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In the 90s, everyone was talking about building websites. Getting a website was a big deal then. Today, it’s so much easier to build a website with tools like Wordpress, Joomla and several other DIY tools.
I can’t think of too many businesses without a website. Things have changed a lot since the early days of the internet.
Smartphones have become a game changer, and its given rise to a new term, “Appreneur.”
Almost all of us have got emails, text messages, or invitations to participate in a contest that requires us to download an app.
The mobile app market is growing rapidly and experts predict that the app industry will generate over $77 billion in revenue through 268 billion downloads by 2017. The average user is spending at least 30 minutes a day on his favorite mobile app.
Instagram was sold to Facebook for $1 billion. Whatsapp was sold for $22 billion. This is not necessarily the trend though. There are apps that generate little to no money, while there are a few others that generate close to seven figure incomes.
Tim Ferris, New York Times bestselling author of the book Four Hour Work Week, wrote a blog post that talks about Chad Mureta who started an app business after a near-fatal accident left him with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Today, he runs his app business from his iPhone and spends less than five hours a week generating a nice income for himself. He also talks about some of his app business friends who spend the majority of their time doing non-profit work while their business generates substantial amounts of income.
Many app businesses are founded by one or two man teams. The cost of starting an app business varies. Although Chad started his app business with $1800 in borrowed money, there are others who’ve spent close to $100,000.
Bruce Dugan, CEO of Intech Creative, who is building an app to automate business processes, says “It’s costing us probably close to $100,000 to build our app, but it’s not just one product, it’s more a suite of products. We could’ve probably done it at a lower cost if we had access to the right talent at the right price.”
Although the app industry can be a fairly a low cost business to start, it does involve technological talent.
With so many apps coming out in the market, the biggest challenge is to stand out in the marketplace and get people to download and use the app.
Arthur Iinuma, Co-Founder of ISBX, an app development company says “Several factors make an app successful. First it needs to solve a current problem, whether it's executing on something better or disrupting the industry as a whole. Second it must be well executed in design and development - the app should be intuitive and easy to use, but exude quality as well. Finally, it must be well marketed. An amazing app has no chance of success if nobody has heard of it.”
The app industry is a massive opportunity for entrepreneurs to create wealth and get started at a fairly low cost. The size of the industry is expected to grow dramatically in the next few years. Some entrepreneurs might even build app empires. However, not all apps are going to be successful and there are going to be more failures than successes in this segment.