3 Rules for Success with On-demand & Sharing Economy Apps

March 11, 2016 - 3 minutes read

on-demand and sharing economy app development

On-demand and “sharing economy” services are some of the hottest trends in the startup world this year, with companies all over the US scrambling to become the next Uber or Postmates. Naturally, competition is getting stiff as the scene gets more crowded — leaving many a failed on-demand iPhone app developer wondering what they could have done differently to stake a claim in the lucrative sharing economy.

Here are three guidelines we see driving success for on-demand and sharing economy apps in today’s competitive Apple App Store.

1. Modeling outdated tools vs. successful startups

The recent Sidecar shutdown provides a strong reminder of the dangers of competing with big, established San Francisco iPhone app developers like Uber and AirBnB.

Differentiation is key, so convincing app users that your tool is better than an outdated brick-and-mortar service (Uber vs. traditional taxis) is much easier than convincing them that your app is marginally better than a very similar one (Sidecar vs. Uber).

The best iPhone apps solve problems. Disrupting a slow, inconvenient, and outdated system will always trump “disrupting” a tech competitor with a similar (albeit slightly less innovative) product.

2. Pursuing local first

A huge mistake many Uber and AirBnB imitators made was trying to jump straight into a national-scale service. Particularly for sharing economy startups with real-world elements (or even real-world workers), PostMates provides the best roadmap for growth:

  1. Create a small, local service.
  2. Iterate until it’s perfect.
  3. Expand and repeat.

3. Prioritizing the human element

Sharing economy apps in particular stand to create a huge impact on the middle class in coming years by generating job growth in flexible, on-demand hourly work. iPhone app developers like TaskRabbit have brought this to the limelight as a concern, even as many “Rabbits” testify to favoring the tradeoff of flexibility for traditional employment perks like company insurance, paid vacation, and etc.

iPhone app developers with new on-demand offerings can overcome this problem by prioritizing worker relations as well as user relations. Startups like Managed by Q have found financial as well as social success by treating their workers as what they are: the single most valuable part of the company.

Unsurprisingly, iPhone app developers with teams that love their company tend to outperform the competition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,