“The difference between a master and a student is that the master has failed more times than the novice has tried.”
- Some wise dude.
Do you know what’s funny? For a long time, we thought that the stuff that we are talking about is common sense. I mean, we here aren’t stating something revolutionary. We just state information that is easily digestible to you all.
It's a topic we all have heard, and surprisingly it can be put to use in any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re an app developer or chef. We just assumed that this was the first lesson humanity should learn…well since the dawn of mankind.
And so, we avoided talking about this topic. And oh boy were we wrong.
We have now observed, experienced, professional developers waste millions of bucks, workers, cheated out of their hard work, and watch people and companies create an app with the greatest of intentions, only to see it fall face first in the dust.
And all this is simply because we didn’t learn the 1 most basic principle of all time. Fail faster.
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It doesn’t matter if you’re an app developer, a writer, a scientist, or a cult leader (Forget this one). No idea is a perfect idea, and the first draft of anything should be considered incomplete.
To fail fast should be our mantra. This should be the one thing we all must focus on, no matter how sad it makes us out to be. This should be our goal every time we sit down to work.
We have to remember that regardless of our expertise and experience in any subject, no idea is complete, no theory is absolute.
So just to explain this, here’s an example:
When pilots fly their planes, they are guided by the tech that helps them stay on their course. This is like common sense after all. There aren’t any roadways or red lights in the sky.
And if you’re not a pilot, then you might not relate to this, but pilots aren’t always on the correct flight path. They sometimes go a little “offroad”. But they course correct themselves mid-flight and reach their destination with no problems whatsoever.
Whatever we do in life, has a goal of improving upon past work by simply course-correcting our present mistakes. And yes, this also includes app development.
Without regular testing, and without exposing yourself to constructive criticism, you will never be able to create a compelling app. No idea is good.
Just think about it. The idea of angry birds is that a few birds face off against weird pigs while self-destructing themselves as they are catapulted in the air by a giant sling.
It doesn’t sound all that cool when I say it like that now…do I?
The idea of Instagram app is that humans are dumb enough to repeatedly click their pictures with some weird filters. This goes to show that no idea is a “terrible idea”, just like no idea is a “great idea”.
These are just ideas that were executed with precision, care, and a lot of work has gone into them.
So, you can ask, “Then to develop an app, I should think about any stupid stuff and just work on it?”
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And the answer is, yes! Well not technically, but the plan should be that you should be open enough to expose your ideas to other people as your work on them so that you can improvise as per the need and adapt to the market.
One of the most beloved children’s shows of all time, Ben10, was first built around the idea for a kid to have the power of 10 heroes due to some weird device that has lodged itself on him. Slowly and slowly, they chipped away what was bad, changed existing bad ideas, and today, Ben10 is a franchise that amasses millions and millions of dollars.
Think of an idea. Think of an idea. Any ideas? At least it will give you a frame of reference and then you can start working with it.
Too many times, we have seen application development companies entertaining various possibilities of an idea and then only start their work when they think they have the best possible idea.
But the sad part is, that “Perfect” idea of theirs, was as weird, and broken just like the rest of their ideas. The main downside here was, they had spent so much time thinking about the perfect idea, that they had no time or funds or the energy to iterate that idea.
I don’t know about you, but an idea that is limited to your imagination is called a fantasy, and that stuff isn’t real.
And now, those un-worked ideas are thrown in the trash as the team was not able to find out the solutions to the problems of their perfect ideas. The cycle repeats itself and nothing gets done.
All the while an idea that says “Hey! Let’s just make an endless runner” ends up making millions.
Hence, fail faster, fail better.
Just like baking a cake the ingredients to an idea can be written on a piece of a page. Just think about a broad idea of what your app is going to be, and then start working on it.
And finally, be open to criticism. Accept the pain because this is the path for an app that leads it from sucking to sucking less, to being mediocre and then the best of the best.”
Close your eyes and imagine what you would feel as a user of the app you’re currently working on? Show your ideas to others and take up everything that you can to improve.
In the end, all that matters is for you to give your customers a great app. So, fail faster, fail better.