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About the Episode
Have you spent thousand of dollars on an app that generates no downloads and revenue? Well today’s guest lost $100,000 on an app idea and he talks about the key lessons learned and how he built his successful app business. Also, listen to the hack he uses to find a good developer.
Lee Rankinen manages corporate strategy & business development at Pixtant.
Read their blog at Money From Apps.
From 0 to Hero
Building the next Instragram or the next Facebook is not easy. You may think you have the greatest idea in the world but it is hard to gain that type of traction. This is the first lesson that Lee learned from their first venture which garnered a quarter of a million only to stagnate because retention wasn’t there and plans for long-term growth were not fully in place. Another key take away he had with the experience is the realization that you have to build your apps to monetize from Day 1. If only they had thought of some form of monetization, they could’ve had their initial investment back from those downloads.
They had a couple of more apps which were unsuccessful after that but saw the light at the end of the tunnel through their 5th app, a slot machine reskin, which took off quite well. From this app, they learned that the key differentiator was how they used key words which allowed them to be placed high up enough in the search ranking. This increased their downloads and thereby, increased their revenue. After that, they continued using more source codes to reskin and have developed their own source codes from then on.
Quick Tips in Finding Good Developers
Lee has also gone through trial and error when finding developers they are comfortable with. They had good and bad experiences, just like most of us, but it was all about failing cheaply and fast for them. So when they bring a new developer in, they would give that person a short task which will cost them cheaply and see how it works for them in terms of communication and the end results. If it works well, they will give them more projects and take it from there.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to build a mobile app?
Don’t give up. You are going to fail before you will see success but try to see the big picture and learn from your success and from your failures. Don’t be afraid to pivot and change your vision as you see fit as you move forward.