02-13-2013 04:08 PM
I'm in a rant-like mood lately so...
BuiltForBlackBerry (BFB) is actually the SuperApps program revamped (+$10K commitment). What is a SuperApp? Few years ago, before the total BBOS flop, there was an yearly competition sponsored by the BlackBerryPartnersFund. And one of the challenges was to build a SuperApp. At that time the BB World mantra was "quality over quantity". So a SuperApp should show the power of the BBOS, it is always connected, running in background, integrates with core BB apps like Calendar, Contact, Maps etc, is optimized and performance light... Sounds familiar, right?
Well, I spent about a month building my SuperApp. It had a nice custom UI, used a custom notification schema, integrated with Calender, Contacts and Maps, running in background... you get the picture, I covered all the criteria. And the app got to the Regional Semifinals, I received a nice badge to alter my app icon, and the app was featured like 5-6 times in the BBWorld carousel in the year after the competition. Nice, eh?
But... the sales were disappointing. Even getting featured didn't help much (and at that time being featured was equal to a gold rain, I got just few gold drops). The app was amazing as a technical implementation, but it wasn't appealing to the customers. Noone wanted to buy it. And even those who purchased it, used like 10% of the whole functionality.
On the other hand I developed few simple apps, that solved a specific user issues. Some of them were running in the background, some were integrated with core services, however none of them was a SuperApp. But the sales numbers were quite impressive.
Moral of the story? If you got BFB already - congratulations, it is quite an achievment! Now off to collect the $10K! But if you didn't get BFB yet - don't get frustrated or depressed. Follow your heart, implement your ideas and go for the customers. At the end it is the customer satisfaction that matters. If your users are happy, write positive reviews and buy your app, then you should be happy too.
And remember, Rovio doesn't need a BFB to have a bestselling Angry Birds...