Building a mobile app is akin to launching a startup. Common sense, isn’t it? Unfortunately, most people think of it as a side project, because the barriers to entry into this ecosystem are extremely low. But just because the market is saturated, doesn't mean it is easy. Success comes to those who give their all to the one app they’re creating and pursuing it until eventually it gains traction.
How do you know what’s the right path? You learn from the mistakes and the experiences of others. A few good entrepreneurs have documented this in the form of a book, the contents of which are invaluable.
Here are six books to get you inspired and started into the world of app entrepreneurship.
Getting started. For some entrepreneurs, getting started can be a barrier and challenge.
In Anything You Want, author Derek Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating CD Baby and building a business close to his heart. Sivers tells you everything he learned from starting, growing and selling CD Baby through 40 lessons, all of which educate readers to feel empowered to follow their own dreams.
Invaluable lessons such as "Start Now. No Funding Needed," "If It’s Not A Hit, Switch" and "Obvious To You, Amazing To Others" resonate well with all those who want to start but don’t know where and how to begin, lack knowledge or don't believe they have the necessary cash.
Building a product strategy. When inspiration strikes, you’ve got to move forward and develop your product strategy. Two books that discuss how to create a product that users want, how to quickly validate your idea in the least amount of time and money spent are The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Hooked: How To Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover.
Many entrepreneurs feel they’ve got an app idea that their customers will love, which is often an untested hypothesis. The Lean Startup method provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups, getting a desired product to customers' hands fast and validating the concept or the idea. This method also teaches you how to drive a startup -- how to steer, when to turn and when to persevere -- while growing the business with maximum acceleration.
Hooked introduces a four-step process companies can use to build customer habits. Through consecutive hook cycles, successful products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back repeatedly -- without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging. It's a guide to building products people can't put down.
Marketing and gaining traction. The next logical step once the product is validated and brought to the market is to spread the word out and get customers. You just don’t have the option of spending dollars on advertising, because the cost of acquisition of a customer is too high as compared to the revenues you will make from the app. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen, The Impact Equation by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk are three fantastic books to help you get your word out at the least cost.
Likeable Social Media helps you harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing to transform your business. It delves into the importance of listening to your customers and prospects and delivering value, excitement and surprise. And most importantly, it discusses how to engage your customers and help them spread the word.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a blueprint to social-media marketing strategies that really works. It's not just about developing high-quality content, it's also about developing high-quality content that's perfectly adapted to specific social-media platforms and mobile devices. It's about truly engaging with customers. Entrepreneurs shouldn't try to reach customers by shouting at them over social media. Instead, they should be using new narrative forms particular to each different media platform like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Tumblr.
The Impact Equation will help you to move your app idea through a platform, so it will be seen and discussed. The book also touches on how to build a strong human element around that app idea so people will know their participation is appreciated.
Related: Mobile Commerce Has Completely Exploded (Infographic)