"Pooper is in fact a piece of art that is satirizing our app-obsessed world. Specifically, the increasing reliance on the gig-based economy to do stuff for us that we could easily do for ourselves," says Ben Becker, one of the two pranksters behind the fake Uber for dog poop app.
And yet, Pooper has received high-level media pickup from the likes of the Washington Post, The Next Web, The Daily Dot, a handful of radio and talk shows, hundreds and hundreds of email subscribers and between 30,000 to 40,000 unique website visitors within just a couple days.
So why in the holy turd is the "Fake-Uber-Dog-Poop" app getting more traction than every single thing you’re working on?
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I dissected the prank and figured out why it generated so much exposure. Here's the scoop:
1. It's a buzz-worthy idea.
“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes ... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules ... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things ... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs
Sure, the app seems a little farfetched and ridiculous, but that’s the point. The guys were actually surprised at how many serious inquiries they received from real investors and potential customers. Push the limits of your mental boundaries, take a breath and then push even further. Some ideas seem so big they’re out of reach, but somebody will eventually execute. Why not you?
2. It has a clean and easy-to-navigate website.
I’m a web designer by trade. I taught myself frontend development. Even I find myself getting carried away with adding extra panels and features to my sites. The Pooper App site is simple to navigate and easy to use. It’s responsive, it follows a simple format and is designed with conversion in mind.
Take action: The easiest way to test if you have an easy-to-use site is to sit your mom (or some elder person) down and have them navigate your site in front of you. You’ll know right away.
3. It has persuasive and clear copy.
Website copy is as important as the design, interface and user experience. Plus, the copy itself becomes a contributing factor to the above processes.
Take action: Read your website out loud to someone sitting next to you, not looking at the website. Do they understand clearly and immediately what your business does? If so, good job. If not, back to the writing board.
4. It's a user-friendly product.
This is another serious issue with the products we create. Pooper is intuitive and simple to use. Take a picture of your dog’s poop, submit it for pickup and voila, you’re done. It’s even faster than putting on little Bella’s summer sweater that you purchased on sale at Nordstrom’s clothing pet store. Whatever.
Take action: User testing is huge. Rally friends and family for individual user tests. Watch each person navigate your product and take notes. Also, use analytics to monitor actual user behavior and study clicks.
5. It has a clear value proposition.
Pooper has two customers: Users looking for people to clean up their dog poop, and users willing to pick up the dog poop.
Too many times we get caught up trying to establish the value proposition. Keep it simple.
Related: 4 Steps to Making Ideas Actionable
Take action: Grab your laptop and head to Starbuck’s. While there, ask complete strangers to look at your website and ask if they see the value in what you’re offering. If yes, cool. If no, get their feedback and implement the changes.
Executing on the points above will not only give you a load of press, exposure and buzz, but you’ll build something people actually give a crap about.