Now that startups have become a legitimate option for lots of young folks fresh out of college, it’s important to keep in mind that not all startups are created equal. If you talk to the digerati, they will tell you what separates good startups from the mediocre ones and what separates the insanely great startups from the great ones. Often times, you hear the word “design” a lot! Indeed, great designs can make your startup stand out from the herd, big time! Personally I tend to spend longer time with web and mobiles apps that are more visually appealing to my own sense of “design”. I just glanced through my phone’s screen and selected a few design-oriented apps – that I use religiously everyday – to show you what I really mean here.
1. Twitter -> Simple
I fire up my Twitter app whenever I am waiting in line in a postal office or having to sit through a tedious commercial during an NBA game. The Twitter mobile app is simply and addictive. I guess simplicity is what makes Twitter so great, especially for entrepreneurs thirsty for knowledge whenever and wherever possible.
2. Circa -> Clean
I love news apps like Circa. Co-founded by Matt Galligan, Circa is the kind of news app that can literally change your life. I now get all my breaking news from Circa – i.e. Malaysia Flight 17 & Gaza Conflict. And the clean design takes away all the unnecessary distractions so you can just focus on what matters – reading.
3. Instagram -> Minimal
Instagram is a photo sharing app. I am happy it’s designed that way. The designers at Instagram make the app just about taking photos and sharing. The single focus made it one of the most viral apps ever created. That’s why Facebook snapped it up so quickly. And it doesn’t hurt to have celebrities and brands endorse it too – Taylor Swift, Lebron James, Nike, Red Bull, etc.
4. Skype -> Practical
I believe mobile apps should be like utilities, something we use everyday for practical purposes. Skype is definitely one of those that have all the “utility” characteristics to me. I love how practical it is when it comes to team collaborations & communications. It is a must-have work app for my everyday life. The new iPhone design makes it even more practical.
5. Pocket -> Organized
Pocket is my “read it later” app. As an entrepreneur, I like to make things organized to make them manageable. Pocket is just one of those apps that make my life a little easier. Everyday, I stumble upon many useful articles and blog posts on Twitter, Techmeme, or someone’s newsletter. If I don’t have time right then to read them, Pocket simply lets me save them to read later. It’s one of my favorite mobile apps.
You may have noticed that I showcased lots of news apps in this lineup – well, Twitter is kinda like a news app to me. That’s just my personal taste. I am sure you can find a multitude of well-designed apps in the e-commerce, payment, or entertainment categories as well. But you get my point. “Good design” makes your startup stand out big time. Good design is what Steve Jobs means by “insanely great!” Our next Demo Night event only focuses on “design-driven” startups. Check it out here.