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You Guys Are Millionaires (Mobile Application)
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You Guys Are Millionaires (Mobile Application)

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What makes a good mobile application

What makes a good mobile application
Measure success of a mobile application
9 misperceptions of mobile application development
Ascendum
slides from MobileX Cincinnati

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You Guys Are Millionaires (Mobile Application) Presentation Transcript

  • 1. YOU GUYS ARE ALL Keeping your head above water as anMILLIONAIRES, RIGHT? “indy” developer JOSH PRESSNELL ASCENDUM SOLUTIONS
  • 2. THE MOBILE ENTREPRENEUR What my mom thinks I do What my friends think I do What society thinks I doWhat my investors think I do What I think I do What I really do
  • 3. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO DEVELOP APPS? An organization? (Company, Corporation, LLC)  No Employees?  Only if An accountant?  Not Necessarily An office?  No Equipment?  A Development Machine and an Mobile Device Startup funding?  ~$2k for hardware, $99 for Developers License
  • 4. Why choose “indy” development? Mobile Users Have Different Expectations  The best apps follow KISS  Focus on one niche need and be the best at it.  Users want to minimize time in most apps, not the other way around.  The most successful apps target no more than a $1.99 price point  Paid apps make money on volume, not margin  The most successful model to-date is the “freemium” model Minimal Cost Of Entry  Small focused apps have:  Rapid Time-To-Market - Simple apps can be made in 2 days to 2 weeks  Low Complexity – Codebase management by 1-2 man team “App Stores” Don’t Care Who You Are  Every new app gets the same potential visibility  Not even Zynga can petition Apple for publicity  The customer-base offered by today’s app stores reaches nearly every country in the world Simple Tools  Apple and Android SDKs – Mature and well-known environments  App Generation Tools – Appcelerator and AppMakr
  • 5. Why choose “Indy” Development? We MAKE What The Whole World Talks About
  • 6. WHAT MAKES A GOOD APP? Most Commonly Used Words In App Store Reviews  5 Star Reviews  1 Star Reviews  Awesome  Perfect  Waste  Nothing  Worth  Price  Money  Paid  Thanks  Recommend  Crashes  Deleted  Amazing  Found  Tried  Stupid  Simple  Always  Useless  Actually Users value and recommend apps that:  Get them excited  Provide more value than they cost  Are simple  Deliver what they promise  Don’t crash!
  • 7. MEASURE SUCCESS Apple App Store – Top App List As Of 02/29/12  16: Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock  18: The Night Sky  24: Tiny Wings  26: Circadia  30: Ski On Neon  35: PicFrame  44: Cartoon Wars  45: Battery Boost  48: Clear eveloper! By An Independent D Every One Developed
  • 8. That’s all well and good… but…
  • 9. MISPERCEPTION #1 You’re an “Entrepreneur”? Where’s your VC? Where’s your company headquartered?  Entrepreneur – “An owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative”  Your company is what you want it to be:  Full time employment  Full time self-employment  Venture startup  Second job  Whatever the road taken, be an Entrepreneur!  Stay versatile  A second job can become a first job if forces require  And vice versa!
  • 10. MISPERCEPTION #2 Pinterest, Tiny Wings… all it takes is a good app idea and you can retire, right? Visibility – 500,000 + apps in the app store alone  Without massive PR, many good apps never get noticed  It could be a year or more before a good idea starts to catch momentum Churn – Life at the top is short-lived  Even if you do break the charts, it won’t be long until something else replaces you Solution – Can’t assume one app is all you need. What’s next?
  • 11. MISPERCEPTION #3 Bit it takes months and money to develop a successful app! Choose a project that you can complete  If you plan to spend more than a month, you’re going to get sidetracked Choose a project that can be done quickly  Both Pocket God and Flight Control were initially developed and released in a single week
  • 12. MISPERCEPTION #4 After I’ve slaved away (for a week) to make my perfect app, I can just sit back and rake in the money, right?  In mobile, the hare beats the tortoise, every time.  Develop fast, release often  Spend 2 months, max, on an app and release  If it “sticks”, iterate version updates fast and often.  If it doesn’t catch on, leave it and look for the next one
  • 13. MISPERCEPTION #5 I have to have a unique app idea! All my ideas already have an app for that!  You don’t always need to innovate  Several existing competitors means there’s a market  Use existing competition to gauge the niche  How many rankings (good or bad) do those competitors have?  Do they do some things well? Copy them.  Do they do some things differently than you would? Improve them. The Best App Ideas Start With, “I Can Do That Better!”
  • 14. MISPERCEPTION #6 My app is so awesome it should be priced to show its value!  Current Average App Price - $2.06  Current Average Game Price - $0.99  Current Average Overall Price - $1.91 In the App Store Top Paid 200  143 are $0.99 No matter how “perfect” your app is, if you want in the top ranks, it shouldn’t be priced higher than $1.99 (and free is better)
  • 15. MISPERCEPTION #7 I can stay successful by focusing solely on my product’s development.  Your user community is EVERYTHING!  Direct and personal interaction with users drives:  Secondary and Tertiary sales figures  Development Focus  Positive Reviews  Don’t delegate community/social interaction  A direct and honest connection with users, especially the frustrated ones, WILL drive sales figures over time  Don’t be scared to admit your failings, too. But don’t talk about a problem without providing a solution  Implementing user requests goes a LONG way  Turns 1 star reviews into 5 star reviews  Gives users a stake in the product  Users with passionate negative feedback can be the biggest evangelists!
  • 16. MISPERCEPTION #8 Any decent name and icon will do, as long as I’m in the app store.  90% of users don’t ever read your app description  The app name and icon (and maybe screenshots) are all most of your potential customers will ever see  Apps must be able to communicate their value using only the the name and icon  If you spend any money for graphic design, invest it in the app icon You can get an early look at user opinions (and a jump start on marketing buzz) by running “fake” ads.  Facebook and Ad Words campaigns are cheap  Setup ads with various names and icons that all lead to a basic signup page to be notified when the app is available.  Watch click-through rates and conversion rates to see which combinations generate the most “buzz”
  • 17. MISPERCEPTION #9 I need to spend a lot of money on PR and website advertising to get noticed  In reality, even being featured on major blogs only provides a limited (and short term) bump in sales  Price is, by far, the biggest driving force
  • 18. SUMMARY It is VERY possible to make a good living in independent mobile development  Don’t procrastinate  Find a small project  Build what you love  Listen to feedback  Be prepared to give up on ideas, but not on the market
  • 19. QUESTIONS? JOSH PRESSNELLJOSH.PRESSNELL@ASCENDUM.COM ASCENDUM SOLUTIONS