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Do You Want An App Or A Business?

Lean Hackman
Lean Hackman

There’s a lot of people out there looking for a tech co-founder to turn their idea into an app. Questioning them harder reveals that most of them don’t want a business, they just want an app.

Businesses are interested in customers, in what technology will do for customers, how they can use technology to create better outcomes for customers. Businesses are technology agnostic – they’ll use any technology that helps their customers.

People who just want an app don’t care about customers. They’re not interested in considering other forms of technology. They just want someone to build them an app so they’ve got an app. They don’t care that there’s 1.5 million apps out there and that to get to decent revenue for an app they need a sizeable marketing budget. They just want an app. They’re not willing to discover the market for their product using a landing page, or to validate their value proposition by manually conducting customer transactions. They want to have an app.

Having an app seems to be something that people want. For no other reason than that they have an app. It somehow confers bragging rights all by itself. Having a blog is so 1998, and having a website is normal, but not that many people have an app.

Maybe it’s because we all know that apps make lots and lots of money. You just get an app, put it on the app store, and the money rolls in. No effort needed. You never need to update the app, or learn about your market, or anything. Just make app, put app on store, retire to island. Well-known truth. Bloke down the pub told me his mate did it and he’s bought a Ferrari now. Stands to reason.

Creating a business sounds like more work than making an app. Creating a business is something that takes a lot of time and energy, and needs discipline and fortitude for. Sounds like too much trouble. While making an app is easy. Just find some nerd who can push the nerd-buttons in return for 10% of the profits (because it’s going to make millions, for sure, bloke down the pub said so). Then put it on the store and watch the money roll in.

Businesses are hard work. Sweat and toil and a significant chance of failure. Every bloke down the pub who has his own business says it’s hard work, and they’d probably never have started it if they’d known it was going to be this hard. But now they’ve got this far, they’re glad they did it, and it’s the thing they’re most proud of.

And the thing that a business needs is customers. It doesn’t need an app.

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Lean Hackman

Lean Hackman

Lean Hackman is a pseudonym for a West Australian startup person who likes anonymity. When Lean isn't ranting here, you can find him near pizza, beer, startups and antisocial behaviour, often all at the same time.
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