Beyond One Million Apps!
Date: Wednesday , December 04, 2013
Search, social and mobility have shaped all aspects of life in the last decade. Apple\'s iPhone changed the mobile landscape overnight and now there are over one million apps in the app store. Google\'s Android platform boasts nearly the same number of apps. There are hundreds of apps for even niche market areas. In five years the market has changed from being very conducive for indie developers to succeed to being very difficult for developers to rise above the noise and succeed. App discovery is a huge issue for new developers which can significantly hinder growth.
We are now in an era of a generation that has not seen life without computers, internet, and mobile phones. A phenomenal shift in use of these technologies, particularly smart phones and tablets, is upon us. One area that has been under served so far is education. There are estimated 10 million tablets available to students around the world and this number will explode to over 70 million in a couple of years as a large number of school districts adopt them. This presents an enormous opportunity for developers that understand the market and are willing to develop solutions in a systematic manner. Unlike the most visible consumer focused app market of casual games, education space offers opportunity to establish and build long term sustainable businesses. The key to success in this market is to have solutions that appeal to two distinct constituents simultaneously, students and teachers. Solutions that can excel in meeting the needs of teachers and can engage students have a great chance of success.
New developers must treat their venture in the app space with a business perspective from the beginning. Understanding customer needs and competitive landscape are critical as always but even more important is marketing of the solution. A strategy that relies on Apple or Google to showcase your app as a means for customer acquisition is unlikely to succeed on a sustainable basis given the number of apps released daily. Hence, it is imperative that apps have social elements built-in to enable viral growth. Equally important though are non traditional ways of creating awareness for an app to reach critical mass from where viral elements can drive growth. New ventures focused on apps for business, healthcare and education spaces are likely to thrive in the coming years.