Founder of IT Creative Labs, a full-service technology company with expertise in software development, digital marketing and staffing.
In today’s day and age, it is difficult to create a product that’s not already offered…or is it?
There are a lot of brilliant industry disruptors to look at, but since my company, IT Creative Labs, is a digital solutions agency, I’d like to take a look at some of the most disruptive mobile applications created in the past decade, what to be on the lookout for in the future and how your next big idea can become the disruptor.
Here are just a few players that have not only shaken the world in the last decade or so but also transformed their services into a BAU (business-as-usual) for their customers: ride-shares like Uber and Lyft, delivery services like Grubhub and Doordash, social media apps like Instagram and Tiktok, just to name a few.
Even though all these applications drastically vary by industry and target audience, they have common features that helped all these companies claim the title of disruptors. Let’s take a look at three key features.
What may seem obvious at first glance is not a given in many of the applications we use. Furthermore, creating a client-centric application is not a one-and-done task—at least not if you intend to stay at the top to maintain and grow your dominance.
The secret to mastering this feature is as simple as most complicated things in life, and it lies in focusing on the client’s pain points, constantly seeking out the blind spots and serving those unaddressed needs. And I’ve found that as long as you keep that focus sharp, you will typically be ahead of your competition.
One of the best enablers of the right decision making is data. This includes looking at trends and collecting data about your customers’ behaviors, needs and feedback. Again, on one hand, these are obvious truths; on the other hand, what’s oftentimes missed and what differentiates successful companies from less successful when evaluated by data-driven decision making are two factors.
• Silos: Unsuccessful companies often look at each of these data points in silos. Be sure to put the data together.
• Context: Often, leaders look at data points without context, which means they are not including external factors. But it’s important to note that these processes influence your customers’ behaviors.
3. AI-Powered For Enhanced Automation Capabilities
AI and ML (machine learning) are terms that have become buzzwords. Companies have eagerly adopted both, and oftentimes for good reasons. AI and ML enable systems not only to automate a lot of tasks but also to do so in a smart and adaptive way. Think of recommendations that get better and better every time you scroll your Instagram feed, for example.
When creating mobile applications, I suggest trying to hit these three features on the spot. For example, my company recently worked on an app that aims to address the pain points people experience with dining, hospitality and health, and the app is data-driven and powered by AI.
As a business leader looking to improve your application, here’s your takeaway and playbook: Look at your overall app users’ profile. Who are those people, and what makes them come back to your application and choose it over competitors? These are some of your driving factors for keeping your app relevant and client-focused.
Utilize the data you already have on your user persona and behavior to drive informed decisions on the enhancements. Assess where it makes sense to introduce AI/ML algorithms in a way that would enhance your product offering instead of diluting it.
If you are just starting out in the mobile app development space, doing your research on the target industry and audience would be your prerequisite before diving into anything further. Once you map out a trajectory, you can move on to building to solve your audience’s pain points in the most efficient way possible, utilizing available data, machine learning and automation. And remember two things.
1. You don’t have to do everything at once. Divide your process into phases, and divide those phases into small incremental deliverables.
2. Stay flexible. As you start rolling out your product, you may end up discovering that your audience will find different ways of using your product, and you may need to pivot to stay relevant and client-focused.
Finally, enjoy the journey of constant discovery and re-invention, as it will fuel your motivation to lead the market and solve people’s most pressing problems.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?