Did you know that there were 218 billion mobile app downloads in 2020? That’s an incredible 55% increase since 2016! If you’re looking to create a brand new mobile app, this could mean a lot of potential success for your startup. However, remember that for every TikTok, there’s a YikYak, Vine, Friendster, or Google Plus. Startups that scale efficiently grow twenty times faster than those that don’t. In this article, we will explore the concept of lean startup development and how it can be applied to the creation of a new mobile app. We will examine the key principles of lean startup methodology and how they can help improve your startup’s chances of success. Additionally, we will discuss the various considerations that you need to take into account when using this approach to bring your app to market, including market research, business model development, MVP testing, and iteration. By following these principles and taking a data-driven, customer-focused approach, you can increase your chances of success in the highly competitive world of custom mobile app development.
Table of contents
- What is a Lean Startup?
- Lean startup developments and minimum viable products (MVP)
- Examples of failed mobile apps that could have used an MVP
- Why Lean Startup custom mobile development is so important when it comes to app creation?
- What you need to consider when it comes to lean startup in mobile app development: checklist
- In conclusion: using MVP and Lean Startup development increases the odds of app success
What is a Lean Startup?
This innovative approach to startups and businesses focuses on using customer’s and users’ feedback and data to continuously refine and improve your digital product, rather than relying on rigid, long-term plans. By embracing a culture of experimentation, iteration, and validated learning, you can stay nimble and responsive to change. American entrepreneur Eric Ries devised the Lean Startup methodology in 2010, even though it had been in use several years before then. The Lean Startup method has been embraced by startups and established companies alike as a way to rapidly test and validate business ideas. Ready to give it a try? Take the first step towards sustainable growth with the Lean Startup method.
The Lean Startup in mobile app development is all about ensuring that the app product is viable in the shortest amount of possible time. It’s all about identifying customers’ pain points, building up the product, getting feedback, and acting on it.
Lean startup developments and minimum viable products (MVP)
The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.Eric Ries
The concept of an MVP, or minimum viable product, is a valuable one for any startup developing a mobile app. An MVP is a basic version of the app that can be quickly built and released to the market. By getting this initial version out as soon as possible, you can gather valuable feedback from users and use it to improve the app.
One of the key benefits of an MVP is that it allows you to test the viability of your app idea with minimal investment. If the initial version is not well received, you can cut your losses and move on to the next idea without having wasted too much time and money. On the other hand, if the MVP proves to be popular, you can use it as a launching pad to build a more fully-featured app.
In addition to serving as a testing ground for your app concept, an MVP can also be used to attract investors and secure additional funding for your startup. By demonstrating the demand for your product and the progress you have made so far, you can make a compelling case for further investment.
In conclusion, an MVP is a powerful tool for any startup looking to develop a mobile app. It allows you to test your idea, gathers valuable feedback, and secure funding, all while minimizing risk and maximizing your chances of success
Examples of failed mobile apps that could have used an MVP
There are several examples of mobile apps that, despite having the potential to be successful, ultimately failed due to a lack of customer feedback and rigorous testing. Had these apps used an MVP (minimum viable product) and lean startup methodology to gather valuable insights from their target audience, they might have been able to identify and address any issues before it was too late.
Here are three examples of such apps, along with a brief explanation of why they were not successful:
Failed Startup Sample #1: Polimobile
Polimobile was a product that aimed to help politicians connect with potential supporters across the United States. Unfortunately, the product failed to gain traction and ultimately had to shut down. Upon reflection, the founder of Polimobile realized that a key reason for the failure was that he had not adequately gauged the demand for the service. Specifically, he had not asked his target audience if they would be willing to pay for the product, and if so, how much they would be willing to pay.
This failure highlights the importance of conducting market research and testing the viability of a product before launching it. By failing to properly assess the demand for his product, the founder of Polimobile ended up investing time and resources into a venture that ultimately proved to be unprofitable. Had he taken the time to ask his target audience about their willingness to pay for the service, he might have been able to identify potential issues and pivot his business model before it was too late.
In conclusion, the failure of Polimobile serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs and startups. It is crucial to thoroughly research and test your product idea before launching, in order to ensure that you are investing your time and resources into a venture that has a good chance of success. By asking your target audience if they would be willing to pay for your product and how much they would be willing to pay, you can gain valuable insights that can help guide your business decisions.
Failed Startup Sample #2: Flowtab
Flowtab was a mobile app that aimed to revolutionize the way people order drinks at bars. By allowing customers to place their orders directly from their phones, Flowtab hoped to eliminate the need to queue at the bar or wait for a server to take their orders. While this concept had the potential to be popular, the app ultimately struggled to gain traction and make a profit.
One of the key issues faced by Flowtab was its business model. The app charged customers a fee of $1 for each drink they ordered, which meant that it needed a large number of users to make a profit. However, Flowtab’s target audience only used the app once or twice a month, which was not enough to generate significant revenue. As a result, the app struggled to make money and eventually had to shut down.
This failure highlights the importance of thoroughly researching and testing a business model before launching a product. Had Flowtab conducted market research to gauge the demand for its service and the willingness of its target audience to pay for it, it might have been able to identify this potential issue and pivot its business model before it was too late. By releasing an MVP and gathering feedback from users, Flowtab could have gained valuable insights that could have helped it improve its product and increase its chances of success.
In conclusion, the failure of Flowtab serves as a reminder of the importance of conducting market research and testing a business model before launching a product. By releasing an MVP and gathering feedback from users, startups can gain valuable insights that can help them refine their products and increase their chances of success.
Failed Startup Sample #3: YikYak (and its potential revival)
YikYak was a social media app that allowed users to anonymously text each other within a five-mile radius. While this concept had the potential to be popular, the app ultimately struggled to gain traction and had to shut down. One of the main reasons for this was that the anonymity of the app was abused, with users using it to cyberbully other teenagers and send bomb threats to their schools.
If the founders of YikYak had conducted extensive research in the form of an MVP, they might have been able to identify this potential risk and take action to address it. By releasing a basic version of the app and gathering feedback from users, the founders could have gained valuable insights that could have helped them improve the app and make it safer for all users.
Interestingly, YikYak has made a return to the mobile app marketplace in recent months, albeit with more stringent security measures in place. It is hoped that the founders have learned from their past mistakes and are using lean startup methodology to thoroughly research and test their product before launching it. By taking the time to assess the demand for their product and the potential risks and challenges it may face, the founders of YikYak can increase their chances of success in the highly competitive world of mobile apps.
In conclusion, the failure of YikYak serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs and startups. It is crucial to thoroughly research and test your product idea before launching, in order to ensure that you are investing your time and resources into a venture that has a good chance of success. By releasing an MVP and gathering feedback from users, you can gain valuable insights that can help guide your business decisions and increase your chances of success.
Why Lean Startup custom mobile development is so important when it comes to app creation?
“Perfect is the enemy of good” – Voltaire
It may sound tempting to spend lots of time refining your mobile app and making it perfect before launching it on your app store of choice. After all, surely you want to make a good first impression on potential customers… right?
However, getting your mobile app out quickly and acting on the feedback you receive just as speedily has many more advantages. Here are three reasons why lean startup methodology is critical.
1. You can beat your competitors
First, the custom mobile app development market is highly competitive, and it is important to get your idea out to potential customers as quickly as possible to stay ahead of the competition. By releasing an MVP (minimum viable product) and gathering feedback from users, you can quickly assess the demand for your product and identify any issues that need to be addressed. This allows you to fine-tune your app and bring it to market more efficiently, potentially beating your competitors to the punch. Additionally, an MVP can help you test your business model and ensure that you have a viable product before investing significant time and resources into development. By embracing the lean startup methodology and focusing on rapid iteration and validated learning, you can increase your chances of success in this highly competitive market.
2. You can save money
Second, creating a fully comprehensive app can be a time-consuming and expensive process. If you launch your app and find that it is not generating the interest you hoped for, you may need to spend additional resources to make changes or pivot your business model. In some cases, you may even have to abandon the app altogether, which can be a significant waste of time and money.
On the other hand, an MVP (minimum viable product) can help you avoid these risks. By releasing a basic version of your app and gathering feedback from users, you can quickly assess the demand for your product and identify any issues that need to be addressed. This allows you to pivot or make significant changes to your app more efficiently, increasing your chances of success in the long run.
3. You can grow a solid customer base
Third, you can build a better rapport with your customers by utilizing lean startup mobile development. If you allow your customers to offer feedback on your app from the very beginning, they are more likely to be loyal to your startup moving forward.
Loyal customers can be powerful advocates for your business. According to American Express, a happy customer will refer 11 potential customers to your business, which means that each satisfied customer can help drive significant growth for your company. By providing excellent service and building strong relationships with your customers, you can foster loyalty and encourage them to spread the word about your product or service to their friends and family. This can help you attract new customers and drive business growth without the need for expensive advertising or marketing campaigns. In short, investing in customer satisfaction can pay off in a big way in terms of attracting new business.
What you need to consider when it comes to lean startup in mobile app development: checklist
If you are not embarrassed by your first product, you launched too late.Reid Hoffman
So after reading through this article, you’ve decided that you want to use lean startup methodology to help create your brand-new mobile app. That’s great news!
Not sure where to begin when it comes to utilizing lean startup techniques to create an MVP? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
Here are the four key points that you need to take into consideration.
1. Do your research
Before you start building your MVP, you need to do your due diligence. Researching the current market means you will create an app that is more in sync with the needs of your prospective customers.
Some of the things you need to consider include:
- Who your target audience is, and how your app will solve their pain points. It can be really beneficial here to reach out to prospective customers and ask them their thoughts;
- Which features do you want to include in your app? You can then ask your target audience which ones they like the best;
- Who your competitors are, and what features their app contains. If they have an update log, this can show you how they have adapted their MVP over time;
- How much money your MVP will cost to develop, and who in the business needs to be involved;
- If there are any potential risks in the market – a SWOT analysis can be useful;
- What goals you will measure to determine the success of your app.
2. Build and launch your MVP
After conducting market research and gathering feedback from potential customers, you will have a better idea of whether your app concept is viable. If it is, it’s time to start building your MVP, or minimum viable product.
Your research will give you valuable insights into which features your customers are most interested in. These are the features that you should prioritize when building your MVP, as they are the ones that will most likely drive demand for your app. It’s important to focus on the features that your customers want, rather than the ones you think they want.
While your MVP should be a basic version of your app, it still needs to be thoroughly tested to ensure that it is of high quality. If you launch an app that is full of bugs and technical issues, your customers will likely respond negatively and you may struggle to gain traction. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to test your MVP thoroughly and iron out any issues before releasing it to the public.
In conclusion, building an MVP is a crucial step in the process of developing a mobile app. By conducting market research and gathering feedback from potential customers, you can identify the features that are most important to your target audience and focus on building a basic version of your app that meets their needs. By testing your MVP thoroughly, you can ensure that it is of high quality and ready for the public when you launch.
3. Look at your feedback
- Reviews of your app in the app store;
- Quantitative stats. This can include the number of times customers downloaded the app, clicked on a particular button, the overall amount of time spent on the app, and the app churn rate (more details about Churn Rate);
- Direct feedback from customers. You may ask them to fill in a feedback form on the app, send them an email asking for their thoughts, or hold a focus group online.
4. Action your feedback
This is the most critical stage – taking the feedback that customers have taken the time to give you and doing something with it.
First of all, sort your feedback by priority. Which issues do you need to fix immediately, and which ones are more of a ‘nice to have’? This will help you allocate resources accordingly.
For example, let’s say that customers have come back and said that they love the app. However, they get frustrated with how long it takes for the individual pages to load, especially over mobile bandwidth.
You can pass this feedback on to your app developers, and they can investigate why this is happening. For example, it may be that compressing your data or adding a new server may fix the problem.
When you have actioned the feedback, it’s time to update your app in the app store. You can then go back to step three, look at the new feedback you receive and see if the changes have resolved the original issue.
It may take several rounds of feedback before you are ready to transition your MVP into a fully-fledged app, with all the features that you want to include. It’s best to take your time and scale gradually.
Even when you have launched your complete product, you still need to analyze customer feedback continuously. Customers who know you are listening to them are more likely to remain loyal, as well as invest in your app.
In conclusion: using MVP and Lean Startup development increases the odds of app success
The Lean Startup Model of development requires careful planning and a lot of hard work, but it can be a highly effective way to bring a new product or service to market. Many successful companies, such as Dropbox, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Airbnb, have used the lean startup methodology to great success.
The central idea behind the lean startup approach is to use customer feedback and data to continuously validate and iterate on a business’s direction, rather than relying on long-term business plans. This allows businesses to be more flexible and responsive to change, and to better allocate their resources in pursuit of sustainable growth.
By embracing a culture of experimentation, iteration, and validated learning, businesses can quickly test and validate their ideas and bring new products to market efficiently. This approach allows them to stay agile and adapt to changing market conditions, giving them a competitive advantage over their rivals.
When a recent study asked business leaders why startups fail, the top two pieces of advice given were to a) listen to customers and b) learn from mistakes.
These are the two key elements of lean startup mobile development. Wanna know more? Check 6 steps of building a custom mobile app startup
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