Mobile applications were downloaded over 75 billion times last year, and over 19 million professional developers now exist. In a saturated market, being a successful developer more than ever means you have to stand out from the crowd. 47% of developers work alone, and only 8% work in companies with over 20 employees. It is an industry that is very friendly towards entrepreneurs, due to the low entry-costs if you have the skills. Take a look at these 2 case studies for some inspiration that can improve your app creation strategy.
Appbot – Stuart Hall
Appbot is an app that is also used by app developers! It helps those making applications use reviews with a higher effectiveness, by taking app reviews across platforms and between countries and sending them to an area specified by their development team (for example, it’s own interface, or emails, etc.) as well as record a lot of very useful metadata and Voice of the Customer programs. Appbot is successful, but it wasn’t Stuart Hall’s first application. A good lesson to learn from Stuart is that being tenacious and starting several projects pays off. If you think about your application like a startup, you may find the statistic that 1 in 10 new projects fail daunting, but look at it another way – try ten times, and there’s a good chance that one of the projects will succeed!
Hall also previously tried different types of application to improve his skills as a developer. He pushed himself to his limit by setting a goal of building an app in one night and not telling anybody about it. Hall also spent 6 hours building the application (a workout app with exercises, timers and voice prompts) and then launched it. He tried free downloads, different pricing strategies and increasing features but sales were flat and only four promotions were ever used. He kept trying with this app, kept pivoting as the Lean Startup recommends, and eventually he generated $72,000 of profit and sold it to Wahoo Fitness. From Stuart, we can learn that it’s important to keep trying but to keep trying in as many different ways as possible.
Virtru – Will and John Ackerly
Virtru had one goal as an application – to give users back the privacy that they lack in the contemporary digital landscape. The app itself has great features. It’s easy to use, accessible, secure, and of course, a great idea that attracts modern users. That is not, however, why Virtru is the big name in the security industry that it is today. Virtru rose to international industry fame when it received a $29 million dollar Series A investment. This pushed Will Ackerly into 40 Under 40 lists, and of course helped him drive his app to the success it deserved.
A lesson to learn from Virtru is that good ideas are crucial, but as is the knowledge required to get the funding that is right for your company. Several million dollars may not be what many applications need to be successful, but knowing the basics of negotiation like the Ackerly brothers did may be the driving force that your app needs to achieve success. Consider negotiation seminars before any big pitch – Forbes commends karrass.com for their seminar effectiveness.
These case studies may seem like fairy tales, but these are real people that have achieved success with real techniques. As with all success, luck will be involved, but by preparing yourself and your company with a highly informed strategy, you can learn from the accomplishments of others and increase your chance of success.