Mobile app developer Five Mobile knows the secret about creating the killer app: There is no secret.
“Everyone wants their app to be that perfect viral app that goes without any marketing, but that’s not typical,” said Jeff Zakrzeweski, managing partner technology for Five Mobile. “You can’t replace some of the fundamentals of marketing and advertising.”
Three-year-old Five Mobile creates mobile applications for brands and enterprises across a broad array of industries, making apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
“We’re not tied to any particular technology, being first a services shop,” he said. “That keeps us fairly nimble.”
Still, he said, his company often advises companies with more limited budgets to concentrate on just one platform, depending on their priorities and customer targets. “In an ideal world, you’d want to develop across all platforms—but it’s really expensive, so it’s just not feasible in a lot of deployments.”
Part of Five Mobile’s challenge—similar to most development houses, no doubt—is to convince companies not to try and roll their own apps. But Zakrzeweski said he sees that trend shifting.
“From what I’ve seen, generally there is a lot of outsourced development,” he said. “People recognize they don’t have the expertise in house.”
The company works with companies as a consultant to help develop their mobile presence out of the gate, through marketing and sales and distribution. But Zakrzeweski stresses there are no shortcuts and—with some obvious exceptions—no shortcuts to app success.
“It’s really about functionality and utility to the end user,” he said. “It has to provide value and it has to provide content that keeps them returning.”