Office pools, friendly bets, alma mater rivalries…almost everyone has some stake in NCAA March Madness. Whether you just can’t wait to wipe the smug grins off co-workers’ faces, or you kind of, sort of, maybe put your house up as collateral, most people will find some utility for reflect7’s new Final Madness iPhone / iPod Touch app.
“We just wanted to release something nice and simple, easy to navigate, easy to use…something that does one thing and does it well,” said Brian Lambelet, reflect7’s web designer. “Final Madness is a breakdown of all the different [NCAA men’s basketball] brackets. You can view the teams by region, and it has easy slide navigation, which not many apps are using.”
While Final Madness provides ravenous fans with up-to-the-minute NCAA coverage, reflect7 is broadcasting more than sports scores. From the onset, the company’s abided by a comprehensive transparency policy, making everything from ad revenue and sales numbers (below) to an autobiographical reflection on the rigors of iPhone development available to the public.
“We wanted to show people maybe thinking about getting into iPhone development what’s going on at that time,” Lambelet said. “It also helped us to strategize. Unless you really have an idea sketched out on paper, you’re usually just making notes and talking about it.”
Screenshot of finalmadness.com/iphones, taken at 2:40 p.m.
Although this sort of openness is rare in the fiercely competitive field of iPhone development, reflect7 hopes its own example will encourage more entrepreneurs to adopt a “we’re all in this together” outlook. And, even if some of the eyes scrutinizing reflect7’s data belong to potential rivals, Lambelet remains undeterred.
“We’re going to expand out of the iPhone industry pretty soon – we’ll keep updating our apps, but we’re going to develop other products ,” he said. “We’re sort of safeguarded in that regard. Also, in order for a competitor to copy us, develop a product and get it approved before we’re finished, he’d have to be pretty talented. I’d have to give him props for that.”
To help spread the word about Final Madness, reflect7 is seeking to incorporate the broad reach of social media. During the company’s latest promotion, anyone who follows reflect7 on Twitter or becomes a fan on Facebook is entered to win a 40-inch TV.