Yo guys! Wanna be rich? Think simply stupid !

Yo guys! Wanna be rich? Think simply stupid !

Ever been sat there thinking how you can make that million bucks and strike it rich? People sit around brainstorming, chewing over what they could come up with as the idea of the century. They get it developed and the application is launched and it makes the money. That’s the theory anyhow. But, sometimes, it’s simple things that work the best for people. Think simple! People buy into that these days. Complicated? Then they’ll just run a mile from your application.

There’s no better example than “Yo”. Yes, it’s probably the stupidest example of what we can use our smartphones for and what applications can do. But, it has taken the world by storm and got 1 million in investment already. Yes, you heard it right: investors are willing to pour in $1 million and that means that there will be more to follow as everyone will be wanting to jump on the bandwagon.


So, what’s “Yo”. If you haven’t already heard of it, it’s the new application that allows you simply to send the word ‘yo’ to your contacts. It’s the ‘poke’ of Facebook without the trimmings. There’s nothing else you can do with it. It just says ‘yo’ to your friends and they reply…yes, you got it, ‘yo’. And so it goes back and forth, yo-yo-ing around.

Moshe Hogeg, CEO of Mobli in Tel Aviv wanted a way of getting in touch with his wife and his assistant. He wanted it to be simple, quick and easy to use. He wanted to discourage long conversations, get someone’s attention quickly but avoid having to send email. It was for him a way of calling his assistant into the office because he needed her or saying to his wife that he was thinking of her.

Simple Communication

The application took 8 hours to invent according to the inventor Or Abel and it has been around now for just a few months. In fact, in true comic fashion it was even launched on April 1st. But, he only person laughing right now is Abel as he gets to pocket the $1 million at least that is coming his way in investment. Abel says that the application is the best and simplest means of communication available today for mankind. Apparently, yo’s are not just the same old yo’s going back and forth. Each one of them has a special meaning that can only be understood by the people sending and receiving them. It could mean ‘hi, where the damn hell are you, I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes?’ or ‘yo: just thought I’d see how you were as we haven’t spoken in a long time’. True, a word can say a thousand things. But, is that word worth a million? Alternatively, you can always record the ‘yo’ and that will allow the intonation to at least transmit some of what your feeling in there.

Since it was invented there have already been changes that have been made. Now bloggers can send a ‘yo’ to the people that leave messages on their internet sites and post updates.

OK, so a million in investment terms is probably nothing either here, in the USA or elsewhere in the world. But, by anyone’s standards a million is a damn lot of money when it’s just a single word being bought and a very simple application.

People want simplicity these days. That’s true enough. But, this is reducing it to almost nothing. Imagine the misinterpretation that is just sitting behind every yo that gets sent. It’s true: make your application complicated and the people erase it or just stop opening it. Make it simple and easy to move around in, and they will open it every day of their lives. At least, until something new pops along for it to take over from.

People like criticism too. The application was called the most stupid application around. It was immediately downloaded by 1 million users and they sent some 4 million yo’s to each other. When you think back, who said the same about Twitter being stupid? Who would want to know your innermost thoughts or what you are getting up to right now via Twitter? Apparently, we can’t live without it today. Wasn’t Facebook the same? Didn’t people say that it was stupid posting where you were and who you were with on some dumb social networking site? “Yo” is the same.

Of course just a few days ago the simplicity of the application meant that there were hackers out there to get into people’s phones. A group of students from Georgia Tech hacked the applications and stole the phone numbers of the users, sending out random spoof yo’s to all users that had downloaded it. Abel did the best thing he could do given the circumstances. He took one of the hackers on and will be having him work from the inside rather than the outside trying to get in.

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Product thinking • Design • Development • Acquisition • Product evolution

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