Execution Always Trumps New Ideas

Idea_vs_ExecutionIdea versus execution. It’s an on-going debate in the business world. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of experts who say coming up with a great business idea is not enough, it’s the actual execution that matters. Since I agree, it’s always nice to read another article that supports that side of the argument, especially one that cites good examples to make the point.

In her recent article, Execution, Not New Ideas, Give Startups Edge, ZDNet’s Jamie Yap joins a growing chorus who believe that an idea is not enough. Yap gets right to the point by saying, “Startups should be less hung up over how to reinvent the wheel with new ideas, and focus on execution because that is critical for overall success…”

She also cites Casey Lau, co-founder of StartupsHK, an open support group for Hong Kong startups, to support the argument that execution, not new business ideas, is what makes startups successful in the end.

Facebook and Android are both examples of execution trumping new ideas, Lau notes. While it was not the first mobile platform, Android deviated from the “walled garden” approach of iOS, which contributed to success of the now ubiquitous platform, he points out. As for Facebook, it copied various ideas from social networking of MySpace to break into the consumer mainstream.

In both cases, and fortunately for us, entrepreneurs found ways to execute a creative transformation of ideas that had already been done. Proving once again that coming up with a great business idea isn’t the hardest part of doing innovative things.

Source: ZDNet

App Review: Easy Voice Recorder for Android

As a journalist and blogger, I know what it feels like to finally get that once-in-a lifetime story interview. But what if the opportunity comes at a time when I’m not prepared for it?

That’s where Easy Voice Recorder for Android comes in handy. It’s a must-have app that lets me easily turn my smartphone into a recorder, conduct an interview, and access all the recorded audio files later (a life-saving utility for any journalist who happens to leave his digital recorder at the office).

The app is easy to use, as its name suggests. Its intuitive interface shows two screens — Recorder and Player. The simple Recorder displays record, pause and stop buttons. The Player lets you share your files, send files via Gmail, name the file, or delete it. Easy Voice Recorder’s functions boil down to a simple process — record, tap, and send!

You can download the app for free. But if you want more than the basics, upgrade to Easy Voice Recorder Pro, priced at $2.99.

Easy Voice Recorder allows you to record files in any one of three different audio formats: WAV, AAC, and AMR — with practically no time limit on recordings. Taking these in consecutive order, each will successively save you more space, while possibly costing you more quality.

The app lets you transfer files by Bluetooth or any means supported by Android for file transfer. I usually upload my audio files to Dropbox, where I can archive and download them later.

More than just a useful tool for journalists, Easy Voice Recorder is well suited for a variety of work projects: for recording business meetings, brainstorming sessions, dictations to the office assistant, classroom lectures, and things of that nature.

Want To Know What Apps Your Colleagues Use At Work?

If you’re looking for a work-related app that’s the perfect for you, check out BestVendor, a social recommendations service for small businesses. It’s a free online resource that helps professionals quickly find the best work apps based on the recommendations of people like them.

The company’s vision is to provide a Yelp-like “social discovery” resource for all business software, apps and tools — whether you’re looking to win more customers or just get stuff done.

Apps Produce A New Breed of Crime Fighters

Public safety apps help smart phone users close the door on criminals.

It has become a tradition every year around mid-spring and throughout the summer for movie goers to see their favorite comic book super-heroes stop the bad guys.

Now, a new breed of real-life crime stoppers is joining the fight with the help of innovative public safety software. Mobile technology entrepreneurs are developing apps that let cell phone users send anonymous crime tips to the police.

Several years ago Greg Whisenant unsuspectingly opened the door of his apartment building for a burglar, who then ripped off several of his neighbors. To make amends, Whisenant built CrimeReports.com, an information-sharing Web site for the local police.

Originally founded by Whisenant in 1999, CrimeReports.com was expanded to involve citizens in protecting their communities in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Now, it’s one of the fast-growing crime data-mapping services in the U.S., according to Reuters.com reporter Deborah Cohen, who wrote about crimereports.com, and Greg Whisenant.

CrimeReports works with Crime Stoppers Programs, thousands of law-enforcement and government agencies worldwide to help reduce, prevent and solve crime by enabling officials to easily open and manage a controlled dialog with citizens.

The company recently released TipSubmit, a free mobile app that allow tipsters to submit secure and anonymous tips to Crime Stoppers, law enforcement agencies or School Safety Officers and Administrators.

Thousands of communities, schools and government agencies are covered by this application since it connects directly with TipSoft, CrimeReports’ anonymous tip reporting system.

Greg Heuss also wants to empower citizens to stop criminals in their tracks by using iWitness, an iPhone application that not only quickly notifies 911 but records audio and video of the events taking place.

Heuss, a veteran of Amazon.com, PerfectMatch and EyeAlike, was recently appointed CEO of iWitness, a Seattle upstart. The iWitness iPhone app costs $30 per year, with the company planning to work on an Android version in the near future.

Heuss shared the idea behind iWitness with GeekWire.  “Any time the user feels endangered, the user simply touches the screen of their phone,” explains Heuss. “At that point, the phone begins capturing video and audio of the scene … a steady light is emitted from the phone, and the user’s GPS coordinates are recorded. If a ‘threat’ feels imminent, the user touches the screen again, triggering the following: 911 is called, an SMS/email notice is sent to six contacts previously authorized by the user, and a loud siren begins to sound.”

In Canada, Toronto Crime Stoppers recently launched a smart phone app that lets users anonymously report crimes to Toronto police at the touch of a button.

The app includes interactive features that enable Toronto-area residents to alert police in real-time about a crime or potential crime through photos, video, emails, text, and a button that autodials Crime Stoppers.

It will give police far more resources than traditional telephone tips to Crime Stoppers, said app developer Steve Nesbitt with Cellflare, a location-based service company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

“A video tip and a picture tip (are) worth a thousand words, versus somebody phoning in and briefly describing the situation they just saw,” Nesbitt told the Canadian Press.

The app also includes a database of some of Toronto’s wanted criminals, social media updates and a GPS locator to nearby police stations.