While there’s no doubt that the mobile app industry is growing exponentially, that industry is still, if not in its infancy, at least in its adolescence. The process of taking a mobile app from the idea stage all the way to market has revolutionized the way we do business, and given its considerable momentum, that’s unlikely to change any time soon. More importantly, however, the mobile app industry has created a new breed of entrepreneur – adolescents all, as it happens – from whom we have rather a lot to learn.
We’ve featured mobile app advice from youngsters in the past, of course, and it turns out that following such advice can prove incredibly lucrative indeed. Consider the case of the eighth grader Robert Nay, who set himself the challenge of developing an iPhone app just to see if he could get it in the app store. According to Mr. Nay, “I just took what I liked from different games, and, like, added my own stuff.” The app? Bubble Ball, which knocked Angry Birds out of the top spot for a time.
Not everyone can hit the mother lode, of course, but as other youngsters teach us, you needn’t do so to become a successful app developer. We featured Fahma Waluya Rosmansyah in a previous blog post, but his precocious career in mobile development began when he decided to create apps to teach his kid sister the alphabet. More recently, however, NPR featured the story of Ozair Patel, a thirteen year-old student at Berry Middle School in Hoover, Alabama. To keep himself organized, Patel developed the Berry Schoolmate app, initially for himself. Once word spread to his classmates and the administration, the app went viral (locally viral, at any rate), and Patel eventually became a “middle school rock star.” He’s since been contracted to develop mobile apps for neighboring schools as well.
What we learn from Rosmansyah and Patel is that the path to success in mobile app development begins with the identification of a specific need to a specific group of people – one’s sister, oneself – and the more specific, the better. And if you have the idea but not the development skills, don’t fret: we’re here to help.