Posted in Business
"I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it". -- Denzel Washington
Mobile app success stories are all around us. That being said, press or social media rarely talks about failures and, more importantly, reasons behind them. In the result, as startups or early developers we seem to be imprisoned in a space where everyone has luck, except for us… Being in the right place at the right time is what we usually call “good luck”. Of course, some people might come across more opportunities than the others, but winners are those who grab chances and make the most use of them.
Obviously, it is difficult to exclude the role of luck and opportunities in our life, but pure luck is unbelievably rare, like playing a casino game for only once and winning a huge amount of money. In most cases, luck is gained through preparation, persistence, and good judgment. Mobile app sphere is no exception: unplanned spectacular success is few and far between. Consequently, if you don’t want to leave your mobile app’s chances to this unbelievably rare percentage of success, you will need to work hard.
We usually ignore the fact that there is an enormous amount of hard work that backs up an app developer’s success. The “lucky” ones most often have spent hundreds and thousands of hours on specializing in their field, developing skills, creating frameworks for their projects and building networks. Close examination will show that nearly all of them had two main things before being called lucky - preparation and passion. Even if unplanned success came their way, they had the ability and the preparation to anticipate it and the enthusiasm to get over difficulties.
A business or a hobby?
The more professionally you plan your app development, the more are your chances for success. First and foremost, find the right developers to cooperate with. Amateurs will force you into a product development which reminds more of a hobby than a business. What is the probability of chancing upon a reliable partner without putting much effort into your quest? Of course, be watchful not to miss your luck, but don’t forget to have your conscious and professional contribution to this process. Work with professionals or, if you cannot afford it, get recommendations from them.
Seeking for a unique idea and great execution
Mobile app developers have one main challenge to face: to keep afloat in the market of millions of apps. Success stories prompt to have a unique idea and great execution as priorities. Aspire to leave a trail, rather than walk the already discovered paths. However, even if an exceptional idea crossed your mind in a second, it cannot be executed overnight or by a twist of fate. Behind the curtains, usually there is a complex technology, but users enjoy a flawless experience with the app - that’s what great execution is!
Early network and early feedback
Mobile apps do not break new ground in the market in case only the quality of the product has been considered. Strategies for launching and promotion are also of crucial importance. Successful developers usually have spent weeks and months to have a sizeable audience by the time it is launched. Create a network that involves not only prospects but also other developers, journalists, entrepreneurs, and investors. Developers who have continued success know that press coverage and influential people act as ambassadors for their app.
Early feedback has a huge impact on the future of the product. A research carried out by a group of sociologists shows evidence that if people see positive reviews for a song, they tend to rank it higher than the ones with early negative feedback. And that’s natural: when a product is new to us, we rely greatly on others’ comments and reviews. Surely, if you have an audience that has a positive experience with the prototype of the app and looks forward to using it after launch, you increase your chances of getting early positive feedback.
Analyzing reports and measuring performance
Did you have success by some quirk of fate? Do you feel it happens once in a lifetime? Remember, unplanned huge success needs to be handled - obviously, more than the planned one. Initial downloads are a great start, but you should go beyond, by analyzing time spent on the app, percentage of users who are ready to pay for upgraded versions, active usage, etc. Successful app developers keep a close eye on customers’ behavior, level of satisfaction, and reviews. Determine the focus of development and apply revisions accordingly.
Watching out for wider opportunities
What are your plans after cutting the ribbon? Do not sit with folded hands in the hope of seeing millions of downloads in the app store. This might have happened to a few developers, but you never know whether you will be among those few. Think of yourself as a user: would you discover your own app on the store if you had no idea it exists? Uploading your app on websites other than Apple App Store and Google Play will enhance chances to success. Some of the alternatives are Amazon Appstore, Opera Mobile Store, AppBrain, GetJar, etc. In addition, to ensure visibility for your app, look for opportunities to participate in app contests, such as Apple Design Awards, Best Mobile App Awards, OZApp, Appy Awards, Appsters Awards, The Webby Awards, etc.
A report by Gartner states that only about 1% of consumer mobile apps are financially successful. If you find this information discouraging, you should rethink your initiative of developing an app; successful developers look upon this figure as a great opportunity to achieve success among many failures.
Unique idea, great execution, wide and responsive network, strategies to choose a partner, planning the launch and promotion of the app – all these are little streams that flow into the ocean of success. You can surely choose to rely on luck, but without these streams to back up your business, you might end up watching other hard-working individuals and companies find their “luck” only because they were committed to taking action. Consider not only tried and tested methods but also be open to creating your own version of the success formula. After getting to your stardom, you will look back and see that even if a number of instances on that way can be called luck, there was a great amount of preparation that has gone into it.
The more you learn, practice and plan, the luckier you get. As Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group comprising well over 400 companies, noted, “I have often been accused of being lucky in business, but I too believe that a lot of very hard work has played a major part in any luck that has come my way.” Get organized, work to the best of your abilities and enjoy your stroke of luck!
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