Here’s a list of mistakes that many people make when first getting started developing an app.
1. Keeping Your Idea Top Secret
Don’t get swept up by the idea that your app will launch and instantly take the world by storm. While there are certain benefits of being first-to-market with a new idea, you need to balance the confidentiality of your ideas with the benefits that come from releasing this information to a select group of people, in a controlled way.
We recommend opening your idea up to some trusted friends or advisors who can help you along the way and provide valuable feedback during the testing phase so you don’t end up launching an app only you would want.
You should also consider running a pre-launch marketing campaign for your app prior to launch, so that you have a hungry crowd of users who are ready to download when you do launch. To do this, you don’t have to give away all of your valuable intellectual property but you can tease your potential audience about the benfit driven features of your app.
2. Developing Your App For Equity
Even if you think you have the idea for the next Instagram and going to be an app millionaire in no time, finding someone to build your app in exchange for equity may be harder than you think. Most developers who are good at their jobs already have enough paying work that they don’t need to take the risk on building for equity alone and the developers who are out of work may not have the skill to develop your app to completion.
3. Hoping To Raise Capital With Just An Idea
If you consider all the apps that are on the app stores already, there are 5x or more people with great ideas just waiting to be funded. The bar for getting financial backing for your app is higher than you think and the best way is to try and fund a basic version yourself and get some users so that you are not just delivering a good idea, you have proof-of-concept as well. Then look to raise funding to scale your app.
4. Trying To Know Everything Yourself
App development is a minefield and there is way too much information for anyone to learn themselves. Most people who are developing an app for the first time don’t know how do design, build, market or monetise their app idea, nor do they have the time to learn everything that they need to know in order to be successful. Surround yourself with people who specialise in these areas and leverage their experience to develop a successful app.
5. Not Testing Enough
Your users will expect your app to work properly, the first time they use it and the only way to ensure they get the experience you want them to have, is to thoroughly test your app before you launch it to the market. Invite a group of friends or even hire an independent testing company to put your app through its paces and make sure it is ready for your users…because if you don’t find the bugs, they certainly will.
6. Thinking That “Going Viral” Is A Marketing Strategy
Even if you successfully make the perfect marketing video that strikes a balance of informative and humorous and share it with the world on your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean your app will instantly go viral and race to the top of the app store charts. It could happen, but there’s a pretty slim chance and you’re better off developing a solid marketing plan based around your budget.
7. Not Trying
The list above isn’t intended to convince you to that it’s all too hard. It’s about sharing some of the potential pitfalls and some ways to overcome them. But the biggest pitfall of all is not trying. App development doesn’t have to be risky if you do it properly and work with reputable partners who can help you develop your vision.