Last week I attended a conference put on by Nokia entitled "Driving Internet Strategies", and there was a panel speaking about innovation. All 3 speakers (and the audience) had some great points. I'll blog about all 3 this week.

The first speaker was Daniel Sullivan, Founder & President of Appswell. Appswell is a Boston based company dedicated to the democratization of brilliant decisions. The app, also called Appswell, allows users to submit ideas for iPhone and iPod touch applications. Other users, who've registered with Appswell, can offer their feedback on the idea, voting for the ones they like. Every four weeks or so, Appswell picks a winner based on user votes. Appswell, along with its partner Bit Group will turn the app proposal into a finished product. The user who came up with the idea gets $1,000 plus 10% of the profits from subsequent App store sales.

This is clearly a very innovative business model, and Daniel had some really interesting thoughts. He described how a lot of their marketing strategy revolved around the free press that can be (and has been) generated when you are at the merger of two "hot" fields (in his case crowd-sourcing and the mobile web). His marketing metrics were also really interesting, in that Appswell has found that a lot of people who tweet about them do not actually visit the links they are posting, meaning Appswell has gotten a lot of buzz from people who want to be seen as being interested in companies like Appswell. This separation between perception and action is actually a key metric for a company such as Appswell, who needs to make sure that people are voting for apps they would actually buy, rather than apps they would like others to believe they would buy.