Anyone can make an app.
Go to a bookstore with a large programming section (if you can find one) and you will see hundreds of books on how to code an app. There are books on iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8– you name it. I’ve purchased dozens of these books myself.
I get emails daily from offshore companies telling me they can develop my app ideas cheaper and faster than anyone else (but they are not very convincing). They have hundreds of cheap developers sitting around with nothing to do.
I get calls from recruitment agents trying to get me to look at a CV for an iOS developer in my area.
Programming an app has become a commodity skill. Anyone can acquire the skill. It is easy to hire someone with the skill (although, with varying levels of talent).
Creating an app is the easy part.
But . . . getting people to find it, download it, and love it is VERY DIFFICULT. And there are no books about how to do that.
I’ve met a lot of people who have created apps. Most have a similar story. They created an app. They released the app to Google Play or iTunes. They got maybe a hundred downloads and left it at that.
I also get contacted by offshore app development companies that might have a few apps they’ve developed. A quick look at the stats and I can see they’ve had less than 50 downloads.
In fact, most apps have a small amount of downloads.
Like I said, anyone with time and programming skills can create and release an app. Selling and marketing apps is a while different story.
There is an emerging field called App Store Optimisation (ASO). This has been what keeps me busy in the past several months. With crowded app stores, it is unlikely your app will get the visibility it requires. A mastery of ASO is required to get it noticed and on people’s phones.
You can have the most brilliant and sophisticated app in the world. But if no one can find it, you might as well have not even bothered creating it.
I hate SEO . . . so I was very skeptical about ASO. Well, I don’t hate the concept of SEO– I just hate the 10-15 daily emails I get from SEO consultants telling me they’ll get me to the top of Google. But ASO is a very new field and the spammers have not yet caught on to it.
Overpass will soon reach one million downloads of our apps. The rate of new users has increased significantly in the past few months due to our ASO efforts. Ear Spy alone gets 2,500 new users a day. I can tell you, the process did not stop when the app was released on the market.
The app “millionaire” books will tell you that if you build it, users will flock to you. I can tell you from experience that this is not true.
Anyone can produce an app. But can you get people to find it? Can you get them to try it? Can you get them to love it?