Apps are the hottest topic these days, their unstoppable growth and usage trends, and even how they will eventually replace mobile browsing, monopolizing the user experience in the digital world.
But it is really convenient to develop an application today? To enter this market with a start-up or a spin-off with your current activities?
The real answer is: it depends…
Provokingly speaking, here is a list of 5 reasons why you should not enter the world of apps:
1. A bit’ of harsh data: only 59% of the app reaches the break-even point (percentage continues to decrease day by day), 68% of the apps present on the markets generates less than € 4,000 of total revenues, while only 12% generate revenues over € 40,000.
2. The market is overfilled, if you think that your idea is original and innovative, think again, in 99% of cases your app already exists and it failed, or it was successful and already copied
3. The concept of copyright in the world of app does not exist, is a true Far West: if an app is successful in just 2 weeks at least 2 or 3 similar apps will hit the market and probably they will be more successful than yours
4. Gaining visibility in an ocean of apps is very difficult and very expensive, virality and organic downloads are almost a myth; to create visibility for your app you need to have skills in marketing and economic founds, or simply said, it requires a lot of money, especially on iOS.
5. Your app will most likely be based on the integration of APIs provided by the Facebook, Google or Twitter, and the management of these APIs is difficult: they are constantly changing and therefore must be updated to keep the app working. It’s a hell of a job, especially if your app does not generate revenues that justify this work.
So is everything so gloomy in the world of apps?
Luckily no, as there is always the other side of the coin, not everything is black or white. Under some conditions app creation makes sense – here are 5 reasons why you should create an app:
1. You had an idea that you believe is genius, you had confirmation by some impartial opinions (if you, your mom and your friends think it’s brilliant doesn’t mean a thing…) and you’ve verified that there is nothing similar on the market , maybe there is a base to start working on a successful product
2. You have the economic resources needed to make your app stand out through marketing, or you know where to find them. Or you don’t have them, but you have a strategy in order to reach commercial agreements with companies that are already working in this area and that could be interested in a partnership with you (Tip: if you think Neomobile could an ideal partner for you, contact me via LinkedIn)
3. You have decided to develop for Android and Windows phone where it is easier to achieve good app store ranking at acceptable costs, and you do not disdain alternative markets for emerging mobile operating systems (Firefox, Tizen etc.)
4. You have made the wise decision to launch your product in a basic version, with a few features, to test the market response investing little time and resources, at least in the development phase, minimizing the risk
5. You have in mind a clear monetization strategy for your app, not based solely on the payment offered by the markets. You have to provide (when possible) alternatives to credit cards for in app purchase and alternative monetization methods: from innovative advertising formats to pay-per-action, from data selling to coupon rewarding. Be creative with the business model and the range of monetization methods.
To conclude: should you create an app? The answer is always the same: it depends!
*Editor’s note: the author was a Neomobile emloyee until 2013
Check out some interesting global statistics regarding the world of apps in our new infographics