Dan Ward, co-founder of Detroit Labs, speaks at the Maker Movement Summit on building a mobile app. He chalks out the business know-hows of mobile app development, such as building the foundation and understanding the target audience. Dan speaks about the developmental journey of Detroit Labs while building the DTE Energy app.

Some of our key takeaways from the conversation:

  1. Talk Less, App More:
    People avoid speaking for various online services and prefer using apps to get things done. If someone reports a power outage, they should be able to see the progress of their complaint. People should be able to interact with a brand effortlessly.
  2. Update Regularly and Embrace Bugs:
    Mobile apps need to be constantly updated with newer versions, and since there are so many changes, there is bound to be bugs in the app. Bugs can be rectified in the next release.
  3. Humanize Your Brand:
    Every time there is a mistake in an app, the best thing an entrepreneur can do is to accept the error and fix it. This establishes a healthy B2C relationship and fosters transparency and honesty.

Below are some of the key points and moments from the conversation:

  • 0:20 – Dan Ward introduced himself and talks about how to build a great mobile app
  • 1:30 – Understand who you are building your app for and who needs your app
  • 9:55 – Don’t settle and constantly look for more improvements and growth in your company
  • 11:40 – Dan constantly tried to speed up the DTE Energy app and kept redesigning it to make it a world-class customer service application
  • 16:10 – Detroit Labs has been working with DTE Energy since 2011 and has collectively built a world-class customer service app


Dan Ward
Co-founder, Detroit Labs