Unless you’re building a video game – Develop an idea, not a mobile app

Although having exciting developments in disruptive arena’s like VR and AI, the recurring narrative of building mobile app’s in an increasing yet declining market place is misunderstood.

Let me start by giving you some numbers;

51% of American smart phone users DID NOT DOWNLOAD A SINGLE MOBILE APPLICATION in 2016/2017, what’s worse is the uptake on app’s is anticipated to decline but the increase in new app’s to market is flying (currently just over 5m, hitting 6m this year globally).

What’s even worse is 66% of all of the 49% who did download mobile app’s ONLY downloaded FREE ones and less that half of those people made more than 2 in app purchases and to knock it just once more, sources indicate that people delete existing apps after downloading new ones.

This breaks economic principle of Ye old supply and demand. But it doesn’t break spirit and nor should it stifle your ambition. It’s merely an iteration you’ll have to face creatively in your many challenges executing your idea. It’s a tough game, get used to it #realtalk

Build a stellar team around you. This will give you broader thinking, more detailed accuracy and faster execution. It’s also gives you responsibility, it’s difficult to pass the buck if your the last line of defence…

Go big and go broad. Remember those number are made up of the US uptake and smartphone users. Your country’s domestic market may hold a better result per capita but the market is greater and eastern countries are holding monopoly on usage and downloads. Hire staff internationally (it’s easy to recruit / manage now a days), listen to entrepreneurs from different geographies and read every little piece you can get your hands on about your craft.

Start feeling ok with the last mover advantage (you don’t remember Yahoo as the first search engine but I bet Google rings a bell. Similarly your grandparents, lol, remember MySpace and you’re stalking an ex on Facebook) you’ll get complete access to your competitive landscape – incumbents people are looking to turf. You’ll be able to make practical sense of your idea better enabling financial modelling, strategy, investment opportunities and, well, a good indicator if the market needs it and even if it needs it in the form of an app….

Build a sustainable idea. Look at your idea’s ability to service your customer and what opportunity it creates and / or problem it solves. People are incentivised in one of two ways, negatively or positively – if you develop your idea/app taking someone from a negative to a net-neutral people will get fucking bored of net neutral and subsequently your idea/app. Your idea will hold no value once you’ve solved a problem. You must create a net-neutral to positive aspect of your idea/app to perpetuate use and consumer value.

Wishing you all the success with your endeavours.

Martin Thomas

Source *techcrunch & comscore – techcrunch.com