Building an app is all the rage today. Everyone feels they have an app idea, which they should put to light. And this is fueled by the few reports in media that highlight the biggest successes in this area.
Whatsapp, Instagram, Summly to name a few. And countless others who’re drawing in millions in funding.
But, what about those millions that didn’t make it through to the finish line?Millions of app entrepreneurs who didn’t even get back their investment, leave alone a return on their investment!
Are you in it for the right reasons? End of the day, even if you’re developing a small, basic app, you’re still investing time and money into it. Not just to develop, but to market it to reach out to your potential customers.
Now, if you’re going the way of developing an app, why not go all the way? Because if you don’t, you’d just never know what variable caused failure. Because if you’re going to spend time and money, might as well put it to good use that will get you the returns back.
According to the latest Developer Economics report, 88% of app developers have earned less than $10,000. Of this, a majority of them fall in ‘under $5,000’ earnings.
Is it then worthwhile to spend that time and money in developing your app? Here are some traits that predict mobile app success and the questions that you must ask yourself before jumping the bandwagon.
Are you really passionate about your idea?
So, this question can be misleading in many ways. The obvious answer from almost everyone that I ask is yes. Everyone’s passionate about his or her own ideas. But, are you passionate about it enough to give up your current job and build it as a business?
Essentially, are you willing to go the whole hog and put everything on the line for this idea? If the answer is no, you don’t truly believe in it for starters. Because if you did believe in your million-dollar idea, you’d invest in building a business that could get you those million dollars.
Which then means, you have to have the wherewithal to fail and rise again, take feedback from customers to build and rebuild your business, constantly iterate on your product or service to suit your customer’s growing demands or changing behaviors. Because, only if you adapt is when you become successful.
Have you validated the need for the idea?
Is it just you who feels there is a need or have you actually validated there really is a need among your target audience? How many people, unknown to you, have you walked up to and asked questions that may lead up to them articulating the problem that they’re facing. And whether they would be willing to move to a solution that you are working on?
The key to building a successful app is to find the product/market fit. What this means is that there really is a need for your product in the market and that customers will be willing to give up whatever they currently are using to download your app.
How will it be funded?
Have you thought about who is going to pay for the development of the app if it’s not something that you can fund out of your pocket? If you feel that your million-dollar app idea will attract the attention of VCs, the hard reality is that VCs don’t fund ideas. VCs fund apps with growing traction and a proven model.
Building an app is not cheap if you’re going to outsource. And a simple rule of thumb applies when it comes to hiring an outsourced partner – if you throw peanuts, you will only attract monkeys. You get what you pay for.
Think twice about how you are going to raise money. If it’s from friends and family, then be double sure about point number one and two in this article before you put their money on the line.
Do you have ANY idea of how you will market?
The numbers are stark when it comes to people who assume that if they build it, people will download. With over 2 million apps in the app store, do you really think people will find yours, by the million?
The biggest challenge that an app entrepreneur faces is distribution. If your app has to be discovered, you better have a marketing plan/strategy ready. In fact, you should already be implementing it well before your idea is put into execution.
If you’re doing to build an app, do it for the right reasons. Launching an app means building a business. It’s no different.