The Modern Day “App” Gold Rush

mobile app developmentWhile talking with two boys who are getting ready to enter their junior year of High School, I was astounded to hear what they are planning to do with their futures. Instead of discussing what colleges they wanted to apply to, what careers they preferred to enter, or what sports activities they were preparing for this year, they shared with me their plans on having a mobile app built that will generate millions of downloads and make them both wealthy for life.

I began asking them questions to get them to think more logically: Do either of you know how to write software or design mobile apps? Are you planning on taking software development courses in high school or college? Are you aware of the average number of downloads for any given app offered by the App Store or Google Play? Do you know the average amount of revenue an app generates? Their answer for all of these questions was, “No.”

Their plan was that they would come up with the idea and then have someone else develop the app for them. They didn’t take into account the cost to the development team to write their app, the cost associated with marketing the app, or the fees that are required to be paid to Apple (if using the App Store) from each download. Basically, they had heard the one-in-a-million story of apps like Flappy Bird and wanted to do the same thing.

I explained to them that, as a software development company, we have people every year come in and talk to us about building a mobile app that is going to make them extremely wealthy.  Our obligation as a company is to ask them questions to help them think more objectively about their endeavors. Who is your target user? Are there other apps that already do what yours will do? If so, how many downloads has the other app received? Will yours be a free app with hopes of receiving advertising revenue, or will you charge each user for your app? How much will you charge?

Over and over again, we hear the statement, “Oh . . . I hadn’t thought about that.”

Don’t get me wrong – there are opportunities within the mobile app market to make good money, but people need to be aware of what it takes to actually get to that point. People also need to be aware of what they can expect in terms of downloads and revenue for their ideas. According to an article written by Tristan Louis on Forbes.com, the average revenue generated per app on Google is $1125, on Microsoft is $625, and on Apple is $4000. That’s total revenue per app. Even if you developed five apps on the App Store, that’s still only $20K in revenue. I hardly think anyone can retire on $20,000 dollars – especially a high schooler!

Tristan Louis points out that everyone with a mobile app idea and every software developer hopes to create “the next big hit but, as is the case for any hit-driven market, a large group will be left behind with little to show for their efforts. At the end of the day, the model for mobile apps is no different than any other of the past: whether it is gold in the Yukon, websites in the 1990s, or app developers today . . .” Learn the facts, look at the numbers, think objectively, and consult with the experts. And, if you still think your app idea will work, then you can work to make it a success. But until then, don’t think you will get-rich-quick with a mobile app idea. Especially, don’t base you future on it!

Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software Solutions~~~~~~~~~~
Ben Ellsworth
ZTEAM – Sales Ninja
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Zenware, Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouch, and ZWarehouse

Simple solutions work best….

Sometimes in the world of great innovation and technology we forget how the simple solution is best.  I was reminded of this today when a customer was trying to solve a problem.  Our friends at McDowells repair are using technology to help drive business efficiencies and track work flow in the fast paced automotive and furniture repair industries.  They have a brick and mortar location for mobile workers covering Southwest Idaho. Like many service shops they have a mixed bag of technicians’ who range from very technology savvy to not very tech savvy at all.  In their world time and efficiency are a must as customers demand that they are fast as well as good at the job they do.  They do both very well and are recognized for offering a superb product and exceptional customer service.

Our challenge is to help them build on this tradition with the incorporation of new technology in the form of a new mobile work order management solution. The solution includes mobile phones, printers and laptops as well as a very robust office component that tracks jobs, work status and ports the completed work into their accounting backend.

While we are transitioning McDowells we had to remember that all of the staff and customers they serve are not all going to be technical.  Without keeping this in mind you can easily develop an overly technical solution.  In this implementation the customer wanted to use Android phones as a WIFI hotspot linking to a Bluetooth printer.  While this works, it can present challenges as any of the connectivity options, cellular, Bluetooth or WI-FI hotspot could fail at any time leaving their field techs dead in the water.

We devised a simple solution that aligned with all of the constraints.  We installed a program called PDANet that is free from the Google play store that allows us to tether the Android phone to a net book that is wired to the printer and can use the standard windows drivers to print invoices without any issues.  In this scenario there is only one potential point of failure in cellular connectivity. Note that we discovered Sprint’s defaults settings prohibit installation of software outside of the marketplace but this setting can be temporarily disabled.

There you have it, a simple solution that keeps it low-tech enough that any of the technicians can make it work, gets the job done and helps the customer transition into technology.

Sometimes it takes getting out in the field to see what really does not work, stay tuned for next week’s blog on riding along with techs for tips and reasons to get off your chair and go see what your customers do in the field.

Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software Solutions~~~~~~~~
Rod Puzey
ZTEAM – COO
Follow me on Twitter:  @zenwaremobile

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Zenware, Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouch, and ZWarehouse

2014 Small Business of The Year – Zenware one of finalists

What an honor to be among the Finalists for Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year 2014. Wow, it feels great to be considered with exceptional companies like Auction Frogs, Payette Brewing Company, Teyala Wine Co. and Pickens Law, P. A.

Congrats to Payette Brewing for winning!!!

Zenware - Finalists for Small Business of the Year - Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce   Zenware - Finalists for Small Business of the Year - Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

Zenware - Finalists for Small Business of the Year - Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce   Zenware - Finalists for Small Business of the Year - Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

I’d say Payette Brewing Co.had the slight advantage – in the one hand beer, in the other mobile software – beer is probably going to win! :) LOL

Kudos and Congrats to Payette Brewing. Well deserved!

Thank you Boise Chamber of Commerce and judges for the recognition of our team.

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Zenware - Mobile, Cloud, Web, SaaS and Software SolutionsJody Sedrick, CEO
Follow me on Twitter: @jodysedrick and @zenwareinc
LinkedIn Profile: Jodysedrick
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Zenware, Inc. is a Boise Idaho based company that specializes In custom mobile software development, custom iOS development, custom Android development, iPad software development, iPhone software development, custom web development, web hosting and SaaS based work order management software. We also have a powerful line up of off-the-shelf mobile cloud solutions; ZenTouch, and ZWarehouse