Successful App: Always Be Launching

The sales acronym ABC (Always Be Closing) was a mantra I lived by while selling napping chairs for MetroNaps and consulting services for Crowd Interactive (now MagmaLabs). Closing can take many forms but it’s defined by actions that lead to a sale. To me, closing means being indispensable to clients. I build trust through consultative sales, and find that trust helps close more than any other factor.

The sales process for consumer-facing apps in the competitive fitness world is the inverse of enterprise sales: I rarely speak to customers, sales are immediate, and everything happens through app-store discovery.

ABC gave way to ABL.

ABL – Always Be Launching.

A sub-section of the seminal Four Steps To The Epiphany and The Lean Startup, ABL is the process of launching and re-launching one’s app with changes based on user behavior.

We learn how customers behave by tracking clicks on our website, seeing conversion statistics in the app store, and by seeing which aspects of our apps are used most. We also learn by reading app reviews. Third-party services like Crashlytics help us make sense of lots of data in real time.

Analytics drives action.

I built 28 products in 32 months in a quest to understand what works in the health space. You can see all my products under the Power 20 brand in Google Play and the App Store. In my case, I’ve experimented more with titles and content than in-app features, but the point remains the same. I’ve always been launching in a quest to see which titles, search terms, and content meet demand. Without this rapid succession of launches, I would never have stumbled upon a working business model for apps.

You need speed to succeed.

If your first launch takes too long, your subsequent launches will be tragically slow. Slow development times, outsourced teams, firings mid-development all hamper launch time and can be poisonous to the early stages of your company.

Which is why a long-delayed launch of your first product is a really bad sign. It signals that you either lack focus, an ability to execute, or both.

If you’ve been developing your app for a long time but just can’t seem to launch on a reasonable, affordable timeframe, then focus on the things you can do instead. Is your product social? Start hosting social events. Is it a fitness app? Host free training sessions. This kind of revenue-generating learning will only widen your reputation and network and give you more insight into what your product needs to be.

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