Last words of advice for mobile developers – Due Diligence

As the final post for the OMS Blog for Developers it is proper that my last words of advice focus on the two things that matter most for successful businesses – asking questions and validating answers.  The absence of these two things are most responsible for every failed company, failed app, every project overdue or over budget.  For simplicity and general purposes, we can call this Due Diligence.  Normally, it aims to take care that everything is as it is supposed to be before investing in it.  But, equally, it can apply to taking corrective action on problems as they arise.

It is rational that if you are going to invest weeks and months into developing a mobile app to expect something for your effort, above and beyond completing the app itself.  Just because you have an idea for an app does not mean it is worth your time.  Thus, it is desirable to have multiple app ideas to choose from and some fixed basis to compare them against.  If you are just starting out in mobile app development, than simply breaking even might be your control point.  Conversely, you could compare it against your hourly wage for your present or previous job.

You want options, just like all investors do – whether it is on the stock market, commodities, gold, BitCoin, real estate?  Use Decision Points to help walk you through the process of deciding which app idea is best for you.

Far more questions should arise after you have decided upon your next app project.   On the technical side, these will include things like user interface, graphics, layout and design, features and making sure everything works as is intended.  These are all important, but they only bring you the potential to compete with other apps.  Nothing more.

How are you going to monetize your app?  In app advertising is perhaps the easiest option, but it is by no means the only option.  Even if you are working on your first mobile app or may not have a lot of experience with sophisticated payment systems, you do have a variety of options to choose from, some of which may have nothing to do with the app itself.

This may well bring you to question who else is out there that might benefit from your app?  Many small and medium-sized businesses are looking for ways to benefit from the mobile market, too.  Why not try to combine efforts or convince one to help sponsor your app?

From the point you start working on an app to long after you’ve published it, keep asking questions.  Is it performing according to your expectations?  How could it perform better?  Why is it not making more money?  Or perhaps you want to move on to something completely different, do you just want to let your app fade into history, or perhaps license it to someone else?

My hope is that you will turn to the Opera Mobile Guide for Developers to help you find answers to your questions and give you ideas for more questions you may not have asked yet.  In many cases, the answers will require research.  Getting an accurate answer may not always be possible, until after the fact, because even the best app may fail to take off – if only because someone else had a similar idea at the same time and had more people, time and money to market it.  Knowledge is power, so the more questions you ask and the better you validate the answer, the more likely you are to succeed.

Simply, never stop asking questions – they are in the spirit of competition to make things faster, better, more efficiently, more profitably, and better serve the interests of end-users.

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

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