Founding an app, or any business for that matter, is no easy task. As much as 90 percent of apps will be abandoned after a single use. Some estimate that 9,999 out of 10,000 apps will ultimately fail. Launching an app is daunting, and yet many do find success.
So what makes the difference between a successful app and a failed app? I sat down with Martina Slajerova, the founder of the successful Keto Diet App, and picked her brain, looking for answers. There's no silver bullet, of course, but if you're looking to launch an app or startup, you should listen to her sage advice.
Find something you're passionate about
For Slajerova, the keto diet was first a way for her to address her own health challenges. Despite trying a traditional "healthy" diet, Slajerova was still putting on pounds and suffering from low energy levels. Obviously, this can have a big impact on anyone's quality of life. After trying the keto diet, she found her weight dropping and her energy levels restored.
That kickstarted a personal passion for the keto diet. She knew it worked for her and was confident the diet could help others. Yet the keto diet can be difficult to adhere to, especially if you're new to it. Finding keto friendly foods can be a pain. Still, this was more than enough inspiration to found an app. As Slajerova puts it:
The Keto Diet App began as a personal project that soon became more than just a hobby. The support and encouragement I received from my readers dealing with weight gain and health issues made me realize how helpful our little project can be for so many people.
While looking for ways to help others, Slajerova came up with the idea for the Keto Diet App. The pain point for users was obvious: help them stick to the diet, losing weight and enjoying more energy along the way.
But developing an app is easier said than done. This is where passion comes into play. If you're passionate about something, say a social cause or in this case a diet, you're more likely to see the project through thick and thin.
Develop your support network
The Keto Diet App was Slajerova's brainchild. Still, that doesn't mean she did everything on her own. Her most immediate mentor and supporter was her partner, Nikos Konstas.
If you want to develop an app or launch any other startup, building a support network is a must. That network might initially be built from close friends and family. As you start to build momentum, you'll connect with others in your industry or area. Some might be competitors but some might be valuable allies as well.
Slajerova is one of the world's leading experts on the keto diet. Still, that doesn't mean she knows everything. Instead of using the Keto Diet App to share exclusively her own knowledge, she's been using it to empower other keto experts, including chefs and nutritionists.
Skip "fads" and focus on the long term
Fads come and go. When the keto diet first appeared, many thought it was a fad. Yet earlier adopters realized that the diet does work, that it can be maintained, and that there are a lot of benefits outside of weight loss. So while the mainstream diet community may have initially brushed the keto diet off as a fad, it has stuck and continues to attract new adherents every year.
Even if something is popular in the moment, you have to ask yourself if it'll still be popular in five years. No matter how hot a fad is, by the time you develop your app or set up a business, the fad will have faded away.
You have to identify the pain points a solution or idea addresses, and then see if they are actually being addressed. For Slajerova, her personal success was the proof in the low-carb pudding that she needed to prove to herself that keto was no fad. What's more, the keto diet is less a diet and more a way of life. For Slajerova, there's no going back:
The word diet usually implies something short-term. For me, keto is not a diet; it's just the way I've been eating for years, and it helps me manage my health condition. I'm never planning to go back to my old eating habits.