App Development for the Long-Term

Happy Holidays to Everyone!  And Happy Festivus to the Rest of Us…   On behalf of the entire OMS Team, I wish you and your family all the best over this holiday season and the year ahead!

The long-term.  Most of the successful app developers have been designing apps for five or more years.  The point is obvious and applies to everything, the longer you work at something – the better you get at it.   While all of the world seems to be in a rush, and there is something to be said about being “first to market”, ultimately those who apply to the long-haul benefit the most.  Lots of tech companies from the 1990’s and 2000’s went bankrupt despite enormous investments.

The point of everything that you do now should be directed to “building the future” – a future that you never stop building:

1.  You develop mobile apps because YOU CAN and you keep developing them, your design skills, your marketing skills as a means and an end.

2.  You establish a web site and you keep it going with periodic updates, at least once per month even when you are too busy with other things to be working on an app.

3.  You keep building your social and professional network – friends and colleagues, industry contacts, tech minded people in other fields and in other countries, media contacts, bloggers, journalists, etc.

4.  You have something like a newsletter, even if you only send something out once a year.  But you keep building your mailing list for the day you will need it.

5.  Every time you complete an app, you get it into venue you can — especially when it is free to do so.  Make sure to add links to your web site of all the actual URL’s of the sites and specific pages your app is available.

6.  Develop a focal point and niche – get to know as many businesses and community leaders in that niche as you can – discover their needs and develop for them.  In time you will be THE Specialist for that niche, the one who people turn to when they need something done — the one who businesses turn to when they want to share in the market you have developed.

7.  Make a financial commitment.  Many small businesses remain small because they consume their profits as “wages”.  Some treat all of their profits (if they have any) as wages.   Sometimes, you have to.  Do your best to either reinvest your profits or set them aside as your future marketing fund.

8.  If you have apps that are sitting dormant, consider leasing them out or selling rights to them outright to others.  Similarly, if you see other apps out there that show promise and that you know you can improve upon, relatively quickly – consider acquiring the license to them.  The same goes for seeking opportunities to localize other people’s apps in cooperative efforts and joint ventures.

9.  When you don’t have enough time to do it yourself, find help – consider a partnership, or if you have a name already, consider getting a college student or intern to do some work for you in exchange for providing them training, instruction and hands-on opportunity.  By being a mentor for others, you open up opportunities to collaborate on their future projects.

10.  Understand that opportunities are almost always created – they rarely happen by themselves.  Everything you do can be an opportunity for something more.  Above and beyond your apps, a web site is a 24 hour/365 day a year public representative of what you do, the apps you make.

If you introduce yourself to one new person a week, over a year you will have 52 new, relevant – likely professional contacts.  In five years, that’360 – and they will likely help introduce you to more along the way.  Leverage all of these things – starting NOW, so that next year this time, you will look back and say… “Things are going pretty good… it’s a Festivus Miracle!”

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Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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