There are a number of times throughout each and every year, when all of us are in need of a great gift idea. It’s a two sided problem. Sometimes we need to come up with an awesome gift idea because a friend or relative has a special day coming up, and other times, it’s our special day that approaches. You would think that the latter of the two (a gift idea for yourself) would be pretty easy…but it’s not.
Recall the last time you were watching one of your favorite TV shows, or driving home from the park on a Saturday afternoon, and your Mom calls to ask, “What do you want for your birthday?” It’s even worse, when she asks what she should buy your spouse, or one of your kids for their next birthday or Christmas? You draw a blank. All your great ideas are suddenly gone. That awesome pair of shoes you were looking at on line last week, the amazing umbrella you saw when you walked into Macy’s on your last mall shopping spree, that uber cool, all wood toy set you saw in an email, the latest Leatherman with the fire-starter tool from that magazine you can’t remember the title of…you can’t remember anything! So, in a panic, you say, “A gift card, get me a gift card…it’ll be perfect.” But it’s not anywhere near a perfect gift. It’s thoughtless, unimaginative and boring. Often times, they’re so boring, we even forget to use them. You are left disappointed, and with only yourself to blame. Put on the spot, it’s what you ended up asking for.
That was the easier side of this problem. What about when it’s reversed and you’re the one that needs to buy a great present for someone else? Now you’re making that phone call, listening to them say, “Umm, Uhh, Ummm… get me a gift card.” You feel bad not only because they aren’t going to appreciate and enjoy your gift, but also because you weren’t thoughtful enough, or hadn’t planned well enough to get them a present they really wanted… something they could truly enjoy having.
My wife loves giving great gifts. It brings her more joy to give someone a gift she knows they want, than it does to get a great present for herself. She has always kept ongoing list of friends and family, the interests they have, and the things she’s heard them say they like when out and about. Over the years, these list have be come scattered and disjointed. Not too long ago, we were on a trip and she was talking about someone’s upcoming birthday. She was frustrated because she couldn’t find their particular list. She said, “I need a better way to do this.” That’s where My Gift IQ came from.
What to expect from a gift idea app?
My Gift IQ solves a problem that every adult faces repeatedly each year… “What should I get (insert friend or family members name here) for their birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Valentines Day? We make the phone calls to ask, they give us vague answers that are rarely helpful. We wonder what size they are, can’t remember if it’s dark or milk chocolate that they love, is their favorite wine from France or California, does little Johnny like Star Trek or Star Wars, and on, and on, and on. My Gift IQ is an app that allows a user to create a personal profile (as well as profiles for their children) listing all the things that they love. It’s broken down into categories that cover almost any type of gift imaginable. In it, you store all the things you’d like to receive.
But it’s not just about what you want, or what your children want. You can search for your friends and family’s Gift IQ profile the next time their special day approaches, and feel great about giving them the perfect gift. For many of us, giving a wonderful gift is even better than receiving one.
My Gift IQ is about smarter gifting, but that doesn’t mean it’s just for women. How many men out their are caught driving home from work and realize that their wife or girlfriend’s anniversary or birthday is just around the corner (like tomorrow)? Now you can pull out your phone, launch My Gift IQ, look up her Gift IQ profile and find something she really wants in seconds. If she’s posted links in her profile, you can even order the item right there on the spot.
From now on, when Mom calls asking what she should get you (or your spouse or children) for Christmas or for a birthday, tell her to check out your Gift IQ. You’ll never again be put on the spot having to come up with some lame gift idea that you hope you can figure out a way to return.
This may not be an app that you play with every single day, but when you need it (or someone else needs it for you), it’s gold! The app is free, and for the time being, ad free as well. We are working on a Pro version that will add a barcode scanner, gift giving histories and following and notifications of friends and families upcoming special events (like birthdays, anniversaries, etc…).
How to develop an app without being developer?
For those that love the “techie” side of everything, let me tell you a little about how the app came to be. The first thing we did was create a website (mygiftiq.com). By the way, if you created an account in the application, you also have that same account on our website. Feel free to use it. Aside from the look, the only difference in the website is that we have developed plugins and extensions for Chrome, Mozilla FireFox and Internet Explorer, when installed on your PC, allow you to be on any website (shopping), see something that would make a great gift idea for yourself, and clicking the plugin button at the top of your browser will automatically add that sites URL to your Miscellaneous field in your Gift IQ Profile. You never even have to go to My Gift IQ. How simple is that? When someone looks you up (in the app or the site), they can click on one of those links and be taken right to the page of the exact item you want. Easy for them, easy for you! Everything you enter, either on the website or in your Android App syncs together.
The site is great and accomplished everything we wanted. Except that it wasn’t very mobile. The site is “responsive,” so it loads on a phone’s browser, but the screen layouts made it less than ideal from a users perspective. So naturally, we thought, let’s make an app. The problem is that making an app that does more than saying “Hello World!” is much more complex than many may realize. Fortunately, our site was built on a WordPress platform and a friend of mine had just told me about a company called AppPresser that takes a WordPress site and turns it into a natively compiled app. For all you “non-developers” out there, that means it turns it into an actual coded and compiled application, as opposed to just being a more screen-friendly view of your website. Another app, called PhoneGap (made by Adobe) actually compiles your site into the native application after AppPresser sets it all up. From inside of WordPress, you can customize it and add app specific screens if you want or need to. It’s directly tied to your website, so one of the great things about it is that if I make changes to the website, they are automatically and instantly updated to the app itself. I’m not a programmer, I’m OK at WordPress (but far from an expert), and it only took me 5 days from starting the app to getting it into Google Play. This certainly won’t work for every application situation, but it worked well for My Gift IQ.