The Best Apps to Accelerate Your Startup

July 12, 2016 - 10 minutes read

startup lifestyle

The startup life has never been easy.

More than 90% of mobile apps fold within a year of launch. Even fewer move on to become commercially viable. At the same time, startup profits are higher now than they’ve ever been before, with mobile app developer revenues from the Apple App Store and Google Play rising over 30% in the past year.

While making a profitable iPhone or Android app can be tricky, every successful startup has one thing in common: using the right tool for the right job.

From organizing team communications to streamlining social media marketing, the mobile marketplace is bursting with tools to help aspiring startup entrepreneurs stay organized and on-task. Even if these tools only save you an hour or two in your workday, an hour or two can make the difference between success and failure for resource-starved young startups and mobile app developers.

Here are our top picks for apps that can accelerate your startup — handpicked by the startup veterans on our team here at Dogtown Media. Drop us a line in the comments if we missed your favorite!

10. unroll.me

Email is a holy place that quickly becomes a black hole without management. Chances are you signed up for all those newsletters for a reason — but do you really need to be getting a separate message buzzing your phone for each one? Unroll.

Unroll.me started as a clever web service that makes monitoring your email subscriptions a breeze, delivering the mail you actually want once daily and making unsubscribing from irrelevant content a one-click operation. The startup’s success within the productivity-aware tech crowd has driven fast growth and a full-fledged mobile app to help you discern between the messages you need now… and the ones that can wait a few hours.

The startup’s success within the productivity-aware tech crowd has driven fast growth and a full-fledged mobile app to help you discern between the messages you need now… and the ones that can wait a few hours.

9. Breather

Breather, the “AirBnB for meeting and work spaces,” has a simple premise that can make a big difference for on-the-go startup founders: quiet, peaceful workspaces for rent by the hour. Whether you’re in another city to pitch with investors or just outside the office and need somewhere to jump in a Skype meeting, Breather is a major step up from yelling over the espresso machine in Starbucks.

Whether you’re in another city to pitch with investors or just outside the office and need somewhere to jump in a Skype meeting, Breather is a major step up from yelling over the espresso machine in Starbucks.

8. Product Hunt

For the young, nimble, and novel, Product Hunt is the place to enter the startup ecosystem with a splash — think of it as Reddit for tech products. Product Hunt is built around a strong community of established and aspiring appreneurs and mobile app developers, making it a great place to get a feel for what’s “hot” on the mobile app market. Traffic is everything for young startups, so establishing a good reputation on Product Hunt can be a huge boost on launch day. These days, Product Hunt even has a native mobile app, making community engagement even easier.

Traffic is everything for young startups, so establishing a good reputation on Product Hunt can be a huge boost on launch day. These days, Product Hunt even has a native mobile app, making community engagement even easier.

7. Google Suite

Google’s ubiquitous suite of web apps (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and many more) can supercharge any startup’s internal organization. Their secret to success: harnessing the power of the cloud for real-time collaboration. Spreadsheet ninjas may have a hard time leaving behind Excel, but when it comes to sharing data sets between multiple users Google Sheets can be surprisingly powerful when it comes to scripting and automation.

6. Buffer

Social media… sigh. It’s the holy grail of growth hacking yet simultaneously the bane of productivity with the endless cycle of status updates, engagement, and vague brand awareness campaigns. Buffer has quickly risen to the top of social-media-management apps and tools, providing a web dashboard and mobile app that easily cuts time spent on social media growth in half.

As a startup themselves, Buffer also provides a great reference for using content marketing and community engagement to grow your mobile app. Their blog is a gold mine of growth hacking guidance, and producing engaging blog and social content has driven their company from a no-name startup to the top social media management platform.

5. Shoeboxed

No one in tech wants to talk about paper… but until the rest of the world goes paperless, running a startup still requires all the regular business expenses, which still generate receipts: office supplies, lunches for the team, and endless lists of tax items. Shoeboxed makes tracking business expenses and paper trails a breeze — but what sets it apart from the competition is that on top of storing expense data for tax day it compiles that data into useful internal stats.

4. Evernote/Skitch

Notekeeping systems are one of those things that creative people can be extremely opinionated about. Regardless, most agree that Evernote is indispensable, whether you use it as a personal idea lockbox, collaboration tool, or both.

Combined with Skitch, a standalone app for annotating screenshots and images, Evernote can supercharge creative projects and make brainstorming a breeze. Advanced search and easy integration with other services like Slack make Evernote a no-brainer for anybody with an iPhone app idea.

3. Nuzzel

Social digest apps may be a dime a dozen, but Nuzzel succeeds where many have failed with a simple, clever interface that monitors your social circles online and delivers the most relevant shared content to your digital doorstep.

Social engagement means knowing your content these days, so any tool that effectively helps founders and mobile app developers “tune out the noise” is worth its weight in gold. On top of that, Nuzzel also features curated reading lists from thought leaders that are pure gold in their own right — I mean, who doesn’t want to know what Stephen Fry is reading?

2. Slack

No productivity tool list is complete without Slack, the team communication underdog that’s taken the startup world by storm over the past couple years. Slack’s secret to success is arguably the host of awesome integrations, making it easy to tie in Trello, Google, Reddit, or whatever other network/tool/app might be critical to your startup’s growth.

Slack also pioneered the “channel” style of team communication, allowing establish channels like “#marketing” or #xmas-specials.” Honestly, thinking back to the days when team communication happened in emails gives us the shivers.

1. Trello

Trello is deceptively simple to look at: a digital Kanban board, just like the stickies and note cards pinned to the corkboard above your desk.

Like the best productivity tools, however, it gets better and better the deeper you dig; for some startups, it’s feature-rich enough to act as a company-wide project management system. Others use it to track specific projects, or more creatively for editorial calendars and crowdsourced brainstorming.

As with Evernote, multi-platform support from laptop to tablet to mobile makes Trello hard to argue with when it comes to convenience.

For Mobile app developers, tools are everything

Using the right tool for the right job is critical for Boston iPhone app developers because they save on your most valuable asset: time. For nimble young companies and workaholic startup founders, every second of every day counts as you fight for user traction in the app store.

Use them wisely, and these apps can help bring your app idea to life — not to mention bring down your stress levels.

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