Monday, November 29, 2010

Meet the birds. Local SF shopping in December

Attention all Bay Area DODOcase friends!

In order to make it easier to grab a DODOcase as a gift for yourself or a friend, we are going to participate in a few pop-up stores this December.

On December 4th from 9 am to 4 pm, we'll be setting up shop at the annual 3rd Street Sale.   Every year our building brings together all the great artisans that called the American Industrial Center home creating a block party of locally produced goods.   DODO will be out in force with iPad and Kindle cases ready to go.  (2575 Third Street, San Francisco).

Next up, on December 11 and 12, we'll be representing at The Commons for Showmanship, a Holiday Market.   See the flyer below.  This one is going to be fun. (1077 Mission Street, San Francisco).

For both events we'll have some fun tricks up our sleeve so make sure to come out and say hello!




Thursday, November 18, 2010

A new DODO takes flight!

Your days of taunting your Kindle-toting friends with your slick DODOcase officially come to an end today.  We’ve heeded the pleas of Kindle users and rolled out a DODOcase for the Kindle 3 today!  It’s available for purchase immediately for $49.95 with a red lining or $54.95 for all other color linings.   
At DODOcase we’re focused on preserving the art of traditional bookbinding and bringing the feel of a book back to e-readers.  Even though we heart our iPads, the new DODOcase for Kindle was a natural move -- it’s synonymous with books and backed by countless bookworms.  The Kindle version has the same great styling as our first product -- handmade by local artisans in San Francisco, each with it’s own unique character -- just in a smaller package.

Want to win one of these new birds?  Tell us what your favorite book is and why on Facebook here by Nov. 29th.  The comment with the most “likes” wins. The comment with the most “likes” wins.  Hint:  Share out our status update with a personalized note to drive votes.

You can also purchase one here.  If you have any press-related questions please drop a line to abby at dodocase dot com.  With the new DODOcase for Kindle we’re hoping to do our little part to help all of us Kindle and iPad users get along just a little better!

Download now or watch on posterous
Kindle_announce_lg.m4v (76858 KB)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

We don't sell books, we smell books

Over at ars technica, Nate Anderson just posted a great peice on e-readers and the cultural shift from ink and paper to pixels.    This is something we think about a lot at DODOcase.   Consuming books, magazines, etc via a hunk of aluminum or plastic is a far cry from what we all grew up on.   Clearly, we are big fans of the iPad (and Kindle) here at DODOcase, but I'm honestly we are not fans of holding aluminum or plastic when trying to read.  

Time and time again our customers report back to us that they love not only the look of the DODOcase, but the FEEL of the DODOcase.   Using traditional book binding techniques and traditional materials insures that while your eyes may be looking at the latest and greatest technology, your hands are touching materials book binders have been using for generations. 

I was personally struck by the paragraph below.   Nice work, Nate!

"But with books, one handles the artifact constantly during the reading experience. Losing the feel of that wonderful paper in the old Oxford blue-backed hardcovers means losing a part of the reading experience. My booksmeller would be (and, somewhere in California, probably is) aghast at the sterilized world of the e-books, every word stripped of its tangible context."  -- Nate Anderson

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pink with a Purpose! 20% to Susan G. Koman for the Cure

When we rolled out custom colors recently a DODOCase fan Lacey Fabrizio suggested that we donate some of our proceeds from the pink case to breast cancer research.  There was a collective "Duh!" heard around The Nest.  We should've thought of that! 

Several ladies in the DODO circle have been impacted by breast cancer.   So it only makes sense to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  For the month of October we'll be donating 20% of the sale of each pink case sold to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

We won't stop when October is over either.  We'll continue to donate 10% of the sale of each pink case sold to Susan G. Komen for the Cure from Nov. 1, 2010 to the end of the year.  So get your DODOCase and make a difference!  Keep the ideas coming as well and a huge thanks to again Lacy for the little nudge.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oct. Independant bookseller of the Month: Green Apple Books SF

Each month we hope to highlight an independant bookseller doing great work in the community.  We'd love to get your submissions in the future.   The following spotlight peice was written by our own Jesse Szymanski


Novelty and Change
An afternoon at Green Apple Books
By Jesse Szymanski

On one of the sunniest of Saturdays I entered Green Apple Books to find it still crawling
with bookworms. I walked in out of the heat and the general bustle on Clement Street to
be greeted by an original cover of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye mounted on the end
of a bookcase. The cover resonated with me, because it was the same first edition I read
in high school.

The store was quiet and cool. An older man was reading to his grand daughter in the
children’s section. Signs dangled and labels protruded alphabetically around the massive
volume of literature. However, there was no chaotic clutter some independent bookstores
can be known for.

Green Apple Books has been around since 1967 and was established by Richard Savoy,
who leased the building that predates 1906. For the last 10 years three former employees
who Savoy chose to pass the lease to have been running the show.

Kevin Ryan had been handpicked by Savoy, along with his partners Kevin Hunsanger
and Pete Mulvihill and has co-owned Green Apple Books since he was a grad student
studying English.

“I just genuinely like my job. I think for most people who work in a bookstore that’s why
you do it,” he said.

We maneuvered around sections of books as we walked across the creaking
floorboards and back outside to head up to the office in the adjacent building.

Carrying over 250,000 titles, Green Apple Books makes sure its selection and
service separate them from your “cookie-cutter book stores,” Ryan assured.

“I think the people who do like us, like us a lot. If you go on, review after
review praises Green Apple.”

The neighborhood is authentic according to Ryan, who prides himself as a bookstore
owner that operates outside of the franchised world. A man of tradition, he’s having a
hard time embracing the rise of E books. Though, he was impressed when I showed him
the Dodocase website.

“None of us [at Green Apple Books] were impressed with the Kindle, but the iPad I have
a lust for.”

It did come to light in speaking with him that authors couldn’t necessarily have an E

book, in-store signing.

“The thing you get down to is that the book itself is a physical object. It’s about the feel
of it, the look of it and the beauty of its unique design,” Ryan said.

With and other sites making suggestions for its customers, Ryan believes a
bookstore and furthermore a real live person will always be better.

People want to get out of the house and even on the nicest days still head into Green
Apple Books in search of something new.

“Bookstores fulfill a function besides just selling books. The selection in our store is
curated. We carry books with the most merit. Beyond that our efforts are to help people
who don’t know what they’re looking for,” he explained.

Ryan believes in good old-fashioned, 20th century customer service, rather than
automated suggestions based on data entry.

“I think the Internet isn’t very good at that yet. Maybe it will get there, but people really
need one-on-one direction and help.”

Many bookstores have been selling everything from vinyl records, to CDs and even in
some instances wine glasses, essentially slowly turning them into novelty shops.

“People have an emotional attachment to books. So, it will be a slower decline, but a
definite decline.”

With technology exponentially increasing, so does our adaptation. But what does this
mean for the local vibe on Clement Street, where Green Apple Books has been a sponsor
to the community for over 40 years?

“People just like the physical book, but maybe this type of person will age out of
existence and we won’t be here in the next 20 years.”


Monday, September 20, 2010

Color case of the week: PINK

We are going to start highlighting a new color each week.   Today's color is the hotly debated, Pink.   Love it or hate it, this color is going to get you noticed.    The DODOcase team is split evenly on this one.   Personally I love it and have been rocking it as my personal case.   What do you think?

Color case of the week: PINK

We are going to start highlighting a new color each week.   Today's color is the hotly debated, Pink.   Love it or hate it, this color is going to get you noticed.    The DODOcase team is split evenly on this one.   Personally I love it and have been rocking it as my personal case.   What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Apps we like -- Finger Physics HD

We are going to occassionally post about iPad apps we like and I couldn't resist starting out with one of my favorites from the iPhone which recently got re-imagined for the iPad.    The guys at Press OK Entertainment launched Finger Physics HD today for the ipad and I recommend you check it out.    I enjoy games with simple mechanics with big visual pay offs.   Finger Physic HD delivers big in that regard.   Its one of those quick pick up the iPad and have fun games.   Check out the full description in iTunes.

The developer was nice enough to give us a few promo codes.  If you use one, please add a comment so people know when they have all been used.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mmmm... new flavors of DODOcase iPad case are available

We are big fans of The Unofficial Apple Weblog here at DODOcase.   They've always been a go to source for information on the latest and greatest from Apple.    When we launched DODOcase, Dave Caolo gave us a much needed spark with a glowing review of the DODOcase in April.    Word went around the office and eventually Steven Sande gave us a try.   Steven was nice enough to email us about a few typos on our new website (thanks, Steven!) and we got to talking about the new colors which led to another nice mention in TUAW .   Thanks again guys!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mobile Monday Silicon Valley App Store Secrets Increasing Sales Feb 8 2010

This Mobile Monday event was right up Mplayit's alley as more and more developers are trying to figure out how to market their applications.

I was amused when all the developers mentioned featuring by Apple as being the biggest spike is sales...that one is not really a secret now is it!

An underlying theme in all the presentations was utilizing social media to generate buzz around your application. I wish we had had an opportunity to discuss Mplayit on the panel as we continue to provide developers with the tools to generate virtual word of mouth.

Next week Mplayit CEO Michael Powers will be presenting on two separate occasions during the Game Developer Conference in SF. Make sure to come check him out as he outlines the many must have line items in your app marketing strategy.
DODOcase for iPad

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flashback! Device pre-loads on Android

Flashback a few years in the mobile industry and the absolute Holy Grail of any mobile application business was landing a coveted slot pre-loaded on the device. The difference in sales potential for a pre-load vs. app/game in the storefront was immense. Landing a pre-load involved having a great relationship with the operator and strong ties with the handset manufacturer. The individuals with these skills and relationships were surprisingly few in number which is probably why if you picked up a feature phone in the years 2004-2009 you probably were greeted by titles like Jewel Quest, Tetris or Bejeweled. (Note: This business still exists and is critically important to guys like Glu, Gameloft and EA Mobile).

Along comes the iPhone and the game changed completely. No pre-loads and operator relationships didn't make any difference in the world. For it while, in the press, it started to sound like operator relationships did mean anything.

Now wait a minute....

Take a look at the recent announcement by AT&T regarding their first Android phone the Backflip (see Engadget video below). Pre-loaded on the device are AT&T apps including AllSport GPS, AT&T Maps, AT&T Music (which takes the place of the standard Music app), AT&T Navigator, AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots, Mobile Banking, MobiTV, MusicID, Where, and YPmobile.

Hmmm now wait a minute, who is choosing these apps???? You better believe it is the operator. It is not surprising to see companies with strong operator relationships making the cut (MobiTV and Where for example). You can see similar examples going on over at Sprint.

For those of you who've discounted the position of the operators in the new App world, clearly they aren't going to go down without a fight. Moves like these to dictate what is shipped pre-loaded on the device clearly show the operators aren't given up their power as kingmaker easily. Congrats to MobiTV and Where for making the cut and for all you mid-sized developers out there....time to find someone who knows the operators if you really want to add rocket fuel to your user acquisition.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gaming: Will Android ever close the gap on iPhone?

Today Mplayit released yet another batch of data regarding the relative interests of iPhone users vs. Android users vs. BlackBerry users based on the Mplayit community in Facebook. Unlike the data on apps, however, the data on games paints a less comparable story. The iPhone has a clear lead in not only the sheer number of games (not surprising) but also the level of interest our users have in games. In our community, 50% of iPhone activity is directed at discovering games compared to 30% on BlackBerry and 20% on Android.

From the chart below you can see that all of the major gaming categories are covered across platforms, but as you drill down off the chart on BB and Android we see a lack of depth in each category versus the iPhone. Not surprisingly, we see Android users preferring more 'geeky' games due to the early adopter nature of the user base.

So the question remains, will Android and BlackBerry ever catch up to the iPhone as a gaming device? I suspect the answer will be yes for Android and no for BlackBerry. While BlackBerry will continue to support a healthy gaming environment (driven by the fact that top publishers have been supporting BB for years and the operator infrastructure that exists for fulfillment and billing), the current devices simply aren't designed to be powerful gaming devices. Android, on the other hand, has all the potential in the world. As devices, their gaming potential is arguably as high as the iPhone. The limiting factor today is the Android Marketplace and the relative difficulty of payment. Developers will ultimately follow the money and if no money is being made in Android only the hobbyists will stay around.

I'll keep you posted on what we continue to see.

Click Chart to enlarge.



Games Twice as Popular on iPhone than Android, BlackBerry;
Smartphone Users Play Similar Kinds of Games

San Francisco – Feb. 4, 2010 – On the heels of Apple’s iPad announcement, Mplayit today released a survey that underscores iPhone users’ strong interest in mobile games as compared to Android and BlackBerry users on Mplayit’s popular app store on Facebook.

With games making up only 20 percent of the over 130,000 iPhone apps available on the Mplayit site, nearly 50 percent of the site traffic centered on games. Among Android users, only 20 percent of browsing focused on gaming applications. Even BlackBerry users are more fun-loving than Android users, with about 30 percent of activity coming from the games category on the Mplayit site.

“iPhone developers are driving this phenomenon, putting out simply fantastic games that get people excited," said Michael Powers, founder and CEO of Mplayit. "But the 'developer catch up' is underway on Android. And although Blackberry is renowned for apps, it continues to be underrated and overlooked as a games platform.''

Mplayit is the company best known for its groundbreaking new social mobile app store on the Facebook platform supporting the full application catalogs for iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Users can rate, comment, and recommend individual apps to their social network on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to browsing friends’ app collections and following their interests.

Mplayit's findings, drawn from live data collected from over 50,000 users of its Facebook app store over a two week period ending January 29, highlights the kinds of games that were popular for each of the three major smartphone audiences.

The most active game categories on all three platforms were largely identical: Arcade, Casual, Card/Casino, and Puzzle. However, there were some significant differences in taste across platforms.

Music games were particularly popular on the iPhone, befitting its media-centric iPod heritage. Android users showed a predilection toward 'geeky' games making innovative use of things like the GPS, camera, and augmented reality. And the BlackBerry audience gravitated toward television and movie tie-ins.

There were also some significant commercial differences. BlackBerry users stuck with major franchises and larger publishers, reflecting perhaps the carrier-centric history of the device. Indie developers hold their own against the big games publishers on the iPhone, and continue to dominate the Android's relatively immature market.

“Intense competition on the iPhone makes it increasingly hard for stuff to surface.” said Powers. “Android is an uncrowded, even playing field that we expect will grow and grow quickly.”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Does the iPad kill the Kindle? Not for me.

A while back I was asked by a friend about my Kindle. I think it is a great device. I enjoy reading books on it, surprising enjoy the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on it, and found Amazon did a great job with the bookstore. I bought it because I simply wasn't reading enough books. I found myself always distracted by the endless supply of content available online. I was reading, but something is always missing if you don't pick up a good book now and then. The almost singular focus of the Kindle as a device is exactly what the doctor order for me. I read more books in 2009, then 2008 only because of the Kindle (nice work Amazon).

So when I get an iPad (notice I did say when), will I retire the Kindle?

I don't think so. I think as a book reading device, for me, the iPad may have offer too many distractions. With the Kindle in my hands, I'll stay focused on the task at hand. That said, I do hope Amazon will make a iPad specific Kindle app as I'd love the opportunity to stay sync'd if the iPad happens to be with me when the Kindle is at home.

Time will tell, but I suspect for some a dedicated ebook reader makes sense. The iPad is going to be too much for some people.

Monday, January 18, 2010

See you at the Mobile Game Forum - London

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I'll be attending the Mobile Game Forum in London. I'll be presenting as part of a panel entitled "Content discovery: making games accessible and strategies for raising awareness"

We are looking forward to a lively discussion about how mobile game publishers can get noticed in a world of 100s of thousands of applications. Do the old rules still apply? What role will operators play in the new world of 'app stores'? How can publishers take control of their own marketing destiny?

It will be an interesting discussion and I hope I'm able to connect with a lot of developers while here in London.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Android, BlackBerry and iPhone App parity?

At Mplayit today we released some data that I found very interesting as an iPhone user who is constantly thinking about make the jump to Android. We did an analysis of the most popular categories of applications and discovered while the individual brand of application may different, in most cases the application functionality is readily available across all popular smartphone devices.

This isn't to say I'm totally sold on making the move, but it is comforting to know that I won't be missing too many of my favorite app 'functions'. I suspect as we take a look at games later this month I will find some big holes in the Android catalog. I'll keep you posted.