650+ Downloads, 300+ Active Installs, and 8 Votes of support. Time to suspend development?

[This body of this post was updated on the at 08:45 GMT – 28th Feb 10 with the latest statistics]

When we entered the PayPal X Developers Challenge we hoped for a good result (who doesn’t when they enter a competition?). After the problems we saw with the way it’s being run we decided to use the number of votes we received to determine what to do with the project in the future. Now we’re wondering if PortaPayments has a future at all.

We’re currently just over 1/3rd of the way through the PayPal X Developer Challenge voting period and our stats are bad… really bad. At the time of writing PayPals site shows over 2,600 registered users, nearly 2,100 votes have been cast, and PortaPayments has got 8 votes (9 including ours, and yes, developers can vote on their own project).

That means that other than our own vote we’ve secured less than 0.4% of the votes, which by anyones measure isn’t a sign of a popular idea. To put this another way, if all the votes were spread evenly over all of the projects you’d expect to see around 38 votes for each project, which is more than four and a half times the amount PortaPayments currently has.

We accept that a few of things could affect this, for example;

  • PR – Some projects may have large established user communities, or may be benefiting from being focused on altruistic goals such as charitable donations which always appeal to people.
  • Similar projects – We’re aware of 3 other projects which use visual representations and scanning. Unfortunately, unlike PortaPayments, the other 3 don’t have a fully functioning scanning application, but as PayPal have ignored that part of their rules, we’re now competing against 3 incomplete projects for votes supporting the same concept.
  • The single vote rule – Some users may like PortaPayments, just not as much as another entry, yet they only get one vote and so have no way of showing support for PortaPayments as well as the other entry.

But the fact remains that we currently have less than a quarter of “average” expected vote, less that 3% of active users have voted to support the project (and yes, we did include a link to how to vote in the app), and just over 1% of the users who’ve tried the app have voted for it, and to us that’s a pretty clear sign the project isn’t worth actively developing, but we’d like to know what you think, so post your view in the comments below……

Update: We’ve been asked for details of the other 3 incomplete projects. They are D836- Scan n Pay, D837- offline paypal payments, and D942- Payment Plus

4 thoughts on “650+ Downloads, 300+ Active Installs, and 8 Votes of support. Time to suspend development?

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  1. Guys, I probably shouldn’t say this as we’re competing in the same competition, but based on the video you’re one of the ones I liked (obviously in addition to Scred :-). The way votes like this go, with even prizes being offered for votes, and how the competition has been held (and how difficult it actually is to vote), I would take any result with a small pinch of salt.

    We also are not happy that a popular vote decides the first round, and I hope nobody’s business ideas get buried as a result.

    I think your product looks neat and actually works (at least in the video!). After I saw the idea I have been in several situations where I’ve thought, “It would be kind of nice to just have a QR code I could point my phone at to pay”.

    I honestly think the old mobile payment systems were a load of horse manure, but the QR aspect and the new phones make it much easier. We actually have a couple of ideas that we could work with, with you guys, after the competition. If you’re still interested.

  2. do you think your number of votes is affected by the fact the entries on the category pages aren’t randomized?

    I would venture to say that the top votes are correlated with who’s on the top list of each category page.. feel bad for anyone who’s on page 2 or 3 of a category.

  3. I agree with Kristopher that we should take the results with a pinch of salt – better yet, the whole competition. Because of the way the voting is currently organized, the judgement of our business ideas is not based on quality or business potential but on the amount of spam you’re willing to throw at people to get to vote for you (I would like to mention a particular spammer that we all know here, but I like to keep things clean). The whole voting system adds a gambling layer to the competition, so we currently feel like we’ve entered in the lottery.

    If I were you, I would not decide on future development of your app, purely based on the results of this competition, because, as I said, the results are clearly not taking quality and potential into account. We’ve joined the PayPal X competition not just to win (which would be great) but also because we thought we could use the tight deadlines to get us up to speed – because we wanted to develop our app anyway; with or without the PayPalX competition.

    Talking about QR codes, if you look at our product pages we also generate QR codes for each of our products but don’t do nothing special with it yet, let me know if you’re interested in working together.

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