There aren’t many better feelings than those which come after you identify a problem or need and successfully design an app to address it. Using your faculties, you’ve created a new product and, whether or not it’s successful, that in itself is something to be proud of.
A better feeling, though, occurs when you do everything mentioned above, release the app, and voila, people start downloading it in droves. Not only did you see an idea through to fruition by building something out of nothing, but also the audience you had in mind when you conceived and designed the app is supporting your endeavor. Your app is popular and is gaining traction. You feel as though you’ve finally made something of yourself.
The Merits of Continuous Improvement
But as the saying goes, it’s vital that programmers never rest on their laurels. Just because you’ve designed an app that is becoming more and more popular doesn’t mean that your work is done. In fact, your work is never done. As a programmer looking toward the future, you should embrace the philosophy of continual improvement, churning out quality and consistent updates to your app in order to remain relevant and on the cutting edge of technology.
The Japanese have a term for such a philosophy: kaizen. It is this philosophy of continuous improvement that the Japanese originally applied to manufacturing and engineering. It has now become so pervasive that it can be applied to anything. Everything can be improved upon in some way, and by always striving for excellence and growth, you are certain to never become complacent and irrelevant.
Kaizen in Action
Imagine you are a programmer who has designed an app that allows executives to access and navigate a plethora of quantitative market researchdata so that they can better understand the market in which they find themselves. Such research could include information pertaining to market segmentation, brand position, prototype testing, customer satisfaction, and price points, among other things.
There’s undoubtedly a lot of money to be made in providing an easy way to make sense of such immense research, and you’ve released the first app that specifically caters to this need. After some time, support for your app continues to grow and you start to realize the financial implications that come along with releasing a popular app.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t pat yourself on the back and be proud of your initial accomplishments. After all, you’ve thought of something that addresses a specific need. Your original inklings were proven correct as executives and decision makers across the globe download your app onto their smartphones.
However, the celebration should be short because it’s only a matter of time before another programmer downloads your app, studies it intently, and begins brainstorming ways to make a better version that provides users with even more utility. Just like Pepsi exists as a proverbial thorn in the side of Coke, so too will there eventually be an app that was created just to capitalize on the market you’ve founded.
So stay on your toes and continue to think about your app and the ways in which it can be improved. Those suggestions can come from your audience via the feedback and ratings they willingly provide, from conversations you have with friends and colleagues, or from your own mind as you brainstorm about your app.
Remember that there are a ton of opportunists out there – even in the world of app development. If you are the first programmer to release a certain kind of app, you’ve got the strongest hold on the market. But becoming complacent can change all that. So strive for continual improvement, remembering that your app can always be tweaked to provide an even better user experience.