That was an interesting magazine this month. I pre-ordered the Video Game Machine. I've always loved Stardock's games, so I'm really excited to see this game come to life and to get to help in that progress.
The magazine made a very interesting point about how difficult it is to be in the loop for new software. I've been very frustrated with this in relation to software and technology. For instance, the "gadgets" section of Google News is 97% smartphone news. I want to know about real gadgets. Cool inventions and startups that nobody has heard about. I get everyone is dying to know what incremental update Apple will come out with this year so they can drop another $1k, but what about those of us that love gadgets? (And the Virtual Reality category has more articles relating to the OnePlus phone than VR.)
And that is a shame. Take Groupy - had I not read this magazine, I'd never know about it. And this is something I've asked myself forever: Why doesn't Windows allow you to have tabs of different windows? It makes sense in a browser, so why not elsewhere? Luckily I am subscribed to this newsletter so I could buy Groupy. Otherwise, I'd still have a trillion things open. And to be honest, this makes much more sense from a productivity standpoint than multiple monitors.
All of the technology, gaming, and software websites have turned into largely mainstream trend websites (IGN, CNET, Download, etc.). There are other websites like G2Crowd, but the issue with them is that they tend to only have major publishers represented - and that means you'll never hear about the really cool software out there.
I think the best way I learn about new programs is through tutorials for software. For instance, watching tutorials on Element 3D and other Video Copilot products led me to become a customer of Red Giant. Octane Render tutorials led to Substance. But, that isn't a very efficient way to learn about software and it isn't efficient for companies to find me as a customer.
While this newsletter worked, I rarely read newsletters. There are a few I generally read like Stardock's or Red Giant's. The reason I skip most being I get thousands of newsletters.
Here is a proposed solution I'd like to see:
Stardock...lol, creates a non-brand website. A website with a simple search field on the home page. It asks: What do you need to accomplish?
The user says what they want to do or what they're trying to find. And the website responds with options that the user can pick from. The website then gives them options based on that choice and this goes on a couple of turns. Then the user is shown 1 - 4 programs that meet all the criteria. And the user gets a free 30-day trial to each.
So, a software/game company would submit their product to this website. And the important thing here is that the submission needs to include really smart attributes that broadly define the software - and more importantly - narrowly defines it.
That last part is critical. There are important attributes that separate Webflow, Wordpress, Dreamweaver, Visual Studio and Wappler. There are also important attributes that separate Unity from Unreal or Filemaker from Access. There are sites online that have a very limited version of this idea. For instance: Alternative.io or something like that. But all it does is show software based on generalized similarities. It is like game stores on your phone or Steam. What good is "Strategy" when you want something explicit like GalCiv?
I think soft AI would be very useful in this.
I was going to do this. I had signed up for the beta of Lobe.ai. But they didn't think my idea was good enough for access. (And now Microsoft has bought them, so who knows what will come of it...). I get so frustrated trying to find good software that does exactly what I need. But I'm always having to conform to whatever I end up finding. And I can't be alone in this.
My thought was, as I said, that the site could give an interview of sorts to find out what they want. And based on their choices, it gets more detailed in the questions to find out exactly what it is they're trying to accomplish. And the developer of the software just has to agree that users will get a 30-day trial, and that any sales generated will result in a small referral fee.
Anyway, sorry so long. lol. I just feel that there is so much possibility out there with the software I don't know (or the games I've never heard of) - and think about this: How many titles aren't developed due to a developer having the fear of not being found?