Building Mobile Apps in 2020. Is it a good time?
Whether jumping into the deep with a new brick and mortar project or developing an app, the digital landscape in Australia has never been more exciting and ready to support new business ideas – particularly at the startup phase.
According to startup statistics for 2019, 51% of small business owners are older than 50. Another 33% are in the 35-49 age bracket, and only 16% are under 35. Essentially this shows that you are allowed to have (multiple) failed attempts at a business early on in your journey. You will still be successful later in life.
So perhaps you have an app idea that you’ve been holding onto for a little while? The question is – where do you start? Before you go jumping in with both feet, sticking it to your boss and pouring your life savings into it, let’s have a look at something called MVP – Minimum Viable Product.
So what is MVP?
Wikipedia says: A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development.
Getting to MVP is the first step and it doesn’t have to be perfect. As surprising as it may sound, the reality is that around 80-90%of mobile apps launched in the app stores are abandoned just after single use. So much so, that research says that an average mobile app tends to lose somewhere around 70% of Daily Active Users (DAUs) just within three days of its installation.
You can get to MVP a few different ways, there isn’t a one-answer-fits-all rule. However there are some questions that you should have answered by the time you reach this point.
- What is the problem you are trying to solve?
- How are you solving that problem?
- Who is your perfect audience?
- What is your message?
How do I get everything to work?
Once you have these four things clearly understood, to a point where a child can pick it up and understand it, then you can begin building. Here’s where you have to figure out where to spend resources to get a cost-effective working prototype in its most basic form. That’s right, we may not even be looking at building the app just yet.
Why? App development is expensive no matter which way you look at it and then you’re all in. If you can get away with creating a web based app first, it will cut costs until you know that the market will pay for your idea and you can be assured of some traction. Building a list, a following, a tribe – whatever you want to call it; it’s a surefire way to hit the ground running.
Research is the key to viability
Getting to a MVP brings you to the most crucial part of the process – market testing. Even if you think your idea is an absolute winner – it doesn’t guarantee that everyone else is going to agree. So don’t go by what your parents and friends think about the idea; the ooh’s and aah’s from doting partners and sidekicks do not qualify as accurate market research.
This is a great way to grow your base, having active users that contribute towards the continuous development and improvement of your idea. The valuable feedback from the hands and minds that actually use your app will generate a ton of marketing ideas for you to put into place in your next phase, the launch.
Where do I go from here?
From here, most app developers are constantly in a ‘rinse, repeat’ phase of fixing bugs, improving User Integration (UI) and enhancing User Experience (UX). This phase will ultimately lead to a more polished product, one that can continue to attract new users and traffic.
As Katie Horne adequately puts it, “The road to building a successful app is long and hard, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t even attempt this journey.”
As we continue to drag ourselves through a year full of obstacles and challenges, it may seem like all hope for new ideas and innovation are lost. When you consider the lack of potential customers for anything new, it seems like a suitably large detractor for an app build. However, on the other side of the same coin lies the countless opportunities for the motivated and hungry mind to seize. Don’t cancel your goals just yet. There are plenty of mobile users out there.