What do coffee farmers in Tanzania have in common with event planners in the US? They’re surrounded by poor Internet connection. And if the goal is to develop a sustainable and successful mobile app with long-lasting impact, going native is the solution. No one knows this better than Ezra Spier, the Director of Technology Solutions at Sustainable Harvest, who spoke at last night’s mobile meetup.
On the fourth Monday of every month, Mobile Portland gets together to educate, promote, and support the mobile technology community in PDX. Last night’s meetup, “Mobile Apps for Coffee Farmers: 10 Lessons Learned in the Field,” focused on the challenges faced by Sustainable Harvest while deploying iOS apps and mobile-optimized websites in coffee-growing communities around the world. This time it was Tanzania.
And as someone who has traveled to Peru, El Salvador, and now Tanzania, Ezra is extremely familiar with the challenges that crop up when implementing tech solutions in distant countries and building apps for people who are new to mobile and have never used a computer. “A web app really restricted our ability to scale,” said Ezra. “If your app needs to work, then it needs to work.” Going native ensures your app will work anytime, anywhere—regardless of Internet connection. If you want your business or event to develop and thrive, using a native mobile app is the answer.
Here are the top 10 takeaways:
1. Get grounded: learn from the end user; don't assume you know what they want.
2. Encourage adoption by building indispensable solutions.
3. Trust is key by having a stake in the game.
4. Choose your platforms carefully and push them to their limits.
5. Practice pessimistic engineering.
6. Design matters. Never underestimate a well-designed, easy-to-use app.
7. Let users surprise and inspire you.
8. Be creative, collaborative, and transparent. Mistakes are helpful.
9. Starting over does not always mean failure.
10. Apps should sustain beyond their makers.
Want to know more? Check out the video to see the full presentation from Monday's meetup.