Can You Build the Next Million-Dollar App?

The mobile app development field represents great opportunity for entrepreneurs. App creation is one of the best methods for the new wave of Australian dot-com entrepreneurs to enter the rarefied air of multimillion-dollar earnings.

However, building an app doesn’t guarantee success since many apps don’t make a lot of money. What separates those who don’t find success from those who do? What separates moderate success from a life-changing windfall? The answer is the same as it has been in most businesses for years: hard work, patience, putting out a great product.

Nearly everyone who gets into mobile app development is thinking about making the next Angry Birds. Angry Birds is seen many as proof that one can make one clever app, get lucky and earn a fortune for the rest of their lives. What they don’t know is that luck didn’t have as much to do with the success of Angry Birds as hard work and patience did.

Rovio Entertainment, based in Finland, are the makers of Angry Birds. It is a little-known fact that they had produced 51 other apps before Angry Birds and were days away from bankruptcy when Angry Birds became a “hit.”

Niklas and Mikael Hed, managers of Rovio, could easily have given up but they released “one more app.” Angry Birds is still the all-time best-selling app, mainly because Rovio refused to fold its tent without exhausting every bit of effort and resources at their disposal.

Matthew Hall, from Victoria, is the sole proprietor of KlickTock, which has five games in its arsenal: Little Things, Doodle Find, Little Things Forever, ZONR and Super Search 60. Hall has sold over 9 million apps and another game of his–Deck War–is “on deck.”

Hall, who developed three of his games while in residence at his parents’ sheep farm, feels that it is more rewarding to reach 9 million people than it is to have made a lot of money. Hall designed his first game when he was eight years of age. His first app, Little Things, was released on Windows in 2009 and went nowhere.

Hall released Doodle Find on Apple in 2010 as a free app, where it spent a week in the number one position on the free app charts in Britain, Europe and Australia. By 2012, when Little Things Forever was released, Hall had expanded his reach to iPad, iPhone, Google Play, Android and Windows. Hall notes that he has averaged around a dollar in revenue from each downloaded app.

Design Engineer Lachlan Hardy, who currently works with Microsoft, refers to himself as a “technical evangelist.” He believes that to be successful, it is mandatory for an app to stand out from its competition. While Hardy agrees that an app must be high-quality, he also believes that marketing is crucial for the success of any app. Hardy has come up with five tips for creating a successful app.

When in Rome…
A successful app must fit into the ecosystem, user-experience patterns and guidelines of the store in which it is being sold. This provides enough of the familiar to put users at ease and provide them with a great experience.

A Great App Deserves a Great Description
Your description is actually your front-line salesman. Avoid “tech writing” in favour of sales copy. Use short, snappy sentences that jump off of the page and words that make the reader excited about your product.

A great rule of thumb: If your description doesn’t make you excited, it isn’t going to excite a customer–who has 900,000 apps to choose from–either.

Stunning Screenshots
Apps are visual and they need great screenshots to help shoppers and viewers decide to download them. Screen shots show off the quality of your app.

Don’t Depend on Apple or Google to Promote Your Product for You
A lot of mobile app developers make the mistake of thinking that it is the responsibility of Apple or Google to do all of their promotion for them. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way; it is your responsibility to promote your product. This means that you have to network with everyone you can in the app community and that you need a strong social media presence. Make sure that reviewers get freebies and take their feedback seriously.

Treat Your Business Like a Business
If you don’t have a business model, don’t bother trying to create or sell your app.

The Final Word
If you want to make the next million-dollar app, create a great product. Solve a problem for someone. If you are just chasing money, you probably won’t succeed. Call 1300 650 253 today to find out more.

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