After interviewing over 300 app entrepreneurs I found that there are common qualities that separate the successful from the surviving.
Yes the App Store is crowded. Yes there are those who are barely making a living off apps. And yes the gold rush days are over. However, new success stories are constantly popping up. Why were they able to find success when so many are barely surviving?
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I rounded up the best daily habits of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the mobile app space.
#1: Study the App Store
Benny Shaviv of Clear Sky Apps starts every morning studying the App Store for at least 30 minutes.
He first studies his own apps to see how well they are performing and then moves on to the App Store reviews to see if there is any change in how customers feel about their apps. When new versions are released, he will look at the customer reviews several times a day.
Another reason to study the App Store on a daily basis is to spot trends. Look at the top charts of the free, paid and grossing to see what the most successful apps are doing right and how they can be improved.
This will also help you fine tune your knowledge of how the App Store algorithm works.
#2: Learn From The Horrible Apps
Don’t just study the apps in the top charts, you should also download apps near the bottom of the charts to see what they are doing wrong.
Matthew Hall, founder of Klick Tock and creator of the viral sensation Crossy Road, used to download all the latest apps (even the bad ones) and predict which ones would get featured by Apple. He became obsessed with studying all types of games from the horrible ones to the most amazing.
By studying the great apps and the horrible ones, he was able to detect themes, design trends, and game mechanics that separate the apps. After a few weeks, he was able to accurately predict which games would get featured by Apple and which ones would never see the light of day.
#3: Properly Manage a Remote Team
More than most businesses, mobile app startups tend to rely on distributed teams – designers in Bulgaria, developers in India, customer support in the Philippines. As a fledgling startup, managing these remote resources can be really hard.
Jay Shapiro, CEO at AppMakr, relies on 15five.com to get weekly factual and sentimental updates from his entire remote team. In managing a remote team, the entrepreneur needs to understand how the human component is progressing and that it does not hinder the course of the business.
#4: Answer Support Calls & Emails (Even as a CEO)
Former Apple Software Engineer and now founder of Masslight, Daniel Abrams spends time each day personally answering support calls or emails from his users.
He says, “people are always pleasantly surprised when they get an immediate response from the CEO.” This habit helps him keep his ear to the ground and continue to ensure their apps are making people happy and encouraging increased usage.
#5: Consume Something Inspirational
“Each day I soak in at least one inspirational reading or lecture on world changing technologies that have the potential to impact a billion people.” says David Gorodyansky, CEO and co-founder of AnchorFree, maker of the Hotspot Shield app.
The life of an entrepreneur has its many ups and downs, but by reading motivational books or listening to TED Talks, you can keep a level head and not let the highs get too high and the lows get too low.
#6: Write EVERYTHING Down
Brian Crane, the founder of CallerSmart says “the biggest daily habit is writing everything down.” From big company goals to product roadmaps to in-app content, write everything down so that everyone on your team understands the direction of the company and remains on the same page.
Keeping a corporate wiki is a great way to manage your team especially if they are distributed all across the world.
#7: Benchmark Your Data
Benchmarking and keeping tabs on the trends is vital to ensuring the business is moving in the right direction. Analyzing your analytics on a daily basis allows you to see trends and act quickly when changes need to be made.
#8: Inbox Zero
Former Hasbro and Leapfrog executive, Nancy MacIntyre, left the corporate world behind to start Fingerprint where she now has 30 employees and partners such as Samsung, Disney, Astro and more.
One of the daily habits that leads to her success is checking email at 7 am and trying to respond to it all. It kick starts her day and helps her keep staff and partners on track.
#9: Keep a Journal
“The pages are meant for my eyes only and are rarely reread. Instead, I use journaling as a form of therapy and as a way for me to start each day with a clean slate. Beyond that, as a non-writer it’s been extremely useful to develop a habit of daily writing.” says Matt Kraft.
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