an escalation with Microsoft.

Preface.

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so here we go, a first official Escalation with a partner of Dynamic Applications.

I’ve been discussing with Microsoft about our common culture quite a while, however, in the end it became a little tedious to discuss our conflicts again and again.

This article is just to inform you, the SocialMedia crowd out there, that there is a conflict and at the moment, there may be delays in posting the latest Windows 10 Store App.

The problem we have is there’ve been multiple rejections of Dynamic Applications from the Windows 10 Store team for reasons like,

  • an explanatory “fine-tuning” picture didn’t suit them for Photovoltaic System.
  • the Internet of Things developer has to be removed as a whole from Game Store.
  • they say a menu item must not be called “update…”, it must be “get the App…”

From my perspective in being father of a small family here, most App developers are much about freedom and individuality, otherwise they would easily earn their money in being employed worker slaves, as everyone else.

 an explanatory picture to visualize fine-tuning #measurement.
an explanatory picture to visualize fine-tuning #measurement.

If you go this way, there’s so much Freeware, Shareware, Donationware, Crippleware, Bogusware, and finally, Apps out there in about every App Store of the free world, you won’t imagine in the beginning.

You have to face it. After developing your wonderful idea for half a year, full-time, you finally take your courage together and send it to the first software magazine or publisher for review.

A few weeks later, it hits the store in one of all these categories at Nr. 3000 from 3000, even if you choose a neglected category like Softpedia’s other/business/finance. And at that very point in time, at the latest, you’re leaving the comfort zone and start the battle for success. You have to adress it.

I remember well my first ever review, 2.5 stars from 5, for my wonderful idea resulting in a half-way working piece of freeware. I thought it was good enough.

It could do the job of projecting a simple product’s costs and revenues over 48 months, and i remembered well the advice i was given by the Startup consultancy – leave the comfort zone as early as possible. The only good thing about that review (by Catalin Chelariu of Softpedia) was that he wrote “i liked the general idea of the whole thing” in his first sentence. Then, what followed was a long list of issues and requirements like “not possible to …, not very intuitive to …, it works allright …, as far as we could see, … the functionality is there, but … no documentation at all … so you can use it, just know you’re pretty much on your own”.

We started developing a platform and start posting various similar Apps for different groups of users naturally, just not to go bankrupt in year one. And we had that voting competition online at Twitter, world’s fastest network. So there was a very clear idea from the beginning that prioritization of tasks would be of major importance in the business of Dynamic Applications, my first own company.

Being on your own. lifetime. 

Good news was any department leader, project manager or anyone else who thinks they know what i should do would keep their mouth shut from day one.

Having followed roughly 25000 people with the 2 competition accounts alone, resulting in a thousand retweets at the end of year one, it gave us hope. 2, 3, or 4 per day, average.

Also, dynamic idea and dynamic roadmap were two of the first keywords ever found on Google’s No. 1 result page.

Maslowsche Beduerfnispyramide
Maslow’s Pyramid of personal needs  (Source: Wikipedia).

The other thing to note was we got a very clear picture of what to do next, and especially, what idea not to follow at all. If you’ve posted a thought and even after retweeting it yourself for three times yourself, from a parallel account, and really noone being interested in that, you can easily take a guess what would happen if you implement that feature right away: nothing. So you can as well delete that tweet, and try the next one.

So from my perspective, being successful is much about sorting your priorities in the right way, and concentrate on useful innovations that finally bring success.


dynamic prioritization.

dynamic_idea_dynamic_qs_logo_96x48

See our Dynamic Idea and Roadmap competition to understand how we prioritize our tasks in two categories, here:

  1. @dynamic_idea:  new simulation ideas
  2. @dynamic_qs:  platform improvements

So while the dynamic idea competition (1) allows us to have new interesting things to offer, whenever we want, the dynamic QS competition, our quality of service voting and dynamic roadmap, allows us to improve the unique platform of all our little simulation models.

This means nothing else than that we add or work over code in a single location, compile once, upload to FTP, and we have a complete bunch of Dynamic Applications with new functionality on the website, and any Freeware archive pointing to our FTP, on day one.


True Partnerships.

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From my perspective, about every partnership in the world is something like “nice” in the beginning. You can identify a really strong partnership worth to follow as soon as first conflicts arise.

On a sunny autumn day in 2016, Photovoltaic System was – all of a sudden – threatened to be thrown out of Windows 10 Store as of an explanatory picture (Rule: Store pics have to be part of the application). By then already, i’ve suggested to my Microsoft consultant to stop checking their super-long list of micro-controlling rules against App developers for the sake of “perfect user experience”, as i’ve been explained to. Well, you know how it is, we are small, they are big, so after a few useless mails, i complied and removed above picture.

Next thing was that Info menu item. It may not be called “update…” as there is a Store rule that says it has to be called “get the App…” for the reason of users could be confused what it means (!). From my perspective, once they click on it, they are led to the project page, being the anchor point of any new information, and easily find 4 buttons to choose from. We say our users are not that stupid, they can well decide for which button they want. At Dynamic Applications, our culture is much about letting our users decide for themselves.

Instead, we’ve suggested to them to open two competitions (bugs, features) as well, and ask everyone interested with a Store login for feedback what to do next. How about that.

So they would have got something useful to work on, and don’t have to waste their time with boring nicky-picky discussions with their App developers like that, effectively wasting everyone’s time with frustration on both sides resulting from that (i used more polite, lengthy explanations in the beginning, but you don’t want to read it all).

I also pointed out that we have multiple Apps in Store and there have been various decisions in conflict with each other, so one time you post an update and it’s gonna be ok, next time a new tester comes up and throws it out again as “this App is not a game, therefore has to be removed” as the only given feedback (should i say: support?) at all.

We say suceess is much about being able to focus on important topics as a general habit. Discussions about mini-problems that you haven’t made up or caused on purpose are not part of being successful, from our perspective. For both sides.

Just my 2 ct.

As this situation happened to continue for 6 months now, and it became obvious that it wasn’t a conflict in person, but rather in structure, rules, law and order, or company culture, i finally asked for an official Escalation Manager. Apparently, i was the first developer who ever asked for someone like that, so it took a few more weeks. From my perspective, the more Apps we got in the store, the more special treatment was going to be necessary to please all extra wishes of Microsoft’s secret App Test department.

This is the 2nd letter i wrote to him.

We’ll see if there is ever an answer. After three weeks now, he seems too busy to care.

From our perspective, no idea how can we explain this to the community of our truest supporters anymore, even if it’s still small. Dynamic Applications are not willing to give up on customers just because some partner thinks they are the big ones, here.

We say if there is a conflict, and there have been multiple compromise attempts from one side, and then it becomes a matter of fairness, and there is are suggestions how to proceed, it’s always good to follow the best possible way.

At the same time, no interest to get into a War Scene from both sides, as far as i can see. Just a heavy conflict driven by differences in company culture.

So we have decided to inform you today about the situation. It’s useless to answer complains one by one.

SocialStylesModel_Belbin_v2017
Social Styles Model – Menschen und Kultur.

So yes, we’ve gone a few side-steps right from January.

The Dynamic Applications Web Store has opened. We take 25%. You get 75%.

How can we do that? – well, we’re not saying it’s gonna be easy in the long run. We’re saying it’s gonna be possible in the long run, as we haven’t got that super-sized company building, like that UFO-like Apple Campus or the Microsoft HQ in Seattle. Also we don’t make our users pay one or two cents with every order for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so they can do such wonderful things for Society in return.

At Dynamic Applications, we’re much about offering an excellent Business Case to everyone, as a standard behaviour.

It means nothing less that we are going to live a little more decent (not in real poverty, like in the third world, but can’t afford a car and other habits of super-wealthy people in rich countries, like, the top 10% of every human on this planet).

Feels all right.

Then, we’ve added a PayPal button to Perfect Desire, just because we have to consider there will be no other way to earn anything, in the worst case. In the central western part of European Union, where we live, they make us pay for food as well.

Still, we’re interested in solving this in a peaceful way, and this week and the week before, there have been signs that Microsoft has slightly started to move forward.

We’ve had the chance to fill in a couple of feedback surveys.

Just to let you know, in case you think Perfect Desire is not worth a Euro yet, there’s always the possibility to vote on @dynamic_idea and @dynamic_qs, our base of Customer driven Development and Public Roadmap voting.

A few Universal Promo Codes have been hidden right within the competition. So everything’s still free at the moment, as long as you are willing to participate and give us a chance as well.

Pay with a Tweet!

img_5407
about Success.

Just we want to point out that to remain fair here, we can’t work on Microsoft “issues” as a general habit, and consume lots of time discussing special peculiarities, that haven’t even made it onto the roadmap, at all.

The “update…” menu item issue seemed to be especially emotional from their side, so it was not negotiable. What we did is add their desired functionality, “get the App…”, for free to every application, in parallel.

But as the Dynamic Applications project is much about individuality and freedom of mind for every person in the world, sorry Microsoft, if you guys want us to go another way, again and again, we’re driven by public vote here. We can put your ideas on the roadmap as well, that’s super cool, but everyone who wants extras all the time, has to pay. And even if it’s Microsoft the super big partner, here.

I’ve removed the names of living persons from the following, and shortened just a little, so not to offend anyone where not necessary. A productive conflict should always be about the topic, not the person behind.

However, at Dynamic Applications, we say that a good company culture is very important to succeed. So if you feel insulted by someone, you don’t have to give in always as a general habit. A possible way to success may also be to defend your culture by giving constructive criticism, feedback, and sharing your best ideas with your partner.

Sorry if we’ve embarrassed or made anyone mad out there. We’re trying our best here, we love Microsoft’s Visual Studio development platform, you guys are working hard as well, just please handle your App developers with a little bit of respect as well.

martin-und-lukas-pizzahut-bielefeld-2013-1024x768
we need food, not artificial micro-conflicts here. let’s start working together!

Finally, after consulting a few people here, we think it could be of mutual benefit to start a constructive discussion here, and this blog seems to be the right place for it.

A constructive discussion is not based on harmony, where there is none, and polite words. A constructive discussion is based on productive conflicts on the topic itself, the struggle for an even better rule system, company culture, or at minimum, cooperation culture for this single project.

So here you go.


Escalation.

dna_logo_96x48

Dear Mr. Nnnnnnn,

as it seems the tester has rejected the IoT developer App again.

As we’ve seen this has happened multiple times by now, but not on a regular but rather a so-so basis (sometimes succeeding, sometimes rejecting), i don’t know how to go on like that. As i said, we’re just building up the company here, it’s lots of hard work, i’m not complaining, but we can’t concentrate on people throwing stones at us.

I have named to Mmmmm a couple of things that would classify a game from my perspective:


  • Vision or background idea  (increase diversity of IoT)
  • Target or Mission (build devices)
  • Concrete steps to follow (understanding and operating the e-learning solution)
  • different Teams or Players (it’s designed to be a massive decentralized multi-player approach)
  • interaction of Players (via Twitter, including public voting in two channels, and secret messaging)
  • intermediate Targets or Scoring points (win anther free feature to support you on your way).
  • rewards or awards (added the rise.global ranking to the public roadmap, so players can compare themselves by Klout Score or SocialMedia success)
  • final target to win the game (destroy the concept of NSA or other global surveillance agencies by massively increasing diversity of IoT).

To overcome the issue, my request would be to find the tester in question, talk to them, ask them for specific feedback:


  • which features are missing from Microsoft’s perspective?
  • how can Microsoft support us on that? (Game Center, automated Highscore lists, Scoring or Bonus points, competitions, etc)
  • is it possible to hide sourcecode and provide it like a „Dynamic Applications inventor package“ as an additional bonus in the game?
    (just to comply with all your rules)
  • is there any competition support by Microsoft Game Store?
  • can we define intermediate targets and send e.g. bonus codes for other Dynamic Applications to successful players?
  • any features missing on the roadmap that you guys need us to add to speed up platform development?
  • anything else (feel free to suggest)

From my perspective, there should be a fair treatment with everyone. This would include a minimum of transparency, why are we beaten around like that, from the many beginning. Since the statement came in today, the non-existent cooperation from the team is very clear at this point, I’m going to write the blog-post this week.

img_0083-1
App developers. Exponential growth means very low income for a long time.

From my perspective, it’s useless to explain to all kinds of demanding players on Twitter on a singular basis, why we are not following the path voted for by the crowd.

It’s nothing personal, I simply don’t have time to elaborate on our mission like that all the time and then I’m expected to pay 30% for that.

If you’re in need of a Team manager who can do the job, well, yes I’ve been working as Team manager before, but at the moment I’m determined to follow my own path here.

In case you have difficulty to understand my motivation, all I can give in is download Internet of Things developer and try out the SocialMedia driven App Developer simulation model, which is included as part of the game.

All default settings and parametrization are from about 3 months ago, end of 2016, where we projected how difficult it will become to survive.

img_5251-1
Internet of Things developer, a covering the world map Strategy game.

I’m not saying this approach is the super best one in the world, it is for me of course.

From my perspective though, every App developer is pretty much in the same experience here.

Thank you very much for your kind support and listening,

best regards,

Martin Bernhardt.
Founder

Dynamic Applications.


Afterword.

dna_logo_96x48

so was it right, was it wrong? – am i wrong? – and was it right to put this online?

it was a decision.

and as being a Company owner or Startup founder, you have to make decisions. If you don’t do anything, no wonder success never shows up.

and then you have to live with everything that follows from that.

we hope this conflict will solve over time, but we are determined not to burn our truest supporters in the oven of history, and remove a single one of our wonderful ideas just because some partner first decides to publish everything, and then throws everything out of their promising Windows 10 App Store again, at the very moment when our small promo campaign has just been started. Then, we make a compromise and call the whole thing a Simulation, as there seemed to be a problem with the Strategy & War category. My consultant says “allright”. We publish the App and it’s in the Store. Phew.

Starting another promo campaign from the limited budget that there is left.

Two weeks later, publishing the first update, apparently another tester is looking at it. Update is rejected. So we are stuck with a Simulation Game now in the Store, and are not able to develop it any further into the direction of a Simulation Game.

Oh, did i mention? – in trying to be super-compliant, and offering any compromise that there could be on this planet (as we’re not about useless quarreling at all), in a first flush of demotivation i offered to cancel the whole Strategy Game idea and asked my consultant to suggest something. He said “productivity”. I said ok. A week later he wrote back that he discussed with the team, and it was not possible for them to retarget an App like that. Internally, they got two App Stores under one Surface. So once you decide for the Game Category and your App has not been rejected on day one, all that remains to you is kill that very App from the Store, choose a new name for it, and re-publish as a completely new thing. It was suggested to me to choose a similar name.

Unfortunately, our earliest supporters could not be rescued, so how about doing a few tweets so they can find out, as there haven’t been many downloads (at that time).

I said no.

As being an App developer, or even call it a full-time Shareware developer now, i’ve got to feed my family as well.

We say you’re the best, Microsoft App Store team.

We’re recommending you to our Truest Supporters and Crowdfunders, all the time.

So be the best.


Conclusion.

dna_logo_96x48

Come back later to see if there’s any conclusion.

If you want to inform yourself about Internet of Things developer, our 21st century strategy & war game simulation, just go ahead. Believe me, once you’ve started to play a game like that, being independent and all, you won’t waste much time in playing risk, civilization, or any other bogus game on your Smartphone, anymore. You’re going to play this one game. Your game of life. The game of david and goliath. The game of success.

And believe me or not, i’d never say we small people in the world are helpless at all.

We’re fast. We’re moving. We’re flexible. We can offer a new compromise every day. We can do exceptional price offerings. We got Freeware, Shareware, and App Stores. And it’s never been that easy to gather an enthusiastic SocialMedia crowd and fill your very own world map from year one. Here’s ours.

If you want to inform yourself about is Internet of Things developer in the Windows 10 Store right now, click here (useless to write anything down here, and then change it every two weeks) to visit Windows 10 Store description page.

If you want to know is this the current version or has it been rejected again, click here for our Release Notes, and compare it to Release Notes of the Windows 10 Store App.

Let me know how you guys think about this whole thing. Comment section is open.

Thank you!

Martin xxx

SD-Management-growth.bscd
Balanced Scorecard: growth management, Dynamic Applications, 2017.04.07

 

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