I have no idea how old Jonathan Libov — one of the creators of the mobile app Snapix — is, or where he is from, but there is a lot of maturity from this young man’s post on Whoo.ps. It’s hard to see the forest from the trees with products you have had a hand in creating, even harder to understand when to make tough decisions.
The post talks about the genesis of his software, the reasons for creating it and how it rose in popularity very quickly. As with many apps in the mobile space, though, there reached a time when traffic slowed to a crawl. He argues it was because it was only a side project for the creators and as such it’s tough to keep the fires stoked part-time.
As the community knows, mobile is tough to maintain momentum because of all the offerings and the rapid use cycle. If an app keeps a solid user base after only six months, it has accomplished something.
Re-read that last sentence and think about what that says for creators.
After much deliberation, they decided not to slowly watch their creation die in the wilderness and sunset the app. While it must have been tough to do, I think it shows maturity in the product development cycle. It also probably informed them for whatever they build next and can only make them better creators.
Many don’t even get the initial spike that Snapix enjoyed. Many fizzle before there was any shock and awe. Either way, if you are going to work in this space, you have to realistically know how your product is doing in the marketplace and prepare for the inevitable: your software will lose all it’s users eventually to something newer and shinier.
This also inspires someone like me to look at my own work and take an honest look at how it’s doing. Maybe there is something that needs a fresh coat of paint on it, or sent out to pasture. That idea in the back of my mind might need to be ushered to the front of the class for some attention.
Don’t be afraid to look at the feedback on your product honestly. If there’s no feedback, that’s just the same (or worse) as bad feedback. You might need to ask for some more, or start asking yourself the tough questions. It can only lead to better offerings to the marketplace.
It will definitely lead to better creations.