This is the final post a 10 part series. We’re looking at how startups and consumer apps can study their customers under a microscope in order to create an app that works exactly how they need it to.
10) Iterate or Die
This one will probably give you a little heartburn. At the end of the day, if we’re measuring what works and what doesn’t, how do we make that tough call that we simply cannot move the needle with our app? Just like feature bloat, supporting multiple apps and many different stores on many different devices comes with a high cost We are actually doing ourselves a service by cutting things down if they aren’t providing the necessary return.
What Not To Do
Don’t run your app forever just because you built it and have some personal investment in it.
What To Do Instead
- Measure — if you do the things on this list, you should see if users are helping you achieve your goals and how often
- Have Monetary Goals — put a number value on what you are doing. It should be saving costs, increasing productivity, improving your company/brand goals or increasing sales in some measurable way.
- Hold Yourself to Limits — make sure you are able to achieve your goals in a meaningful way.
- Have Deadlines — in the consumer/startup world, if you don’t meet your milestones by your dates, you are often listening to the bell toll, signaling that you are slipping into the abyss.
- Shut Down if you Can’t Make it Work — this is the controversial part, but if you really just can’t make the numbers work, you need to make the tough call to pull the app. There are probably a million ideas waiting in the wings that will be a better use of your time and resources. “Internal app” should not be codeword for “endless funding.”
Our app is simply not yielding results to Sell Anything Anywhere. We set lofty goals of increasing sales by 10% using this app, but we’re barely seeing a 1% return, and the app adds work for our sales associates. We do have increased visibility into what’s going on in the store, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t provide enough additional sales income to justify the IT, Customer Support, Management, Finance and other costs keeping the app afloat. We decide that we learned a ton about our sales associates and the process of their daily activities, and that there are some things we can actually do to make them more efficient than this product was. So as tough as it is to make the decision, we begin anew.
Hopefully this series spurred some ideas and you took away some tips to apply to your own product or business. If you get stuck along the way, we’d be happy to help you find the right course. It’s a big part of what we do, so give us a holler!
Previous posts in this series include:
- Part 1: Have A Clear Bold Goal
- Part 2: Guide Users Toward Goals
- Part 3: Measure User Activities and Funnels
- Part 4: Onboarding, Not Training
- Part 5: Nudge Users Through Funnels
- Part 6: Thrill Users With Customer Service
- Part 7: Solicit Feedback from Real Users
- Part 8: Build Evangelists
- Part 9: Stay Slim
- Part 10: Iterate or Die