The exponential growth of the mobile app market is somewhat a direction to look critically into, but a large chunk of Nigerian developers are missing out the lion share.
Nigerian mobile app developers have not fully tapped into that great market due to their inability to identify challenging problems and provide solutions through their beautiful codes.
In reality, the money in this industry are in the hands of those that are solving the most complex problems, and I doubt if Nigerian developers are taking cognisance of this.
As a developer, when you keep shying away from solving the most challenging problems by resorting to replicating existing mobile applications. You are indirectly exonerating yourself from the big money that lies in the mobile app industry.
There are series of categories or areas of mobile app development that any developer could venture into, but one of them that is apparently waxing strong is the game category.
In 2015, games alone generated 85 percent of the app market revenue, which accounted for $34.8 billion globally. It was expected to grow to $41.5 billion in 2016 and $74.6 billion in 2020, accounting for about 55 percent of the app store revenue.
Although countries like China, United States, and Japan, remains the major contributors to the overall app revenue growth. I am optimistic that countries like Nigeria India, Mexico, and Argentina still have the numerous potentials to grow at faster pace.
This is obviously a big market, thus, one of the reasons a lot of Nigerians are now writing codes and developing apps, solving minor problems.
Just a few Nigerians have tremendously benefitted from the emerging mobile app ecosystem. And most Nigerians are still gnashing their teeth, waiting patiently for them to tap into the enormous opportunities provided by the mobile app ecosystem.
I am not undermining the creativity level and resilience of Nigerian developers; I am not critical of their efforts and contributions at all. But is sacrosanct, they challenge themselves and go the extra mile in providing core solutions that will address pressing problems. By so doing, they will tap into the large opportunities provided by this huge market.
In reality, the enabling environment has not been there for young developers due to piracy, copyrights, lack of available funds and investors, inadequate infrastructure, lack of legislation and policies that encourage entrepreneurship, lack of software development guidelines and issues around Intellectual Property (IP) and amongst other challenges.
Before a developer writes any piece of code or develops an app, there are series of factors that must be considered.
This truth of the matter is, mobile apps have problems they should be solving, and they are solution providers for specific problems.
What Problem will your code solve?
Trust me, if you can get this right, you be taking the lion share. is not all about identifying the problem; it depends on the quality of problem you intend to solve. It has to be a difficult issue that is in demand.
“I see a lot of Nigerians writing beautiful codes that solve little or no problem. If an app or a piece of code you have written is just there on your system without providing any solution to users, then such codes or apps becomes useless,” says, Helen Anatogu, Idea Hub Nigeria, CEO.
Apparently, developers would be wasting time, energy and resources if they are not able to figure out the challenges or problems before embarking on the journey of developing an app.
The purpose of developing an app is to provide a solution; therefore, it makes no sense at all if the reverse is the case.
Gathering and collating information about the customers or potential users will give you an insight of what and what that is needed and how small or big the possibilities are.
“How many developers are ready to go into the streets and carry out research, they are more or less becoming egoistic. Developers are so much in love with their codes without even understanding the elements of the market, she added.
As a developer, relying on market research statistics of 3 years ago may not be advisable because the technology ecosystem is one that is ever dynamic.
“If you come to my office and quote Deloitte statistics for me, I will throw you out of my office. Those statistics are not correct while some are quite out-dated. You have to go out and do your own research,” Hellen says.
Which Platform is the best for my App?
There are two major platforms where you can get your apps on, the Google Play Store and Apple Store.
The two platforms have its modes of operation. For instance, it takes about two weeks for your app to be approved on the Apple Store, while it takes less than 2 days to get your app on the Google Play Store.
“In an ideal world, with infinite resources, you’d launch on both Android and iOS at the same time with a fully featured native app.
Although, currently, regarding adoption and retention, Android remains the market leader. But if you ask me, I will advise developers to use the Apple Store because iOS apps are more lucrative.
In other words, if your monetization strategy is will be based on paid-for apps, then Apple Store might be your best bet.
Finally, let’s do more and not just writing codes that solve no problem. Nigerians must not miss top become a major contributor to the mobile app industry revenue just like China and the US.