It used to be very easy to raise a lot of money from tech investors. All you needed to do was to say some magic words and slap them together in a business plan and you’re sure to generate lots of attention, if not cold hard investment cash. Some of these magic words still resonate with power even today. The phrase cloud computing, augmented reality, they still pack quite a bit of a punch. 3d printing also has a magical ability to make investors eyes glaze over. Sadly, one phrase is no longer on the list of magical talismanic words for venture capitalist, and angel investors. What phrase is this? Mobile apps. That’s right. This previous darling of investors is pretty much in the dog house now. What makes it so unattractive? Shear saturation. It seemed that a few years ago, even as recently as last year, there was such a frenzy over mobile app development. It seemed like every developer and his dog was rushing out to slap together a mobile app. Well, it just became too saturated and the sad reality as we have mentioned in these pages before, is that most of the apps being developed really can’t stand a chance. Why? Because there’s so many apps that were developed before. Unless you are addressing a very fundamental need in a very immediate way, chances are, your app will just fall between the cracks. This isn’t rocket science.
If you come up with a nice game for a tablet or a smartphone, chances are, it’s not gonna go anywhere unless you already have a solid brand or your mobile up is an extension of an existing hit game. The chances of another Candy Crush or Angry Birds is quite remote considering how segmented the market has become. Another factor is that, users are getting skeptical. It used to be that end-users would just be flat out thrilled that there is an app that claims to do something that is quite neat. But now, it seems that there are apps for all kinds of human activities and to make things worst, there are two or more apps claiming to do those activities. As a result, most of the apps being released now are free. The companies releasing them are hoping to recoup their development cost when people buy the premium versions of these apps. But since these apps are so numerous and there are many different players rolling out similar apps. The chances of people actually paying more to get the premium version is quite remote. This is the background to the recent Gartner report that says that the glory days of mobile phone and tablet apps are pretty much over. According to the report, most developers producing apps will consider their products commercial flops. Does this mean that you shouldn’t produce apps anymore? Absolutely not. All it means is, you have to be realistic and also you have to fight the right battles. If you’re going to be rolling out the 100th app that tries to do something that everybody has done before, it’s probably not a good idea. However, if you have come up with something completely new or something or you solved a problem that previous apps just can’t seem to solve then you may be on to something.