Written by Joseph Russell – Co-Founder and Director of DreamWalk Apps.
The original LinkedIn Pulse article can be found here.
Developing and launching your first app is a challenge and an adventure. It can be exciting, daunting, stressful and rewarding all at the same time. I compiled this list of tips to help first-time app entrepreneurs set themselves up for success. These are not the generic tips you’d get from a typical app salesperson or strategist. They are tough and potentially confronting tips from someone who has been on the adventure many times before.
TIP #1 – Don’t do it.
Based on the statistics, the best advice I can give you is not to develop an app. As the director of an app development company it pains me to say it, but with only 1 in 10 apps making a financial return and only a fraction of them striking it rich, the odds are against you. Of course the payoff can be huge if yours is one of the successful apps. The top apps have been known to bring in up to $1 million per day but make no mistake, they are the exception to the rule
TIP #2 – Cut the crap.
Your app doesn’t need to do everything. Better to have an app that does one thing really well than to have an app that tries to do everything and fails. Keep it simple and spend your money on great design and quality development, rather than on tons of features.
TIP #3 – Assume everyone is stupid.
You are highly intelligent but don’t assume all of your users will be. Design your app for the lowest common denominator. The worst thing that can happen is your intelligent users find your app really easy to use.
TIP #4 – Make sure your idea doesn’t suck.
Of course your mum loves your idea but is she your target market? Bounce your idea off as many people as possible and learn from your findings. Better yet, develop a prototype and put it in their hands for feedback before you commit to spending tens or hundreds of thousands on development.
TIP #5 – Give up your day job.
This one is probably impractical I know, but launching an app is a time-consuming, hands-on business. Make sure you can dedicate lots of time to planning and promoting your app or find people to help you with it.
TIP #6 – Befriend a celebrity.
Celebrity endorsements are gold. A simple tweet by a well known sportsperson, musician, actor or reality TV star can lift an app out of obscurity. If you don’t know one, see if any of your friends do. You never know who your network may have access to.
TIP #7 – Don’t forget about your app.
This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many first time app entrepenuers launch an app then forget about it. Monitoring your app’s analytics after launch and updating it accordingly is the key to improving user engagement and sales conversion.
TIP #8 – Don’t choose a developer Tinder-style.
Your relationship with your app developer is crucial to the success of your app. Swiping right on a developer because they have a nice profile pic or smooth banter is a surefire way to pick the wrong one and end up wasting thousands of dollars. Ask lots of questions, challenge their claims and make sure you are comfortable with the team before starting a relationship.
TIP #9 – Don’t act on hunches.
Use Google Analytics, Mixpanel, user feedback and usability testing to make informed, data-driven decisions. Never do extensive development work based on a hunch or gut feeling, unless you have money to burn.
Thinking about building an app?
Read these essential tips before you start app development.
Written by app expert and DreamWalk co-founder Joseph Russell, these tips are not the kind of advice you'd get from a typical app salesperson. They are tough and sometimes confronting tips from someone who has been on the app adventure many times before and knows the tricks and pitfalls.