I have been doing android development as a hobby for 4+ years now. I have designed and developed over 12 android applications, and have 2.5 million+ organic downloads from all over the world.
In this article, I wanted to share my experience on how to come up with a product that will be used by a lot of people. Also, how to avoid products that may initially sound like a good idea but later don’t get enough traction.
I have prepared a list of questions that you may ask yourself before starting to work on a product idea so that you may get some insights into the potential of your product.
Also, please note that this may not be 100% accurate and there will always be some exceptions.
Here are the questions that you should ask yourself:
Is it something that will cover a wide range of audiences?
Don’t create a product that will cover only a small group of the population, for example, some product related to fishing, or something related to stamp collecting, etc. By doing this, the growth of the product will be limited.
Instead, try to think of a product that will cover a large audience.
Is the product linked to any task that occurs frequently?
If the product is linked to a task that occurs frequently, then the user will be reminded of your product and engagement will be more. For example, a student may scan a document at least once a day, they will be reminded of document scanner apps like Kaagaz.
A student may also open multiple PDFs a day, they will be reminded of a PDF Reader app.
People listen to music at least once a day, they will think of Spotify.
Is it linked to a habit?
If your product is linked to a habit, there is a high chance that the user will think of your product with that habit.
For example, after waking up in the morning, people may think of news, so they will be reminded of news apps like Inshorts. Also, people may feel hungry in the evening, they will be reminded of food ordering apps like Zomato.
Is it linked to any other popular product?
If your product is linked to any other popular product, it will be easy for it to gain traction, and people will be reminded of your product whenever they are using that popular product.
For example, people can use linktr.ee in their bio in social media apps like Instagram to show all the links. People can use Bikayi to show their product catalog on WhatsApp. I’ve created an app called Equalizer which sends a notification to the user whenever they are listening to music on Spotify to equalize their music. Truecaller is linked to the phone app to show unknown number’s details.
Is there more demand and fewer competitors for your product category?
Don’t go for products whose demand is less, but competitors are more. For example in the file-sharing category, there are thousands of apps like ShareIt, but now due to unlimited internet access, people will share the files on WhatsApp.
I and my friends also tried to create a file-sharing app called ShareTez after the ban of ShareIt but failed to gain enough audience due to this reason.
Go for the product whose demand will be more, and there are fewer competitors. For example, UrbanClap is one of its kind.
Is it independent of any event?
Don’t create a product that is linked to any event like a pandemic, for example, a social distancing product, or a product that is linked to Olympics, for example, Olympics scoreboard, etc.
Even if the product gets a lot of audience in a short time, it will be impossible to retain those users after the event has been ended.
Is it independent of the day of the week, or month of the year?
Go for the product that will be used every day. Don’t make products that will be used only a few days of the week, or few months in a year, for example, some products that can only be used in summers or winters, or something related to exam results which will occur once per year.
Are there only small and medium players in this category?
Don’t go for the product category which already has a lot of tech giants, like social media products, search engines, video streaming, etc. These tech giants already have a huge team of engineers who are working day and night for making that product even better. It will be impossible to gather enough audience in these categories.
Is it something that user know that they want and will search for it?
Go for products that can get organic growth. Don’t try to come up with a product where its requirement is created only after seeing the product. For example, I’ve built an app called Black Screen. It can be used to watch the podcast on YouTube by locking the screen so that there are no miss touches. Now, I don’t think anyone will search for this product on their own, but if they ever come across this product, they will definitely try it.
This means I’ll have to do a lot of marketing so that the people can see this product.
Are you doing something different that no other competitors are doing and users want it?
If you are building a product that already has a lot of competitors. Are you doing something that no other competitors are doing, that can make your product stand out?
For example, I’ve made an app called Equalizer, this category already had thousands of apps. Still, my app ranks number 1 in this category just because it stands out from the rest of them. All the other Equalizer apps have every flashy UI, but my app has a very modern UI and few other features which make it stand out.
Is it monetizable?
In most cases, we can find a way to monetize our product, since we can use Google ads and in-app purchases. But in some rare cases, ads and in-app purchases won’t cover up the cost of keeping the product functional, for example, server costs.
That’s all I wanted to share. I hope this article helps you in making better decisions regarding the product that you choose to work on.
If you have any other filtering questions that can be asked before proceeding with the product, please let me know.