Blog

Pakistan on the verge of becoming a great nation or a failed-nation

All countries that come out from a hard phase to become a developed country often went through a lot of phases and circumstances that are necessary for uplifting the nation. Better political leadership, manufacturing for local market, discovery of some natural resources, or increase of skilled youth population and most recently ranking up higher in technology world gives nation the opportunity to grow. Every country that grows economically often had the mentioned opportunities more or less but Pakistan is on the verge of becoming a developed country with maximum of these indicators are positive and growing, One thing that is missing is the direction that should be given to this nation to grow exponentially. In my very limited knowledge, we should improve in the a few basic domains to get this running on the right direction, which I am sharing with you guys.

1st thing first, We need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of our people and work on that accordingly. We need to categorize our youth, skilled and non-skilled, more-skilled and less skilled, every direction possible horizontal and vertical and should have data of every domain of work and technology and age-wise break down, and EVERYTHING about our workforce. Without data, we can not formulate a policy that will work, our policies should be based on data, not as per our gut-feelings, in order to deliver positively and get the desired results.

Pakistan to close technology gap on the modern world in order to close this huge gap with world growing economies. Pakistan needs to be have well-trained tech force to get the job done for in-house projects and also get projects and export human resource for tech-world. Speaking of IT, our academia and industry is still stuck with very basic technologies and needs an upgrade on very urgent basis. We are giving very low technology services to the world and doing well in small GIG economy which is a good sign but need to improve that more.

Without proper skills, our dream of becoming a developed economy will be a dream forever. Skills matters more than formal education and a university degree in today’s world. We need to focus on skilled based education, technical and vocational education specially for our under-privileged and under-represented communities. Basic skills for non-skilled, more skills for low-skilled and higher skilled for our skilled youth to uplift their skills and economic conditions. Providing skills that are inlined with modern world technologies are must to have a greater economy specially in the field of IT.

Growth mentality and strive to work more and more and struggle for achieving long-lasting stable and growing businesses, this mentality should be injected in our youth to get their full potential. Setting up the right mindset for businessmen and entrepreneurs so they can be ready to accept the challenges, identify the target markets and problems and build their businesses but with the right attitude to grow and let other grow it for them.

In business, everything is not money, and greed for quick cash often make us suffer a lot in the longer run. Business grows with people and with the right work ethics, communication skills and other soft skills required to deal with customers, clients and follow businessmen in the same domain. Our young entrepreneurs and businessmen should know how to do business and the leaders on ethical and moral grounds.

We as a nation are very different than what the world think we are. All credit goes to negative role of media, some past incidents and some negative people who have always brought us negativity from the outer world, and always making excuses for not having anything but the fact is they have nothing to offer to this country but only a burden on the soil, that not how a developed nation think. With the recent rise of tourism in Pakistan, and people from around the globe coming our homeland, apart from tourism which has its own financial benefits for our country, its a great platform for our perspective development, this is a better chance to show the world how we are, who are we and let the world know real us.

Pakistani youth, govt, academia and all the stack holders needs to understand the process and work in the right direction to uplift our economy from IT sector especially and that’s the way forward to see a better future of our country.

LinkedIn Link: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/pakistan-verge-becoming-great-nation-failed-nation-muhammad-hilal

Lets discuss User Acquisition!

Remind “Acquisition — Retention — Monetization”! Now lets discuss Acquisition.

Acquisition strategy is the 1st step after development of a game. One should plan acquisition strategy according to market trends and users psychology. Targeting right audience,optimize your screenshots and graphics, target markets, and publishing the game at the right time and other aspects comes under user acquisition strategy. (Para from article, ASO is Magic?)

The 1st step is how to acquire users, users going to stores, search, choose and Install. During this whole process users are making some decisions which we should notice thoroughly if we want UA (User Acquisition). Lets check it step by step how users are making decisions that ends in the install of an app.

Ranking in Search Keywords:

You must have heard a very famous quote “The best place to hide a dead body is second page of google”. Now lets discuss about user acquisition through search in app store.

First the user type a phrase or single word in app store search bar, he gets results for that search term that also includes search ads or Adwords sponsored apps. After that users scroll down and looking for apps, the next decision is based on two things, ICON and RATINGS. (We will discuss ICON and ratings in coming articles InshaAllah). After clicking on an icon, there are a lot of things that users notice before installing an app and that are screenshots, description (starting lines), top reviews, short description and feature graphic in Google Play store.

This was about organic downloads. Now lets discuss other factors briefly.

Localization:

Localization has a great impact on user acquisition, you should translate your meta data/store listings for targeted users. People love to see it in their native/own language.

Game Center:

In Apple’s app store gamers challenge each other for challenges in the game and also search for games which includes Game Center, so one should see it an opportunity where users come often, and can be a great source of acquisition.

Cross Promotion:

Promote you new app in your existing apps, thats what cross promotion means. You cn use chartboost, heyzap, admob or any other network to specify the percentage of ads you want to serve for your own apps. The quality of your ad graphic ensures a CTR percentage.

In Game Ads:

This is a free source of advertisement, no cost and also effective. You can ask users to play your next game through a graphic pop up or a banner. You can also ask him on game transition points or on exit menu.

Social Media Advertisements:

This is one of the best and long lasting source for your acquisition but a very tough one too. Making your fans known to eachother so they can discuss features of the game or app and give you a feedback. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora etc are some great source of user acquisition, if you develop your social media first.

Paid advertisement:

Last one that I suggest is going for paid advertisements, paying for installs. Its rates varies from country to country. You should strongly check your ROI before going for paid advertisement or you will face some very bad results.

For more follow me on twitter @HILALKHAAN

Get disciplined motivation- Realistic Optimism.

When you step in real life, depression is real. Being optimistic is a good quality but not idealistic. Optimism near to realism can make things done, otherwise it will leave you with nothing but regrets.

According to research studies done with people working in hospice, the top 5 wishes the people on deathbed make are:

I wish …

I wish, I hadn’t worked so hard.

I wish, I had stayed in touch with my friends.

I wish, I had let myself be happier

I wish, I had the courage to express my true self.

I wish, I’d lived a life true to my dreams, instead of what others expected of me.

The problem is that we get too motivated by motivational speakers, life stories of successful people that we forget that no one is here to chase a successful personality and be like him. We can take inspiration from one’s life, but we should not struggle to live his/her life. We are born with our own strengths and weaknesses and we must know it before taking any step in our life. Better learn to skip things that are not necessary for our life but only imposed on us.

I am a strong believer of hard work and perseverance but at the same time I believe in disciplined and calculated risks, decisions supported by data and expertise. A motivational speaker can motivate a person in gym for lifting 50 Kg on his first day, but a trainer will not advise the same, better we listen to the trainer. Take advice from those who do, not from those who talk.

You will find this very distracted post with discontinuity of thoughts, I would love to hear from you if you find that small touches that link these concepts, depression, optimism, wishes on deathbed, idealism and motivation.

ASO is Magic?

If you ask me this question about app store optimization, my answer will be a straight “NO”.

Quality, controls, game play interactivity, addictive factors and graphics are all the factors that developers are focusing on while developing games for mobile devices. With immensely increasing revenues from mobile games which is predicted to reach $100 billion in next few years, many leading companies in IT Market focusing on mobile apps and games. Stories of a lot of indie game developers are there to motivate young entrepreneurs and developers to step into the market, but its not only the technical skills of the developer that can guarantee the success of games or apps in the market. You can recall some hits like flappy bird as a great success but luck is there to help some but not all.

“Luck often helps those who don’t believe in it.”

Today I am going to discuss a few factors in brief, based on my experience and study in this field which supports strong ASO to become a success in game development. In this article I am going to discuss the most important triangle in apps business.“Acquisition — Retention — Monetization”

Acquisition:

Acquisition strategy is the 1st step after development of a game. One should plan acquisition strategy according to market trends and users psychology. Targeting right audience,optimize your screenshots and graphics, target markets, and publishing the game at the right time and other aspects comes under user acquisition strategy. I will soon write about user acquisition strategies for games and apps.

Retention:

After acquisition here comes retention which is the second most important thing after acquisition. In ASO we think we should care about keywords and title optimization only but to strengthen our ASO we need to focus on all factors that is necessary to get ranked on App Store. User Experience and compelling user to return to an app again and again is what matters to sustain your app in top charts. Push notifications, timely challenges, quests, and user experience are some factors that matters when you are planning for user retention strategy.

Monetization:

“Acquisition — Retention — Monetization” — The Most important triangle in the field of Games or apps development. I personally noticed a lot of developers who have acquired users and also maintained a good retention rate but they dump their apps with ads which is very irritating and compelling users to looks for an alternative. In-App Purchases in those apps are also unplanned, not displaying ads on proper transition points which results in losing active users of apps. Monetization is very important for sustaining apps business but too many ads cant help a developer to earn more. It needs proper planning to earn from apps for longer duration.

After planning the above 3 important strategies, next comes a few more factors that are market trends, Idea and its validation, User Experience, User Interface, Graphics. In short I will say app store optimization is no magic, you have to work hard on a lot of areas to get success. I will write about this in coming article. Till that be happy, keep learning and earning 🙂

JOBS – THE VISIONARY GENIUS

Visionary, perfectionist, genius, workaholic, creative! You can define only one man with all these qualities; A man who gives his all to give us a lot. A great entrepreneur, a visionary genius and a true example of “Never giving up”! A man who always welcomed failures with open hands and considered failures a source of learning. In his journey from Atari to Apple, from Apple to Next and Pixar and back to Apple, the only thing that didn’t change was his passion, hard work and his self-belief in his vision. Steve never gave up on his vision and worked hard to achieve what he was destined to achieve.

As Jobs once said; “Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”

Jobs was passionate about technology and wanted to use technology for the improvement of human life. He designed technology that’s a combination of the ultimate advancement and human psychology to provide us with products that are seen as the most accurately developed machines in the market. Jobs always will not only be remembered for the iconic iMac, iPod and iPhones, but as the inventor of “user experience design”. After Edison’s illuminated the world with his invention, it can be said that Steve illuminated the technology world with his innovations. Jobs believed that Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower, and proved it accurate from his life.

Silicon Valley cast posing like Steve Jobs

Truly a masterful story teller of future desires and dreams. Steve will be missed for his visionary passionate leadership of Apple. With passion for technology and entrepreneurship and a mindset to use it for the betterment of mankind, providing usage as easy as a toaster made him the most successful entrepreneur of the last century or may be of the modern technology era. He always focused on user experience design and gave the world one of the finest user interface to personal computers. With a life of struggles, a hardworking and workaholic nature, he always thought of ideas out of the box which seemed to be insane and crazy ideas by that time but he proved himself as the visionary genius who can bring the impossible into existence. As he said; “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

The quality which distinguishes Jobs from common entrepreneurs was his strong will power, he didn’t let anyone or any circumstance in his life change his vision. He always focused in a single direction and never let anything in his life distract him from what he dreamt for. It seems that he already knew what we need but we didn’t know. That’s why he distinguished himself in the field of user experience. For me he was a psychologist who knew the psyche of this generation.

He was a genius who spent his life to inspire us, teach us, and lead us. He is no more amongst us, like he wasn’t one of us, he was a man from the original world brought to us to teach how to be original and stand firm for your vision and passion.

Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me. — Jobs