What happens after an app launch?

Unless you’re a big player, or you’re super lucky and you strike an immediate hit on the market, most always what happens is almost nothing.

Overnight success is obviously overrated, and I know almost no one in the software business that has achieved it. Overnight success takes years to build.

To gain attention and users to your app you need to drive traffic and interested people to yourself, and waiting until your product is out there is always late. The perfect day to start marketing is yesterday, and even if marketing for developers is always hard, it’s something that needs to be done if you want to dream of a little success for your apps over the years to come.

Over time you’ll get to know the real app potential.

If users stick, have good opinions of the app and continue to find it useful, you might have a steady revenue potential, because there’s a chance other people will find it useful.

If users are enthusiasts of your app, over time it might gain a good percentage of the niche you’re targeting, and maybe even become the de-facto standard app to solve a specific problem.

If users are unhappy about the app, you need to realize what are the problems, think and identify where your analysis of the problem failed, and try to correct by releasing newer versions of the app.

If you have too few users, despite all your marketing efforts, your app might become abandonware unless you have specific interests in keeping it alive (that’s why “scratch your own itch” apps are my favourite ones, less prone to be abandoned by the creator). If users are nowhere to be found, you might have picked a niche that’s too narrow for it to thrive, or you’re doing the wrong marketing in the wrong channels to the wrong people. It’s time to decide if it’s worth continue the effort, or learn the lesson for the next apps.

All in all, there’s a lot to learn with an app launch, from both successes and failures.