When we announced the App Star Awards a few developers (not that many) expressed some anxiety about revealing details of their app before it is on the App store.
Why? Because it could get copied. mmmm……
Well let's look at that issue and let's make it a more general case, regardless of our Award event
It is true that the App Store is a competing jungle and that you might get scared by evil clones. But the same goes one the web startups from which a lot can be learned. It is more than commonly advised and even required to put to the market your service as soon as possible. Even if it is not perfect.
Why? because this is the only way, you'll know if you are doing something right. And if not, this is your chance to make it right or better.
For an App, the story is a little different than a website. You don't put your app on the market when it s not a minimum ready. 1. because of Apple min. requirements of quality and 2. because there is an approval process, which does not exist on the web.
But never forget, that beyond your app itself, the way you're going to market it is at least as important. Making and getting noise around it is as important as your app itself.
So what are the key take aways?
- If you're app is good: it will be copied, whether you want it or not. The app store is full of clones. The difference is in the details and marketing.
- Getting out of the box visibility is one of the best assets you can get with your app. Spend as much time on this as on developing your apps (check out what the guys at taptaptap are doing, and how they do it, specially how they succeeded with Convert app)
- Lots of developers showcase their work before it reaches the app store. Check out youtube for videos announcing upcoming apps. Teasing is a key in driving demand
- Your app is unlikely to be perfect from day 1. Exposing it in advance is a chance to get feedback. And feedback is what will make your app better
- In that direction we engage you to show you app to as many people as you can around you. In real or digital life
One last thing: your app is great. cool. it will be copied? even cooler. It means you are onto something right. We have chosen carefully our timing so that even if someone wants to do something like you and your app is submitted to Apple. you'll should still be first out there. but again, don't anticipate your success because of that
So bottom line. Not only you should not be afraid, but you should make sure it is out there as early as possible: meaning BEFORE getting in the App store.
This is how great websites are launching for years. And this is how great apps will launch too. pre-App Store marketing is one of the key success factor. Work on it.
By the way: we eat our own dog food. Appsfire was built out of teasing before we even had a web site or an iPhone app (and since, has been copied a couple of times). This is how the game is played out. But you need to think long term and not shoot short.