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Building An App? How Do You Decide What App To Build?

Posted on March 25, 2014
By Sohan Maheshwar

As we stand on the threshold of what many analysts are calling the “year of personalization,” it’s more important than ever to put the user — the individual — at the center of all you do. Unfortunately, the goal of ‘one-to-one marketing’ is often inconsistent with the aim of many app developers to make a winning app.

This disconnect exists because the business of developing a great app is quite different from marketing one.

As Arun Kumar Pattabhiraman at InMobi observes: “Developers are stuck in a design paradigm that reduces app development to making functionality and content design based on a limited definition of user personas.” As a result, app development is based on an “introverted logical grouping of seemingly homogenous users” rather than a sophisticated understanding of user personas. “It’s a sorely insufficient approach that sadly leaves app developers blind to the needs of the individual user.”

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 3.17.53 pm.png

This steep learning curve is further documented in the 2013 edition of Developer Economics, the research series from VisionMobile. The findings of this report, based on an online survey of over 3,400 developers worldwide, reveal that app developers lack a clear understanding of the customer at critical stages in their app development.

  • Only 24% of app developers surveyed plan their apps based on discussions with users, a figure which does not change with development experience or proficiency.
  • Almost half of developers (49%) decide which apps to develop based on their own needs. Unsurprisingly, those same app developers end up generating the least amount of revenue per app per month, indicating that they have a lot to learn in how they plan their app

Successful developers grow by extending apps into countries and verticals

Popularity and average revenue per app per month by method used to decide what app to develop next, developers interested in making money only, revenues excluding top 5% (n=1,696 weighted)

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Source: Vision Mobile

VisionMobile correctly concludes that app developers are creating apps without the rigor of understanding their markets or their users. Its verdict: “The bottleneck of the build-measure-learn cycle of lean development is the ‘measuring’, or under- standing of customers.”

Blog Source : Apponomics : The Insiders Guide to a Billion Dollar App Business. Download your copy here