Green Mango performs much more than just programming. We build quality products for our clients. To do this, we need to be as thorough as possible which is why we assign homework. We are usually approached with clients who did some research of their own but not everyone found the correct information needed.
What is your mission? If you can’t come up with a clear reason for your product’s purpose, then why should potential customers have faith in it? Once you develop this, you’ll be able to strategize around it and move forward.
After lining your priorities, the next step is probably one of the hardest which is to research your space if you haven’t already. What other products are in your ideal space? It’s important to consider the size of your competitors. Are you taking on Google or Microsoft? What does this current demand look like in your field? How many people on Twitter or Facebook talking about it? Maybe there’s a forum with X amount of users to judge interest. One of the most critical things your company needs to figure out quickly: Is there a demand for your product at all?
According to a recent study, 90% of startups fail. Some people may assume that this is because the company ran out of resources. However, the most prominent reason for failure is a lack of need. A startling 42% of startups go under because they don’t find the right market. Sometimes their product isn’t even needed at all. If no one is interested in your product the way it is, your company is destined for failure which is why it’s important to adapt and listen to feedback from your target audience.
You’d be surprised how hard it is to accept the data you receive from your potential customers. It’s hard to divorce yourself from the hard work you’ve put in and to listen when people tell you that your product could be better or does not work for them. A big part of what we believe at Green Mango is that you should collect as much information as you can from your users that will empower you to make unemotional decisions about your business. We provide our clients with a variety of tools to help them capture the needed feedback, and we’ve yet to have a client tell us, “We regret the effort we put into researching our market,” or, “we regret the work we put into studying our users.” It’s always more valuable than expected.
In any software project there are opinions. “I think this button should go here.” “Well, I don’t think we need that button.” You can almost always use analytics to devise a test that will end your disagreement. Users will surprise you, and the answers you get from them will often be, “You were both wrong,” or, “I don’t care either way because I never go to that page.”
Most ideas aren’t original
In 2017, it shouldn’t be too surprising that most ideas aren’t unique. It’s not a bad thing if there is another company out there with a similar product to yours. Research their performance and user satisfaction. Competitors don’t always hit their niche right, learn from their mistakes and improve on them. Their existence reveals a demand in the market. Take advantage of this and use it to refine your own product.
Now that you know there is in fact some demand for your product in your market, stay current with your competitors. What can you improve on of their ideas? Are your differentiators enough to compete with what is already on the market? Develop a strong sales message when pitching your product. Make sure you not only stand out, but prove why your product is superior to what’s already readily available. Other companies may have a fantastic product, but they don’t quite have their sales message down. This is why 14% of startups fail.
Like the chameleon who is able to change its scale color to adapt to its environment, startups must do the same in their respective field. Define your product’s purpose, research your market, learn from your competitor’s mistakes and improve on them. At a time where 90% of startups fail, keep adjusting to your environment- be a chameleon.
“Raphael Sanzio’s Sistine Madonna is beautiful but a bit derivative of Michelangelo, therefore it is not good” said no one ever.
Copying the work of master artists was considered essential to training back in 16th-century Italy. The same can be said when designing software, there is no exception. There are 2.8 million available apps to download for Android users and 2.2 million downloadable apps for iOS users. The majority of these apps emulate each other to some degree. It’s okay to come to Green Mango with a terrific idea for an app or software product that was inspired by another one you’ve come across. Go ahead, describe it to us as the Uber for this or Shazam for that. That’s what the average user will recognize and feel comfortable with. It is not the similarities that are going to make your product outshine others, but your differentiators.
Software development seems like an ambiguous process. In reality, over 90% of new apps and features are inspired by others already in existence. For example, the hamburger menu button
( ☰ ) , was originally designed for the Xerox Star. This style of menu button, which typically activates a drop-down or slide-out menu, saw a huge revival in its usage in 2009 when various mobile apps needed to compress their menu bar. This resurgence greatly benefited users world-wide, though some may disagree. Tech Crunch released an article detailing their reasons as to why some think the hamburger menu button is less efficient, and that’s the beauty of disagreement in regard to technological advancement. We can continue to refine on each other’s ideas, creating an overall smoother user experience for everyone.
Society has become accustomed to certain UX behaviors. Your app can still be revolutionary while maintaining familiar functions. Take existing paradigms and use them in your app. If a first-time user downloads your app and cannot navigate their way by the first day, there is a 75% chance that user will never open your app again. Innovation and familiarity can and do go hand-in-hand.
There’s a fine but solid line between copying and theft. We absolutely condemn using someone else’s hard work and claiming it as your own. Borrow from others’ base ideas and build from there- that’s how you upstage the competition.
With this in mind, let us know what apps or products you drew inspiration from. Let us know which ideal features you’d like to draw from. We want to stay as close to your original concept so we need as much information as possible. Otherwise, we’ll be forced to take an educated guess and do our own research. It’s important to remember that the most expensive mistake to make is not actually launching a product with a few areas still under construction, but launching the wrong product altogether. Software is easily fixable and can be adjusted with a simple downloadable patch.
Let’s not re-invent the wheel. Most apps that are available in the app store are similar to each other, that’s not news. However, it will be because of your unique tweaks and differentiators, that your app will flourish.