There’s hard work. And then there’s luck. But there’s also that something else that makes all the difference. And it’s that edge that differentiates the most successful apps from the rest of them.
Of course, there’s one thing that you cannot ignore, and that is building a product that customers want. Apart from this fact, most non-technical founders lack the knowledge about some of the most important aspects of product development that separate the good from the great ones.
There’s tons of advice about building a product, but there isn’t much about the ground realities that actually makes for a better app.
Following are some of the key areas that aspiring appreneurs must know before developing their product.
There’s no such thing as a bug free app
Can a human being write bug-free applications? The technical answer is yes. The practical answer, on the other hand, is not so much. The reason behind this is that it’s just not economically viable, unless you’re building a life- or mission-critical application.
A piece of software or an application does not run in isolation on a perfect device or system. It has dependencies of the platform that are out of its control and the existence of libraries makes it even more complex.
If you want your application to be bug free, then you need to also ensure that every library you utilize is also completely bug free ― which is simply possible when you’re relying on a third-party for this.
Speaking of third-party, even the slightest of complexities in an application triggers the integration of a third-party application program interface― again, an external reliance with no control.
Time to Value is key
Time to value, simply put, is the amount of time it takes your users to realize the core value of your product. The goal of the engineering team along with the user experience team while building the product should be to get users to experience the core value as soon as possible.
Every product across the B2C or B2B spectrum will have their own onboarding process which can be from simple in-app wizard to a complex data integration or product configuration type. Measure this in hours and days rather than weeks depending on the complexity of your product.
Define what the value would mean to you ― higher conversions, increased revenue, quicker time to transaction, etc. Based on these metrics, you ensure that your product design addresses them at every stage of the customer touch point that is important to you.
Better features doesn’t make a successful app
This is especially true if a large number of users are already using a competing app. A paper by John Gourville, professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, specifies that products fail because entrepreneurs irrationally overvalue their innovation, compared to consumers who overvalue what they’ve been already using.
He states that for new apps (products) to stand a chance, they have to be 10 times better than the existing ones, “making the innovation’s relative benefits so great that they overcome any overweighting of potential losses.”
Tracking the right metrics for effective product iteration
The most important part of growth is tracking the right metrics at each phase of your product journey.
If you don’t track any metrics, you wouldn’t know what strategies to adopt if a course correction is needed or if you want to track and amplify what’s already working, even when you deploy growth hacks for traction.
Determine the metrics that you must prioritize — is optimizing for total signups is more important than long-term engagement at the current stage you’re at? Measure each iteration experiment by tracking the results. Continuous experiments and iteration will help you get to a point where it just takes off. [Forbes]