Friday, September 21, 2012

What makes a successful app? Re-usable parts

Lyle and I ‘hear’ all the time around the Internet that multiple apps help to sell each other. Some marketing experts suggest that you simply re-skin your apps and release them again with new names. There may be benefits to this, but we think there is a particular aspect to this that deserves calling out: cost savings.

Talking Santa
If you have an up-front cost for the graphics and the code for your app, can you re-use any of those graphics and code in a different app that would appeal to a slightly different user? As a small developer, we think this is an important question. Doing this would make a second app cost less to make and allow you to get multiple products into the market. Re-using parts or sharing look & feel may not be at the heart of every successful app plan, but look at Talking Tom as an example—that developer used the same idea but changed the main character and a few details to make many variations that would appeal to many different people.

Talking Tom
Our next question to ourselves as we consider our own app idea is:
Does our app have re-usable parts?

Our wishful answer is “yes, we think so.” A few weeks ago, when we asked ourselves “is it simple enough?” the answer was “yes”,  but that was if we chose to pursue only one aspect of the idea. When we got to today’s question about re-usable parts, a lightbulb went off for Lyle and what originally looked like one complex app idea suddenly became several simple related apps--a suite of apps!

Talking Harry the Hedgehog
We can start simple by just developing the first app, but when we are ready, we can build on the initial investment of time and money by re-using some of the graphics and code to create several more complimentary apps. We save money, we increase our presence in the app store, and we maintain a branded presence with shared navigation and familiar look & feel.

We have a long way to go, but this gives us something about which we can be extra excited.

Good luck applying these tips to your new app idea, but if you get stuck on anything, please draw a picture of the problem, photograph it, and dunk it heartily with SoDunked! (By the way, Wednesday this week was "talk like a pirate” day in the US, so find yerself a pirate me mateys and dunk away!)

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