Sunday, April 17, 2016

What if there is a similar app that is more successful than yours?

It's so much easier to publish your app in Google Play than in Appstore, that's why there are so many similar apps in Google Play. It creates conditions for healthy competition among developers.

To perform well in this competition you should always keep your app better than the others.

But what if your app is already losing? What if there is an app that has a larger audience than yours?

Actually, I think that it's not even a problem. It's an opportunity!

An opportunity

Wait, what? An opportunity? Why losing to another app is an opportunity?

Because you losing a battle not the war!

Actually, I think that software market is a place where nobody can win the war. It's Infinite War (not the Infinity War, though), with many many small battles.

Still, why losing a battle is an opportunity? Because if you analyse the reasons of losing, and why your opponent is winning you can gather very useful information.

With this information, you can come up with a plan that is even better than your opponent's.

What kind of information?

You should pay your attention to some key moments while analysing your loss.

These key moments are

  • Is your opponents app is actually better (be honest with yourself, it's the only way to improve), if so:
    • What is the feature/features making this better than yours?
      • If you find some, can you improve the idea of this feature in build it in your app?
    • If you can't find these features pay attention to the implementation of features both apps have, maybe it's just about the quality.
    • Look at things that are in your app but not in opponent's, maybe they are surplusses and making UX worse.
      • By the way, if you decide to remove these things, you should be very careful because if you have some decent audience they can use this features and removing them will be harmful.
    • Maybe it's all about graphic design. Some users migrate from one app to another (that has the same functionality) just because of design UX can make a huge difference.
  • If it is not, likely the reason of succes of other app is marketing. 
    • Unfortunately for many developers, better code and design doesn't mean larger audience, it only means an opportunity to get a larger audience. 
    • Pay attention to how your opponent marketing his app.
    • Does he have landing page about his app?
    • What traffic sources he uses?
      • Maybe he has a blog where he writing about this app (blog can be a huge source of traffic)
    • Compare this to your ways of marketing your app, find differences and figure out what you should change to gain more audience.
Another really important source of information is feedback, not only from your app, but form every similar app out there. You can find out what people need from their own testimonials.

With all this information, you can take action and make your strategy better.

Is it even legal?

About the first part, it might seem like stealing features, yes it is, but you should be a clever thief.

You shouldn't just take your rival's app and make another x.x.x version of it. Actually, you should do the things your way.

You probably already have some picture of what is your audience and why they like your app. So do everything with this on the background.

Your actual audience is your potential audience

Actually, in every business, you should aim at the audience you already have. Improve your app for them. I think that actual audience is your potential audience. It's word of mouth marketing. 

With this approach of satisfying your actual audience, you can get exponential growth. 

It's really important, but many developers and entrepreneurs don't understand that, and they are drowning while trying to attract new users. 

When you trying to walk through someone else's path you will eventually discover that you're always second.

So don't just steal someone's features try to adapt these for your users. And if you can't do so, just don't, it means that it's not for your app.

For example, look at Apple, everyone knows that they are stealing features and ideas from other mobile manufacturers, but they do it in their own way satisfying the users they already have. I think, that this is the reason of their success.


The main idea of this post is when there is some app that already has more users than yours, it can be a source of really useful information for you if you will analyse it carefully.  But you should be pragmatic about what you doing with your app when trying to gain more users.

Okay, build your audience guys, see you next week, peace!


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