What would you call a successful app? Would 20 million downloads worldwide do it, we thought so too! A recent New York Times article said that very few app developers (only 4%) make over a million dollars, the rest of them are all clawing for an audience and making somewhere between $200 and $30,000. The curious thing here is that even with statistics like this, it doesn't keep new app developers from joining in and rushing for the gold.
App developer Sagi Schliesser whos is co-founder of TabTale has had more than 20 million downloads and wishes to share some of his thoughts with regards to his success and the changing mobile market plus what it takes to get the job done. Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-33619_3-57556893-275/fou...
1. Watch out for giants: Schliesser got started in 2010 when it was a lot easier to get noticed. Now almost every category has big companies (Disney in TabTale's case) that are dominating the category. If you can find an under-served category, you might be able to succeed. He started in children's books, which didn't have much competition. But now, in the interactive games space, he has to deal with really successful developers, like Outfit7, which, thanks to apps like Talking Tom has more than 500 million downloads).
2. Spend your time and resources on the app itself: Seems pretty obvious, but many developers don't realize that building the best experience possible is the most important thing. Right now, most of the money is being made by the service providers (providing push notifications, analytics, and so on), rather than the app builders themselves.
3. Play by the rules: When marketing your app, it's tempting to break the rules of Apple and Android and pay for downloads and engage in other shady practices. But this can do real harm to your app, and you might get suspended from the store. Think about how you will build a good reputation for the long term.
4. It's much more complicated than you think: Right now to succeed, you need to not only make a good app, but you also have to think about cross-promotion, analytics, and other business considerations. In the early days, it was all about putting an app out there and releasing it. Now, it's about putting in a complete infrastructure, and in order to be engaging and not fall in your download numbers, you need to keep on updating. "So you need to have, on one side, update, update, update and on the other side, you need to have the value chain end-to-end. So it's becoming a lot more challenging," Schliesser said.
These are all really great sips and I think should not be taken lightly by developers. Coming from the very early beginnings of the app stores and marketplaces myself I can testify to most of what Schliesser is saying. It is much more difficult now to have an app idea bring it to fruition release it and earn money, that's simply not the case anymore. You really need to have a strategy for marketing, monetization, and gathering analytics from your audience.
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