In recent months, we are witnessing an unexpected phenomenon in the world of startups, which we would like to talk about, since it affects, in large part, the business and the development of Apps.
For several years, there has been a worldwide gold rush, in which some entrepreneurs, blinded by the rapid growth and market valuation of some well-known startups, try to repeat these successes, often with more desire than knowledge and with the conviction that their great and unique idea, will have a spectacular reception among investors.
My opinion, in this regard, after having worked with several hundred startups both in the United Kingdom and Spain, is that further from reality, the day to day of the entrepreneur, is rather the opposite. It’s hard. Very hard. Acquiring users is much more complex than it seems. Everyone loves your idea, but no one dares to ” buy ” it. Selling services to your users is even harder. Everyone loves it, but no one is able to pay a single euro for it. Investors, if you have them, are not your guardian angel. They want their money… and multiplied by ten if possible, and in the shortest possible time. In the same way, developing and maintaining an online service or product with the necessary quality to satisfy this market, is expensive and can not (or should) do the cousin of your brother-in-law who is computer. It is therefore an almost “impossible” business in which approximately 80% fail, 15% survive and 5% succeed.
A few months ago, I participated in a debate, called “the bubble of Apps”, in which I defended that Apps, unlike Dotcom or startups, have not generated any kind of bubble. Apps are fundamentally tools at the service of companies and entrepreneurs, with the additional advantage that they can become a business in themselves, although they do not have to be the most common cases.
What’s more, under our experience in Develapps, Apps that act as a service or support to a well-established business, tend to have better acceptance and travel, than Apps of “revolutionary ideas” or as we affectionately call them, the “illuminati”. You just have to do an exercise, open your mobile phone, see what Apps you have installed and which ones you use frequently. Surely most people, we do not use more than 10-15 Apps and most come preinstalled on the phone.
All this theory, based on professional practice, only takes hold after seeing the latest news related to the world of startups. Famous and overrated startups aka “unicorns” like Mailbox, Carrousel, Parse.com they have announced their definitive closure. Purchases like WhatsApp from Facebook seem to make no sense economically, and leading companies like Twitter still don’t know how to generate enough revenue. Other companies such as Uber, AirBNB, BlablaCar and in general startups of collaborative economy, raise serious doubts of legality, or at least work alegal, depending on the country where they operate, and it is likely that many will not be able to continue their multimillionaire businesses in the near future, leaving great doubts along the way.
In short, what I want to explain with this, is that Apps are not a passing fad. They’re here to stay. They are tools, nowadays essential. Of course, I predict that in a short time we will begin to see fewer Apps as a business in itself, and an increase in applications aimed at a more professional sector. The traditional company, it seems that it begins to give importance to the Apps as a tool, especially of support, capture and loyalty of its customers, understanding that this is a key part of its business, in which it is worth investing. In fact already, sectors such as health, fintech and M-commerce or e-commerce through mobile devices, are emerging with great force. It is in these areas, in which from our company, we are specializing for years, with a large portfolio, having obtained awards and experience so that we hope we do not take the “Unicorn” by the Horn.