There shouldn’t be an app for that

Alright, so the iPhone 5 is on its way. And this week I saw a comment on Twitter highlighting the “Top 5 Apps to Help Your Kids Brush Their Teeth”. The comment was fully hashtagged and of course linked to the article detailing those apps.

I’m an iPhone fan. I’m even an app fan. But I’ve got a series of questions based on this simple, < 140-character tweet:

  • There are APPS that help kids brush their teeth?
  • There are MORE than FIVE apps that do this? It’s a crowded category?
  • There’s such a universe of apps that do this that someone CAN select a TOP FIVE?
  • Forget “someone can select a top five”…someone DID categorize and evaluate each to create a top five?

This post isn’t really about dental hygiene, though. It’s about whether there always needs to be an app for that. I mean, can everyone restaurant have an app? Sure. Should every restaurant have one? No.

Can every company have an app? Uh huh. Should they? Nope.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. It doesn’t make sense to put an app in the App Store that will only be found and downloaded if YOU put tremendous resources behind marketing it.

Mobile website? Totally. Get on that one. Facebook page? Yep. Twitter account? Sure thing. Interact with your customers via text? Take a look at that, yeah.

App? Not so much.

Even the most uber of iPhone users has a limit to the number of apps he or she will install. And simple human habit suggests that there are only a certain number of apps even the most uber of uber-users will actually use regularly.

Your customers are not going to install an app for EVERY store they visit regularly, even if yours is super-cool. It’s just too much to deal with.

So think through what you really want to accomplish with your business before signing up with Company X and its industry-specific mobile apps package for just $59 per month.

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