The Proper Path to Creating Successful Web and Mobile Products

The Proper Path to Creating Successful Web and Mobile Products

Technology is taking over. Every business, every home, every person, utilizes technology in some way, shape, or form. It seems almost a pleasant coincidence that while technology is currently expanding so rapidly, entrepreneurial efforts are also becoming increasingly more popular. This relationship between technology and self-pioneered business has brought with it an era of tech start-ups.

Tech start-ups are the golden goose of entrepreneurship in modern society. Spanning from web design to social media, to cloud-based storage companies, the tech field is littered with opportunity. Companies like Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, and Pinterest are each valued at over $10 billion. The industry has created over 25 billionaires on 2016 FORBES Billionaire list. It is safe to say, that a successful tech product will lead to a successful life.

Success is never guaranteed, however. It is widely understood that roughly 90% of all tech startups fail. Common reasons for these failures include improper web or app design, underdeveloped tech, and, or, lack of a recognized target market.

Tech start-ups are commonly seen in areas like Silicon Valley and New York City, however, the location of your tech startup is not what will make or break your tech product. While it may not hurt your company to join a Silicon Valley or NY startup accelerator, joining such programs is not necessary. Moreover, an insanely successful product can be created from just about anywhere if the proper steps are taken. Many tech developers have found that starting companies in unusual areas can be more financially advantageous because of the comparatively low cost of these areas. These founders are also finding little difference in business communication and partnership ability in these areas because of modern technology. Moreover, because of the rise of tech startups, there has also been a rise in complementary firms, such as mobile and web app development companies. Access to such company allows for easier operations and app development. 

An example of a successful tech startup that took advantage of strategy – instead of location – is Qualtrics, a private research Software Company. The creators, one of which is Ryan Smith – current CEO – founded this company in the small city of Provo, Utah. The company is currently worth $220 million. It is clear that these founders implemented a solid strategy that made up for the location of the business.

So, the question becomes: what path needs to be taken to create a successful tech product from anywhere?

First: Develop a Concrete Idea

It may sound obvious, but many tech products fail because either the idea was not developed far enough, or there was no market for the product. Before any physical development, or commercialization can begin, an idea must first be solidified.

This process includes first coming up with a set of goals that your company, and product will embody. It is important that these goals remain constant throughout the entirety of your company’s lifespan. These goals may include relative price points, ethical restrictions, advertising guidelines, and more, but most importantly it is important to create a clear goal of the physical product (or app) itself before you go any further.

Throughout the whole process, work on the product itself may only account for 30% of your total time – with the remainder of the time allocated to sales, marketing, production, etc. It is essential that 30% of your time happen early on in this process. Early product attention is more important than sales and production focus; having a clear vision of what the product actually is makes accomplishing the rest more achievable.

Even the most fully developed products need a market to be successful, however. It is essential that during this initial idea phase, your company takes into consideration who this product is made for, and what problem your product is solving.

Second: Begin to Design

Once a target market has been selected, and a concrete idea has been formed, it is time to begin actually designing your product. It usually includes physical, web, and mobile app design. This is the stage that many tech developers think to start in. This stage is made vastly easier however if the idea phase is completed to its fullest potential.

Unless the founder has a remarkable background in tech development, it will almost always be beneficial for them to hire outside help to assist with this part of their product. It is important to higher skilled employees. Despite the importance of bootstrapping during initial business development, hiring engineers is not the area you want to be cheap in.  These employees’ will bring your idea to life. It is essential that they understand the goals that have been originally set for your company.

It is also important not to decide on and go to market with the first design that is made. In the tech world, failure is a good thing. With each failure, comes new insight on how to create a better product in the future. The likelihood of the first design made being the best design is very low.

Third: Create a Prototype  

The process of creating a prototype follows very closely with the process of developing the product. This phase entails bringing your original idea to life.

While the engineers you hired were trained to design tech products, they were most likely not designed to actually build them. For this reason, it is common for founders to send their products designs to prototype shops. It is also common for founders to get more than one prototype made, to ensure the best one possible is used.

Fourth: Testing

It does not matter how extensive the effort put into the ideation, development and prototyping phase is, testing your product is essential. There are almost always bugs or setbacks in your tech that your team may not be aware of initially.

It is common to first test prototypes internally, among team members. However, it is also essential to launch a beta version of your tech product to trusted members of your targeted community. This last part is essential. Sharing a beta with only people outside of your target market will not result in responses that are relevant.

Fifth: Launch

Once you have successfully developed, designed, and tested your product, you are ready to enter into commercialization.

This phase will include hiring a sales team and focusing much of your company’s efforts into advertising and branding. You will need to research your target market and find the best possible way to market your tech product to them. This step is not made to be quick. In fact, little under 70% of your time should be spent ensuring that the launch and market of your product are a success.

Takeaway:

Ideas are everywhere. Great ideas can lead to great companies. However, great ideas do not ALWAYS lead to great companies.

Competition, especially in the tech industry, results in many failures. It is those that learn from these failures, take advantage of available resources, and take the proper steps that will fall into the top 10% of tech startups and be successful.

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How Much Do Apps Actually Cost to Build? What Do I Have to Do to Create One?

How Much Do Apps Actually Cost to Build? What Do I Have to Do to Create One?

“Hi, How Much Will My App Cost to Create?”

A commonly asked question but an answer that few know.  Mobile applications are starting to become more popular than traditional websites. Apps are vital to today’s world. Without them, a PC is just a typewriter, and a smartphone or tablet is just a device with a glass screen.

Apps now make up 50% of all mobile data by volume. People spend 89% of mobile media time on apps, compared to a mere 11% on browsers. Users find apps quicker and more convenient, with a wireless internet connection not always required while on the application because they store data locally on the device. Location- based apps such as Twitter and Tinder are very popular right now, riding the new wave of innovation.

Web Designer

These days everyone wants to join in on the modern day success stories: get rich quick and become the next creator of Uber or Whatsapp. Apps seem to be a simple thing: you think of a brilliant idea, create the app, and it goes viral and you become rich. However, it is not so simple.

With this new frenzy on apps, many entrepreneurs have visions of creating their own.

“Can you give me a ball -park amount for cost and timing?”

A question on every visionary’s mind but a difficult question to answer. With that said, when estimating prices, the cost is determined by three factors: the breadth of the work to be done, the time it will take, and the budget. It is also determined by whether or not you want to create an iOS app or Android (Android is more expensive). Our advice is to start with an iOS app developer and once you become more experienced and your app gains traction, move onto Android app development.

In most cases, the budget is fixed. However, many do not know the extent of money that they will need in order to bring their ideas to reality. Uber cost around 100- 500k for their two apps and the dashboard for the company owner to monitor everything on the app. Twitter cost around 40- 60k in a span of 3-6 months.

Read on to find out exactly what you have to do and how much it will cost to create your app.

Phases of App Building:

Defining Business Rules

In this phase, you find your team. To make things simpler, it is better to work with one company because this is a very interactive phase. When looking for people to develop your app, it important to find a web and app development team who has previously completed a full life cycle of app building.  In this phase, you will lay out your visions and needs for the future app. Be very specific when laying out what your app should be able to do- this way it will be easier for the developer to understand exactly what you want.

For example, Uber needed two apps; one for the customer, and one for the driver. This was determined in this first phase. Of course, more demand for the app means more costs so the budget will also be determined.

Designing

This phase is to design the layout and logo for the app. This is very important as having an appealing and sleek design can make or break your product. You can organize your designs on Photoshop to customize your app and show them to the developer.

Web Development Company

Prototyping/ Creating a Flow

Now you have created the app, and are playing around with the general layout to test the designs. This early sample of your product can test the concept of the app that you are trying to produce.

Coding

After evaluating your designs through the prototype, you will create 3 versions of your app on a milestone basis to perfect it:

Alpha Version: This is the very first version of your app. This part has a few key features to see how the app is going to work. For example, for Uber, this version would be tracking the car.

Beta Version: This second version is more advanced. This version will be able to be tested by other users outside of the developing company. For Uber, this phase would test if the customer can actually pay for the ride and if the driver can take the money from the customer.

Final Version: This is the final version of the app. By testing the full app you have created, it will avoid launching an app with bugs and help improve the software. One thing to keep in mind is to use a team that can configure servers and keeps everything (like your customers’ information) secure. The last thing you want is to have private information such as credit card numbers leaked.

Launching

Congrats! The day is finally here- you’ve now created your first app. Host your app on Amazon web services as it is the standard and most secure host. Make sure you have a marketing strategy to notify the world about your great app.

Lastly, the rule of thumb is that when you’re creating an app, you need to budget for at least 3-5 months to build. On average, app development should have a 50- 100k budget with some leeway for more spending.

Example Costs of Popular Apps:

Based on market research, these are the costs to create these apps based on their feature functions. The more complex the features are added to means more coding and more testing that needs to be done, causing it to be more expensive and time-consuming.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Facebook:

The Facebook app is available for both iOS and Android devices, allowing users to add friends, message, post statuses, add/ manage their profile, access their newsfeed, posting pictures, “places”, etc. In addition, the app allows users to share photo stories with their friends (similar to Snapchat) with fun filters/ effects that disappear after 24 hours. The estimated cost to build the Facebook app for both Android and iOS would be $100,000 – $250,000.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Yelp: 

The Yelp app is available for both iOS and Android devices. This app has features to provide restaurant goers with authentic reviews from previous customers. Customers can write & read reviews, post photos & ratings, read menus, get directions, and bookmark restaurants for future trips. The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $65,455- $168,000

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Instagram:

The Instagram app for iOS and Android allows users to connect with their friends and follow interests. Features include picture posting, liking pictures, commenting, following other users, live story, direct messaging, etc. The Instagram app has many more features than their website, which only allows users to comment, like, and follow others, making their app their main platform.  The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $46,000- $67,000.

How Much it Would Cost to Build an App like Uber: 

Uber can be used on both iOS and Android, but there is a plot- twist that many do not know. There are two Uber apps; one for the customer (that many are familiar with) and an app for the driver. The user app enables riders to use their location to find drivers nearby and communicate with them in order to catch their ride. The app easily lets customers pay the driver through the app, making it convenient and hassle- free. The driver’s app allows them to find their rider and coordinate with other riders nearby for their “UberPool” feature. Both apps have a rating feature which can be helpful when finding drivers/ picking up customers. Because Uber has two apps, it cost more money and time to build, so this is something to factor in The estimated cost to build the app for both Android and iOS would be $95,000- $150,000

Takeaway:

Here at SYNERGY Consulting, we believe in fair pricing and are very transparent based on our milestones and deliverables. Don’t be scared away by these pricings; we want to work with businesses who have a realistic view of how long it takes to test and launch an app. There is tremendous complexity when it comes to app building- especially when it comes to the Android and iOS platforms- because they are very different. Mastering the coding of an app is very important so it doesn’t crash; one of the reasons why customers delete them. The best way to get a complete pricing from any development firm is to make sure that you define your feature list, your user base (customers vs. admin), wireframes and flow chart (even if they are drawn by hand) to give the app development company a precise idea of what the app is expected to do.

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