You are not the only one. The mobile app market is projected to reach a revenue value of 935,2 billion USD in 2023*. The market is there, but how easy is it to launch an app?
I met Magda who is the co-founder of Go Zero Waste App to learn about her journey.
The idea of ‘Go Zero Waste App’ came from when Magda started trying to shop plastic free in her local shops in Barcelona. It turns out that it was harder than she thought to shop and return to the house without food wrapped in plastic. She thought other people might be in the same situation as her so she decided to take action.
Go Zero Waste App was born in the beginning of 2019. Magda and her partner Martí took the bold decision of quitting their jobs and going all in on their new business idea. To build an app that helps people live without plastic. The app has two key purposes:
Help people find plastic free shops near them
Promote sustainable habits
The purposes are amazing but I could not help but think... Isn't it expensive to build an app from scratch? How did Magda and Martí do it?
The couple had saved up for a long time to be able to go all in on developing the app. But they hadn’t thought about how much it would cost them to build the app from scratch. They were naive and learned as they went on with the project. But of course, they came to the understanding that building an app was not cheap. They were in need of some expertise.
What about the money?
Magda and Martí decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help raise money for their cause. This is something that Madga advises you to do if you have not had the chance to test your idea yet. A crowdfunding campaign will force you to expose your idea. It will also help you to develop a profile of who your early adopters are.
Early adopters are the people who believe in your idea to 100% from the beginning. These are the people who are willing to test the BETA version of your product (aka Minimal Viable Product). Raising money through crowdfunding will force you to develop a small marketing campaign. You will need to speak about your product for the first time in a formal setting and test your idea on a real audience. You know your idea is great, the challenge is to convince everybody else how great it is.
Crowdfunding can also help you meet the right people to get your business up and running. Go Zero Waste App recruited their first app developers (FOR FREE!) through their crowdfunding campaign. This way they could build their first prototype without investing any money. The last thing you want to do as a new company is to spend money. So use all the free resources you can in the beginning. You will fail a lot and you don’t want to waste all your capital on failing when you are still figuring out what the hell you are doing.
How are they as a tech startup handling the current crisis?
Magda is based in Barcelona, Spain which has the strictest lockdown Europe at the moment. She can only go out once a week on her own to do the weekly grocery shop - and that is it! This results in spending a lot of time in the house. Though this has been something positive for Go Zero Waste App.
The team is taking advantage of this time to put their head down and focus on "the back office". They are focusing on launching the second version of Go Zero Waste App, developing a new branding and brainstorming different ways to optimize their business
model and finally start making some money.
Don't fear failure!
To start making money off of your business takes time and you need to be ready to not do so in the first months or sometimes even years. Magdas main advice to you looking to start a business are:
Don't fear failure - Fail a lot and fail fast.
Plan your finances. Make sure you have enough money saved up to survive during a longer period with no income.
Have a list of 20 people you can trust to use as BETA testers. This should be people that believe in your idea and always are up to help you improve.
Don't spend money in the beginning, even if you have it. Use as many free tools as you can before you turn to paid tools.
Create a business that you are passionate about and that makes an impact in the world. Investors are more likely to invest in passionate founders and if the company has a positive impact on the world - even better!
To meet Magda and learn more about how to start a business, go watch the full interview on YouTube.
In the description of the video you will find resources that Magda found useful when building and launching Go Zero Waste App. *Statistics taken from Statista