This Mind Could Create a Killer App

As a result of joining Foursquare and working with our client InteractiveGIS on GIS applications for business, I posited a formula for a Killer App.  According to Wikipedia, a Killer App is a "computer program that is so necessary or desirable that it proves the core value of some larger technology."  Here's my current thinking on Killer Apps:

Game Mechanics + Social Networking + GIS + Business Data
+ Algorithm, Formula and/or Idea + Mobile = Killer App 

When the NewVa Corridor Technology Council newsletter arrived in my email inbox, as about one billion email newsletters do, I expected to scan, click a link or two, and delete.

I had an experience with the Tech Council's newsletter.

The newsletter arrived looking like this, but it opened with what writers labor over – a hook or lead that compels action – by Cory Donovan, Executive Director of the NCTC:  "If you were at last year's TechNite, you may still have an image in your head of me in baby clothes…"  The phrase "me in baby clothes" was highlighted as a link.  I found it  Killer App-necessary and desirable to click.

A newsletter from the NewVa Corridor Technology Council

My click took me to this page.  It was all over after that.  I had to click.

Cory Donovan's Killer App begins

Did I really want to see Cory in baby clothes?  I didn't know!  I wasn't conscious of choosing any more!  I was clicking!

The plot thickens in Cory Donovan's Killer App Reeeaaally!  Yes!

The Dancing Baby

Ha!  I laughed so hard!

My guess is that few readers made it this far down in this post.  The images above link to Cory's baby clothes pages on the NCTC site.  If anyone clicked on the images, they're on the NCTC site finding it "necessary" and "desirable" to have a Cory Killer App experience of their own!

I have data to back that up.  I asked Cory for the traffic numbers and he kindly supplied them.  A full 78% of those who clicked on the first page clicked all the way through to the dancing baby.

As to Cory's killer app proving the "core value of some larger technology," what it proved to me, again, is the large capacity for creativity of the mind of Mr. Cory B. Donovan.

I'm thinking of sending Cory a non-disclosure agreement.  I want that mind working on my Killer App.


*GIS stands for Geographic Information System, or Geospatial Information System.  For more ways to think about GIS, you're invited to read our series of posts featuring our client InteractiveGIS on Handshake 2.0.

Bet you gotta click!  I remember that dancing baby!  When when was that anyway?

Think you've got a mind for a GIS killer app?  Try out GIS out for yourself.

Handshake Media, Incorporated, parent company of Handshake 2.0, and InteractiveGIS, Inc. are both member companies of the NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC).

InteractivGIS and the NewVa Corridor Technology Council, NCTC, are clients of Handshake Media, Incorporated, parent company of Handshake 2.0.

A Regional Economic Development
A Handshake You Can Take to the Bank


  1. Debbie Palombo says:

    Absolutely hilarious! I’m laughing right with you! Great post!

  2. Interesting.

    Here’s my version with brief notes:

    Emotional connection
    (Were it not from Stuart Mease I may not even haved clicked it…)
    Fun (creativity)
    (Optional, why?
    Excel is considered a Killer App by certain user segment. Is it fun?

    Social Networking
    Notepad is actuall a Killer App to some… when I copy/paste some real quick sparking idea or to catch an occasional fleeting thought…

    Business Value (CORE)
    Why on earth am I using the app if it does not help me to resolve a crtical problem? And doing so much more effectively than its ‘peers’…

    = Killer App (one type)

    Everything has a life cycle to it, Cory’s point of a baby is a great metaphor, the starting point… and yet as we know… not every baby is equal… and another perspective is, nurturing…

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