Chapter 7

Getting the Michelin Stars

(Strategies for Rising to the Top)

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

– Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I hope you didn’t get into the mobile apps business just to be another nameless face in the crowd.

You want your 3 Michelin stars.

In order to be the best of the best, however, you need to be at the top of your game. You need to know your business and the marketplace inside out.

Do you know the answers to these questions?

  • Who are your direct competitors? Have you done a profile on each and every one of them?
  • What are users complaining about in their reviews of your app? Have you addressed their issues?
  • What are users complaining about in their reviews of your competitor’s app? Can you address their issues with your app?
  • What are users raving about in their reviews of your app? How can you make it even better?
  • What are users raving about in their reviews of your competitor’s app? Can you incorporate these elements into your app?
  • What are the features that users cannot live without? What features can they do without?
  • What is the ONE thing that defines and differentiates your app?
  • What are your key performance indicators? How do they stack up with industry standards, with your rivals?
  • How are users finding out about your app? Which is your best performing marketing channel (in-app advertising, pay-per-download, mobile ad networks, social media, review sites, PR, search engine optimization, pay-per-click, etc.)?
  • In which app store is your app performing the best (Google Play, Apple iTunes, Amazon Appstore, GetJar, AppBrain, SlideME, Android Pit, BlackBerry App World, etc.)?
  • What are the current trends in your market?
  • What upcoming new technologies can affect your business? Can you exploit these technologies?
  • Have you developed a strategy where you have the ability to respond quickly to changes in the industry and if necessary, change course?

“The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

– Albert Einstein

The DO’s and DON’Ts

Getting to the top isn’t easy. It’s even harder if you lose focus on your way to the top.

  • Do maintain your uniqueness in the marketplace.
  • Do recognize real trends. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.
  • Do learn to say “no”. Focus on what’s really important and say “no” to the time wasters.
  • Do be nimble. Have a strategy in place that will allow you to weather any storm.
  • Don’t get distracted; stay on track and follow the plan.
  • Don’t jump ship at the first sign of trouble. It may just be a bump in the road.
  • Don’t go down with a sinking ship. Accept when problems are irreversible.
  • Don’t fall for fleeting fads. They’re not sustainable.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “yes”. Seize the opportunity when it presents itself.

Your path to success may not be smooth, but it should follow a general upward trajectory. Don’t let distractions undermine your long-term strategy.

Letting yourself get distracted can slow you down, confuse your customers, and frustrate people who work with/for you. A lot of time and effort are wasted on re-configuring, re-aligning, and re-adjusting. Time wasted equals loss of opportunities, customers and revenue.

Think of competition in the app business as driving in rush-hour traffic.

Some people like to switch lanes constantly because they think another lane is moving faster. But in reality, everyone’s moving at about the same speed. With the constant lane-switching, though, you’re not only wasting gas, you’re also putting undue stress on your car because of the constant breaking and acceleration. And you’re making your passengers nauseous.

So keep a steady course and you’ll have a smoother ride to your destination.

And when you’re ready, jump on the HOV lane in the next chapter and speed past the competition.

← Go to Chapter 6: Nitro-Scrambled Egg-and-Bacon Ice Cream (Coming Up With Winning Ideas for Apps)

→ Go to Chapter 8: Getting on the HOV Lane (Growth Strategies)

Return to beginning of book.