RecallCheck Post-Mortem

Recently, I’ve been answering a lot of questions about about RecallCheck, which was an Android based mobile application to allow uses to scan UPC bar codes on packaged food and find out about any recent recalls involving that product.  Developing and marketing RecallCheck, I worked with my business partner Scott. With the project is now over, I’d like to cover some of the learnings and reasons I believe we were ultimately unsuccessful. Continue reading


Why Google's "Don't be Evil" is Useless

According to Wikipedia,  one of the early proponents,  Paul Buchheit,  wanted the creed to be: 

also a bit of a jab at a lot of the other companies, especially our competitors, who at the time, in our opinion, were kind of exploiting the users to some extent

There are two fundamental problems with this perspective.  The first is that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  Without a specific definition, the word evil can be applied to any business practice or business competitor.  If we asked the unnamed competitors if they were being evil, their answer would most probably be: no.   In fact, they could use the same arguement Eric Schmidt regularly uses.  If Google behaves in an “evil” fashion, customers won’t use Google’s products.  Why wouldn’t this also be true of Google’s competitors? Continue reading

A Google Map of Recalling Firms

My business partner and I have been working to put together a search-able database of food recalls based on the FDA’s voluntary recall notice page.  Below the fold is a Google map showing all the location of firms that have issue recalls.  Please note, a firm’s physical location may not be directly related to where its products have actually been sold.

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Is Google Serious About Paid Apps for Android?

Recently I’ve been working on an application for the Google Android platform and the experience has been interesting.  Google’s application market appears to be response to Apple’s success with the iPhone market rather than an organic expression of Google’s strategy or culture.  The result is an implementation that feels bolted onto Android and  provides tepid value to independent application developers.  In support of my assertion are the following facts:

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