5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build an App Startup (And Why You Shouldn’t Listen)

Like anything worth doing, building an app startup isn't easy. Here are 5 things naysayers might say to dissuade you and 5 reasons for you to ignore them.


Becoming an app entrepreneur isn’t easy. It’s even harder when you constantly hear about the dark side of the app industry luring appreneurs into app ruins. To help you get into glass-half-full mode, below are five reasons people say (or you may think) you shouldn’t start an app business – and why you shouldn’t listen.

1. You’re not a programmer.

You don’t have to be. Just because you don’t know the difference between xCode and Eclipse doesn’t mean you can’t turn your idea into an app. That’s what developers are for. It would definitely help to educate yourself on app development so you can better communicate with your developer and frame your “vision,” but more than anything, you’re an entrepreneur – not a programmer. Remember: programming apps is only a fraction of what goes into running an app business.

2. You don’t know anything about running an app business.

That’s fine. That’s what this site and these books are for. From app design and development to marketing, launch, user engagement, and everything in between, there are tons of resources out there to help you start your app business and manage it like a pro.

3. You don’t have any money.

Developing an app isn’t cheap, but it’s not as expensive as many would like you to believe. For less than $5,000, you can create a functional, great-looking app. Go the drag-and-drop, build-it-yourself route (e.g., AppMakr) and it’s even cheaper.

4. You won’t make any money.

Here are some frightening facts:

68% of apps make $5,000 or less on their most successful app.
59% of apps don’t generate enough revenue to break even.
80% of apps don’t even make enough money to support a business
(Source: http://app-promo.com/wake-up-call-infographic/)

The truth is that thousands of apps fail everyday. But guess what? It’s either because they were crap to begin with (note to self: don’t make crap apps), or they had so much potential, but were badly designed, poorly marketed, and released with barely a peep when you’re supposed to launch with a bang. Some just seriously had the wrong strategy all along (like entering an overly saturated market, such as games, and hoping for the best, or not even engaging users after the app has launched). Your job is to figure out where these apps went wrong and how your app won’t end up the same way. While you can’t predict whether or not your app will be a success, you can control how much effort you put into your monetization strategies.

5. You’re scared.

Launching an app is scary. Those numbers up there are scary. The app business is scary. But what new venture isn’t? Fear is our biggest hindrance from sucess. Starting any new business is scary, but if everyone let their fear of the unknown stop them, then we wouldn’t have some of the most successful apps and app developers out there today. Are you going to let fear get in your way? If you’re scared, make fear your driving force and let it propel you to do more than you ever thought possible. Unless you want to look back one day wondering what could have, would have, or should have been, don’t ever let fear stop you from pursuing your dreams – no matter how scary it seems.

Winston wouldn’t be scared, so why are you?

Have you ever thought twice about developing apps or starting an app business? What made you change your mind? Share your experience below.

About Sara Angeles

Sara is a copywriter, blogger, and content strategist for startups and lifestyle brands. She graduated from UC Irvine and has a background in law, finance, and business administration. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter. Her Google+ is lonely. Find out more about her at SaraAngeles.com.

  • http://bygfutproductionz.com Otoabasi Umonting

    Hey Sara, great post on why one should go for app entrepreneurship (As long as it’s something he/she is passionate about).

    I kicked off my own app business last summer, and I’m using a few drag and drop platforms for now. But I think it’s time to take the leap. I have decided to venture out and get my own app builder (Drag and drop) platform created for my business.

    It’s a huge project and the money needed to get it done is a huge sum as well. I’ve decided to launch a campaign on Gofundme to get people to support the vision. While that is going, I’ll carry on using the other platforms and get clients. I believe that if one is determined to succeed, nothing will stop him/her.

    Thanks for sharing this insight. Best regards,

    Otoabasi Umonting
    http://mobileappmerchants.com

  • James Simpson

    Sara,
    I love this post…found a link to it on LinkedIn. I did it. No gasping for air going on yet, just getting an education. Thanks for the truth.