By: Praveen Kumar
Before knowing the secret to build successful Apps, lets understand the key factors we need to analyze and apply in building with the right mindset.
1. What is a market?
In the world of apps, market refers to the customers who could be our potential audience for whom we are building the apps for. It is very crucial in understanding this as many founders get misled at this very first step.
The understanding of who our customers are will give us a clear picture on how to design it, position it, which features to bring in the first phase and so on. If we directly jump onto the ideas that we have in mind without proper study about the market we end up building something great but not useful for the market.
2. What technology should we use to build apps?
There are a variety of options available of emerging technologies and even the resource pool is massive to pick from, this is where we need to follow either approach based on the initial level of bootstrapped funds you have.
Build a prototype as a sample project:
The app may involve intense functionalities and requires high end servers and a large team to support it. If you can’t invest too much and seek external funding but you totally believe in the product, your option is to choose a simple technology that you know of / can hire and start building a prototype (either a design or with just 1 simple working module) – Get customers to use your app, collect feedback and traction. This will hold good as a validation to seek next steps
Build a MVP that scales:
Even if you have deep pockets, choose a technology that suits your needs and only build a Minimum Viable Product (or do it like how we call it MLP – Minimum Lovable Product). This ensures you are focused on building an app that is of value to the customers and scalable at will based on traction. We always have room to retrospect on our mistakes and build the final product in the right way if we build small at the early stage.
3. How much time, effort and money should I be spending while building the app?
As little as 6 weeks or less is what you should invest towards building your MVP, this reduces your risk and ensures we build apt features with detailed research. Spending too much time and money will only delay the app’s success.
4. Can we use low code-no code platforms to build our first prototype or MVP?
Yes absolutely, using a low code or a no-code platform saves time and cost involved in the experimental stage. Faster development of applications helps the business visually see what they want to develop. changes and visualizing it in realtime. Many low code providers are cloud based and h=it helps in scaling the application as per business requirements.
5. Can you give an example of the last app you built and what you discovered about it which could be useful for your next app?
The last application we worked on was for a logistics company moving pharmaceutical products across the country with precise temperature monitoring, shortest route, climate risk control along the way and letting stakeholders know the exact location of the truck.
Little did they know that this would be used by big players in the market and the architecture did not support scaling and API feasibility. The learning was that we need to analyze the tech stack in advance keeping in mind what is the end goal of the product and who will be its user. Now we ended up spending extra hours and effort in changing it to open source database and AWS cloud based architecture for speed and retrieving data on APIs which can be integrated to any dashboard for ease of access.
6. How big should we target while building for our target audience?
Building small necessarily does not mean we are lowballing with the potential of the app. We need to know what the audience is looking for in your app and drive the features accordingly.
7. Should I go with my gut in choosing which feature takes priority?
Oftentimes a founder / CEO is who drives the app building with what he/she knows and what he/she wants, this puts heavy risk on the app even when it’s a million dollar idea. It is wise to make it user friendly and resonates with the maximum of your audience likes.
8. How I split my budget for app development?
Lot of apps spend all their capital in building with the latest technology, with high class UIUX and all additional features but fail to allocate a budget and a perfect campaign for the marketing launch to reach the customers. In fact, planning this should be first step even before building the apps
9. When will the development Ideally be completed?
Understanding how development works is mandatory for any founder, everyone has an impression that when we build an app for 60 days and boom, it’s done and we don’t have to look back in terms of development. They are totally WRONG, agile principles are introduced to take in feedback and improvise the backlog (new features / bugs) prioritizing to help run the application smoothly on a longer run. Research and development will travel through the application’s lifecycle as marketing and sales does.
10. How long should I wait for success after launch?
Rely on digital marketing like using the right keywords, ad placements, and ensure your product solves a problem or adds values to its users. Until here everything is in our hands to make it perfect. Beyond this there is always a market reaction element that determines the success of the application.
Every application will not be a success overnight after the launch. Reasons like coming up with a concept ahead of time or not being able to market the product in the right place at the right time can be few among the reasons for delayed success. If you truly believe that your ideas are going to stand out in the market I highly recommend you to play the long game in slowly increasing the customer base, adding new features, supporting your existing users and ensuring service quality and MRR. Over time when the market needs change, your product might resurface to the top. Examples like Zoom and digital payments during the pandemic stand tall proving the above statements.