Since the appearance of the App Store in 2020, more than 1 million “apps” have been created. In this highly disputed market, the most difficult is no longer to launch one, but to make it take off. Here are the methods of successful French start-ups.
Become the MTV of mobile, just that! Such, however, is the ambition of Stalinist Copping, Simon Cousin, Gregorio Henri on and Clement Ravenous (23 years of average age), the founders of Indie. Last October, these four Frenches out of Fine Arts and Epithet launched a pink app to make a short video from an iPhone and add musical extracts from the 26 million songs available on iTunes to make it a “real” clip. Immediately adopted by stars like Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, or actor Aston Butcher, the app took off around the world. The young creators are now based in San Francisco, in Silicon Valley. And they completed, at the start of the year, a first round of funding of $ 1.2 million.
On both sides of the Atlantic, dazzling successes are multiplying in the mobile applications sector. It must be said that the number of smartphones and tablets in circulation explodes. In total, the app market already weighs 17.5 billion euros and is expected to quadruple within five years, according to figures from the European Commission. Something to whet the appetite of creators. Especially since, to break into this new and already hyper competitive market, money is not decisive. What counts above all is the idea and the responsiveness. Here are the key steps through which our app champions have gone.
How to find THE right idea? The best ideas are often the most obvious. “It was by dint of turning in Cologne-Surveillance in search of a place to park, while car parks of residences were permanently deserted, that we had the idea of our application”, says Toshiba Chary, 23, one of the three co-founders of Yes Park, an app for sharing parking spaces with their owners when they are not occupying them. And since we are talking about niche markets, here are the most promising of the moment: collaborative consumption platforms (exchange of goods and services between individuals), games (they represent more than half of downloads), music (with Indie, Edging and Buzz), not to mention the apps connected to social networks. In this domain, fashion in the United States is using “antisocial” tools to identify where there are so-called “friends” that you want to avoid meeting. Cloak thus generated 100,000 downloads during its first week of launch.
If the study is successful, the creators move on to building the app. They determine its main features: what does it bring and how? “You have to keep it simple, advises Toshiba Chary. Beyond two uses, mobile users are lost, they are not interested in it. ”Then they develop a prototype that, in the jargon of creators, we call a mock-up: a kind of storyboard, as in cinema, drawn on paper or on Photoshop or Illustrator layout software. “The app does not work yet, but we show people the succession of screens on smartphones, to see if they understand the process,” says Toshiba Chary. If after fifteen seconds they are disoriented, you can start the entire construction phase again. As it stands, your app will never work! ”
At the same time, you have to define your business model. It is an integral part of the app. “Knowing how it will make money is essential to convince investors, given that the product does not yet exist,” insists Adrien Moret, creator of The Best Song, a music sharing app between mobile users. launched this month.
To make money, three options are possible. The first: offer a paid application and get paid on sales, knowing that stores (app stores) take 30% commission. Second formula: the app is free and we get paid for the transactions it generates. For Yes Park, Toshiba Chary and his two acolytes have thus planned to pocket 30 to 50% of the hourly price of parking paid by their users. Latest model, and it is also the most widespread, the premium: the app is free but includes, as an option, contents and functionalities which, themselves, are not free and which the specialists call “in-app purchases”. How to choose ? “If people are willing to pay a high price, like Buzz, an app that distributes high-fidelity music by subscription, the first two models prevail; but if the app has a strong “vitality”, that is to say an ability to attract a lot of users ready to spend a little each, then we must retain the premium model ”, summarizes Adrian More .