Millions of apps get launched every year on app stores. Simplifying and improving the lives of users with cool, feature-rich, and unique products is a serious calling for many today. Over the last one-and-a-half decades, Digicorp has worked closely with hundreds of entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, impact professionals, and independent visionaries. Together with them, we have solved multiple challenges and industry pain-points by building products that deliver, delight, and dazzle.
One question we often get asked is, how can one decide if it is the right time to start building a product to address a problem?
As we like to say, product building is all about timing. Just like going for it at the wrong time can cost you, missing an opportunity to build a great product can cost you even more! So here are our two cents on how to go about identifying the most opportune moment to build a product to solve a problem that you truly care about.
Rule #1: Build a Product When There’s a Clear and Sizeable Market Need.
Do you know what Amazon, Uber, and Facebook have in common? Each of them entered the market to solve a customer need that’s pressing, urgent, and widespread.
It is not enough that you believe that there is a need for the product that you have envisioned. Product innovators often leap to conclusions when a few of their friends and family members find their idea interesting. Lastly, it is one thing to say that a person is interested in your product – and it’s a whole other thing to say that they are actually willing to pay for it.
The bottom line is this: Do your own research and make sure that there’s a sizable number of people who might be interested in getting their specific problem solved by your product and are willing to pay for it.
In fact, it may come to you as a surprise to know that 42% of startups fail because their offering had no takers in the market – there was simply no need for their solution!
There are many ways to go about validating market needs for your product. Conducting online and offline surveys, studying industry research reports and trends analysis, researching similar products, consulting subject matter experts, and so on, are the more popular options. But remember not to sit over your idea for too long, since someone else can always grab that opportunity to solve the problem by launching a product of their own.
Rule #2: Build Your Dream Product with Your Dream Team.
No, we are not saying that you have to have the best team in the world right on the first day. But having said that, it is extremely important to understand that building a product is not a one-person job. Nor is it something that can be handled by non-experts.
There is a lot that goes into bringing your idea and vision to life through a product. From selecting the right technology and choosing the right platform to create the right user experience and infusing the right design, a product requires a cross-team of experts who know their stuff.
At Digicorp, we pride ourselves on having developed and delivered stunning products with stellar customer experiences on time, every time. We have even launched our in-house products since product development is our passion and in our DNA. But we have seen many startups fail simply because they weren’t ready with the right team.
This is why we always urge aspiring product visionaries to first single out key professionals for various product development roles like product conceptualization experts, market analysts, UX-UI designers, and product testing professionals. By and large, the best way to go about this is to hire reputed and reliable product development agencies like Digicorp. Read this story on how Digicorp helped a leading blue-collar recruitment platform – SkillConnect – to build their award-winning product from scratch. https://www.digi-corp.com/projects/skillconnect-portal/
Rule #3: Build Your Product When You Have Adequate Time.
Let’s say that you want to launch an app for people to browse, choose, and order Christmas trees online. Given that visiting stores during COVID can be a major exposure risk, your idea is probably great and might have a good number of takers. The only problem? It’s already December. Should you go for it anyway?
The simple answer here is no.
Apps take time, skill, and attention to develop. Further, they need time to be marketed, promoted, tested, and improved. Rushing it through can sink your time and money, and raze your reputation to the ground. 12 – 16 weeks is the minimum amount of time you should consider investing so as to get your minimum viable product (MVP) out.
Thereafter, getting early adopters to try your product, making changes based on user feedback, fine-tuning the design, and scaling it to multiple user sessions would require two-three months at the very least. 10 – 12 months is a good window for most products to be developed effectively and efficiently with desired features.
Rule #4: Build a Product When You Are Ready to Invest in Post-Launch Support.
We have come across hundreds of product enthusiasts who aren’t aware of the post-launch requirements of an app. They seem to believe in the notion that building a product is all about getting it right the first time and then forgetting about it. Essentially, they consider product development to be a touch-and-go scenario where once they have built a product, all they have to do is wait for the cash to start streaming in.
This is far from reality.
Products need to be maintained, improved and evolved continuously. Whether it is the underlying technology, the design, the look-and-feel, the user experience, the product compliance, or the market positioning – products are never static.
Apart from this, products also need significant investment in marketing, advertising, and App Store Optimization (ASO) for organic growth to kick in (You can learn more about this in our article here: Launching An App? Get Discovered With App Store Optimisation).
This means that if you are building a product, you better be in it for the long haul. The figure below shows the distribution of the cost of maintenance for apps on an average after one year.
At Digicorp, we make this easy for our customers by offering maintenance services post product development and launch. Learn more about how we helped the makers of uBlock – a major ad-blocking software company – to keep their product stable and improving without any user disruptions.
There you go – the four rules to determine whether you should take the plunge into product development or not. If you are looking for more hands-on guidance on whether you are ready to build your dream product, or need help in one or more aspects of product development to bring your vision to life, we are here to help you every step of the way. To learn more about us, visit Digicorp or write to us at email@example.com.