Case Study: How I Built My First App and Failed

All app developers dream of the run away success that Flappy Bird had. Flappy Bird made close to $50k a day until the developer pulled it.   Unfortunately most apps are more misses than hits and I’m not immune.

59% of App developers do not get an ROI from their efforts. It’s romantic to dream that every idea we have is a million dollar idea but the grey reality that a good app will only net you $500 a month.  Unless it’s a runaway success you will need to create a lot of apps to fully support yourself.

Along with all my other ventures I would love to add both IOS & Android apps to my growing online business.  I have a skill set that allows me to build apps nativity and a decent working knowledge of the industry.  So why not?

My plan was to start off with a simple app and go from there…..

I sat down and outlined the whole project.  After gleaming so much from the community I had a good work flow layout.  Idea => Marketing Research => Wire framing => Development => Promotional Marketing & Launch.   How could I lose?

Long story short, I created a score keeping app and failed.  Failure in the case of earning $, but the lessons I learned were invaluable.

Most case studies of these type you never want to reveal the actual product that you’re outlining. The idea is to get the product to stand on its own and not be influenced (good or bad) from the case study itself.  I consider this failed app project as a great learning experience and since there is no damage is knowing at this point I will be revealing both the actual IOS and Android score keeping app at the end of this case study.  So stay tuned!

So why am I sharing all this?   Mostly to give back to the community.  I have been able to gleam so much helpful information from others in this industry who are kind enough to share not only their success stories but also their failures.  The overall idea is that you can pick up where we failed, plug the holes and create a success.    Spencer at and Adam at are both great examples of leaders in this industry that have had both success and failures and are willing to share that with the community.

In particular if you have a chance you should read Adam’s experience where everything that could have gone wrong with a product launch, did.  An amazing read.

In order to fully understand why this app failed I believe it’s important to go through the steps I took to build it. From idea to development to marketing to launch.  Then we have a solid foundation at which point we can analyze what went wrong and what could have done better.

I have broken this case study up into five parts for ease of reading:

Part 1: Turning Great App Ideas Into Reality

Part 2: How To Develop an Android & IOS App

Part 3: How To Launch & Market an Android IOS App

Part 4: Income Reports and App Usage Metrics

Part 5: Reflection – 6 Reasons Why My App Failed – App Reveal