Mobile app success stories: how they did it

Mobile app success stories: how they did it

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Every mobile app entrepreneur dreams of having that massively successful app. How we gauge this success is what varies from person to person. Some of us gauge our success by the number of downloads, by the amount of money coming in, by the number of daily users, or by the number of dedicated users. Our ideas of success are as diverse as our apps. However, we all have a few app success stories that we love to listen to and fantasize about what it would be like to have that kind of massive success for our own apps. However, do we really understand what it takes to be that successful?

There are many app startup companies that launch apps every day. A huge percentage of these apps will fail almost immediately. A smaller percentage of these apps will get to that sweet few thousand downloads milestone number. However, even then, some of them will still struggle to survive. It is not easy to get to the top and stay there when so many other apps are clamoring for that same position. If this is your dream, you need to prepare yourself for the reality. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, and your app will probably not make it out of it alive.

All those overnight success stories you hear about are not actually overnight successes. You probably already know that it takes a whole lot of planning, trial and error, beta tests, feedbacks, reevaluations, iterations and new versions before an app can be market ready. Even then, the chances of being an overnight success are slim. Apps fail for many reasons. Poor execution, lack of commitment, greed, or just plain dumb ideas have been the reasons for the demise of many apps. Assuming you avoid all these pitfalls, what more would it take for you to achieve your version of success? How did all those successful apps do it? This article takes a look at a few mobile app success stories and breaks down how they did it.

The Idea

Everyone has an app idea these days. There truly is an app for almost everything you can think of. What this means is that a good app idea does not necessarily have to be original. The most important thing should be whether your app idea is the right idea, and your execution must be spot on. This is the only way your app can be a breath of fresh air for your consumers when you introduce it to them.

You need to think about the needs of your potential users. Solve a specific problem and your users will seek you out. A good idea is a right idea, and you will know it when you get it. The best ideas relate to fields you have some experience in or a subject that you actually understand. The more you know about something the better your position will be when it comes to understanding the challenges. Only then you can identify opportunities and present solutions to these challenges. And that is a good app idea.

Why You Will Fail

Building a business is tough. Building a successful app as a business is tougher. There are constant challenges to overcome, and it takes a unique type of person to make it through. To get to your success, you might have to do some things that you normally would never do. Your comfort zone should be the last thing on your mind if you want to be successful.

The story of the Friendz App is the perfect illustration for this point. When they started out, the founders were armed with nothing but a good idea. Without a track record, it was difficult to get the attention of marketing managers and big businesses. No one would answer their emails and calls, so they resorted to stalking. They would wait outside company headquarters and hope someone would forget to shut a door. They would then take advantage of this and walk in and finally get to meet all those people who ignored them. This way, they were finally able to talk with managers and tell them what they wanted to do.

Although this is probably not the best approach, as security could be called on you, it makes sense. You will definitely have to do things you may not be used to in order to set the platform for your app. In your journey, you will have to shake many hands, talk to strangers, and deliver pitches and speeches. It’s all part of the journey.

What Makes Your App Different?

When Uber came out, hundreds of other ride-sharing apps also followed suit. They never caught on. Why? Successful apps take on unchartered territory, they do not follow suit when they find out about other success stories in a niche. Chart your own path.

Being different from your competition is important. Even if your core idea is the same, have a unique selling point that sets you apart from everyone else. Your app needs a competitive edge if it is to stand out from the crowd of apps in the app store.

There is always competition from somewhere. If an app does not exist for it, your competition is how your users are currently solving that challenge today. Why do they need your app when they are already doing fine?

Badger Maps is an app designed for sales reps to streamline an inefficient process. The app gives maps with customer locations and calendars for field sales reps. Their biggest competitor was how their users already could do what the app did by hand. They had to find a way to convince their users that they need them, that they could make their lives easier.

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The Key To App Success

Passion

Develop apps that you love. Max Kordek, the founder of Lisk.io, is a perfect illustration of this. Having been obsessed with the blockchain and cryptocurrency since the age of 14, it was a no-brainer what he wanted to get into when it came to developing an app. His enthusiasm convinced the bitcoin community to fund his project, and he was able to raise 14,000 Bitcoins for Lisk.io.

Beta Testing

The makers of Clash of Clans, Supercell, created and released 18 games to their beta testers. Only four reached the market. They ended having to kill 14 apps just to land on the apps that they knew would work for them. As of April 2017, Clash of Clans was the number one gaming app in the US by daily revenue, making over 1.9 million dollars every day.

Scalability

You should be able to take a tiny piece of app success and scale it rapidly across the industry. You need to be able to start with a handful of beta testers and scale up as you improve and gain more and more users. When Invitd, an app for creating and sending event invitations, launched in 2014, it got 34 downloads. 3 years later, after streamlining everything and constantly making the user experience better, the app hit 250,000 registered users and 5 million sent invitations.

Shareability

By allowing users to be able to share your app and their experience with friends, you gain more loyal customers. Clash of Clans used this approach. The sharing of achievements on the app increases the engagement rate and made the app go viral.

Freemium Model

If your app is free to download and use, your users become more willing to try it. After they get addicted, then you can ask them for money. Again, Clash of Clans is the perfect example of a highly effective freemium model.

It is not impossible to reach massive levels of success in the mobile app industry. With these pointers, success is within your grasp. Finally, if you do manage to create an amazing app, do not stop there. The next step is to capitalize on that success and try to find new ways to amaze your users some more!

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