Apps have been in the spotlight for developers and entrepreneurs alike in recent years, but there is still plenty of room for breakthroughs. Mobile technologies continue to evolve at a rapid rate, and the addition of every new device feature opens a whole new marketplace of opportunity for innovative app entrepreneurs. Moreover, significant gaps still exist for niche apps to add value by introducing specialized offerings that solve the needs of a specific subset of buyers. Developers with an innovative app idea should, therefore, have the confidence to investigate the feasibility of bringing their prospective concept to market.
With over 6 million new businesses popping up every year in the United States alone, it’s harder than ever to grab the attention of potential consumers and investors, though. Luckily, there are firms like IdeaPros that specialize in working with entrepreneurs to navigate this competitive field by crafting custom, low-risk opportunities that position businesses for success.
Plan and Budget for Success
The planning stage is what separates the most successful apps from the failed dreams. Entrepreneurs should start by testing their product/market fit with surveys and focus groups. If sufficient demand fails to exist for a prospective app, then find out what the customer really wants and pivot accordingly.
The logistics of development must also be contemplated thoroughly to ensure technical feasibility and confirm that adequate funding is available. If additional capital is projected to be needed to finish an app, a funding strategy should be established from the start to prevent pouring resources into an app that will be impossible to complete. Entrepreneurs who plan meticulously from the beginning can confirm that real demand exists in the marketplace while surmounting roadblocks to project completion.
Build the Infrastructure
Although users only see the app that they download onto their device, most of the development work necessary for the completion of a revolutionary app is done to build the infrastructural environment that enables breakthroughs in functionality. Cloud assets often do much of the processing and storage while allowing interoperability with other apps and systems.
Moreover, since mobile device developers have wide-reaching restrictions that limit functionality, cloud infrastructures are often the only possible means of enabling powerful features. Depending on the specific requirements of a prospective app, starting with development at the infrastructure layer can often be the right choice to avoid having to rebuild core software components to interface with future changes at this higher level.
One of the most important decisions during the initial stages of development is determining whether to start building the app itself while the core components of the infrastructure layer are being finished. The core back-end functions of an app usually have to be developed first, and some of these can often be started from the beginning of the project. Building functions for an advanced app can, however, be complicated because of the restrictions mobile device developers impose on specific functionality.
Furthermore, apps usually must be built to perform on multiple devices and operating systems that each entail their anomalies and limitations. Device developers also issue updates on a regular basis, and each change can break core functionality. App development, therefore, adds extra dimensions of a challenge to development workflows, so entrepreneurs should be aware of the potential for significant roadblocks that could arise unexpectedly during the development stage.
Ensure Cross-Platform Compatibility
Achieving cross-platform compatibility can be challenging when developing apps because there are multiple layers of obstacles that must be surmounted. Most apps facilitate device-to-device communication in some way, and achieving this can be challenging because many devices use different protocols. The greatest challenge is integrating an app with a cloud-based platform or a desktop-based software package. To avoid redundancies, multiple functions will have to be developed to check, process, and remove data that could be stored across several different systems, including on mobile devices, on a desktop, or within the cloud infrastructure. Meticulous pre-development planning, therefore, is critical to prevent an unmanageable degree of complexity for apps seeking to work on any device.
Interface design is ordinarily deferred until development is almost complete to prevent having to redo work when core app functionality changes. However, basic design concepts, such as color schemes and the creation of custom fonts, can be done long before development has been completed.
Most device developers offer interface libraries that attempt to streamline interface development, and using these can be appropriate in some situations. Many developers are compelled, nevertheless, to build their interfaces to achieve the customized functionality that they are seeking. Since interface design usually has to be postponed until the end of a project’s development cycle, designing and optimizing interfaces before an app is set to be released can be a tremendous challenge.
Launch for Success
“The launch process is of critical importance for app entrepreneurs because traction must be established from the beginning to facilitate snowballing growth,” suggested Frederick Cary, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder of IdeaPros. Financial realities, furthermore, often necessitate receiving revenue on an accelerated schedule, even if the specific timing of such cash flows is not ideal. Entrepreneurs should develop a marketing strategy long before an app is ready to be released, and all necessary materials should be prepared by the launch date. Moreover, the app itself must be ready before launch, and this means that it needs to be tested and optimized long before final users get a chance to download or buy it.
“Even if an app is designed well, a bad launch can have long-term repercussions, including business failure. Entrepreneurs should not neglect the importance of the launch process when unveiling a new app,” stated Mr. Cary.
Building the Ultimate App
Entrepreneurs should not mistake the potential roadblocks associated with launching a new app as an indication that success is impossible or unattainable. The app marketplace is still far from oversaturated, and there is plenty of room for well-design apps to be introduced. However, entrepreneurs must understand that careful strategic planning is an essential component of the app development process. Most of the apps that failed succumbed to poor planning and most of these difficulties could have been easily avoided. Through careful foresight, entrepreneurs dreaming of bringing a new app concept to market can achieve real success.
IdeaPros is a Super Venture Partner, guiding entrepreneurs with great ideas through the complexities and pitfalls of the startup world. Set on elevating the success rate of new innovative products and apps, their team leverages their collective experience to create demand and maximize upside potential for their partners.
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