Monday, November 21, 2011

Build Minimal Beautiful Product (MBP)

Does Lean Startup methodology apply to mobile apps? Listen to customers and keep on iterating still apply, but a minimum viable product (MVP) is not enough, said Vic Singh, founder and CEO of Tracks, at the Travel 2.0 Meetup.

For websites, people expect it to evolve, so even if the first time experience is not perfect, it’s easy to type in an URL to try again.  For mobile apps, you get one shot. If the first time experience is not good enough, users are likely to uninstall the app right away.  

Twitter’s research shows that if people don’t use your product within the first 7 days after sign up, they are likely not going to use it ever again.

The answer? Build a product that is beautiful for the first time user, and do one thing really, really well. Then keep on improving, without feature creep. When someone says your product is too simple, it is a good thing.

Vic also shared his insights on questions every mobile app venture wrangles with:

1.    How to treat non registered users for mobile apps?
Allow non-registered users to explore before commit. Show them what’s possible to lure them in.

2.    How to stand out in a crowded app market?
·      Use social media and organic search. Use paid advertising when appropriate.
·      Try to get featured by App Store – build relationships.
·      Make viral distribution deals. Build partnership with a purpose – do not lose focus for a seemingly great partnership if it doesn’t help with the brand.
·      Most importantly, great products go viral – design inherently viral products that users love to tell their friends, or better yet, use it together with them.

3.    How to view competition?
Don’t panic about competition. If you act reactively, you’ve already lost. Don’t scramble when Techcrunch writes an article about a competitor. Focus on delivering a great product.

4.    Tips on creating a great mobile app logo?
Logo creation for the mobile app is an important and often over-looked exercise for branding. Of course you can get a logo designed cheaply on Crowdspring, but spend time up front to create a logo that conveys the brand message. Changing logo in the middle of your venture confuses users. Finally, design a logo that stands out even within the folder on the phone.

5.    Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Never give up, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever...


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