Do you have an app idea?
After going through the experience twice now, most recently with our CrowdGuide, a training and adoption app on the AppExchange for Salesforce users, I thought it was a good idea to share some lessons learned with those of you keen to embark on the journey.
Lesson 1: Find a Developer who Shares your Passion
I was fortunate to meet Kris Moyse just before he joined forces with the amazing Matt Lacey to start up S. P. Keasey Trading Company, specializing in apps for the AppExchange. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but now I realize I had struck gold. They had talent. I had an idea.
Let’s create something amazing!, said Matt.
We all shared the same passion. And most importantly that meant when the going got tough, we kept going.
Lesson 2: Find (or become) an Amazing Tester
After each iteration of the app that was created, I was tasked with system testing. There is quite an art to being a good system tester. It requires an eye for detail and a mind that works in opposite ways to the mind of a developer. If that’s not you, find someone who you can trust to hunt down all the bugs.
Lesson 3: Expect the Unexpected
We had several setbacks along the way. Our first major challenge was being told in our technical review that our solution would not be allowed on the platform. It would have been easy to give up but instead, we fought harder, got more creative and in the end, came up with a much better and more user-friendly solution.
Lesson 4: Have a Marketing Plan
After spending hours, days and weeks developing an app that you are proud to share with the world, it is fair to think others will instantly understand how cool your product is. Unfortunately that it not the case. People like to buy from people. We have been most successful selling our app when we spend time with our customers to give them a live demo and talk through their specific requirements. This discovery was not quite in line with my dream of sitting on a beach sipping pina coladas while our app sales go up faster than the time it takes to order another cocktail.
Lesson 5: Engage with your Customers
Make an effort to watch and listen to how your customers are using your application. They will use your application in ways you never dreamed of and will open your eyes to new possibilities. Your customers will also give you great ideas for what features to include in future releases. All the new features coming in our next release launching on 1st February 2015 are from spending time with our customers.
About the Author
Ever since I was a child I have always enjoyed teaching others. After many years in various roles as an IT consultant I decided to follow my passion and specialize in training for the cloud. So in Jan 2012, TrainTheCrowd was born. At TrainTheCrowd we develop and deliver training solutions for your cloud.