We’ve been developing mobile and web apps for a long time now, over 8 years in fact. Through these years of experience we want to bring to light some common myths about the app development business.
My idea is a million dollar app!
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.” but there is more to it than that, you shouldn’t even worry about execution if the idea isn’t market validated. The majority of startups will fail because the idea wasn’t validated, make sure you have defined your personas & researched the market, this is where an MVP could really help.
Apps are just coding right?
Here’s one of the big app development myths. Take a look and an app development team, they’re usually made up of the following roles
- Front-End Developers
- Back-End Developers
- UI/UX Designer
- QA Specialist
- Project Manager
- Product Manager
- Data analyst
Mobile and Web App development is so much more than code, from research and validation, user experience, code and quality assurance, project management, product management, data analysis, marketing & strategy and much more.
Each of these stakeholders play a critical part in the success of a product, so you need to be sure the team you are engaging with is capable of providing this wide range of service.
If you build it, they will come
Unfortunately development is half the battle. Mobile apps are much like any other product, if customers are not aware of it you cannot sell it to them. Uploading your app to the app stores is just the start of the fun, you need to ensure visibility to as many potential customers as possible.
A clear go to market, and ongoing marketing strategy is vitally important to seeing results. This will include things such as collateral creation (website, social pages, etc), App Store Optimisation, SEO, Targeted ads etc.
Marketing is going to cost an arm and a leg
Marketing can be expensive, but if you are smart and have done your research you can use the highly targetable ad networks such as Facebook to speak directly to your audience.
Looking back at your validation stage you should have your user personas, this should tell you exactly who to target using Facebook’s demographics.
In the app you should be tracking user data, this will let you understand exactly who are the ‘power users’ using your app, is it 24-30 year old females inner city regions? Thats a great way to narrow down who to target.
Being smart about this will help save wasted money on your ad spend.
The more features I can include the better
A common discussion we have is around reducing the amount of features proposed for an app. A feature might not always be needed to make the app great, and to solve the customers original problem. In fact too many features can confuse the product entirely and make it harder for the customer to work out how to solve their problem.
Justify the features on whether they are critical to the customer first, if they aren’t critical they are nice to have, and these can come later once you have validated the need and the want for your product.
All you need to get is that download
Download numbers are a great vanity analytic but what you need to ensure is retention and engagement. If your app has had a million downloads but you only have 10,000 active users then your retention is incredibly low and therefore your monetisation ability goes down with it.
The ‘average’ rate of retention sits at around 10%, meaning that ideally at a minimum you’re able to keep at least 1 in 10 users that download the app, but there is a lot you can and should do to improve engagement and increase user retention of your app.
As you can see there are many things to understand about the process (and we could keep adding to this app development myths list!), a lot of this is resolved through thorough planning an understanding of your product and audience. If you are wanting to take the leap we offer Discovery Workshops and Strategy sessions to work with you to achieve the best outcome possible.