Dollar Tree Launches Android App Store [BREAKING]

In March, Amazon launched their own app store for Android apps. You might be thinking, “why would Amazon launch an app store?” Well, let’s put it this way. I have no idea. It’s weird. In fact, it weirds me out so much that I’ve decided to put no effort in researching how the hell it works. Do they have exclusive apps that aren’t in Google’s own app store, “Google Play” (ugh that name, another thing that I don’t want to get into). Are they selling the same apps at a different cost than Google Play? Does that mean if I own an Android device, I’m obligated to search several app stores just to find a todo list app?

Well, the saturation continues today as America’s favorite dollar store, Dollar Tree has decided to make their mobile debut with their own Android app store. Their motivation is clear – they intend to only sell apps priced at $1. No more, no less. Apps included in Dollar Tree Appstore at launch will be Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and around 2,000 camera apps.

We reached out to Dollar Tree CEO, Bob Sasser for comment. “Do what? What are we launching?” I told Bob about the Appstore. “Android? Well we sell some robot toys in our stores but I don’t know what that is specifically. We may carry it. Give your nearest Dollar Tree a call.” I went on to explain smartphones, told him all about the app ecosystem, how mobile platforms work, etc. I talked for nearly an hour. “Adam, let me stop you there. The things you’ve just said to me are way over my head. We sell retail items for a dollar. We don’t do any of this gadget stuff.”

I was pretty frustrated at this point, so we got the Mockcrunch team on the case. From our research, we were able to determine that a single Dollar Tree corporate intern was behind this initiative. We reached out to James Farely, the intern who created the project. “Dollar Tree needs innovation. Our CEO is clueless, so I thought I’d help out a bit. I didn’t take this to Bob because I knew he wouldn’t get it.”

We asked James if any executives were aware of the Dollar Tree Appstore. “Haha, yeah right”, he said. “This company is a total nightmare. They are still selling retail products at a dollar. The brand is locked in. Inflation continues to rise, and we can’t steer from that dollar price. That just means our products continue to get shittier. In 10 years, we’ll only be selling single sheets of paper.”

Wanton Wantrepreneur: The FAT startup

Some startup methodologies that emphasize learning and shit have taken hold in the startup community in recent years. They suggest things like running lean, the idea that spending less money while you are learning is a good idea, and customer validation, determining whether or not you have customers for something before you actually build it. These ideas have caused more entrepreneurs to live on ramen noodles while venture capitalists fly their private jets around the world going on golf vacations. Is any additional explanation needed? Welcome to the FAT startup movement!

Today we will discuss the first tenet of the movement. In future posts, I will outline exactly what you should be doing if you want to build a massive company.

Impress your potential customers

We should all know by now that nobody gets fired for buying IBM. Because this is true, you should look at IBM for guidance on how to make your customers feel comfortable. And what do we know about IBM? They have some of the most amazing corporate campuses in the world, R&D labs with all of the latest technology, and lots and lots of employees doing important things.

You clearly need to do whatever you can to look like a big, successful, 100 year old company. Get fat fast! Hire as many employees as possible and make sure your potential clients know how many people you manage.

PRO-TIP: if you hire lots of contractors, you can make sure they only work a few hours a week, but claim them as employees in the numbers you tell your clients.

When it comes to your furniture and facilities, everything should be top notch. IKEA is for punks and Europeans. Only buy original designer pieces so you can tell your guests about how authentic your space is. Google is a huge company doing trillions in revenue each year, do you think they have IKEA egg seats and massage nap beds in their lobbies? Neither should you.

PRO-TIP: if you really want to impress, make sure you have your architect personally hand build a sculpture of themselves in your lobby. Your clients will awe at how much pull you have and immediately want to give you their money.

Your perks have to match your klout (score), so don’t settle for second best. Massages during lunch hours and laundry facilities are for scrubs and companies that manufacture physical goods. THIS IS THE INTERNET! You should offer on-site broadway musicals, complete with the original casts, in between professional race car lessons from Formula 1 drivers.

Snake oil salesman starts Kickstarter project for iPad belt

snake oil

Image courtesy of Jeremy Weate on flickr.

Kickstarter projects have been made fun of before, but there is no denying that it gives creative people the opportunity to create something that might not otherwise be possible. People with no talent whatsoever have raised money for physical goods, horrible plays, and junk comics. Enter James McTroothy, known as Tex to his friends. Tex is a veteran of the snake oil sales circuit, winning the annual Snake Oil Salesmen of the Southwests award for most volume three years running. So what is making him give it all up? The iPad belt.

Like any good conman, he knows a good con when he sees it, and Tex told us that this was one of the best around.

“People have said that Kickstarter would just result in snake oil salesmen stealing money from the defenseless. I don’t think anyone would buy snake oil on the internet. But accessories for Apple products? It’s like selling candy to kids.”

The problem is that there have already been so many projects funded for Apple accessories that there wasn’t much room left for Tex to operate.

“I think most of this stuff is junk. Some assholes raised a million dollars for a watch kit for something called the Nano? That’s a strong con, but I can do better. You see, lots of people have these tablet things and nowhere to carry them.”

“I am not a creative man, but I carry my newspaper in my belt, and apparently thats what people use these iPads for, so I figured we would make a belt that holds it for ‘em.”

We were surprised when he said he actually planned produce the product and send it to the backers. When asked how, he surprised us yet again.

“It’s not even hard. I went to some meeting for local businesses and some guy said he could manufacture it for me using his contacts in China. It’s going to cost almost nothing to produce, just like my snake oil, and we found a high school kid who will draw it on the computer if we give him a free belt.”

We didn’t know what to think. ”The con here isn’t that I will take their money and run away. The con is that I can dream up some useless piece of shit and sell it to people.” It appears that Kickstarter has turned Tex into an actual businessman.

 

 

 

CERN: Look at this! No, it’s not the Higgs, but you’ll totally love it!

CERN houses the largest science experiment in this history of human existence. The Large Hadron Collider is a ring 17 miles around that accelerates sub-atomic particles to near the speed of light. These particles are then smashed into each other billions of times per second. Very delicate work. Although the facility has several purposes, its most publicized mission is to discover a theorized particle, the Higgs boson. CERN was expected to announce today that they had found it.

The Higgs boson is important because it’s the particle that gives other particles mass. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you took… I mean if there was a… If you had chicken and a rubber chicken and you put them in a room… with a… You know what? It doesn’t really matter, because they didn’t find it.

From CERN spokesperson Chet Brewman at a press conference earlier today:

See, we were gonna find the Higgs boson. We really were. We had the whole LHC thing built. Then [Prof.] Karl [Bentley] has showed us this game called Minecraft. It’s really cool! Let me show you. You can build anything in it. Like, anything! We all started playing it. [Dr.] Gary [Benedict] had been reading a lot of Harry Potter, and he started building the home that Harry grew up in. See, here’s the room under the stairs where his mean muggle parents kept him. Oh man, we just kinda got hooked after that. We built Ollivanders wand shop, and then the other shops in Diagon Alley. And then we started building Hogwarts. Like the whole castle! You have to see it!

When Brewman was asked, “What’s that blinking light?” he responded with, “Oh crap! That means the machine is on. How long has that been running? There must be particles in there from a year ago.”

Europe’s Grand Chancellor, Earl Barnaby Prentis Covington III, is very disappointed in CERN. They promised they were going to find new particles before playing any video games. He sent CERN to its room without dinner. When asked for comment, he said “CERN will get a stern talking to when their mother gets home.”

Apple adds “Shake-To-Undo” iOS feature to Mountain Lion. Computers breaking already.

With Mountain Lion on the horizon, more and more iOS (mobile) features are starting to make their way to Mac OS X, Apple’s desktop operating system. Beginning with Lion, Apple made it clear that they had a vision to merge the experience of the iPad with the Mac. Mountain Lion plans to take this concept a few steps further, touting new features such as tighter iCloud support, Notification Center, iMessages, Voice Dictation and more, all features well-known to the iOS platform. Today, Apple has added yet another iOS feature to their roster, one that just doesn’t sound like a good idea: Shake-To-Undo.

Shake-To-Undo has been around on iOS since the early days of the iPhone. How does it work? Simply shake the device and a popup appears with a button allowing the user to Undo their last action. It’s a handy and useful feature for iPhones and iPods. iPads, not so much, as its size makes it awkward and a disaster waiting in the wings. Take that further, and now we’re all about to be violently shaking our Macbook Pros and 27″ iMacs when we make a typo.

Only hours after this featured went live in the latest update to the Mountain Lion preview, damaged Mac reports are already coming in. We reached out to David Dougly, a beta user of Mountain Lion and now damaged iMac owner. “Are you f*cking kidding me? What happened to CMD+Z? Is this supposed to make Mac OS X better? Jesus Christ. I tried lifting up my 27″ iMac to shake the god damned thing. I threw my back out and dropped the iMac besides. I’m downgrading to Lion.”

Another beta user, Jake Gruffy, claimed he absolutely destroyed his Macbook Pro. “I needed to Undo so I tried CMD+Z and it didn’t work. I had to Google around, only to discover this horrendous new Undo method. I sighed, picked up my Macbook Pro and shook it a few times. It didn’t work, so I shook it harder. You know what? I saw the stupid Undo popup appear, but only for a split second because it was flying through the air towards the wall. My Macbook Pro looked as if it had been run over by a cement truck. What a total nightmare.”

According to our sources, CMD+Z has been entirely replaced with Shake-To-Undo and there is no alternative method available.