Building an amazing mobile team has become a necessity for many businesses as the number of worldwide traffic via mobile has jumped from a mere 16.2% in 2013 to 53.3% in 2019, a number still on the rise.
To remain relevant more and more businesses are building mobile-friendly platforms, which requires you to have a strong mobile team.
The myths surrounding having a great mobile team makes it more difficult to put together the right team. We’re going to examine 5 of those myths and clear the air about them. Let’s go on a ride.
Myth 1: You need to hire mobile experts
It is natural for someone putting together a mobile team for the first to think it’s different from other software development. Which would lead to hiring a mobile “expert”, many of whom lack solid customer product experience. Of course, mobile development is different, hiring a mobile “expert” might do more harm than good as they often lack deep consumer experience which is actually much more crucial to the success of your consumer app.
It’s much better to hire a great consumer generalist as they would have a greater and much positive impact over time.
When you focus on hiring great engineers who can pick up the programming language and learn it’s limitations, you will be expanding the pool of potential people you can hire – basically growing the team faster.
Also, avoid a specialist culture at your organisation. It is better to have generalists who are hungry, brilliant and adaptable. The would develop, grow and can be moved between teams to contribute to bigger things after jumpstarting your mobile efforts.
You should also avoid hiring “mobile” product managers. It’s much better to get great consumer product managers as they understand the phone is primarily a social device and would focus more on interactions and key features.
Myth 2: Your mobile codebase is different from your regular codebase.
Codes are codes really and should be treated as such. Of course, you can’t push a bug fix or a client app to all devices. However, the mobile codebase should be open to your engineers to contribute at any time – even if it’s for them to run an internal test or try out new features. Ensure your team stick to good software engineering practices, because it’s for mobile is not an excuse to avoid them. A good release process can apply anywhere.
Myth 3: You need a carrier or phone deals to distribute a mobile product.
Your focus should be on standard consumer distribution rather than relying on network carriers or phone manufacturers.
A lot of companies make a mistake focusing on carriers and phone manufacturers for distribution partnership rather than putting it out there for the user to try.
Focusing on carriers might lead to you building the wrong product. The partners would want you to build something to suit their tastes, present you with different ideas – some of which might be bad and would ruin the user experience. They might request you build it to support a wider range of phones. Also, the time spent going back and forth negotiating theses deals will distract you from building something solid the users would delight in.
Think of popular apps like Angry Birds, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter. None of these launched with any carrier or handset. People naturally spread great consumer products. If your app is a big success, definitely carriers and phone manufacturers would come to you for deals.
On the other hand, carriers and mobile pre-installs can widen your distribution dramatically. However, as a startup or new product, your focus should be on direct consumer distribution.
Myth 4: You must build for all platforms from the first release.
It is much better to start with a platform first, preferably Android or iOS. A major concern when building for mobile is only a subset of the consumers can be reached via each platform (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Symbian, XHTML, SMS). However, looking at a trend of the best consumer apps they started on a platform first before expanding to other platforms. This provides enough devices to see if an app can gain traction. After getting traction other platforms can be supported. Apple Music is a great example which launched on iOS exclusively and grew from there.
Myth 5: Once the mobile app is launched, you can sit back and relax.
Congratulations on getting your mobile app out the door and having an impressive growth rate. However, the hard work continues after you launch your app. You need to keep engaging your users. Focus more on building awesome user experience and then you can be termed geniuses. Keep your eyes on insights and adjust to suit users preference.
Mobile app development is awesome as you are building for the primary device of most users. It is very important to know the myths surrounding building a great mobile development team and be sure to keep them in mind when building your team. Now that you have this knowledge, you can build a standard mobile team from scratch without fear.
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