App development: Don’t get caught building an app with no real value

Currently, the Apple App Store grows with 1000+ apps per day which means competition is fierce and organisations can easily feel that they are missing out on an essential piece of the digital revolution. Nevertheless, businesses can make the fatal mistake of diving into app development unprepared and end up with an app with no real value. This often happens when businesses create an app based on their own perspective instead of that of their customers or users. In a previous post, we discussed how to mitigate usability risk to ensure that your mobile app is easy to use. In this post, we look at value risk and how to avoid the pitfalls of developing an app with little value to your customers or users.

What is value risk?

Value risk turns on the overarching question “will people buy my app, and will users use it?” Assessing the value risk of your app requires asking questions such as: 

  • Will my app address an important need for users? 
  • Has this perceived need been validated with target users? 
  • Has a competitor analysis been conducted?


How do I reduce the value risk of my app?

When devising a solution strategy to mitigate value risk you have to understand who your target market is, what their needs are and how your app is going to satisfy these needs. The first step is to ascertain if these needs are perceived needs or real needs. If the latter, the needs must be important enough for your target market to want to find a solution to satisfy these needs. Remember, no matter how important the need is, if your target market already has an alternative solution that satisfies that need, they are not going to look for something new. 

Importance and satisfaction

When we consider importance and satisfaction it’s essential to keep in mind that any need of your target market should be both important (and something your app can satisfy) and be unmet at the moment. This means that even with fierce competition, if the need is important enough, your target market is going to look for ways to satisfy that need. To navigate this phase, you have to ask the following questions:

  1. Who is my target market?
  2. What is the need that my app is going to satisfy for them?
  3. Is this need important?
  4. How do they satisfy the need at the moment?


It is considered an underserved need if the need exists, is important and is not being satisfied. An underserved need is an opportunity for your business if you stand out from your competitors with the value that your app offers.

Competitor analysis

Conduct a competitor analysis to understand your users’ options for satisfying the need your app will address. Be careful of only doing desktop research. Speak to your potential users. Understand how target users are solving the problem that you will solve with your app. Knowing your competitors and understanding the market and what is available is vital to be able to answer the following question: Why is my app uniquely placed to solve the problem/satisfy the need? If at this point you cannot answer this question, you may have the wrong target market or the wrong offering.

Mitigate value risk by ensuring your app solves an underserved need for your target users. This is your value proposition and it needs to differentiate you from alternative solutions and competitors.

If you believe you are ready to start building your app, the Polymorph team is available to ensure that you build a valuable app for your users that delivers a return on investment to your business. 

Please use our free app calculator to ensure that you’ve addressed all the aspects and obstacles to mitigate important risks when developing your web or mobile app.

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Lize Monametsi
Lize Monametsi
CEO at Polymorph

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