We have a special bonus gift for those listening! Our team just purchased a number of copies of my #1 Bestselling Book called, App Secrets: How To Create A Million Dollar App, to give away to our community for a limited time only.
Sean: Hey, you welcome to today's episode where I want to be sharing the one game-changing concept that can 10 X your app growth, the same concept of the top app business owners understand and that most first-timers get wrong. Understand and incorporate this correctly and I have no doubt it will transform your app business. So stay tuned!
Hey, I'm Sean Casto, and I have helped thousands of apps over the years to go from zero to millions of downloads in sales, turn their app dream into a reality and become financially free. And it's now my mission to help others like you succeed. So, how do you build and grow an app business from nothing to millions of downloads in sales? Well, this is the “App Secrets Podcast.”
So today I'm very excited to share a special concept that you can put into your app business to 10X your growth. Implementing this concept, not only transformed my app business, but many of the million dollar apps that we have worked with. So I'm so excited to share it with you today, but we've already jumped in. [01:19.0]
Let's talk about time management for a second. I encourage you to think for a second in regards to your app, where are you spending personally most of your time each day? What problem are you trying to solve right now with your app?
You see, one of the biggest mistakes we see app business owners make is thinking they can do it all on their own, they try and figure everything out. As entrepreneurs, it's our initial instinct, it's how we are bred! I remember when I first launched my app, a DrinkTV over eight years ago now, I was trying to do it all. If there was a problem with developments, I needed to fix it. If there was a problem with marketing, guess what? I needed to figure out how to fix it. I remember feeling overwhelmed and frustrated all the time with a lack of progress and growth since it was all on me. [02:16.6]
I bet actually some of you listening may even feel that burden right now, but then a mentor of mine shared something with me called ‘The Entrepreneurial Bottleneck.’ It's about how the only constraint of any company's growth and potential is the business owner.
That's when I began to realize that I was the bottleneck. Think about it for a second, if you are the app business owner, the only constraint on growth is you. Ultimately you are in charge and you are the decision maker, right? How you spend your time and resources dictates the success of your app. I know some of you listening right now, may not want to hear, but it's true. Look, I believe you can have it all, but you can't do it all.
One of the most successful, richest men in the world, John D Rockefeller once said, “He works all day, has no time to make money.” What John D Rockefeller is referring to here is using ‘leverage.’ John D Rockefeller was an inspiration, he was the one the most successful people in the world and he lived by this rule, “Saving he works all day, has no time to make money.” [03:35.2]
The idea is to use leverage to propel you forward in ways you can't grow on your own. If you're the business owner or CEO and your day to day is working on tactical marketing tactics or development initiatives, then you are the bottleneck that's stopping your growth.
As the business owner or CEO you need to work on the business, not in the business. Think about it for a second, do you think Mark Zuckerberg is out there still writing code? No! He hasn't written line of code since the first few weeks of Facebook until he brought on a programmer who can do it better than he could. Do you think the CEO of Uber is out there driving around? You know, riders on his free time. It sounds funny to think about, but that's how I'm sure many of you listening right now are running your app business.
Instead, you need to work on the business, not in the business. The natural first thought that pops into most entrepreneurs head is, how am I going to get this done? But as I mentioned earlier, when you're spending a majority of the time in your business, you become the bottleneck stopping its growth. [04:47.8]
For many, you're emotionally connected with the objective. You know, maybe that's for you getting an additional 10,000 or 100,000 or even additional million downloads, but you just can't see how to get there. What most don't get is that achieving the goal is going to require capabilities greater than what you currently have.
Most don't like to acknowledge us because they want to do it all on their own. It's the natural entrepreneurial instinct, and so at this point, many people start to procrastinate or they just simply give up on their app because of their lack of traction.
Okay, so are you ready for the solution? Here's the solution. A concept of the top app business owners understand is to not focus all your attention and resources figuring out that how… as in how to fix your app business? [05:45.8]
It sounds counter-intuitive I know, but just bear with me. You see instead of asking, “ How can I solve this problem with my app? ” They ask “Who? Who can solve this problem for me? Who is the best person to get this done? Who can propel my app forward?” Because the reality is you're not supposed to do it all on your own and figure it all out. Instead, your job is to create the goal and then you have to find the “Who's”, as in the right people with the right talents and capabilities to complete the necessary goal. This concept was actually made popular by legendary business coach Dan Sullivan.
Do you see focusing on the problem, which is the “How” leads to frustration and fatigue, but when you instead focus on the who's available to you to achieve your goal, it increases your energy and keeps you endlessly motivated. [06:43.2]
So let me tell you the story of the first ever billion dollar app. You’ve ever heard of the billion dollar app called ‘Burbn’? Most people haven't! Well, in 2010 a software engineer named Kevin had the idea of a photo-sharing check-in app called ‘Burbn’, following the current trends of location check-in apps at the time and the success of Foursquare, Burbn was originally designed as a competing location based social network. It lets users check into various locations, gather points for spending time with friends and post pictures of their meetups. At the time, Kevin successfully secured $500,000 in funding from two prestigious venture capitalists firms, Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. [07:36.0]
And when the app finally launched, it failed miserably. It was horrible. The app was too clunky. It was not intuitive enough. It lacked usability. Think about that for a second, he raised half a million dollars and the app failed miserably. That would be pretty discouraging, right? But wait, didn't I say earlier? This was $1 billion app? You see, Kevin didn't ask, what most of you listening typically asked, which is, “How do I fix this or how do I get more downloads? So what did Kevin do next? Instead, he asked the right question, which was ‘Who’. He asked, “Who can fix this? Who can help me create $1 billion app?”
He understood he couldn't do it all on his own and was limited by his own capabilities. For Kevin his, ‘Who’ was Mike Krieger, an experienced software engineer. Mike previously worked at Meebo, a popular instant messaging app at the time. So he partnered with Mike and executed a daring 180 degree pivot. [08:43.6]
With Mike's help they needed to understand and discover what users liked and disliked of their app in order to be able to improve it. Through this analysis, they uncovered that the number one feature users enjoyed was ‘Sharing editing pictures.’ Users particularly love the apps, beautiful filters that will be able to enhance their photos. So after reflection analysis, the app took a different course.
The focus of version 2.0 was photo sharing capabilities. Burbn was stripped of all its extra features. It was left with three core items :
Photo filters and
The like button.
They then re-launched the app under a new name— “Instagram.” Shortly after, became the first ever billion-dollar app when acquired by Facebook. Yes!— the app you know and love today, originally it failed upon launch.
If Kevin was still asking the question, “How can I fix this on my own today?” Instead of asking the right question of “Who”, it's likely Instagram wouldn't exist today. [09:52.3]
As a business owner, your job is to focus on your unique abilities such as :
The continuous innovation of the app,
Executing on your vision and
Or maybe it's raising capital to expand and scale. You see, you already have everything you need to achieve your goals of a bigger and better future. And part of that is the capability to figure out who is the best people for every activity that's beyond your personal capabilities.
As entrepreneurs, we get stuck when we focus on the operation. Instead, identify and find others to solve your problems for you. So I encourage you to remove yourself from the bottleneck of your business because you can't thrive when you're trying to survive. [10:41.2]
So here are two main points I encourage you to consider and take away from today's episode. Point number one, get out of your own way. You don't need to do it all on your own. The good news is you aren't meant to. You must figure out the ‘What to do? and why — you need to do it?’, but not the ‘How.’ Everyone wastes so much time and energy trying to figure out the ‘How’, as in the strategy or tactic. Once you know the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’, you can skip the ‘How.
The goal as the business owner is to delegate. Soon you'll discover that there just isn't enough, ‘Who's’ on your team to delegate to. Your goal then, is to find and expand the right team members and expand their capabilities. But I bet some of you listening right now are probably saying, “Hey, that's great Sean, but I don't have the resources to hire, you know, a ton of employees right now.” [11:40.6]
Look, I get it, I've been there. When launching my first apps, I didn't want a big team either. It can be expensive and a daunting task to have that huge team, but the ‘Who's’ isn't always an employee. In many cases it's actually far cheaper and more effective for the ‘Who's’ to be an agency. You see, by partnering with an agency, you can get 20 experts working with you instead of one full time employee at a fraction of the cost. Oh and by the way, if you need help with your marketing efforts and want us to actually manage your marketing for you, you can apply to speak with one of our app growth specialists on a free strategy call to see how we can help. Just go ahead and click the link in the show notes to apply. [12:27.4]
All right, so point number two is all about working with the best. Look, don't settle surround yourself with ‘A’ players only. I speak with so many app business owners each week that are working with amateurs. The key thing to understand here is that your app will only be as successful as the team and experts that you surround yourself with. Don't work with amateurs or freelancers just because it's cheaper or easier. Look, don't jeopardize the success of your app by working with people with limited experience. Instead, just hire the experts, the best people you can find in their field. I promise you that they are out there. You just need to find them and have them solve the problem for you. Don't just delegate a task, but actually have them own the problem and find the solution and own the solution for you. I found that entrepreneurs like to, micromanage most people. What's important is to actually give others ownership of the problem for them to solve it and let them do their work. [13:33.0]
Going back to the Instagram example, when Kevin, the co-founders CEO of Instagram had a problem with the apps engagement early on, he didn't say, “You know, how do I fix this? He said, “Who can fix our apps engagement? He didn't get tactical, instead he said, “Who can solve our engagement problem? His ‘Who’ turned out to be Aza Raskin and what he did was actually invent the endless scroll feature that exists today on Instagram. He made the simple edit of removing the button that you previously had the click on to view more on your feed. [14:10.4]
You see back in the day after a few scrolls in the feed, it would stop and you'd have to click a button to actually view more. We take it for granted now because it's become ubiquitous across all social platforms, everything now has the infinite scroll feature. But as a result at the time, in more than 10 X engagement for Instagram in the first year. Simply because people initially don't know when to stop, they just keep scrolling. I mean, I do it all the time. Whereas before people stopped scrolling, when the page stopped and there was a button you had to click for more. [14:43.7]
So the first step of this process is for you to explain what the goal is and why it's important in order to be able to find the best ‘Who's’ for the ‘How's’ of the goal, and then those ‘Who's’ can take it from there. It must be an achievable, measurable goal. You're new automatic response to every new goal should be, who's the best person to do this for me? And every goal will call for a particular number of ‘Who's’, who can do the necessary number of ‘How's’.
All right, to wrap it up when you're of the mindset that you can achieve anything, as long as you enroll the right people to help you do it, it lifts a huge mental burden off your shoulders. The market opportunity is there just up to you to set the pace. It comes down to clearing obstacles in getting the resources needed to be able to grow and scale.
Again, I believe you can achieve anything as long as you enroll the right people to help you do it. So here's what I want you to do. The next time you're spending all your precious time and energy, thinking about how you can do or fix something, I encourage you instead to think who can solve this for you. After this episode, take a second and step away from being the bottleneck of your app and consider the ‘Who's’ that will move you towards the goals that you envision. [16:12.6]
And if you like what we talked about today and want to go deeper than as I shared in the previous episode, we have a special gift for those listening. I just purchased a number of copies of our number one bestselling book app ‘Secrets’ for us to give away to our community for a limited time only. So we have limited copies available. So today my team will go ahead and ship you a physical copy of our number one bestselling book for free, the same book you can get on Amazon right now for $25 but we'll go ahead and buy the book for you and ship it for you, but we just request the pay for the shipping. We have limited numbers available, so it's first come first serve. If you're interested, go ahead and click the link in the show notes to tell us where to ship your copy to or head on over to appssecretsbook.com [16:57.6]
Well, I hope you found value from today's episode. If so, make sure to share it with someone that you believe might find it helpful. In our next episode, I'm going to be sharing the advanced unique strategies to be able to accelerate your growth now that it's launched and to be able to reach those initial milestones. So stay tuned. As always. I appreciate you and I encourage you to live bigger life, a bigger app business as you continue to make your dream a reality. [17:26.3]
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How do I create, launch and market a successful Multi Million Dollar app? From Uber to Snapchat, discover how today’s fastest growing apps reach explosive growth and how YOU can copy the exact same strategies for yourself.
The App Secrets Podcast uncovers how you can use the same strategies that today’s fastest growing apps use to create your own Million Dollar or even Billion Dollar app. Discover why the TOP apps on the market turn to Sean Casto and his agency PreApps, to 10X their downloads and maximize sales.