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October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat! Who's Behind That Mask?


Halloween in numbers main pic

It's Halloween! I just saw this amazing infographic that says Americans spend $2.8B on Halloween costumes, more than 10% of that on pet costumes. A fun holiday, great for the kids, candy makers, and the dentists. Personally, I really enjoy seeing kids from our neighborhood come by, ring the doorbell and spook us out.

I happen to now run a small business -- AppSheet -- and our product also happens to serve other small businesses. So as I'm stocking up on candy for the trick-or-treaters, it's got me thinking --- who rings the "doorbell" of our business? What costumes do they wear? What trick or treat are they demanding? How can I see through their masks?

As CEO of AppSheet, I am bombarded daily with email offering us everything from office space, healthy snacks (organic beef jerky, no less!), sales automation, marketing automation, design services, and of course, most lucrative of all, software development services. They ring the doorbell (typically via email, though increasingly and irritatingly by calling my cellphone). They wear different guises, but they all want to scare me -- "hey, you really need me to do X for you" -- and are looking for a treat. In the case of app development services, it is a darn expensive treat! $50K to build me a mobile app. Please!

On behalf of every small business owner, I suggest maybe it's time to show them a trick or two instead. Just do-it-yourself (DIY!). There are new online services that make it easy for anyone to build themselves a useful mobile app. We offer one such service at AppSheet where you can build mobile apps directly from spreadsheets in minutes. And this is a growing trend for many other digital services as well. They're getting easier, simpler and more accessible for the everyday user. Of course, we think ours is the coolest thing since sliced bread, but the important thing is -- explore the options, pick a good one, and get going.

So the next time the doorbell rings, you will be the one scaring them with your DIY mobile app expertise. Save your money, or use it to buy your pet a costume instead.

Halloween in numbers main pic Photograph: Guardian Graphics

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