

Solving Equation of a Hit Film Script, With Data –

A chain-smoking former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese — “the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood,” in the words of one studio customer — has started to aggressively pitch a service he calls script evaluation. For as much as $20,000 per script, Mr. Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success. His company, Worldwide Motion Picture Group, also digs into an extensive database of focus group results for similar films and surveys 1,500 potential moviegoers. What do you like? What should be changed?


Are smartphone apps “applications” or “features”?

Andy Payne wrote an interesting analysis about the future of the “software industry” or whatever we should call it nowadays (e.g. is Amazon a software company?)

Not long ago a classic “put down” of a business idea was: “that’s not a business, it’s a product”, or worse, “that’s not a product it’s a feature.” Andy asks:

“As friction goes away, things become much more fine-grained. You don’t need $5m anymore to start a company: a laptop and a cafe wifi connection will do. This enables an explosion of new projects, but with smaller teams and narrower ideas. The industry gorilla platforms fuel a “feature ecosystem”: are those icons on your phone “apps” or “features”? Viewed in person terms: a thousand 100-person software teams might now be 30,000 3-person teams. Software is no longer a sport of kings.” (from

 Read the whole article, it’s pretty interesting!