Just because it is fairly easy to hire a freelance developer at a low cost to develop your app, it doesn’t mean anyone will want to use it and it will be downloaded thousands of times. It also doesn’t mean that you’re an entrepreneur.
If you’re currently working for someone, and daydreaming about making money on the side by building an app that could potentially be your lottery ticket to a million- or billion-dollar valuation, dream on.
It takes an incredible amount of hard work and persistence to get your app to be visible. The first version of your app will most likely suck. It takes willingness to get feedback and constantly be building your app into something that eventually users may want.
Addressing a gathering of interns late last year, Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana said, “It’s much better to start with: ‘I really want to manifest this. I want to bring this into the world.’ Decide if somebody else is doing it, and if you think they’re doing it well, go help them do it.”
Only if no one else has started to build that thing should someone head down the startup path: “That should be almost the only way that entrepreneurs come into existence,” Moskovitz said.
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here’s why you should build a mobile app:
- You’re not obsessed with your ‘million-dollar’ idea and you realize that your idea isn’t qualified until you get your first few set of paying customers.
- You’re obsessed with solving a problem that you’ve come to know of, or experienced yourself and have a solution for it.
- You see your app idea as a company or a business. You build your app because you believe in that idea.
- You realize that the saying, "If you build it, they will come," is complete BS. With a million apps out there, chances are next to nil that someone would come to know about your mobile app unless you reach out to them.
- You’ve taken the steps to validate your app idea by not asking your friends and family, but by getting insights from your potential customers.
- You realize that the problem you’re trying to solve is best solved via a mobile app and not through a website, and have solid reasons for doing so.
- You know that a minimum viable product means just that, an app that offers the core value of your idea and gets you to your customers in the least amount of time and money spent.
- You’re ready to quit your job the moment you see traction. Because if you don’t, you will almost never be able to sustain that traction and convert into consistent revenues over a period of time.
- Your basis for developing the app is not the cost of development, but whether it makes for a viable business or not.
If you’re an existing business that wants to take the plunge into the app ecosystem, here’s why you should be building an app:
- You know that people don’t download brochure- or corporate information-based apps by the millions.
- You also know that you cannot ‘promote’ your business by building an app.
- If you own an e-commerce website, you want to provide your customers the convenience of shopping from their phones.
- If you are the founder of a software-as-a-service product, your customers would prefer to check their dashboard while on the go, probably several times a week.
- You’ve built a consumer product web-first and it currently gains consistent traction.
- Your app idea can increase the efficiency and productivity of your internal or external stakeholders.
It’s about building a product or a business for the right reason and not falling prey to the lure of app entrepreneurship as it has been glorified in the current billion-dollar valuations or acquisitions.