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Notes from a Chicago entrepreneur and investor.

Interview with Robert Scoble

I sat down with Robert Scoble a few weeks ago in San Francisco.  We cover several topics in this interview - appoLearning, vertical app discovery, and our findings regarding Android vs. iOS in education (surprisingly we find Android Tablets and Handsets virtually on par with iPhone and iPad for the best educational apps).

Here’s a link to our findings on Android vs. iOS:  https://www.appolearning.com/advisor/articles/219-appolearning-now-curates-and-compares-iphone-android-tablet-and-android-smartphone-apps

Why We Launched iOS and Android Community Lists for appoLearning

Since we launched the appoLearning website last April and the appoLearning iPad app in September, we’ve had conversations with hundreds of teachers around the country.  We’ve consistently heard the same set of requests:

“I’d like to be able to store app lists in the cloud, edit them, and share them with parents and students.”

“I love your curated list by topic - but as a 5th grade teacher I teach a wide range of subjects and I’d like to be able to share MY list for MY classroom.”

“I teach a course that I developed on globalization that I developed personally - it’s not a ’standard’ topic like fractions or U.S. History - is there a way I can create and share an app list?”

“My students have all sorts of devices - iPhones, Android phones, and Android tablets. I’d like to be able to share apps that can help my kids learn for all these types of devices.”

We’re excited to announce today the launch of appoLearning Community Lists to address all of these questions.  With Community Lists, any visitor to appoLearning site or app can quickly create an app list, for either the iOS or Android platform.  Visitors can optionally provide descriptions around the list and each app, and also create multiple app lists.   App list pages and author pages are easily shared.  Here’s my list on weather apps;  and here’s my author page on appoLearning - with lists for both iOS and Android.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Yidio, a true Silent Killer, Announces New iPhone App

One of my favorite blog posts of the last five years is from Brad Feld entitled The Silent Killers.  In it Brad refers to his favorite companies who avoid hype, limelight and just execute.  Brad says:

“They just do it. And suddenly they are $10 million, or $20 million, or even $50 million revenue companies. ….

Sure – their customers and partners know who they are. Other entrepreneurs, especially ones who work with them in some way know who they are. Smart technical folks know who they are. And the geographic community that they are in know who they are since they are often the leaders of their startup communities.

But they sneak up on you. They don’t waste their time hyping themselves.

Brandon (CEO)  and Adam (COO) Eatros, the cofounders of Yidio.com, fit this definition to a T.  I’ve been an investor and on the Board of Yidio since 2009, and I’ve been consistently amazed at the laser beam focus, ability to ignore distractions, and the ability to plow through obstacles that Brandon and Adam and the rest of the Yidio team has shown.

By consistently focusing on solving one problem – how to watch everything – how to find and watch tv and movies online – at the granular level – they have built a great business.  And I am excited that today they have launched an iPhone app called Yidio.

Brandon and Adam took that same painstaking approach to detail and focus, spending well over a year on this app, fine tuning the consumer experience, making downstream integration seamless, overcoming technical hurdles, re-architecting their platform, and testing testing testing – to create without a doubt the best app of its kind in the app store.  I encourage you to check it out – here’s the download link:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yidio/id664306931?mt=8

And the virtual tour and video:
https://www.yidio.com/app

Here’s a link to the Appolicious article:

http://www.appolicious.com/tech/articles/13580-new-yidio-app-brings-users-two-clicks-away-from-their-favorite-tv-shows-and-movies

Here’s a link to the TechCrunch coverage:

http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/10/yidios-new-app-is-a-comprehensive-guide-to-all-the-tv-shows-movies-you-can-watch-on-your-iphone/