Imagine you are working on an app and you have spent all your time trying to design the interface, how people will use, and situations that people might use it for only to find out that all your hard work didn’t pay off it the end because no one is downloading it enough. You say, “but this app will help you with this, and it can do this automatically, and it will even fix all your problems.” Who cares! And on top of that, you can’t raise enough money to even get it to the next level.
So get ready to eat your heart out when you find out there is an app called, Yo, that all it does is let users send the word “Yo” to each other and nothing else. This app has raised $1 million dollars in funding and the company just said they are hiring because the maker, Or Arbel, just moved to San Fransisco to start working on his app company. Incase you are behind on how apps really work, businesswise, each little app you see in an online store or website is a company (or part of a larger company), in some form or another. Once you start taking people’s personal information and storing it, charging people for extra features, then you are a company and responsible for all financial dealings.
An app that only took 8 hours to develop has created a craze over the number of users who have downloaded the app already. You can read the tweets on the milestones they’re making. But what makes this app so different from all the other apps out there that do way more than just send one word between people?
There are many apps out there that are very confusing to learn and have taken more than 8 hours to create and gone through tons of cash to pay it’s developers and such but with not nearly has many downloads as this app. The attraction for this app is in it’s design. It has a minimalist look and feel. There is no learning-curve, you don’t have to go through any lengthy video to learn about it’s features, and you can start sending your one-word message right away.
When designing an app you have to look at a lot at how people use technology and design it around that. You can not assume everyone is a tech genius when you, yourself, are surrounded by tech geniuses. You have to assume people know nothing about technology when creating an app and when you do that, you create a product that is easy to use right away and that is where this app shines through above all the other apps out there on the market that have been trying to survive for years.
This app puts everyone on the same level and lets you do only one thing so you can get back to doing what you were doing before. It doesn’t assume anything and it only has one purpose, the simplicity in itself is what allows it to catch on so fast. It only takes two taps on your screen to send the one word to anyone. It takes at least 11 taps on your screen with any other app.
In the time of writing this article, it was found that so many other major news outlets have put out similar articles already. The reason for that may be that an app that does only one thing can raise so much money so quickly and enable the developer to move from his old life in Israel to San Fransisco (where costs of living is soaring) is one that would make anyone a bit jealous.
The Secret of this app’s success
While reading the many articles already written about this app I was looking for how this app, besides its design, was able to take off so quickly and then I found it. The app was initial turned down by Apple, it was launched on April 1st and then touted by Robert Scoble, a tech genius, as a stupid addicting app which caused many of this followers to investigate what he was talking about, leading people to download the app and use it. (In an updated post he put on his twitter account, he took back the fact that he had mentioned the Yo app on his facebook page) As I mentioned many times before in this blog, it takes an influencer in the world to get other people to notice your work and once they do, your future path is forever changed. Just as George Takei posted a tweet about how much he liked solar roadways which helped them to reach their fund raising goal, Mr. Scoble’s influence put Mr. Arbel’s app on the map.
The next time you make the world’s greatest app, you have to think about how to get it into the hands of those that influence the market. If you don’t your app will only go so far as your dear friends who are willing to patronize your work as a gesture of friendship.