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Top common mobile app development mistakes that startup should avoid

Mobile Development, Start up

Mobile App Development Mistakes that should Avoid

What is the reason that out of the multitude of startups, only a few percent “shoot”? There are many factors, but the main one is human. Strategy, advertising, consistency are the key to the success of any business at the start. But someone believes that an IT startup is the next Apple at least. And this is the first mistake.

In this article, we will not touch upon the typical mistakes of startups, such as: misidentifying the target audience, preliminary market analysis, or misunderstanding of monetization schemes. It has already been written about a dozen times.

We will try not to repeat ourselves and will tell you about all the possible mistakes; let’s get started:

  1. skipping the prototyping phase

  2. ignoring MVP

  3. communicating unclear product requirements document

  4. having too many features and functionalities

  5. copying other similar apps

  6. ignoring differences between iOS and Android

  7. forgetting about data synchronization

  8. neglecting to test

  9. not considering outsourcing

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Developing a Mobile App for Your Business

In this article, we analyzed a dozen interviews with startup founders and collected the most common mistakes, as well as described the possible consequences of these mistakes.

Skipping the prototyping phase

Many start-up founders admit that the moment they had a brilliant idea for a product, they were so excited about the idea that they sat down to work on it at that very moment. They made the first version of the product, completely forgetting about the prototype. Not even for a second admitting the thought that their idea is unrealizable.


By skipping the prototyping stage, you risk spending millions and ending up going broke, simply because you didn't test a hypothesis beforehand.

You will find the best and most expensive professionals in projects, but you will not fully understand your kill feature and do not know for sure whether the idea will work from a technical point of view.

Some startups spent hundreds of thousands on recruiting programmers, developing MVPs, looking for investors for months, and ultimately went bankrupt because they did not test the hypothesis in advance trying to get a product “here and now.”

Ignoring MVP

Some founders said that at the development stage, they mistakenly believed that the MVP and the prototype are the same. Often it is due to excessive haste.

In our experience, founders try to make the whole product in a prototype at once, think it over to the smallest detail. When you release an app, you think for users what will be best for them, preventing them from testing the product and expressing their opinion.


It turns out that the prototype becomes too complicated and repeats already existing ideas - so the investor does not see the kill feature. It is hidden in weighted business logic.

Communicating unclear product requirements document

Most founders have a picture of a finished mobile app in their minds. They spend hours describing the genius of their idea, coming up with new features, and talking about the benefits for society of such an application. Still, they forget about the detailed description of each screen and features.


Alas, app developers are not telepaths, and without a detailed product requirements document, they cannot make the right product. As a result, the founder receives an application that does not match his ideal. Each discrepancy increases the time and cost of project development. 

Having too many features and functionalities

Startups spend a lot of time and money thinking over the full functionality and continually refining the flow. But perfection is never obtained.


The more features there are, the more difficult it is to develop an app product. It means more time, more sluggishness, and greater lead-off from the market. A startup needs to enter the market as soon as possible and collect feedback from users, and then improve the app and add features. It is the only way to succeed.

Before starting the development of a mobile application, we suggest you make a list of all possible app features. Then, with the help of a simple question, "Can a user solve his problem without this function?" discard all unnecessary. Use the remaining one or two features to develop an MVP.

Copying other similar apps

Founders often think that if they copy the main features or design elements from the industry giant, their application will succeed. Think for a second, when you were doing your market research, are you looking at your competitors for a competitive advantage or perfect solutions?


Copying someone's solution is the worst idea. Today, to be successful, you must find your niche and make a unique offer.

To make a new successful social network, TikTok did not copy Instagram; they took the popular 15-second videos and created an entirely new format. Do you know what we mean?

Ignoring differences between iOS and Android

iOS and Android are different operating systems. They have unique features and characteristics in design, navigation, and user experience.

Some founders do not understand the fundamental differences, and make such mistakes as they make a general analysis of the market, develop the same app interface and design, choose the wrong operating system at the start.


Often startups don't even understand why their app didn't work. The fatal error lies in the wrong operating system.

First, you should survey your audience and find out what devices they use. This data may vary depending on the niche. For some industries, the indicator will be approximately 50/50; then, it is worth immediately developing Android and iOS apps or cross-platform development. For other sectors - 90/10, then you can focus your efforts on one operating system.

Plus, Android's design is very different from iOS. For example, iOS devices do not have physical navigation buttons. The Android interface is built around Material Design, and the iOS interface is detailed in the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. It is a bad idea to use elements of one operating system for another. First, it confuses users, and secondly, it increases the time and cost of project development.

It is also worth considering that iOS devices are massively updated, while Android versions are highly fragmented: more than 30% of devices use Android 5.0 and earlier, released before 2014.

Forgetting about data synchronization

Accounting and warehouse management, CRM, and ERP programs, telephony require synchronization with your mobile application. You need to think about this at the start of development.

After all, information about goods, prices, and customer data can be in different databases and programs, or the structure of the data returned is not suitable for a mobile application.


For example, to get data about one product, you need eight queries. Hence the consequences: slow data acquisition leads to dislikes from users; exceeding the limit on the server or any heavy load leads to server breakdown.

If you postpone the issue of synchronization and do not make a competent "client-server" architecture, debugging an application can take a long time: from a month to a year.

Before starting mobile development, prepare the technical specification for client-server interaction. Put the correct architecture on the server. Specify in which tables to store data, the structure of queries, which data is used most often. Assign responsibility for the implementation of the work.

Neglecting to test

Another startup mistake is a refusal to test or inattention to this stage of mobile app development. Most founders try to release the application as quickly as possible, so they are not careful about testing.


By saving on testing and QA, you run the risk of getting an application with such a mass of errors that your initial budget will grow significantly. Also, excluding the testing phase is likely to result in multiple abandonment of the application when users start reporting bugs to you.

Not considering outsourcing

Many startups try to do everything in-house. Founders mistakenly believe that hiring an outsourcing company for mobile development can lead to a loss of money.


Practice shows that you can save a lot of money and time by outsourcing your application development. A vast number of outsourcing companies on the market makes it possible for you to choose a contractor with the necessary expertise and reasonable rates. As a bonus, you will get an expert opinion. Thus, you can significantly speed up the development process and find experienced specialists for specific tasks.

If you have a great idea, but still don't know where to start, send a request, and we will get back to you with a ready-made solution.


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