Lessons Learned at Fortumo & NASSCOM Developer Roadshows in India


Last week Fortumo organized Developer Roadshows in India together with NASSCOM. We are very thankful to the more than 150 participants that showed up in Pune and Bangalore and hope insights from Vodafone, Inmobi, 9Game, Pokkt, Dhruva Interactive and Rolocule will help you in making your apps and games more successful.

The biggest issue that stood out for us was that it’s challenging for small & mid-size developers to become successful on a bigger scale. While large companies have a well-known brand, an existing user-base and resources to drive downloads, it is becoming increasingly difficult for smaller developers to be seen on Google Play amongst more than 1 million available apps.

During our panel discussions, the following ideas surfaced on solving this problem:

  • Publish in alternative app stores: Google Play has more than 1 million apps available and your application will become lost in the noise. Smaller, alternative app stores provide a better chance of getting featured and it’s a good learning opportunity for improving your app before attempting to conquer Google Play.   If you're interested in India or other Asian markets, you should for example check out 9Game.
  • Publish on other platforms: Both Android and iOS are overcrowded and user acquisition is more expensive than ever. Windows Phone is a growing platform and it’s easier to identify an app category where you stand a better chance.
  • Look for markets beyond India: Going into global markets is risk-free when you are just launching your app - if you have already established traction in India, there is the danger of getting stuck in the local mindset. Emerging markets like Thailand, Turkey and Brazil have significantly higher user spending and competition is smaller than in North America or Western Europe.
  • Focus on users & analyze!: Whether you plan to rely on an in-app purchasing model or advertising for your income, you can not do this before you have downloads and users. Track user retention on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, A/B test your ideas and build the best app you can before starting to ask users to pay for it.

During 2014, we plan to organize additional roadshows in India for app developers to help solve the issues they are currently facing. Stay tuned!

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