Yes, you read that headline correctly. On a blog focused on bringing you the latest tech trends and coaching you through the app development process, we’re pumping the brakes a bit and talking today about reasons why building a mobile app or web app might NOT be a good idea for your business or organization.

You Haven’t Conducted Any Market Research

If you know anything about us, you know that Oak City Labs is a huge proponent of market research. We believe it is the cornerstone of any worthwhile, successful app. If you have yet to complete any market research on your idea, you probably shouldn’t be building your app quite yet! If you don’t know where to start, download our FREE checklist detailing all of the steps.

Your Idea Isn’t Unique

Market research should help, but it’s important to answer the question, “Is this idea unique?” If the answer is yes, keep going! If the answer is no, take pause. Just because someone else has already built an app like the one you’re proposing, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. It just means that you should really think hard about how you can add or change functionality to differentiate your mobile app or web app from others. What is your secret sauce or unique value proposition that will make users download your app too?

Your Idea Doesn’t Provide Value to Your Users

If your mobile app is just a replication of your website, you don’t need a mobile app. Yep, you heard me right. Your app should provide value to your users through additional functionality, interactive components, connectivity with IoT devices, notifications, geolocation features, etc. Think through what additional functionalities should be added to your app to set it apart from your website – what additional value can it bring to your users – and build that!

You Don’t See A Lot of Mobile Traffic to Your Website

This one’s tricky, but worth considering. We believe that analytics are a powerful way to make business decisions – the numbers don’t lie! If you have an existing business with a website, have you checked your analytics lately? What percentage of users visit your site with a mobile device compared to a desktop? Maybe there are a lot of tablet visitors? If you have a mobile-friendly website and still don’t see a trend in the analytics toward mobile users, think twice before creating a mobile app. If users won’t visit a mobile website, it’s hard to expect them to download an app.

You Don’t Have the Resources

Building a mobile app or web app is not for the faint of heart. And when you launch the app out into the world, the work has really only just begun. Consider the amount of time and money you have available to bring your mobile app or web app idea to life.

Let’s start with time first: is this a side project that you want to tinker with for a year or so – or are you truly diving in and devoting yourself to the project? There is so much more to building a mobile than writing code; in fact, most times that’s the easy part! To be truly successful, you’ll need to devote a considerable amount of time to the project to handle market research, strategy, marketing, public relations, operations, among other things. Can you or your team devote time for that? And then there’s the other item: money. Building a quality custom mobile app from start to finish is not cheap. Expect to spend around $50-250k+ on the process. Need ideas for funding in the life science, education or agtech space? We have one tip here.

Of course there are plenty of reasons why you SHOULD build a mobile app, and we’d love to talk with you about those too! If you have an idea, but aren’t sure where to start, let us know! We’d be happy to chat with you!