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The truth is, every successful app you see out there on the top of the App Store, receiving their Billion Dollar status, with 10’s of Million of downloads….

All started where are you today. They all started at the beginning.

Whether you’re in the process of launching your app or already have some initial success on the App Store…

They all started where you are today.

It’s hard for a lot of us to relate to, since you don’t often hear about them in their early years or the failures the top apps faced.

You only hear about them, once they made it to the top.

So today i’m going to share a few Lessons Learned From A $19 Billion Dollar App.

Apply these insights shared today, and you’ll be steps closer to reaching that Billion Dollar status.

So stay tuned!

So I have a question for you.

What’s the single, worst decision, you can make with your App?

The answer: building an App that no one wants.

One of the biggest mistakes that App creators make is falling so in LOVE, with their own product, that they miss out on what users, actually want.

I was speaking with an app business owner this week, who has been working on a great new dating app, and he was telling me that they are 6 months behind on their launch, because he wants to make sure the app has the 5 additional new unique features added before launching.

The problem is that he was wasting time and money building features, that users didn’t actually want or care about.

Too many App creators fall into the trap of creating and building Apps with tons of features they believe, users want.

This is what they call the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy.

But if you're not a user centric App business, then you will struggle to remain relevant in the future.

There is a misconception, I have found which wastes App creators a ton of time and money. The misconception is that they spend months (sometimes years) building an App, they believe, people "need.”

The problem with that method, is that just because someone “needs” something, it doesn’t necessarily mean they ‘want’ it.

For example, most people in the United States ‘need’ to lose weight. But do they?

Most people ‘need’ to floss their teeth every day. But do they? There are a lot of things people ‘need’ to do, but don't. Not because it's hard for them. They simply don't want to.

I speak with so many app creators who make the mistake of caring too much about their product and features and NOT enough, on the actual users, wants and desires.

Look I’ve been there. I made this mistake when launching my first few apps over 9 years ago.

I learned early on that just because I liked a particular feature or design, didn’t mean that my users did as well.

I made the mistake in my early years of becoming obsessed with my apps features and not my potential users.

In a world of constant change, you should fall in love with your users, (not the product).

You could be your App’s #1 fan, and love everything about it. But if your customers don't ‘want’ it, your app will become irrelevant very quickly.

So instead ask yourself, why would they ‘want’ your App? It must always come down to what your users ‘want.’

The key is to market to what your users want, and give them what they need.

So let me tell you a story of a $19 Billion Dollar App.

In the Springtime of 2009, after two decades working at Yahoo, two software engineers named Jan and Brian, were quickly reaching a saturation point in their jobs.

They agreed, that it was time to make a career change.

So they started their own company and built a “status” update App. The idea originally came from Jan, who wanted to let everybody know, that he was busy when at the gym, when people texted him.

The problem, was that, that iteration of the App didn't work at all. It failed. They launched and very few people, gave it a second look.

Both Jan and Brian had really high hopes for this app as they both had quit very high paying jobs at Yahoo to create it. Spent a good amount of time and money yet the initial iteration failed.

Knowone wanted, or needed a basic status update app. It was created based on Jan’s assumption that it was something people needed.

At this point, Jan wanted to quit, and go back to his 9-5 job, but Brian, who was the financier and co-founder, managed to discourage him from leaving the startup.

Some of you listening now, might feel a similar way. Feeling discouraged with your current traction and growth.

It was only after a couple of his friends, back home in the Ukraine, had told Jan, about how they wanted to be able to message him in the United States for free, and not have to pay the 30 or 40 cents per message that it cost at the time to text.

Back then, in 2009, international texting was very expensive.

Based on this feedback, they started thinking about, adding a messaging feature to their app. That's when the outline of the new app started to take shape.

Launching an app that offered free and easy instant messaging with others.

Shortly after relaunch, the app exploded across the globe getting 10’s of Millions of Downloads!

It had solved an unmet need in the market. Something people truly wanted.

You see, Jan and Brian, are the brains behind the App known as, WhatsApp.

A few years later, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion dollars, making it the biggest mobile App acquisition in history.

The point to this story, is that if they continued, with the original status update App idea, based on what they thought users needed, they would have inevitably run out of both time and money.

Instead, they did what must app creators don’t do.. WhatsApp evolved, based on what thier users’ wanted. It shifted because of a simple feature, free instant messaging.

They didn’t fall in love with their product. Instead, they fell in love with their potential users, and continue to do so today.

As of this episode, WhatsApp has more than 1.5 billion monthly users worldwide. That means roughly ⅕ human beings use the app.

So whatever your current App idea may be, I encourage you stay open to pivoting based on user feedback if you truly want to succeed.

Successful innovation requires you to become obsessed with solving your customer’s wants and needs better than anyone else on the market.

In the book ‘The Lean Startup’, Eric Ries explains the first step to creating a product people want is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on user feedback.

Unfortunately, this is contrary to what most App creators do. They usually launch, with what they believe is their perfect final product.

So a common question I get asked, is how do you get to Product-Market-Fit? How do you know if it’s what users want?

Well, the first step to getting to your Product-Market-Fit is to have the humility, to continually alter your product, based on your users’ engagement and feedback.

To continually optimize it to the point that users want to use it on a regular basis and share it with others.

The main lesson learned from the $19 Billion Dollar app is to create a user-centric app.

Most Apps are created just because the founders thought it was such an ingenious idea. So, they built a prototype, spent months refining and creating the actual App, only to discover users don’t want it.

At the Worldwide Developer Conference back in 1995, Steve Jobs shared a really profound statement about how Apple, creates new products.

Steve Jobs said, "What I have found, is you have to start with the customer experience, and work backwards, with the technology. Not the other way around. You can't create the technology, and then try to figure out how to sell it.

As we came up with the vision and the strategy for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits, and experience, can we give the customer. We did not sit down with the engineers and figure out, what awesome technology we have, and how we can market it."

Two years later in 1997, at the same Conference, Steve Jobs said, "At Apple, we always start at the psychology, and then we figure out the technology.

We start at discovering what people want, and then find the most beautiful and simplistic way to provide it. Then step two, is to actually figure out, the way to build it."

Since Steve Jobs created the App Industry, wouldn’t it be wise to follow Jobs’ advice with your own App?

You see those who fall in love with their products, eventually disconnect, from the needs of their customers.

This is a major difference that will lead to your success or failure in the mobile App industry.

With millions of Apps currently on the market, there are many that may offer a similar solution to yours.

Your best differentiator is the experience you offer your users.

As American poet Maya Angelou once beautifully shared, "People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."

People are loyal to the experience, not the product. A recent survey by Defaqto states, “55% of consumers, have reported that they would pay more, for a better customer experience.”

So, then another common question I get is, “What does it mean to have a better customer experience?” “How can I apply it to my app?”

Well, one of my favorite descriptions of Customer Experience is by my man Carlos Angel.

Carlos Angel, is the Marketing Manager at Uber, once described Customer Experience as, "the perpetual optimization, of customer value, and success, through data driven, marketing activities.

I can't stress enough how important it is to build your product around the audience you serve.

And by the way.. If you need help with this, and making your app user-centric, and want us to 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.

If you want access, just click the link in the show notes or head on over to PreApps.com.

To wrap it up, the key to today's lesson is to market to what your users want, and give them what they need.

If you care enough about the solution you provide, and are creative enough, there is no limit to what you can build. But fall in love with serving your customers’ wants and desires.

And really ask yourself, are you falling in love with your product, or your potential users?

I encourage you to take a second after this episode and think, What Incredible Customer Experience Can You Create?

If you can create an irresistible customer experience, you’re steps closer to having a profoundly successful app business.

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.

Also remember to rate and review us. If we see you’re getting value based on your reviews we’ll continue to post new episodes.

As always, I appreciate you, and encourage you, to live a bigger life, and a bigger app business as you continue to make your dream a reality.

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