Whatever happened to porn leading the tech industry?

It used to be the case that the Porn industry was always the leader in technology, experimenting and illustrating how new technologies could be used to deliver content to consumers. Hell, even in 2010, CNN was willing to say that the adult entertainment industry was leading the technology world.

Sadly, that is no longer true.

Dan Rowinski, writing last October, says that Porn is no longer a leading indicator of web innovation and unfortunately, we have to agree with him. After attending Xbiz, Internext and AVN this year, we’ve had to shake our heads a bit because so much of our industry appears to be looking back rather than seeing the bright consumer future.

At MiKandi, we’re fortunate not to be plagued by dogma.  We’re embracing the new consumer world and seeing fantastic results because of it. Hundreds of thousands of consumers every month use our App Market for Adults despite the fact that we’ve spent ZERO on marketing.

These adults are downloading millions of amazing apps, viewing pictures and videos and interacting with one another in meaningful ways, all on their mobile devices. We’re learning more every day about the future of content and consumers.

There are some basic principles that lead to success

The adult industry deserves to thrive and grow. We have no illusions that this is something we can do all alone. We’d like to help lead the Adult industry back to its rightful place as the aggressive, innovative leader of technology development for consumers. Here are the things we find to be most important in designing content delivery for today’s consumer:

  1. Content needs to be mobile, because consumers are.
  2. Connectivity is the rule, not the exception.
  3. Being trustworthy and providing great service matters more than making a quick buck.
  4. Personalization is key.

Let’s dig into each of those principles a bit.

#1: Content needs to be mobile, because consumers are.

Consumers are consuming content on mobile devices in staggering numbers. Whether it’s finding out that the average mobile consumer spends 94 minutes a day in their apps or that mobile video already comprises 50% of operators’ data bandwidth, it’s obvious that consumers are spending their time with the brands and content they love on their mobile devices.

We have heard far too many studios discounting the mobile viewing experience, essentially saying, “Who would want to watch porn on such a small screen?”. We can tell you definitively that the answer is: “A lot of people, with more EVERY day”. People don’t care nearly so much about the size of the screen as the availability of great content and the ever present nature of their mobile device.

It’s worth noting that there was a time when people thought that porn on a PC or laptop was a silly idea in comparison to having it on your TV. Those people were wrong then too.

#2: Connectivity is the rule, not the exception.

Consumers expect to be able to connect to the network wherever they are, whenever they’d like to. Wireless providers continue to expand their offerings and to increase the speeds they’re delivering to consumers, leading us to an environment where everyone is constantly online.

Designing services for this highly connected world means that media can be more interactive, delivering experiences that are far more immersive for the consumer. Whether it’s the emergence of live chat services or the explosive growth in mobile dating, when people are always connected they expect more real-time services and we all need to embrace this phenomenon.

#3: Being trustworthy and providing great service matters more than making a quick buck.

Today’s digital consumer expects to be able to vent about problems, tell their friends about services that are shady and to inspire grassroots boycotts of companies that are bad actors. Having a short-term view of your customer relationships in order to boost your bottom line might have worked when consumers weren’t as easily connected to one another and the average person had no public recourse, but it was still wrong.

These days, acting in this way is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, we see a too many companies in the industry failing to recognize that they need to reform their business practices and treat consumers with RESPECT. Tricking someone into buying a subscription might make you more money but it’s not going to win a loyal customer who sings your praises.

At MiKandi, we’ve embraced this connected environment and place a huge emphasis on our customer service by:

  • Making it extraordinarily easy to contact us and responding to EVERY customer request (yes, every one)
  • Refunding any consumer who has an issue with an app or our service. We’d rather be like Nordstrom than the 99 Cent store
  • Creating a virtual currency system, allowing us to handle refunds elegantly for the publisher AND the consumer

The results have been unambiguous: our chargeback rates are the absolute lowest in the industry (just ask our billing providers) and 1 in 5 purchasers purchases again with us, unprompted. That’s what happens when you develop a relationship with your customers predicated on mutual trust and respect and deliver excellent service.

#4: Personalization is key

A lot of companies are requiring usernames and IDs in order to know who a customer is, primarily for their own benefit. This is step one in developing a customer relationship, but it’s not the most important piece of this relationship development. When you ask a person to tell you about themselves, today they expect that they’re going to get a better service as a result.

From providing content recommendations to understanding their usage activity and delivering personalized messages, there’s a lot today’s content provider can do to personalize experiences. People these days have no time for generic results and services. Personalization is about delivering an awesome experience.

 

Onward to customer innovation

So, those are the principles we’re finding fundamental to innovating in this dynamic consumer world. We’re fortunate to be building something that consumers absolutely love and want to use every day. We hope that we can work with a lot of other companies in the adult industry in order to deliver amazing customer experiences on a daily basis.

Which brings us to the final point we’d like to make – it’s something we talked a bit about in Vegas. In the media business, the classic debate is whether Content or Distribution is the King.

The reality is this: Customer Experience is the King.

Nothing matters more than delivering extraordinary experiences.

At MiKandi, we’re proud to be part of an industry that is focused on meeting the desires of consumers, regardless of public perception. In many ways, our industry is the ultimate democratic endeavor: satisfying the needs of people, not public personas.

We hope to be a part of the industry’s future and we’re intensely focused on what people want. Our principles are derived from what people are doing, not what we want them to do. We hope that our peers will join us in innovating once again, delivering stellar content, connections and experiences that lead us into the next wave of technology breakthroughs.

Join us in a bright mobile future :-)

 

The Kindle Fire: a perfect device for MiKandi

We were super excited to get our hands on a Kindle Fire last week – a great Android powered tablet for under $200? Sign us up!

Tons of people have written detailed reviews about the Kindle Fire. We’ve shared a few of our favorites below, but no one’s written this review yet:

MiKandi is the Kindle Fire’s killer app.

See?

MiKandi on the Kindle Fire

’nuff said :-).

For all of you with a Kindle Fire, all you have to do is:

  • Click on the gear icon at the upper right corner of the screen
  • Select “More”
  • Select “Device”
  • Turn “Allow Installation of Applications” On

 

A few Kindle Fire reviews:

Jason Perlow’s “Amazon’s Kindle Fire: The tablet’s Volkswagen moment”

- AppleInsider’s take on the Kindle Fire

- Sascha Segan’s advice on How to Run Almost Any Android App on the Kindle Fire

- TechCrunch’s video take on the Kindle Fire

- Techpinion’s blog post on why Kindle Fire reviews are all over the place

 

Girls, on girls watching porn

CollegeHumor gets in on the topic with a funny take on something that we’ve written about before: girls watch porn too!

The case for adult apps #215: a girlfriend in your pocket

Lately, a lot has been made of a company called Cloud Girlfriend that purports to create the “perfect girlfriend” for you. According to reports, if you sign up with the company they’ll have a female profile post publicly on your Facebook wall and generally give the impression that you’ve got a hot girlfriend. If all goes well, your newly public attractiveness will help you secure an actual girlfriend.

This is a pretty fun idea and we can’t wait to see what comes out when the company actually launches, but we couldn’t help but think to ourselves, “You know what would be really cool? A girlfriend in your pocket!” Having a fake Facebook profile is fun, but what about having a companion in your pocket… isn’t that even more interesting (and private)??

So, we started sketching out a few ideas, bouncing things around and then realized we should just look to see if something like it already existed in our app market. Sure enough, it does! We were pleasantly surprised to find a fun app called “Pocket Girlfriend Lite” already in the MiKandi App Market. Proving yet again that our developers (become a MiKandi app developer today) are creative and ahead of the curve, this sexy mobile app provides you with a hot girl to say naughty things, act the part of your girlfriend (minus the nagging) and generally spice up your mobile phone. Maybe she’s not posting on your Facebook wall, but what you do with her in your private time is up to you and we think that’s pretty awesome. Try your Pocket Girlfriend out today and tell us what you think in the comments!

Some more details about the Pocket Girlfriend

“A hot & sexy girl avatar. She talks; hundreds of funny phrases. She listens; answers questions using voice recognition. She’s interactive and fully customizable. 4 exotic, erotic, cute & steamy outfits. This virtual lover makes a great illusion or prank to tease your wife or girlfriend.”

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How to buy MiKandi Gold

What, why haven’t you bought your Gold yet?

As thousands of you have discovered, MiKandi Gold is an easy way to purchase the hottest apps for your Android device. Our Gold is a safe and secure payment method that guarantees that adults can get what they want on their phone.

For those of you who haven’t purchased Gold yet or are having trouble figuring out how to buy the gold, here’s a simple 4 step process:

  1. Open your MiKandi app and make sure you’re logged in (you’ve got to be a registered user if you’re going to buy apps)
  2. On the bottom navigation bar, click on the icon with the gold, lock and keys
  3. Select the amount of gold you’d like and click Buy Now.
  4. A secure web page for our billing provider, Zombaio, will open up and present you with a secure input screen for your credit card details. Once you click “complete this transaction” the page will close and your MiKandi account will now reflect the amount of gold you just purchased.

That’s it! Make sure that you’re inputting all of the correct information into the input boxes and not missing a field – everything is required. Sometimes our awesome fans are so eager to get Gold in their account they miss a field or two – don’t let that be you!

If you should run into any issues along the way, however, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Just email us and write “MiKandi Gold problem” in the subject line, we’ll get right back to you.

 

I’m a little nervous about paying for Gold…

We get it – some of you are a little wary of opening up your wallet  and sharing your credit card information with an adult app store. Maybe you’ve gotten burned in the past or you just don’t know what’s going to show up on your credit card bill. Let us put your minds at ease. Here are some important things to know about purchasing MiKandi Gold:

  1. This billing process is very secure and safe. Our billing partner, Zombaio, is a leading billing provider for our industry and utilizes SSL to make sure that you can conduct your transaction in the most secure manner possible. Your security is our top priority.
  2. Your credit card bill will show a non-descript business, along with the date and time of the transaction. Your privacy is very important to us and the billing line item will NOT mention MiKandi or adult apps or the app you’re planning on purchasing.
  3. Refunds for apps are easy and we answer your problems quickly. If you purchase an app that turns out to not work on your phone or isn’t what you expected, you can reach out to us and we’ll work with you and the developer to make sure you’re getting what you want. If they can’t address your issue, the Gold for the app will be refunded to your MiKandi account, to be used for other apps.
  4. We will only bill you for the amount you authorize when you complete the transaction and will always be clear about any recurring charges. We don’t offer any purchases that have recurring charges at the moment, but if we do, those recurring charges will ALWAYS require your explicit approval.
  5. Our main goal is to provide the best marketplace for you and to treat you like an adult. We pride ourselves on the fact that in our first three months with MiKandi Gold we’ve not had one single charge back by a consumer. Thousands of our consumers have bought Gold and loved it – we are positive you’ll love it too.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other questions about MiKandi Gold, we’ll update this and make sure you’re all getting the information you need.

Xbiz LA 2011 – Our thoughts

2 weeks ago, a few of the members of the MiKandi team headed down to the sunny climes of Southern California and spent time at the 2011 Xbiz LA conference. Huge thanks to Moe and his team for putting on a great show and allowing us to attend!

A few things we noticed while we were down there that we found particularly interesting and exciting in the context of our focus on the changing adult consumer:

The content producers are more focused than ever on discerning what consumers want

1030We particularly enjoyed the Content panel, featuring folks from Hustler, Digital Playground and Playboy. Hearing that these major brands are very focused on the “long tail” and are tuning the content they produce for each territory they distribute to was really encouraging. As was finding out that some of them are really driving production decisions based upon search engine information. In today’s digital media world, it’s incredibly important to focus on revisiting your consumer assumptions once you collect data and we’re really glad to know that the top brands are right there with us.

From the outset, we’ve found that our app store for adults has a really broad set of demands from consumers and the search data we monitor tells us that consumers are really seeking specific, niche content. We’re excited about what this means for when more of the “long tail” content producers launch apps in the MiKandi app store.

Everyone’s curious about how to make money on mobile

Almost every session we attended ended up bringing up mobile, which is incredibly encouraging. From discussions about price points (there seems to be a lot of concern about lower price points resulting in lower overall revenue) to increased conversion rates, a lot of the industry is discovering what we believe to be true about mobile: consumers are willing to spend significant money on mobile, as long as it’s convenient and the price is attractive enough to avoid thinking about it.

Our cocktail conversations and meet and greet discussions with many of the Xbiz attendees really reinforced that people are nervous that the existing adult consumer expects to get the same premium content, but for a fraction of the price. This worry makes a lot of sense to us, given what’s happened to a significant portion of the core revenue base over the past few years.

However, we firmly believe that mobile increases the number of consumers willing to interact with adult content and increases the opportunity to offer value that the consumers are willing to pay for.

We look at companies like PinkVisual, who took home the award for Mobile Company of the Year AND the Mobile World Congress’s “Future Mobile Award for Mobile Adult” and are really encouraged to see them innovating and experimenting with consumer offerings. At Xbiz we were very flattered to have a number of companies approach us and ask about how to really get serious about creating adult apps this year and we look forward to helping them address this next wave of consumer demand.

(Of course, it doesn’t hurt that PinkVisual already has hot apps in our app store, that PV team is awesome!)

Personalized connections matter more every day

The most compelling theme throughout the conference was that of “personalized connections”. Throughout the 3 days, we heard a lot about how personalized marketing and fostering “real” connections between the brands, the talent and the consumers was what was consistently driving revenue success. The massive revenue streams garnered by dating sites, along with the tremendous growth in the Live Cam industry really supports that consumers pay most for really personal connections. This common refrain is really encouraging – it feels like the most natural place to focus on delighting the adult consumer. As a company focused on “what’s next?” when it comes to consumers and adult, we know that being absolutely obsessed with what matters most to the consumer is how we’ll be successful. Personalized connections are a cornerstone of mobile app development and we’re excited to be working with leaders in the industry on really achieving them.

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Understanding the Android Market content ratings

I’ve got to rate my apps now???

Today, Google announced its intention to roll out content ratings for the Android Market. As we understand it, in the next release of the Android Market, users should be able to view content ratings all applications in the market. These ratings are going to be self-reported, meaning that the developers are responsible for determining where they fall on the rating scale.

We’ve taken a read over the guidelines here at MiKandi HQ to better understand the changes and to understand how it impacts mobile app developers. We think that what’s going on here is that Google’s working to better service the needs of parents and households where multiple people might be accessing an Android-powered device. Look at the categories that they’ve delineated aside from the “All” category and they’re all age-focused, utilizing parental terminology. Actually, on the terminology topic, we’ve got to say that this tweet made us crack up:

image

It’s about who’s allowed to see what

We highly recommend taking a look at the guidelines that Google shared on how to rate your application for the Android Market, but here’s our understanding of the limitations, displayed a bit more visually:

AndroidMarketLimitations

Clarity is a great thing

To us, this announcement from Google is an excellent step. We hear from developers on a regular basis that they’re very concerned about being on the wrong side of one of the app store operators. This announcement gives app developers the tools to self-report about what they’re doing and gives them more clarity about which consumers will be allowed to use their apps. It appears that there are big areas of ambiguity in this framework (inflammatory, for example, strikes us as a very tough one) but at least there’s a logic that’s been proposed by Google and developers can reference it. We’ll be watching closely to see how this plays out for developers and how many people adopt the self-rating system.

As the creators of the world’s first app store for adults, obviously we’re paying attention to what happens to developers placed in the “Mature” bucket and how the guidelines are interpreted. While we’ve seen a number of developers opting to publish in both the Android Market and the MiKandi marketplace to date, we think that the clarity from Google makes it more clear as to which apps should be looking at MiKandi as their primary marketplace. While we didn’t know that these content ratings were coming from Google, we’re really pleased to have just completed a massive overhaul of our app store and to launch paid app support. For developers who find themselves impacted by these rules from Google, we look forward to working with you – be sure to head on over to http://developer.mikandi.com if you haven’t already registered with us.

 

Related posts:

Mobile monetization, Android, virtual currency and the business of adult

Surprise! Mobile app developers care about making money

As we build our app store for adults, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we’re going to build a business for our developers. We really believe that our jobs include making sure that developers who work with MiKandi are maximizing their opportunity. To us, we haven’t been successful until we’ve made our developers successful (join our fast growing crew of developers here). Whether this means that they’re able to delight thousands of people with their elegant and fun free app or they’re able to sell their apps to crowds of adoring fans, it’s our job to really help make this occur.

We love Android, but it seems like it’s a tougher environment for app sales

Our quest to make our developers successful has us looking at the various existing app stores and thinking about what they’re doing that is important for developers. As this excellent piece on iSmashPhone discusses, it’s currently tougher to make money as a developer in the Android marketplace than it is in iTunes.

We think that some of this is rooted in Google’s approach to the mobile market (they want to be here because it drives ad impressions and sales). Some of this is a side effect of being very open – with more app delivery channels comes consumer confusion, especially in the early stages. In the long run, we believe that this will play out better for developers, or we wouldn’t be as committed to Android as we are. But in the near term, app developers are feeling the pinch and looking for solutions.

Developing an App Store means that you have to make it easy for consumers to spend

At MiKandi, we’ve come to the conclusion that we have to think about this problem differently. The question we find ourselves asking, often, is: How do you build an app store that exceeds the current options and really resonates with consumers?

Looking at the app stores that are out there today, the existing models are pretty straightforward – they apply standard credit card purchasing processes to being able to pay for the app.  Each app store is highly dependent on having customers’ credit cards on file. Apple’s iTunes store benefits from the requirement that every iPhone and iPad purchase includes a valid credit card. Due to the iPod Touch, they don’t have 100% coverage, but they’re pretty close. That’s a huge advantage for mobile monetization.

As an operator of an app store, then, it behooves us to focus on giving our consumers a compelling and trustworthy experience. If we do our jobs well, a high proportion of our consumers will have a financial relationship with us because they see a significant benefit. In a very real sense, our consumers vote with their wallets.

On the web, consumers are voting for virtual currency

We’ve been observing the landscape of mobile monetization and appreciating what’s happening in the gaming space in particular. What we’ve learned in the past year is that consumers understand and accept points-based systems with rewards and purchases. Virtual currency’s benefits are myriad and we’re excited to release the first mobile app store powered by a virtual currency system.

Our latest release of our app store (get it at http://m.mikandi.com on your Android device) is built around a virtual currency that we call MiKandi Gold. For the reasons we shared above, we believe that in lieu of credit card registration requirements, it’s much tougher to get consumers involved in app purchasing on a regular basis. Our MiKandi Gold system provides consumers with a way to purchase apps, yes, but it also gives us a foundation for future activities in the marketplace that are related to rewards and activity. In this way, our virtual currency will be key to our efforts to impress and please our consumers.

Giving things away for free isn’t always best

In an environment where the standard for most consumers is “free”, we believe that setting value expectations early on will be helpful for developers looking to make a living from their work. When an app developer thinks about what we’re building here at MiKandi (sign up as a developer today), they should be thinking about the fact that we’re working on ways for the developer to demonstrate value to consumers, right out of the gate. Today’s app store environment is very binary – either the app is free or it’s not. In our view, the future holds limited time trials, Gold rewards for repeat purchasers, social Gold for recommendations and a whole host of other potential options. We know that it’ll take a while to sort out the kinks and get these solutions in place, but we’re excited about taking a chance to change the experience for consumers and developers alike.

The right solution at the right time: our niche is facing the most price and value pressure

As the only app store focused on the 18 and over consumer, we’ve really resonated the most with the adult industry. This industry is facing a massive set of challenges, all leading to a decline in revenues in aggregate. As the new set of players in the space focus most of their efforts on making content free and monetizing through the combination of volume and affiliate advertising, the traditional brands are struggling with how to make up the shortfall.

This infographic for the adult industry that we found at: http://www.dutchcowboys.nl/online/19071 is an excellent overview of some of the challenges the companies in the space are facing.

porn_vs_therestinfographic

These datapoints are pretty clear on two things:

  1. Traditional revenue streams for the adult industry are shrinking
  2. There’s a huge opportunity in mobile for the adult industry.

We believe that the existing companies have a lot of opportunity to address their challenges by getting ahead of the mobile adoption on the part of consumers and designing products and services that are tailored to an “always on” mobile environment. With our combination of a welcoming marketplace and a monetization model that is built to be flexible and consumer-friendly, we believe that we’re doing a lot to help companies catering to the 18 and over consumer. As a partner to many of the biggest names in the industry, we believe that they can utilize their strong brand names and our approach to the mobile consumer to build new revenue streams.

Have different thoughts on mobile monetization, app stores and Android? Please leave us comments and engage us in a discussion

Developers: please excuse us while we make a few upgrades to the system…

As many of our developers have already figured out, we’re working on some big upgrades to our system and it’s causing some hiccups. Most notably, stats reporting for applications is down.

As a small team, we can’t always ensure that every transition goes smoothly, so we’d like to apologize to our developers who have been frustrated with the errors that you’re coming across. We know that it’s been confusing logging in and seeing no changes in download numbers. Rest assured that your apps are still being browsed and downloaded successfully by our app store consumers – the stats are just not reflecting that activity at the moment.

Our hope is that the upgrades we’re pretty close to launching will be well worth the interruption in the existing application reporting infrastructure. In addition, the changes we’re making should allow us to be much more flexible going forward, diminishing the likelihood of similar interruptions in service. As always, developers with questions should reach out to us via email at developer@mikandi.com or by hitting us up on Twitter. We really appreciate your patience and understanding about this – every one we’ve talked to so far has been very positive and supportive so far, so thank you for that!

Thanks,

The MiKandi Team

Steve Jobs wages war on Android, “open” and fragmentation

It’s always fun when the juggernauts start arguing with each other via the press isn’t it? Nothing seems to get the tech media more riled up than a good ‘ole fashioned pissing contest and after yesterday’s Apple earnings call it looks like Mr. Jobs could use a trough. Here, take a listen to what Steve had to say on Apple’s extraordinary earnings call (kudos to them for their first $20 billion quarter by the way):

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!

What got Steve all riled up? Was it an aggressive question from an analyst? Did someone tell Steve that Eric Schmidt was talking about him behind his back? What’s going on?

Android’s gaining market share is growing rapidly, that’s what’s going on. And Steve’s definitely defensive about it. He’s worried that he’s going to get “PC”’d again and he’s lashing out as a result.

Here, take a look at this excellent infographic from the folks at GigaOm, detailing the rise of Android (source post titled, “How Android is Taking Over”):

GigaOmAndroidGraphic10-10

So, to recap, Android is growing extraordinarily quickly and Steve Jobs, who hasn’t been on an Apple earnings call since Q3 2008, decided to jump on this earnings call… because he’s feeling a little hot under the collar.

Take another listen to the call above if you didn’t catch the edge to Steve’s voice, the almost whiny sense of urgency. It sounds to us like Steve’s feeling the pressure of Android gaining acceptance and market share and decided to go vent to research analysts.

Which is telling right? This is the same guy who’s told us many times that the great thing about the consumer market is that people vote with their dollars for you. Now he’s talking to Wall Street research analysts and trying to convince them that the consumers, who are voting with their dollars, aren’t making smart decisions? Interesting.

But Steve had a couple interesting points right?

Sort of. Look, we know that Steve has been doing this a LOT longer than us and that the mobile application market is in its infancy. As such, we really respect his point of views on the subject and know that we’re a long way from any one person’s viewpoint being proven correct. That said, Steve made 2 distinct points on an issue that Steve suggests is plaguing Android: fragmentation. We’d like to investigate them a bit more.

Point 1: Developers are hating developing for the Android OS.

First up, he discussed “TwitterDeck” (we know, it’s called Tweetdeck, it rocks and should be referred to correctly, but don’t blame Steve, details only matter when it’s HIS product he’s talking about).

In any case, his point was that Tweetdeck said that Android OS fragmentation was unbearably large. Now, we’ve been paying attention and we call bullshit. Let’s look at the blog post Tweetdeck used to call out this massive fragmentation “problem”:  http://blog.tweetdeck.com/android-ecosystem The important data is summarized by this chart of Android OS versions across Android Tweetdeck users:

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The interesting piece of this is that Tweetdeck posted this information on their blog as an observation and PRAISE for their own development capabilities. Here’s what they said,

“We were really shocked to see the number of custom roms, crazy phones and general level of customization/hackalicious nature of Android. From our perspective it’s pretty cool to have our app work on such a wide variety of devices and Android OS variations.”

But don’t just take our word for it. The Tweetdeck founder actually went and tweeted that they hadn’t been complaining at all about Android development headaches and that furthermore, they only had 2 developers for the Android project. Hmmm that doesn’t make Android seem overly onerous. Maybe Steve should do a bit more homework the next time he decides to read a blog post and then interpret it on an earnings call.

Point 2: Multiple app stores are wayyyy worse than one centralized app store…

Jobs also took the opportunity to lambast Google’s openness, with his most biting critique being applied to the “mess” of having multiple 3rd Party App Stores. In his view, Jobs thinks that consumers will end up terribly confused and developers will struggle to distribute and publicize their apps in an effective manner. Much like what happens when more than one grocery store is allowed to exist, right?

Obviously, as one of these messy 3rd Party App stores, we’re a bit biased here, but the idea that more choice is worse for consumers just doesn’t resonate with us. Consumers are looking for the best apps, not the biggest app store. If bigger leads to better, great, but that’s not often the case. In Apple’s app store, we know that many app developers are plagued by the problem of being lost in the noise and that most consumers don’t spend a lot of time trying to discover apps that are deep down in the pile. Third party app stores, particularly ones that are focused on helping consumers find the best apps for them, assist in making mobile application discovery a simpler and more focused experienced. Here at MiKandi, our approach is to provide the best experience for adult consumers who are looking for mobile apps of a more adult nature. This allows us to be clear with developers and consumers about the experience they have in our app store.

From a developer’s perspective, multiple app stores will result in a bit more work, yes, but importantly, developers will only go through the work of selecting and publishing in multiple app stores if they see a potential benefit in doing so. The beauty of the free market is that multiple app stores result in more competition for consumer and developer time, ensuring that each individual app store has to improve their offering in order to maintain relevancy. App developers who publish with us find that our focus results in more relevant consumers for them. At a basic level, this really isn’t very different from creating a physical product and choosing to distribute it in both Nordstrom and Wal-Mart. The consumer bases might look similar, but the differences that exist are important and the sales are incremental.

Finally, we find it interesting that while Steve Jobs is busy dismissing the rise of 3rd party app stores, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, is on the record saying that he thinks they represent “…a net win for everybody.” We agree and are happy to be building an app store for Android, where the consumers who spend hundreds of dollars on their phones are rewarded by having the most choice and ultimately the most freedom.