Today, more people access the internet through their mobile devices than through desktop computers. Take a walk through any park, sit in a café, or ride a train, and this fact is made clear. Everybody is on their phone, all the time. Which is probably why everybody thinks it’s a good idea to launch an app. As a result, developing a successful app has become one of tech’s biggest aims.
The problem is, successfully developing an app requires more than just a great idea. My experience developing the ActivePay app has taught me a lot about what it takes to succeed in the world of “app-preneurship”. So, for anyone thinking about getting into the business of app building, here’s my personal advice summarized in five helpful tips.
Have a Clear Purpose
Before developing an app, make sure you have a clearly defined purpose. I cannot stress this enough. Investors want to know the “why” because when push comes to shove, they need to know you will not falter. When you have a strong purpose, you can move forwards with confidence, convince with clarity, and stay firm despite any challenges you face along the way.
Think about the value your app is offering and make sure you aren’t missing opportunities to add more. When I say value, I don’t mean adding unnecessary features, which is a mistake many app developers make. What I mean is truly think about the value your app is delivering and then load it with that value. If your app’s purpose is to allow people to order their coffee remotely, then make sure they can order the half-caf, non-fat, caramel macchiato of their dreams.
This may seem counter-intuitive. Traditionally, the belief has been emotion has no place in business. Yet, purchasing behaviour, and human behaviour, is inherently emotional. People don’t buy expensive cars and designer handbags because it makes sense to drop all that money. They buy because of the way it makes them feel. So, I say get emotional about it! Make people feel as strongly as you do about the purpose of your app and the value it will add to their lives, and you will have created loyal customers.
For an app to be successful, the design must be flawless. The attention span of the modern consumer is shorter than ever. People don’t care to search exhaustively for answers, nor will they stick around if something is buggy. With so many options out there, why would they? This means when you are developing your app, it’s crucial you think through every little detail and design element. Make it efficient, functional, and fail-proof, and keep testing your platform through all its iterations.
Persistence, Persistence, Persistence
At some point in the process, you will experience pushback. Investors will challenge you, customers will challenge you, other developers will challenge you. In the face of pushback, hold firm. Half of investors are testing your resolve, your customers want to be reassured, and other developers want to know if you are a threat. Show them persistence, and you will be rewarded with investment, loyalty, and respect!
At the end of the day, developing an app is a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience. It takes vision, creativity, resourcefulness, and “une tête d’âne”, which is French for a donkey’s stubbornness—an expression my mother often applied to me growing up!
To all you “app-preneurs” out there, I wish you the very best of luck!