Mistakes to avoid as an app-based start-up

It’s true that many have made it big in the app development industry, but being an app-based start-up is hardly a walk in the park.

The mistakes you could make at the outset are many, and the pitfalls, numerous.  As your partner software developer, we want to do everything possible to help make your journey as smooth as possible.   

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid as you move forward with your app-based start-up.

Mistake #1: Building an app before validating the market need

So you have this killer idea for an app that can really change the world?

The next Angry Birds, Temple Run, or Candy Crush perhaps…

You may have been told that there is no way to validate your market need for an app without building a full-fledged working version of your product and releasing it to market, then waiting for reviews from those who downloaded your product. This is not the case at all!

You can easily validate the market need for your app in a few ways. One of the simplest wats is with Google Trends (a web-based service offered by Google that provides search volume data and topical interest indicators for free to users).

Google Trends will allow you to determine if people are searching for topics related to your app idea. The more searches there are, the easier it will be for you to prove that this is something people want and need. 

Another way to validate an idea comes from a specific online platform called Kickstarter. Kickstarter offers small businesses and entrepreneurs the chance to post their business pitch ideas in the hope of attracting investors and/or customers. This means that if you have a good product, someone out there has already validated the fact that there is a need for it. Once your start-up begins moving forward, it would be important to have actual users test out your mobile application for beta testing and then a final version that is ready for release.  

Another easy way to look at market needs is through social media. If your app idea is related to social networking, try posting the idea on some popular social media network platforms, such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Just be very careful with this method and do not use it if there is a risk of your idea being claimed by someone else. Reveal only what is necessary and work with those you trust.

Lastly, there are web forums and communities, such as Quora and Reddit that you can use to gauge the interest in your app idea. Search for posts with long threads to determine which ideas are being discussed the most. If you can get involved in these discussions, your opinions about your app would be heard by others who may have similar interests and could possibly help you with feedback on your app idea.

Mistake #2: Focusing too much on marketing and not enough on app development

If you put all of your time and energy into marketing your app but neglect the app itself, you’d wind up with a lot of marketing material and nothing to sell.

Relying on marketing too much would also leave you cash-strapped and vulnerable because it’s not the best way to get revenue. 

Before you think about marketing, think about how people are going to use the application, and make sure it solves a problem/need.  

Mistake #3: Trying to make an app for everyone

What happens if you make an app for everyone? You’d end up with a bland application that has no specific features to speak of, and obscure Ui/Ux that is likely to confuse everyone.

There are literally billions of users out there, and you cannot build an app that appeals to all of them. Instead, try to narrow down your audience as much as possible before starting development. This will help you find a clear niche within the mobile market that makes it easier for you to attract customers who truly want the application. We recommend working off some very specific ‘ideal customer avatars’.

Mistake #4: Listening to your friends or family about the app

We’re not saying their opinions don’t matter but consider first if they are your target audience in the first place. 

Trust your instincts here. It’s not easy when everyone around you discourages you and criticises your app idea, or suggests numerous alternate ideas. They may have some valid and helpful points, but you need not abandon your entire concept. It would be wise to take into consideration what they say, re-evaluate, make necessary changes and move ahead with an even better idea.

The key is to do your research thoroughly and take advice only from trusted experts in the field and of course, representatives of your target market.

Mistake #5: Trying to do everything yourself as an app development start-up

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day running of your business, but you should remember that your startup needs to extend beyond you to be truly successful. It’s important that you bring onboard the right people and create a highly collaborative team around you. The right app development partner is also key to this process as an external partner brings with them a wide portfolio of work already done and can therefore help mitigate and field your risk versus reward.

Remember that the ease with which tasks can be delegated or outsourced once the app development start-up is established will determine how quickly you move through this stage successfully. 

Mistake #6 – Not having a budget plan or breakdown

If you don’t have enough money, your best alternative source of money is through investors. That’s why you need to have a solid understanding of what kind of funding you’re looking for and how each investor will provide value. If you have absolutely no idea about the scale and scope of your app you would not be able to pitch your idea effectively.

We highly recommend that you consult an expert in the field and reach out for advice and feedback.

Most developers charge fees just for initial consultation, but at LemonApp, our goal is to help you turn ideas into a great mobile app. With our FREE scoping and ideation session, you’ll get an idea of the scale and scope of your product. Not just that – we can also provide you with a ballpark figure so you can start proposing your idea to investors.

Mistake #7: Hiring a developer who is not a good cultural fit for your team

When you start engaging a development partner for your team, you may be tempted to hire the first one you find, the cheapest one, or the one with the most impressive portfolio. But there’s something you should know: culture and chemistry are one of the most important factor when you hire developers.

You’re much more likely to succeed in creating the best app if your partner developers share the same vision as you. For this reason, you should go for a developer who’s not just skilled and affordable – but also fits your company culture and with whom you can envision a trust-based long term relationship.

Cultural fit is a crucial element because it can help determine the long-term success of your business or project – so make sure to hire developers who share your values and vision for the app you want to create.


We would like you to proceed with your app development journey with minimum risk, which is why we encourage you to do your research carefully and wisely. Choose a development partner with expert knowledge and adequate experience in the field to be able to help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes from day one as you start building a successful business.

You deserve nothing less than the best! – Let us show you how our team can guide and direct your app development start-up every step of the way, for an affordable price.

Let us show you how our team can guide and direct your app-based start-up every step of the way, at an affordable price.


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