100% DO’s for Mobile App Development from Shaan Puri

November 1, 2013

At our first SF Mobile Entrepreneurs meetup we got very lucky with the speakers. An inspiring speech of Bob Dana from Tripshare was followed by a very informative and at the same time entertaining presentation of Shaan Puri.

Shaan is CEO of the Monkey Inferno, an idea lab where 23 creative people dream up the ideas and build them. They focus on mobile space, and usually Shaan works on 5 projects simultaneously taking each one from an idea to market. On the one hand, it might seem a little overwhelming, but, on the other hand, this approach can actually give you more flexibility and choices to focus on what’s really important.

At our meetup Shaan shared some of his experiences and learning points while working on a social drinking game Beer Hunt. The iPhone game is truly entertaining as you can not only you log your favorite beers as you drink them, but you can also earn bonus points for unique craft beers, compete with your friends, and build up your beer drinking history. At the moment Beer Hunt is doing rather well with over 7k user base and 200 downloads per day. How did they make it happen? Here are a couple Do’s you should never miss while working on a mobile app.

Do start somewhere.

Very often fear, hesitation or perfectionism keep you from releasing a product in the market. The choice between amount of features and design is not easy. Putting all of your big plans aside, you need to start with an MVP (minimal but still viable (and valuable for the users) product). Shaan and his team noticed that other apps often skimp on design and UX. That’s why, they decided to sacrifice a lot of features for their MVP. In order to validate their idea, do real testing and get user feedback, for every feature they dropped they gave the best experience of the app. It paid off.

Do things that don’t scale.

At the very start of your project you have a lot of disadvantages: you product is not fully featured, you don’t have much money, you don’t have distribution, you don’t have much of anything… But you have a couple of advantages that the big guys don’t have. The most important one is that you have time on your hands. You can get very personal with your users. Personal approach and creativity can serve a natural marketing tool. For instance, at the beginning of their path, Beer Hunt app would make funny customer service videos for complaints. These funny responses from an imaginary character helped them refine their brand and get more exposure in the media.

Do measure everything.

With multiple analytics options it’s easy to get lost in the amount of data and metrics. You can measure almost everything about almost anything. The big question is what for? Figure out one metrics that matters for your business and measure it all the time. Put that one number in your head and focus on it.  Work in such a way that all of your actions would have to influence on that particular number. For Beer Hunt there was only one thing that really mattered – how many beers were people logging. That’s what they’ve focused on.

Just do it!

Do it. Jump in. Mobile is hot. Go build stuff!
And if you have any other questions, feel free to ask us and attend our next meetup of SF Mobile Entrepreneurs community!