Among the millions of apps available worldwide, only less than 1% actually become financially successful. Although this fact can be disappointing for most people, in reality, knowing this can give you a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

More than 3 billion people use smartphones and an estimated 68% use apps on a regular basis. 

There are huge opportunities in the app market, but “success” will greatly depend on a variety of factors including your goals and objectives. A successful mobile game It’s not the same as a successful productivity app, for example. Both can be considered successful but their goals, market and revenue can be very different from one another.

Before going into the details of what makes a great app idea, let’s first take a look at why most apps fail.

Creative colleagues working on new app design

Most Apps Fail Because They Don’t Take Users Into Consideration

With such a huge market it is really surprising that the success rate remains so low. But, if you look at the market you’ll quickly notice that most apps fail to deliver an useful and enjoyable experience for its users.

Sure, it’s easy for most developers to fall in love with their idea. It’s an idea so original, so different than any other app that was ever created, on top of that, so much effort, time and money was invested that they simply can’t accept that probably no one will find good use for it.

At the end of the day, users are what keep apps alive. If your idea does not align with the user’s interests then the app will probably fall short.

Here are some of the most common mistakes:

Original Ideas

Sometimes it’s the lack of original ideas, and as counterintuitive as it may sound, other times the idea is just too original. There’s a saying that business ideas don’t have to be completely original, and it’s true.

Taking messaging apps for example, the reason why they’re so successful is because there’s a market for it. If there’s a market, there are opportunities. So, being original does not mean that you should avoid messaging apps at all cost, it just means that your messaging app will offer something different that the other apps lack.

User Experience

For many reasons, including personal preferences, time and money constraints it’s easy to fall into the mistake of delivering an app that offers a less than enjoyable user experience.

When you’re dealing with people and customers, going against the grain is not always the best idea. If your customers want a simple interface, why make it complicated? If they prefer detailed information and technical data, why offer them a simplified version?

It’s not about defining how your market should behave, it’s about letting market behavior define how your app should be, which takes us to the next point.


Ignoring feedback is a big mistake that small entrepreneurs and big companies make. Feedback is the most direct way of knowing exactly what your customers want. It completely eliminates the guessing factor.

If your user’s are informing you that the app acts laggy when performing a certain action then you know what to improve. More often than not, when customers enjoy an app they will also leave useful feedback that can serve you as a guide to improve it.

Failing in these three aspects will most likely render an app idea useless, and you have to be careful with it because it’s easier to fall into the “top 10 useless apps” category than make it to the top.

How To Know If Your Idea Is Great?

Most of the time, great ideas are fairly easy to identify. Whether it is a subjective feeling that your idea can actually bring some value to other people’s lives or people are actively searching for something and you figure out a way to provide just that.

Doing this can help you know if your idea can be a success:

Market Research

Research is more than just browsing the marketplace for a few hours and convincing yourself that your idea is better than the ones available. The active process of research involves getting so close to your potential customers that you understand their needs and wants.

If you know how your future customers think, what motivates them and which of their needs are not being met, you’ll be able to quickly realize whether your app has potential or not.

Your Idea Is Aligned With The Market

Some people think that this takes away the originality of your idea, while in reality it just boosts its potential. It doesn’t matter if the app is for a banking platform, social media, instant messaging or financial news, as long as there’s a market for it.

Taking WhatsApp for example- as successful as it is, WhatsApp is not very original. If it wasn’t so well-known you could actually consider it just another instant messaging app. However, its success came from understanding their audience so well that they were able to stand out from the crowd.

Your Idea Is Useful

This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. Your idea must be useful in some way, it must have a purpose and be able to fulfil it.

If it is a productivity app, it must be able to provide value and solution for your customers. The best way to achieve this is by providing what other apps lack. 

For example, during your market research you might notice that a related app always receives some feedback about a feature they lack. If you’re able to provide a similar app which includes that feature, then you’ll be able to market your app to that audience.

In Conclusion

You have a great idea if it can address the needs of the market. From simple interactive screensavers to document editing and travel related apps, the market is huge and the available options are even bigger.

Although the vast majority of developed apps fail, you must be able to measure your success by your specific goals. Even if the app does not reach +10 Million downloads, if it serves its purpose and users feel that it makes a positive impact in their lives you can consider it a success.